April 17, 2014

Washington Wizards Game 36 Recap: Road luck continues as Wall, Nene lead Wiz in Win over Bulls

Following two tough losses, the Washington Wizards reached .500 on the road with a 102-88 win over the Chicago Bulls Monday night.

John Wall and Nene each posted 19 points for the Wizards, as Wall added seven rebounds and five assists the effort. All but Trevor Booker and Marcin Gortat reached double-digit points before day’s end and Gortat came up big with 11 rebounds on the night.

All in all, it was a well-rounded effort. Washington moved the ball well with 25 total assists. They outpaced the Bulls and stayed in front from the get-go, never appearing to run out of gas as they had in recent matchups.

Just three and a half minutes into the second quarter, the Wizards carried a 36-21 lead thanks, in part, to a series of missed jumpers and bad passes by Chicago.

The Bulls bounced back a bit, trimming the lead to as few as six points on a Carlos Boozer jumper minutes later. But, with four and a half minutes remaining in the half, Trevor Ariza sank back-to-back threes to put Washington up by double-digit points once more.

Wall came through with four free throws and a layup, and Ariza added another free basket to help carry the Wizards to a 56-43 lead at the half.

The Bulls outscored the Wizards 25-22 in the third quarter, which featured nine of Boozer’s 19 points on the night. Taj Gibson’s shot with three seconds to go narrowed Washington’s lead to 75-68, but Garrett Temple quickly answered with a 30-foot shot at the buzzer. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 74 Wrap: Wall’s 27 points power Wizards to eighth straight home win

The Washington Wizards (28-46) may have their sights set on ninth place in the East, but John Wall played as though the Wiz Kids were vying for a playoff spot in the team’s 90-86 win over the Chicago Bulls (40-33) at the Verizon Center. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 42: Okafor, Nene deliver in Wizards’ fifth straight win at home

The Washington Wizards (11-31) cruised to an 86-73 victory over the Chicago Bulls (26-17) at the Verizon Center Saturday night, marking the first time since January 2008 that Washington has celebrated five straight wins at home.

The game lacked the dazzling plays and late-quarter dramatics that many of the Wizards’ seven wins in the past 10 games featured. The crowd – which represented the Wizards’ third sellout this season – rose to its feet primarily for giveaways and Jumbotron opportunities until the game’s final minutes.

But, the Wizards did exactly what they needed to in order to beat the Bulls at home for the first time since Feb. 22, 2010.

They spread the ball and – more importantly – they shared the wealth. By the end of the night, three of the Wizards’ starters – Emeka Okafor, Nene and John Wall – tallied double-digit points. Okafor added 16 boards to round out his ninth double-double of the season. Even more, while Wall – along with Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin – struggled to sink mid-range jumpers, the Wizards scored 48 points in the paint – nearly 15 points higher than their average this season. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 42 Postgame Audio: Nene “We Going To Shut Up People Mouth”

WASHINGTON–The Washington Wizards won their fifth straight home game for the first time since 2008 as they defeat the Chicago Bulls 86-73.  The Wizards have won seven of their last ten, largely because for the first time this season they’re fully healthy, and forward Nene had some words for all the early critics out there.

“I remember like in the beginning everybody say we sucks…now we going to shut up people mouth, that’s what we going to do.”

And they’re doing it as they defeat another likely playoff bound team.  This time it was done by defense as they held the Bulls to only 29 second half points.

“Couldn’t be any more proud of these guys,”  Head Coach Randy Wittman said about the defense.  “These guys defensively tonight were in tune. That’s what won the game.”

Wittman said he switched something defensively at the half, but wouldn’t divulge what. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 28: Wizards Start Strong, Fade Against Bulls

Searching for their first back-to-back wins in what seems like an eternity, the Washington Wizards could not climb out of a second and third quarter hole to overcome the Chicago Bulls in a 87-77 loss.

Washington started out strong in the first quarter as a whole. Despite opening the game sluggish, the team was able to pull itself together to take control. Heading into the second quarter, the Wizards held on to a slim 26-22 lead.

