January 30, 2015

Washington Wizards Game 46 Review: Wall rallies Wiz over Lakers

WIZARDS SEND LAKERS TO NINTH STRAIGHT LOSS

John Wall scored 21 points with 13 assists and nine rebounds and the Washington Wizards rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 98-92 on Tuesday, sending the once-proud Lakers to their ninth straight loss.

Wall was 8 of 12 from the floor, but just 5 of 12 from the line and did not attempt a 3-pointer. Bradely Beal added 19 points, Otto Porter — who started in place of Paul Pierce — had 12 points in 29 minutes and Marcin Gortat ended with 11 points.

Pierce missed the game with a nagging left toe injury. Kobe Bryant (torn rotator cuff) and Nick Young (ankle) were out for Los Angeles.

Wayne Ellington had a career-high 28 points for the Lakers and rookie Jordan Clarkson added a career-high 18, who are on their longest losing streak since 1994.

The Wizards trailed by 19 during the second quarter as they came out flat and seemingly unmotivated to paly against one of the more struggling franchises going. But they scored the final six points of the quarter, with Wall going to the bucket for layups twice, and went into the break down 57-46.

Washington used a 12-0 run in the third quarter — punctuated by an ally-oop from Wall to Gortat — to further cut into the deficit and the Lakers clung to a one-point lead at the end of the frame.

Rasual Butler gave the Wizards their first lead of the game since early in the first quarter with a 3-pointer with 10:30 left I the game. But it wasn’t decided until the final two minutes.

Ellington’s reverse layup with 2:21 brought the Lakers within three points. Porter’s put-back off a miss by Nene put the Wiz back up five with 1:56 left. On the next possession, Beal stroked a pull-up and the next trip down Wall made 1 of 2 at the line to seal it. L.A. missed four consecutive shots during the sequence to help matters out.

The Wizards get no time to savor the win, as they take on Phoenix Wednesday night in the last of the four-game West Coast swing.

Washington Wizards Game 45 Review: Wizards outlast Nuggets on road

It required overtime, but the Washington Wizards hung on to beat the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center, 117-115.

Kris Humphries scored 21 points off the bench for a team high, including four in the final three minutes to help lift Washington to the win.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 44 Review: For the second game in a row, the Wizards let one get away

After letting one get away against the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards faced déjà vu on the road against a Western Conference power house in the Portland Trail Blazers, falling 105-96 on Saturday. On a positive note, Paul Pierce joined the likes of Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and Jason Terry in making 2,000 three point shots.

The first quarter started with a hot shooting start for the Wizards and a cold one for the Trail Blazers. Less than four minutes into the game, Portland’s coach Terry Stotts was forced to call a timeout as his team was down 13-2. This was motivated after Washington started out 6 of 9 from the field, while Portland was struggling with a 0 for 9 performance. The shooting woes for the Trail Blazers didn’t last as LaMarcus Aldridge, who decided to play in this game instead of immediately having thumb surgery, made five shots. Portland finished the quarter shooting 9 of 16 (56%); however, Washington sustained their 58% shooting the entire quarter and led 32-20. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 43 Review: Westbrook beats Wiz in overtime

After handling their business at home against the woeful Philadelphia 76ers on Martin Luther King Day, the Washington Wizards lost a heart breaker against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 105-103 loss in overtime.

In overtime, Nene powered the Wizards with nine of the team’s eleven points in the session. However, the Wizards had no answer for the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined for the Thunder’s 13 points in the session. Durant hit an impossible three drifting away from the basket and with Paul Pierce’s hand in his face to give the Thunder a two-point lead with 36 seconds left in the game. Then off the final inbound pass, Russell Westbrook was given a clear lane to the basket for the game winning layup with 0.8 seconds left without a single contest. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 42 Review: Wizards dominant, rout 76ers at home

Physical play and one of the widest talent gaps in the NBA was too much for Philadelphia to overcome, and the Wizards outscored the 76ers by at least four in every quarter en route to a 111-76 win over the 76ers in front of a lively Martin Luther King, Jr. Day crowd at Verizon Center on Monday afternoon.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 41 Review: Wizards earn gritty win in Brooklyn

The Washington Wizards picked up a significant win over the Brooklyn Nets on the road on Saturday, 99-90. Washington (28-13) outscored the Nets by 12 over the final three quarters en route to the victory.

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Washington Wizards Game 39 Review: Wizards beat Eastern Conference contending Bulls again, this time on the road

After beating the defending NBA champs San Antonio Spurs a night before, the Washington Wizards kept their momentum going with an impressive 105-99 win against the Chicago Bulls. After not performing too well on a five-game road trip against some of the best in the Western Conference, the Wizards have shown on national television that they are indeed legit.

