November 25, 2014

Washington Wizards Game 12 Review: Pierce leads Wiz over Bucks

PIERCE DROPS 25 TO PACE WIZ

The Washington Wizards stormed back from a 15-point first half deficit to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-100, Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The win was the Wizards’ second in a row following their home victory over Cleveland. The loss was the Bucks’ second consecutive after a three-game winning streak.

Paul Pierce led the Wizards with 25 points. John Wall scored 19 points and added nine assists, while Bradley Beal scored 17 points off the bench. Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 27 points, while Giannis Anteokounmpo contributed with 20 points.

After opening the game tied at four, the Bucks seized the lead, topped off at 42-27 with 5:51 left in the second quarter on a Jerryd Bayless dunk after a Jared Dudley steal. The Wizards rallied to tie the game at 54 with 6:06 left in the third quarter on a Pierce three-pointer.

The Wizards held a 4-point lead going into the fourth quarter at 74-70. The Wizards proceeded to break the game open, with their largest lead being 16 at 97-81 with 6:06 left in the game when Kris Humphries tipped in Beal’s miss.

Ersan Ilyasova brought the Bucks as close as 104-97 with 2:13 left in the game, but Khris Middleton missed a layup that would have cut the deficit to 5. Pierce hit a jumper to stretch the lead back out to 9, then Wall finished off the Bucks with a steal and a dunk.

Washington Wizards Game 11 Review: Wiz dump Cavs on Wall’s big night

WIZARDS SEND CLEVELAND TO LOSING RECORD AFTER 11 GAMES

John Wall scored 28 points, pulled down six rebounds, had seven assists and four steals to lead the Washington Wizards to a 91-78 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 22 points apiece. The Wizards are now 8-3 overall, 5-1 at home this season. The Cavs went below .500 with their third straight loss.

“He’s [Wall] our leader, man. He’s asked to carry a big load for this ball club. He’s an All-Star. He’s going to do the scoring, he’s going to do the assists, he’s going to be a defender. That is why you are going to see a lot of his jerseys in the stands,” said Wizards forward Paul Pierce.

Washington head coach Randy Wittman was forced to call a timeout with 6:36 left in the first quarter after back-to-back turnovers by Wall and Marcin Gortat led to fast break points by Anderson Varejao and LeBron James, giving the Cavs a 13-8 lead.

Immediately following the timeout, Bradley Beal came into the game for Garrett Temple, as he eases his way back into the starting lineup. Beal instantly triggered fast breaks with back-to-back steals from James and Kyrie Irving, which led to a Wall layup followed by a Wall three-point play to tie the game at 13.

Cleveland head coach David Blatt said about the causes of Cavs’ turnover problems, “Irresponsible play with the ball and bad decisions. I can think of, off the top of my head, five or six clear breaks where we didn’t finish with a shot and that is just not high-level basketball.”

James’s finger roll gave the Cavs their last lead at 21-17 with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter. The Wizards overtook the Cavs for good with a 9-0 run to close the quarter, keyed by Beal’s three-pointer bracketed by a Wall layup and 21-footer. The quarter was punctuated by Tristan Thompson’s goaltending rejection of Otto Porter’s putback with 1.8 seconds left.

The Wizards continued to build their lead into the second quarter. The Cavs called timeout on their possession after Beal’s finger roll gave the Wizards a nine-point lead at 36-27 with 7:40 left before halftime. Paul Pierce’s three-pointer extended the Wizards’ lead to 13 at 48-35. Joe Harris tried to answer with a floating runner in the lane, but was called for a charging foul. The Wizards would carry their 13-point lead into halftime at 55-42.

The Wizards’ biggest lead of the game came when consecutive 20-footers by Wall forced a Cavs timeout with 3:44 left in the third quarter, trailing by 16 at 72-56. The Cavs never mounted a serious comeback bid, not making a basket in the final 9 minutes of the game. The exclamation point came with Beal’s three-pointer with 1:25 left in the game restored a 12-point lead.

“First thing is that guys have to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves where and how they can impact positively and try to simplify things. You have to look and see if you can make a change or two but not recreate the wheel. You have to stay in there and show grit and get a good day to gain a yard at a time,” said Blatt.

“You know, all year, it’s a long year, every time you have big emotional wins, and you come into the next game, those are the games that are trap games, and that is what I tried to tell the guys. You know those are the games that great teams win, and it feels good and hopefully we can put this win behind us and move on because we have another test on a Milwaukee team that have been playing great,” said Pierce.