The red, white and blue took their six point lead and expanded it to eight in the opening moments of the second quarter. After taking their most commanding lead of the day though, it started to go all downhill and quickly for the Wizards. Chicago continually hit big shots and caused turnovers to limit Washingtons opportunities to get on the board.

As a team, the Wizards turned the ball over 16 times, compared to Chicago’s just eight giveaways. Garrett Temple, Friday night’s star who made his first start on Saturday, was the bigest culprit of the turnover issues, with four. Two other Wizards, Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin, both had three turnovers apiece.

A win was already going to be a tough for the Wizards, even before they lost their leading scorer before the game. Jordan Crawford did not dress because of right ankle soreness and it really showed in the team’s offensive production. For the game, the team only shot 36 percent from the floor and only knocked down three of their 10 three point attempts. Crawford joins a long list of injured players including, John Wall, Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton and A.J. Price.

Nene started another game for Washington, but is clearly still on a minutes limit, only playing 25 total. It was not the typical Nene performance fans are used to though, with the Brazilian native only scoring ten points with nine rebounds and going minus-six on the evening.

Perhaps the best Wizard on the floor all night was Emeka Okafor, who knocked down 11 points with 18 rebounds, 12 of them on the defensive side of the court. He was key in the second half when the Wizards were trying to fight their way back during the third and fourth quarters. Repeatedly Okafor was waiting to snag a rebound after a bad Bulls shot and helped the Wizards keep it close.

Even without their best player, Derek Rose, the Bulls still victimized the Wizards with their other two, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Boozer totalled 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Noah added nine of his own and 11 boards. The two of them combined with the hot shooting Kirk Hinrich for 34 of Chicago’s total points.

It is yet another road loss for the Wizards, who are now just 1-13 away from the Verizon Center. They return home on New Years Day to face another elite team in the Dallas Mavericks at the Verizon Center. Washington will be going for their second home winning streak of the year.

Washington Wizards stun depleted Chicago Bulls on the road

Monday night, the Washington Wizards defeated another playoff-bound contender as they earned an 87-84 win over the Chicago Bulls.

They came back from a deficit in the second half and stormed back in the final minutes of the contest for their 15th victory of the season.

The Wizards were down 65-57 at the start of the fourth quarter to the Bulls; however, they would not waiver at all. They went on a 13-0 run at the start of the period, capped off by a Shelvin Mack jumper to take a 70-68 lead with 7:22 remaining.

Chicago tied the game at 70 a little more than 30 second later and both teams would fight it out until the very end. Washington would never go up by more than four until the end of the game, but they held off their opponents down the stretch.

Chicago reduced the deficit to one, 85-84, with 16 seconds left in the game thanks to a clutch three-pointer by C.J. Watson; however, the Wizards’ Maurice Evans would be fouled with 15 seconds left in the game, end up at the free-throw line, make both of his shots.

With the Wizards up 87-84, the Bulls had time to rally and perhaps stun them, but Chris Singleton blocked a Richard Hamilton three-point attempt and missed subsequent shots by Watson and John Lucas.

A talented Chicago squad could not get anything to materialize in the final seconds, and Washington pulled off the grand upset.

Granted, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose – the best player on their squad – however, the Wizards rallied to comeback against a formidable opponent.

Considering the Wizards trailed in the first quarter and trailed 43-40 at the half, Monday’s victory was an inspiring one in a tough season.

For Washington, Kevin Seraphin was a significant contributor with 21 points and 13 rebounds. John Wall had 16 points and five assists; meanwhile, Maurice Evans scored 14 points off the bench in 26 minutes of play.

Chicago’s Richard Hamilton led all scorers with 22 points. C.J. Watson had 17 points, Carlos Boozer had 16, and Joakim Noah had 6 points, plus 11 rebounds.

After the game, Wizards interim coach Randy Wittman spoke about the compelling victory.

