Gortat overrides Ariza, takes blame for key error

Gortat overrides Ariza, takes blame for key error
December 10, 2013, 11:30 am
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Wizards must find way to win close games

In Friday's 109-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, it was John Wall and Trevor Ariza stumbling into each other to cause a turnover that ended the Wizards' chances of pulling out the victory.

Monday vs. the Denver Nuggets, it was Ariza and Marcin Gortat who were disconnected. Coming out of a timeout with 23 seconds left, Ariza drove into the paint, drew the defense and anticipated that Gortat would be cutting toward the basket.

Gortat stayed outside and waited for the mid-range jump shot. He would've had a dunk, possibly uncontested, as Ariza's dribble penetration from the corner into the lane drew Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler. The shovel pass between them floated out of bounds. Neither team scored again. The Wizards (9-11) lost 75-74.

"It was just a bad pass," Ariza said, after a long sigh. "I can't blame anybody. I guess I was thinking the game differently. Next time in that situation, I'm sure we'll figure it out."

Gortat would have none of it. He started strong by making 6 of 8 shots in the first quarter but only scored four points in the last three. The 6-11 center thought he might've been too tentative after that.

"It was definitely a very good move from Trevor. I just was in the wrong spot. For some reason, I just decided to drift away from the basket," Gortat said. "It was just my bad decision. He made the right play. The right pass. The ball was deflected a little bit I guess but still it doesn't change the situation. I should be under the basket and he made a very good play. I should be blamed for that. Next time, I'm going to do better."

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