Washington Wizards Game 9 Review: Beal Returns, Wiz Fall To Mavs

BEAL SCORES 21, WIZARDS LOSE TO MAVERICKS

The Washington Wizards suffered their first home-loss of the season to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, 105-102, but they did return one of their biggest stars in Bradley Beal.

With 4:52 left in the first quarter, Beal – who missed the Wizards’ first nine games with a wrist injury – entered the game for the first time since preseason. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 9 Review: Wiz top Magic with help from bench

The Washington Wizards jumped out to a quick lead behind John Wall’s 10 early points, then rode a strong bench effort from Kris Humphries — with 16 points and 6 rebounds — and pulled away to beat the Orlando Magic 98-93 Saturday at the Verizon Center.

Washington head coach Randy Wittman said, “He [Humphries] goes in there and just bangs, plays hard. He isn’t afraid to give up his body. That was another thing tonight that was great. I think we had four charges taken where we stepped in and gave up our bodies and that’s an extra possession that we pick up. Kris gives us that and his ability to hit the free throw line jumper is key.”

“They’re just playing well. They move the ball well. John Wall is just very good at getting to the paint and making extra plays. He does passes for the other guys and they just played very well,” said Orlando center Nicola Vucevic.

Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn called a timeout 21 seconds into the second half after Nene scored on a breakaway dunk off the Magic’s first possession which matched the Wizards’ biggest lead at 12.

Coming out of the timeout, the Magic went on an 8-0 run, capped by Evan Fournier’s three-pointer, to cut the lead to four and force a Wizards timeout. The Magic were later able to come within two on Victor Oladipo’s runner. Nene answered with a putback and was fouled, but missed the free throw for the three-point play. The Magic got as close as they got with another Fournier three-pointer that closed the lead to one.

The Wizards bench, behind Humphries, Rasual Butler and Otto Porter, stretched the lead back to 11 into the fourth quarter.

“I think he’s [Butler] been really solid tonight defensively. He’s big, works well defensively and does just about everything well. He’s a veteran player, he’s been around and makes the right play and isn’t afraid to take a big shot,” said Wittman.

In the dying stages of the game, a Butler three-pointer would have restored the Wizards’ biggest lead back to 12, but upon further review at NBA review headquarters in Secaucus, it was ruled that Butler’s shot was not released before the 24-second shot clock expired. With the lead down to nine, the Magic went on a mini-run to close to the final margin.

Washington Wizards Game 8 Review: Wiz Defeat Pistons With Late Drama

GORTAT, WALL RECORD DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN WIZARDS WIN

Behind a strong second half, the Washington Wizards took care of the Detroit Pistons at home, 107-103. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 7 Review: Wizards defeat Pacers for second time in four days

The Washington Wizards defeated the Indiana Pacers, 97-90, on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Wizards beat the Pacers for the second time in four days after winning in overtime in Washington on Wednesday night.

Behind Nene’s 15 first quarter points, the Wizards jumped out to a 32-14 lead at the intermission. The Pacers never led in this game. The biggest lead the Wizards had was 56-35 coming right after halftime on Nene’s last basket of the game.

Behind Solomon Hill’s 28 points. the Pacers chipped away at the lead in the third quarter. They closed to within 3 at 81-78 with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter. The Pacers ended the game missing 8 out of their last 10 shots, allowing the Wizards to pull away again.

John Wall led the Wizards with 18 points. Nene filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, one steal and one block. Kevin Seraphin scored 13 points off the bench in relief of Marcin Gortat, who had gotten into early foul trouble.

Washington Wizards Game 6 Review: Wizards Can’t Find Touch In Loss To Raptors

WIZARDS CAN’T BUY BUCKET, LOSE TO RAPTORS

The Washington Wizards took home their second loss of the season on Friday night, losing in Toronto to the Raptors, 103-84.

For Washinton, the story of the game was their inability to make a shot – of any kind. Finishing the game with a lousy 36-percent, they failed to generate any kind of steady offense. While the Raptors didn’t shoot spectacularly well, either, 43-precent, a big first half from Toronto simply proved to be too much for the Wizards to overcome. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 5 Review: Wall helps Wiz defeat Pacers in Overtime

John Wall went on a 6-0 run in overtime to give the Washington Wizards the lead for good as they beat the Indiana Pacers, 96-94, Wednesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. Roy Hibbert’s two free throws had given the Pacers their first lead since the first quarter with 3:24 left in overtime at 88-87. Hibbert missed a three-pointer to win the game, while Chris Copeland missed a follow-up jumper from seven feet out that would have forced a second overtime.

