January 20, 2021

About Derek Norin

Derek Norin is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He is also the Washington Capitals correspondent for Pro Hockey News and is a contributor to Talk the Red. Derek was a copy editor for three different student publications at Ohio State and was a founder of the newspaper, the OSU Sentinel, that would become the OSU Rubicon today. Derek has been a member of SABR, SIHR, and PFRA. Derek put together www.capshistory.com, a history of the Capitals franchise told in Youtube videos. You can follow Derek on Twitter @dereknorin.

Washington Wizards Game 65 Review: Wiz down short-handed Griz

The Washington Wizards defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 107-87, on Thursday night at the Verizon Center in Washington.

The Grizzlies were playing the second game of a back-to-back in a busy March schedule that has them playing 17 games this month, so Memphis head coach Dave Joerger decided to rest Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Tony Allen.

The Grizzlies’ backups that were starting tonight got off to a fast start, building a nine-point lead in the first quarter at 33-24. Beno Udrih and Kosta Koufos combined for 16 points in the quarter for Memphis. John Wall beat the first quarter buzzer to cut the Wizards’ deficit to seven going into the second quarter.

The Wizards took over the game coming out of the break. The Wizards tied the game at 41 on Paul Pierce’s three-pointer with 6:11 left in the quarter. Otto Porter gave the Wizards the lead at 43-41 with 5:43 left in the first half, forcing the Grizzlies to call a 20-second timeout.

After JaMychal Green’s layup tied the game a second time, the Wizards took the lead for good on John Wall’s free throw with 5:18 left before halftime and never looked back.

“We finally got active in that second quarter,” said head coach Randy Wittman. “Fronting posts, denying passes, deflections; I think we had 12 deflections in the second quarter alone. What did we have at half, 19 fast break points? I think 13 of those were in the second quarter so our defense fueled us to get us going.”

The Wizards entered halftime with a 60-47 lead after outscoring the Grizzlies, 34-14, in the second quarter.

“Our defense really picked up,” said Paul Pierce. “Giving up 30 points in the first quarter especially when they don’t have their two big lead scorer All-Star guys in, it’s kind of embarrassing to us so we really picked it up. Settled into our defensive ways and never looked back.”

Marcin Gortat scored 22 points with nine rebounds for the Wizards. Gortat’s usual frontcourt partner, Nene, had the night off for personal reasons.

Drew Gooden scored 13 points starting in Nene’s place, while Paul Pierce also scored in double-digits with 17. John Wall added 21 points with six assists.

Green and Jarnell Stokes led the Grizzlies with 13 points apiece.

Washington Wizards Game 61 Review: Wiz narrowly escape 35-point comeback disaster

The Washington Wizards survived two Miami Heat possessions in the final ten seconds that could have brought the Heat all the way back from a 35-point third quarter deficit. The Wizards held on, 99-97, on Friday night at the Verizon Center in Washington against a Heat team that was playing without Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, and Mario Chalmers.

The Heat could have taken the lead with 5.9 seconds left trailing 98-97, but Henry Walker’s three-pointer was in and out. Nene grabbed the rebound and threw an outlet pass to Bradley Beal, who was fouled with 1.6 seconds left. The Heat had to foul twice because it was their first two fouls in the final two minutes.

Beal made one out of two free throws. The Heat got the rebound on the miss off the second free throw and called timeout to advance the ball upcourt with 1.3 seconds left. The Heat inbounded to Michael Beasley, who took a dribble that ran the clock out before he could get a shot off.

The Wizards jumped out to a season-best first quarter score with a 40-18 lead. Their halftime score was also a season-high when they went into the locker room with a 67-39 lead.

The Wizards’ lead peaked at 83-48 on a Marcin Gortat dunk with 7:10 left in the third quarter. The Heat outscored the Wizards, 25-5, for the rest of the quarter to head into the fourth quarter trailing by only 15.

Nene led the Wizards with 20 points, while his frontcourt partner Gortat scored 14 points with 17 rebounds. Beal scored 17, while John Wall had 12 assists.

