September 15, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 58 Recap: With LeBron resting, Wiz take care of the Cavs

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

(Photo by: @SportsCenter)

Many were worried about the inconsistent play of the Washington Wizards defense after just squeaking by the woeful Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. With the prospect of the defending Eastern Conference champions coming into town, head coach Randy Wittman knew “we’re not going to outscore them.” In the middle of a three game in four day stretch, Cavaliers coach Ty Lue announced that LeBron James (rest) would not play against Washington. The Wizards had played the undermanned Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls after the all-star break without any success and knew they had to take care of business at the Phone Booth. Led by John Wall (21p, 13a) and Otto Porter (21p, 5r), Washington controlled the game after an early hiccup on their way to a 113-99 victory,

Washington quickly fell in a 15-8 hole, but they responded with a 22-8 run to turn a seven point deficit into a seven point advantage. John Wall was getting his teammates involved with five first quarter assists, while the Wizards received an extra boost off their bench with 15 points in the first twelve minutes of play. After Cleveland got off to a good start shooting the basketball, they finished the quarter just 9 of 23 (39.1 percent), which allowed Washington to hold a 35-28 lead.

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Washington Wizards Game 33 Review: James, Irving handle Wizards in shootout

On Tuesday, the Washington Wizards hoped to repeat the success they had a month and a half ago against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio. Their offense was up to the challenge, but LeBron James and company proved too much for the Washington defense this time around, and the home team fell, 121-115.

The game was a shootout and a fantastic display of shooting prowess, with both teams shooting well over 50 percent from the field. However, Cleveland’s superior talent eclipsed Washington’s balanced scoring, and All-Stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving both finished with over 30 points. Garrett Temple led the Wiz with 21 points, including 12 in the third quarter, and John Wall finished with 20 points and 12 assists in a matchup of two top-flight point guards. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 15 Recap: When things looked bad, John Wall comes through as Wiz down Cavs

WALL JOINS WESTBROOK, HARDEN AS ONLY PLAYER WITH 30 POINTS, 10 ASSISTS, AND 5 STEALS THIS SEASON

(Photo by: @Wizards)

(Photo by: @Wizards)

To say nerves were boiling over for the Washington Wizards is a bit of an understatement. Although we are not even a fifth of the way through the season, Washington is currently playing some of their worst basketball.  Already on a four-game losing streak, the Wizards had to travel to the defending Eastern Champions Cleveland Cavaliers for a bout with LeBron James. Behind John Wall‘s best scoring performance this season of 35 points, the Wizards broke their losing streak with a 97-85 victory over James and the Cavs.

If there was ever a time that Washington showed the effects of a shot in the arm, it was in the opening minutes from the Q. Fueled by two blocks and four steals courtesy of John Wall, the Wizards were off on a 10-0 run before the arena was even full. However James and the Cavs would not be shutout for long, as they came back with a 14-4 run of their own following a David Blatt timeout. A strong quarter of play from Marcin Gortat (10 points, 4 boards, and 4 blocks) allowed Washington to maintain a 27-24 lead after one quarter.

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Washington Wizards Game 14 Review: Wiz Fall in Rematch With Cavs

WALL HELD TO SIX POINTS, CAVS BLOW OUT WIZARDS

For the second time in six days, the Washington Wizards took the floor against the Cleveland Cavaliers, dropping the rematch Wednesday night in Cleveland, 113-87.

The second of four games that these two rivals will play this year was a mirror opposite of their first matchup in D.C. last Friday night, which the Wizards (9-5) won in an impressive fashion. [Read more…]

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 81 Recap: Wiz Scorch Undermanned Heat

While the Miami Heat opted to sit LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Washington Wizards seized the opportunity, recording one of their strongest offensive performances of the year in their 114-93 win Monday night at the Verizon Center.

The Heat essentially forfeited the top seed and home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs to the Indiana Pacers by sitting their star players, but Washington had no reservations about controlling the pace of the game.

“We’ve seen enough of these games where they haven’t played some of their guys and we lost,” said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman after the game. “Anytime you can get out and play… I thought the way we did from an offensive standpoint, moving forward, can’t hurt you.”

Washington led by as many as 36 points and shot 59 percent from the field. Trevor Ariza seemed to bounce back from his recent bout with the flu, leading the Wizards’ scoring with 25 points on the night.  Nene and Al Harrington added 18 and 16 respectively, while Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat rounded out the double-digit club. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 63 Recap: Wizards run out of gas in 99-90 loss to Heat

The Washington Wizards crept in front of the Miami Heat as late as midway through the fourth quarter, but Dwayne Wade proved too much to handle as Washington fell 99-90 at American Airlines Arena Monday night.

Bradley Beal posted 18 points for the Wizards, while Martell Webster and Drew Gooden added another 17 and 15, respectively. Marcin Gortat proved a rebound king, matching his career high of 18 on the night.