In the first quarter the Wizards looked like a team that had tired legs as they were slow out of the gates giving up turnovers that led to easy transition buckets and open shots from threes that the Bulls converted. Bradley Beal helped keep it close but the Wizards had no answer for Derrick Rose who could not miss (even from half-court at the buzzer). Washington was down to the Bulls 32-26 after the first frame. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 38 Review: Wall, Seraphin lead Wizards’ long-awaited triumph over Spurs

After suffering their biggest loss of the season on Sunday, the Washington Wizards rose from that setback in a big way Tuesday night at Verizon Center, beating the San Antonio Spurs 101-93.

[Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 36 Review: Wall leads Wizards over Bulls, Rose

WALL, GORTAT AND NENE ALL REGISTER DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN WIN

The Washington Wizards defeated the Chicago Bulls, 102-86, Friday night at the Verizon Center in Washington, as John Wall finally beat Derrick Rose head-to-head. Wall, now 1-5 when he and Rose are in the lineups against each other, scored 16 points and dished out 12 assists.

Rose finished with 19 points — and the loss.

The Wizards (25-11) have won five of their last seven games against Chicago dating back to last season, including the Wizards’ first round playoff series victory. The win moves the Wiz past Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Wizards jumped out to a 30-10 first quarter lead as the Bulls started the game shooting 4-for-24 from the floor. It led to Chicago’s season-low for first quarter points with 13.

“I thought the first half, on both ends of the floor, was really good,” coach Randy Wittman said. “We came out focused defensively which we have to do. That’s our calling card and when we hold teams under 100, I think we’re 20-1 now, this being the one team that beat us the last time they were in here. I thought they came out; our guys came out tonight, both offensively and defensively.”

The Wizards never relinquished their lead. The Bulls got to within eight in the fourth quarter, but the Wizards were able to stave off the rally.

The Wizards have won three straight, while the Bulls have lost back-to-back games.

The game was expected to be chippy due to the bad blood from last year’s first round playoff series. That chippiness was displayed when Aaron Brooks knocked down Wall in the fourth quarter on a long pass.

That was not the only place physical play showed, as Wizards big men Marcin Gortat and Nene pushed around Bulls bigs Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol all night.

“The NBA is about people having big tempers and egos,” center Marcin Gortat said. “Me and Nene we definitely got egos and tempers. We’re definitely not going to let anybody come in here and punk us like that. They did one time and we didn’t like that. We were ready for this game.”

Gortat wasn’t the only one that noticed the physicality.

“They were definitely more physical than us,” Chicago center Joakim Noah said. “They moved the ball better than us. They executed better than us. They just played a better all-around game.”

Bradley Beal, who registered 17 points, four assists and two rebounds, concurred. “Our biggest key was to make sure we played physical, and to make sure we hit [Pau] Gasol and [Joakim] Noah whenever possible, just to get them uncomfortable. I think our bigs did a tremendous job of guarding them, and making them put the ball on the floor and take tough shots. We definitely have to tip our hat off to our bigs.”

Gortat scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Wizards. Nene recorded his first double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Brooks added 16 points for Chicago.

Washington Wizards Game 28 Review: Wall, Wiz send Knicks packing

If a marquee matinee on Christmas Day was set up to be John Wall’s coming out party to America, he certainly lived up to the billing.

Wall scored 24 points and handed out 11 assists as the Washington Wizards easily handled the New York Knicks 102-91, upping their record to 20-8 and their all-time Christmas Day record to 15-7.

And once the beat-down was secure, Wall stood up to an increased physical presence, as backup forward Quincy Acy tried to intimidate the Wizards point guard by knocking him down with a forearm shiver. Wall responded with a two-hand shove, Acy threw a punch and after the altercation, the Knicks forward was ejected, while Wall has handed a technical foul.

Entering the game, Wall was already leading the Eastern Conference guards in all-star voting and can probably expect a boost in the vote totals following the stellar performance.

The Wizards raced out to an 11-2 lead and were rarely challenged.

Bradley Beal had 17 points and five assists, Kris Humphries had 14 points and Nene added 12 points as the Wizards placed six players in double-figures and outrebounded the woeful Knicks 45-36, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass. Washington also enjoyed a 50-30 lead on points in the paint.

Carmelo Anthony paced New York with 34 points, but only two others managed double-digits. The Knicks were 4 of 22 from beyond the arc as a team.

The Wizards host Boston on Saturday.

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