Goran Dragic scored 18 points and dished out seven assists for the Heat but left the game in the third quarter with a back injury after a hard fall. Shabazz Napier supported Dragic with 16 points.

Washington Wizards Game 58 Review: Wiz go quietly into the night

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Washington Wizards, 97-77, Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Nikola Pekovic scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Kevin Martin led the Wolves with 28 points.

The game was overshadowed by the return of Kevin Garnett to the team where he became a superstar over seven years, before he was traded to the Boston Celtics.

This was the biggest blowout victory of the season for Minnesota, and holding the Wizards to 77 points was the Wolves’ defensive season-low in points.

The Wizards were up, 20-11, at the quarter break after quickly jumping out to an 18-3 lead. The Wolves tied the game at 42 at halftime by outscoring the Wizards, 31-22, in the second quarter.

The Wolves took their first lead on their first possession of the second half when Garnett fed Andrew Wiggins for a dunk. Minnesota cruised thereafter, opening up a 14-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

Marcin Gortat scored nine points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a losing effort for the Wizards.

The Wizards have lost their fifth straight and 10 out of their last 12. The Wizards were playing without Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce due to injury. Kris Humphries left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

Washington Wizards Game 50 Review: Wiz skid continues in loss to Hawks


The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards, 105-96, Wednesday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta. This was the Wizards’ season high fourth straight loss. The Hawks rebounded with a victory after the New Orleans Pelicans ended their 19-game winning streak.

Coming out of halftime trailing 59-46, the Wizards forced the Hawks to call timeout by cutting the deficit to 66-60 with 8:03 left in the third quarter behind Marcin Gortat’s eight points. The Wizards continued to chip away at the lead. Bradley Beal brought the Wizards to within one with a three-point play when he was fouled on a layup with 3:25 left. John Wall added two free throws to give the Wizards their short-lived lead at 74-73 with 1:16 left in the quarter. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 41 Review: Wiz avenge loss to Nets on the road

The Washington Wizards defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 99-90, Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Wizards bounced back 24 hours after suffering a 102-80 blowout loss to this same Brooklyn team at home.

Kevin Seraphin gave the Wizards the lead for good with 8:07 left, breaking a deadlock at 81. The Wizards outscored the Nets, 18-9, to close the game. Aside from Jarrett Jack’s basket to make it 96-90, the Nets missed five out of their last six shots in the final two minutes as they were trying to keep the game within striking distance. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 35 Review: Wiz send Knicks to team-record 13th straight loss

The Washington Wizards sent the New York Knicks to their team-record 13th straight loss, 101-91, Wednesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington.

“We are in control of what we think,” New York coach Derek Fisher said. “You guys can’t control that, the fans can’t control it. The other team can’t control it. We are in control of it. We can’t get caught up in the history and the records and the number of games. We come out and try to win one game and we are supposed to celebrate because we broke a streak, no. That’s not who we are going to be. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 30 Review: Beal leads Wiz over Rockets

Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards with 33 points as he engaged in a mano e mano shooting duel against his Houston Rockets counterpart James Harden in the Wizards’ 104-103 victory Monday night at the Toyota Center in Houston. It was the Wizards’ third straight victory, opening up a five-game road trip, while the Rockets dropped their third in a row.

The Wizards (22-8) nearly blew an 18-point third quarter lead, but the Rockets furious rally came up short as Harden’s last points, a three-pointer with one second left, provided the final margin. Harden scored nine points in the final 20 seconds.

The Rockets last led at 40-33 with 4:46 left in the second quarter, but the Wizards overtook the Rockets with a 13-5 run to go into halftime with a one-point lead that they never relinquished.

The Wizards’ shooting was impeccable, going 8 of 18 from three-point range and 26 of 28 from the free throw line. Beal himself was 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Their free throw shooting down the stretch kept the Rockets at bay as they inched closer.