“They responded tonight. We talked about getting our edge back. It was good to see them respond after a couple of bloopers we’ve had lately. We talked that if we’re going to go down, we want to go down aggressively.”

He added, “Tonight our defense was good, I thought that Mo Evans, for not having played much, came out ready and played well for us.”

With the season winding down, the Wizards have not played as well as they have liked; however, they have beaten some quality opponents – such as Chicago – and hope to build from it.

They know how that is how a young Washington squad will get better.

“This team has shown a lot of potential all year. With another good draft and this core group, we have an opportunity to do something special in the future,” remarked Maurice Evans.

There has been a lot of losing with the Wizards, plus ups and downs, they know that lumps sometimes have to be taken to forge ahead and build up their character.

Wall added,” I always play hard, but the losing is tough. We beat the likes of the Lakers, Oklahoma City, and Chicago, and we can look up to those wins. Everyone wants success early, but you need these kinds of bumps and bruises in your career to grow.”

The Wizards are back at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night at 7pm to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

Quotes for this article were obtained from published sources.

A Bull in a-Chinatown: Rose’s 35 down Wizards, 98-88

The news of Andray Blatche’s month-long absence came at a particularly inconvenient time for the Wizards. The Chicago Bulls, coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat, were in town looking to take out some frustration.

Despite making a run down the stretch, when the Bulls looked like they were feeling the effects of an emotional back-to-back, the Wizards eventually fell to Eastern Conference leaders, 98-88.

Rose made Swiss cheese of the Wizards defense early, getting to the basket at will and scoring 13 first quarter points. [Read more...]

Rose-less Bulls use impressive defense to defeat Wizards

Fresh off its first win of the season, the Wizards almost caught a break in Chicago. Without Derrick Rose, the league MVP and Bulls team captain, it appeared to be an auspicious start to Washington’s two game road trip.

As with numerous other opportunities this season, Washington was unable to capitalize, as the Wizards set a franchise mark for offensive futility falling 78-64.  The point total was the lowest since the previous record of 65, set Dec. 13, 2002 against the New Jersey Nets.

An increasingly impressive Wizards defense wasn’t enough to beat the Rose-less Bulls, who maintained their own defensive prowess without their leading scorer. John Lucas filled in admirably for Rose (sprained toe) at point guard, putting up 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the win.

JaVale McGee starred for the Wizards (1-9), ending his night with 10 points, 14 boards and five blocks—though he also committed two goal-tending violations in another uneven performance. Andray Blatche missed the contest with a shoulder injury, and his absence was notable with Kevin Seraphin forced into duty.

Flip Saunders maintained Tuesday night’s successful starting lineup, and while it didn’t get them the win it paid off on the defensive end. Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker provided much needed energy, and helped set the tone for a team increasingly cultivating its new identity.

Even without Rose the Bulls had a distinct advantage in the front court. Omer Asik (14 boards), Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah provided stout defense inside, and Luol Deng chipped in 15 rebounds, despite making only five of his 21 shots.

The Wizards continued to struggle from the field, particularly hitting jump shots. Conversely, the Bulls relied on Kyle Korver’s hot hand as they pulled away down the stretch

Korver was also able to exploit the Wizards youth and immaturity. With the Bulls up eight half way through the fourth, Korver used a hard foul to prevent Crawford from converting a fast break layup. Crawford retaliated by shoving him under the basket, and the ensuing technical foul negated an opportunity to make it a two possession game.

The Wizards were able the keep the score knotted late into the third quarter, but Korver continued to hit shots in crunch time. After a Trevor Booker jumper cut the lead to 69-64 with five minutes to go in the fourth, Korver hit a demoralizing fade-away late in the shot clock to give the Bulls a 71-64 lead. The Wizards wouldn’t score the rest of the way.

John Wall continued his struggles from the field, shooting 4-for-13 on his way to 11 points, five rebounds and eight assists. He also failed to record a steal, making it two straight after notching one in 15 consecutive games prior.

The Wizards fly to Philadelphia for a Friday tilt, and then host the Sixers the following night in the Verizon Center.

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