The Wizards took a five-point lead into halftime at 46-41 after ending the first quarter tied at 24. Wall gave the Wizards their largest lead at 61-49 with 4:37 left in the third quarter. The Pacers chipped away at the lead until Chris Copeland’s three-pointer tied the game up at 77 with 4:07 left in regulation.

The Wizards were able to extend out to a four-point lead after Copeland’s basket, but Donald Sloan tied the game at 84 with 6 seconds left. Paul Pierce missed a three-pointer at the end of regulation.

Sloan led the Pacers with a career-high 31 points. Copeland added 19 points off the bench.

Wall led the Wizards with a double-double, scoring 31 points along with 10 assists. The Wizards had four starters score in double figures, with Marcin Gortat, Garrett Temple and Paul Pierce also contributing. The Wizards made 21 of 23 free throws.

Washington Wizards Game 4 Review: Pierce, Temple Lead Wiz Past Knicks

WALL STRUGGLES, PIERCE AND TEMPLE PICK UP SLACK

For the third consecutive game, the Washington Wizards (3-1) notched another victory as they defeated the New York Knicks inside Madison Square Garden, 98-83. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 3 Review: Porter drops 21 in Wiz home opening win

The Washington Wizards defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-97, Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington in the Wizards’ home opener.

Otto Porter scored 19 of his career-high 21 points in the second half as the Wizards (2-1) pulled away for good after the Bucks closed a 14-point first half deficit to within four.

“He played solid,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said postgame. “He had an opportunity tonight and I didn’t take him out in the second half.  He played 24 [minutes] and Garrett [Temple] played 24.  I just thought those two together were playing so well.”

Porter got his chance to start the second half because Paul Pierce was ejected right before halftime after committing his second technical foul.

Behind the dominant frontcourt duo of Marcin Gortat and Nene, the Wizards were staked to a 41-27 lead. The Bucks then went on a 17-8 run to enter halftime with a five-point deficit. The Bucks were aided by the ensuing free throws from Pierce’s foul and his two technicals.

Pierce was ejected on back-to-back technicals disputing  a clear path foul with seven seconds left in the first half. Pierce initially refused to leave the court until both a game official and Wizards head coach Randy Wittman motioned to have Pierce escorted from the premises.

“He [Pierce] took one for the team,” Porter said. “At the same time, I knew it was an opportunity to step up. Somebody has to step up so I just went out there and played.”

Nene led the Wizards with 22 points, while Gortat added 20. The Wizards also got balanced contributions from their backcourt, with John Wall chipping in 19 points. Garrett Temple scored a career-high 18 points starting in the place of the injured Bradley Beal.

Gortat revealed the secret of his success. “Brazilian guy [Nene] was working for me, that’s what was working for me. I just continued to play. I continued to play to my strengths. I think with struggling in the preseason and you know I came back to my routine from last year. I kind of start coming back to playing my basketball.”

The Bucks never led and committed 28 turnovers. Brandon Knight led the Bucks with 24 points, while Jerryd Bayless added 20 points off the bench.

  • The Wizards have now won three consecutive games against the Bucks dating back to last season (114-107 on 3/8 at MIL, 104-91 on 4/12 at WAS).  Washington won the 2013-14 season series 3-1.
  • Washington shot .548 (40-of-73) from the field tonight.  Entering tonight, the Wizards were shooting .484 (75-155) from the field this season.  Washington has scored 105-or-more points in its last two games.
  • Washington recorded as season-high 18 steals tonight.  Milwaukee committed 28 turnovers tonight, leading to 25 points for Washington.  This marks a season-high for opponent turnovers this season.
  • John Wall finished with 19 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and five steals tonight.  This marks Wall’s third straight game with a double-double, a feat he has now accomplished five times in his career.  This also marks the fourth career-game Wall has tallied at least 19 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and five steals.
  • Milwaukee rookie Jabari Parker tallied career-highs with 13 points and 11 rebounds tonight.  This marks Parker’s second double-double in his first three games in the NBA.
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