Paul Pierce added 21 points while John Wall and Nene rounded out the four Wizards starters in double figures.

Trevor Ariza scored 15 points against his former team for Houston, while Corey Brewer chipped in 15 off the bench.

Washington Wizards Game 24 Review: Wiz down Wolves to go 12 games over .500


The Washington Wizards defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 109-95, Tuesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. John Wall tied a career high with 17 assists to go along with 21 points while Rasual Butler led the Wizards with 23 points off the bench. It was the Wizards’ fifth straight victory.

Washington (18-6) is now 12 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1978-79 season when they finished the campaign at 54-28.

“I think [Wall] still has the best ahead of him,” coach Randy Wittman said of his soaring superstar. “I want him to keep driving. He’s really been understanding that there’s nothing to rest on here. We have a chance, and he has an opportunity from a leadership standpoint, to continue to push this team. I want him to continue that, I don’t want him to take his foot off the pedal and be satisfied.”

Thaddeus Young led Minnesota with 29 points. Georgui Dieng contributed 12 points along with a team-high 12 rebounds, while Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points off the bench. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 15 Review: Gortat leads Wiz over Pelicans

Marcin Gortat scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds going head-to-head with Anthony Davis for most of the game to lead the Washington Wizards to an 83-80 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington.

Anthony Davis scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Pelicans but was held without a blocked shot for the first time this season. Davis entered the game as the NBA leader in blocked shots.

Tyreke Evans missed a game-tying three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left. Evans went 2 for 15 for the game.

The Wizards led the game almost in its entirety, allowing the Pelicans to take the lead only when a Davis dunk gave them a brief 77-76 lead with 3:48 left in the game. Five consecutive points from Paul Pierce regained the lead for the Wizards for good.

The largest lead the Wizards enjoyed was when Gortat’s layup gave them a 10-point lead at 71-61 with 9:09 left in the game.

“It’s fun when you keep scoring and scoring against the best defender in the league. It is a lot of fun. At the end of the day I believe that I should do this everyday. I needed a game like that. The last two or three games I did not play well. I’m glad I played this game and helped the team to win.”

Jrue Holiday contributed 17 points for the Pelicans in support of Davis. Austin Rivers scored 4 points starting in the place of the injured Eric Gordon.

John Wall scored 11 points and dished out 7 assists. Two other Wizards scored in double figures.

Nene missed his third straight game with plantar fasciitis. Kris Humphries took his place in the starting lineup.

Washington Wizards Game 13 Review: Streaking Hawks top Wiz


The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards, 106-102, Tuesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. The Hawks have won six out of their last eight.

Mike Scott and former Wizard Shelvin Mack led a decisive 24-11 run at the beginning of fourth quarter by scoring 16 straight points to give the Hawks a 13-point lead. The game was tied at 66 going into the fourth quarter. The Wizards hit four late three-pointers to bring the score to its final margin.

The Hawks (7-5) never had a lead of larger than four before they broke it open. The largest Wizards lead was 10, at 22-12.

The Wizards (9-4) committed 25 turnovers. Bradley Beal was guilty of seven of them, while his backcourt mate John Wall turned the ball over six times.

“That was as bad as we could play offensively for whatever reason,” coach Randy Wittman said.”We were trying to do too much, over dribbling, ball sticking, and predetermining no matter what the defense was going to do. We just get in trouble like that. We had a little bit of that the first half in Milwaukee and we were able to come out of that and get it changed in the second half. That was trying to do too much by everyone.”

Bradley Beal was circumspect after the game.

“Yeah. I’m so upset at myself, I’ve never seen myself turn the ball over that many times. I think it is, everybody wants to just try and force it there and try and make a play and sometimes it just doesn’t fall in our favor, it’s a domino effect.”

Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 28 points. Paul Millsap scored 17 points and brought down 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Scott added 17 points, while Mack scored 13.

John Wall led the Wizards with 21 points and 13 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 12 points and contributed 11 rebounds.

Nene missed his first game of the season due to plantar fasciitis.

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