Wade and LeBron James set the tone early in the night, however. In fact, less than five minutes into the game, the duo recorded 13 of the Heat’s 16 points to outpace the Wizards’ early six. But, Washington recovered a bit, thanks in part to a jumper from Gooden and Otto Porter Jr.’s only basket of the night, which brought the Wizards within eight points at the end of the first quarter.

Washington matched Miami point-for-point in the second quarter to carry their eight-point deficit into the second half of the game.

Out of the locker rooms, the Wizards – namely, Gortat – looked fired up. In fact, 10 of Gortat’s 14 points came in the third quarter alone, and the majority of them happened within the first six minutes out of the break.

Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington each hit threes in the final 2:32 of the quarter to allow Gortat the tying shot.

But, whatever worked for Washington in the third quarter failed to carry over into the fourth. Gooden and Webster remained on a roll, but Wade’s 13 points in the final 12 minutes of play quickly pulled Miami back in front.

Trailing by just one point with 5:54 remaining, the Heat called a timeout; afterwards, they went on a 12-0 run to silence the Wizards’ offense.

Beal and Webster each hit late 26-footers to help Washington hit the 90-point mark, but the Heat held on to win it 99-90.

With the loss, the Wizards are now 33-30 and 17-15 on the road.

Bradley Beal Named to 2014-16 USA Men’s Basketball Roster

USA Basketball announced today that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been selected to the 2014-16 USA Basketball Men’s National Team. Beal will join 28 other players who have been selected for the 2014-2016 USA Men’s National Team pool, from which the 2014 USA World Championship Team and, if the U.S. qualifies, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will be selected.

Of the players currently named to the pool, 11 were a part of the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue to compete as a member of USA Basketball and I look forward to the chance to represent my country,” Beal said. “Being part of this team is a tremendous honor and a great opportunity for me to learn and develop as a player.”

Beal has prior USA Basketball experience, as he was selected to the USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini Camp last summer in Las Vegas and was a member of the 2010 U17 World Championship and 2009 U16 Championship teams. Beal also participated in the annual Nike Hoop Summit as part of the USA Basketball Junior National Select Team in 2011.

Additional players accepting invitations included Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 37 Recap: Wizards shut down Heat in unlikely 114-97 win at home

A day after the Miami Heat paid a visit to the White House, the Washington Wizards handed LeBron James and company an unexpected reminder of who calls the District home.

The Wizards snapped Miami’s 22-game winning streak against Southeast Division opponents Wednesday evening with a 114-97 win at the Verizon Center.

Nevertheless, Washington stunned the Heat at the start by enjoying a 20-0 run in the first quarter and leading by as many as 34 points over a team that, with the loss, remains 16 games above .500.

Seven Wizards posted double-digit figures for the second time this season as Washington shot a season-high .547 from the field. Guard John Wall led the effort for Washington with 25 points, marking his 20th game of the season with 20 points or more.

“We knew [the Heat] were going to come in with a chip on their shoulder after losing two in a row,” Wall said after the game. “This is a game they probably thought they could get back on track, and we just wanted to come out here and compete. Against those teams, you just got to find a way to make shots. Tonight we made shots that we’ve been making on the road that we haven’t been making at home…just moving the ball and trusting each other as a group while we are out there as a team.”

Despite scoring a season-high 43 points in the first quarter, the Wizards began to lose control of the game in the second half. Shane Battier and Norris Cole helped kick off a 16-2 run for the Heat to end the third quarter, trimming the Wizards’ lead to just nine points.

Fortunately for Washington fans – who had to overpower a core group of Miami supporters eager to see the Heat dominate – the Wizards kept things together in the fourth quarter, outscoring Miami 28-20. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 15: Wizards Hang on in Waning Moments to Down Miami Heat 105-101

It was another special night for Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center Tuesday, as the team shot well and hung tough with the defending World Champion Mimai Heat to win an improbable matchup 105-101.

Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman trotted out yet another altered starting lineup with a switch at the power forward position this time. Kevin Seraphin sat the beginning of the game in favor of Chris Singleton, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Singleton joined Trevor Ariza, who left with an injury, Emeka Okafor, Bradley Beal and A.J. Price to form the full starting-five at tip-off.

It was one of the first times this year Wittman may have found, to quote him, “the right strings to pull.” The lineup gave the Wizards an early lead and set the tone for the whole team. This new starting five also set up a balanced rotation of players who scored consistently throughout the game. Their strong start gave the Wizards early momentum and really seemed to help the team truly believe it could win.

“I said [before the game], we need to have a statement game, we haven’t had a statement game,” Wittman told the press following the win. “And I said what better opportunity to come and play in front of the fans we knew was going to be here and beat this team and they took it to heart.”

It was a high flying and high scoring first half with both the Wizards and Heat making big plays. Jordan Crawford led Washington in scoring in the first with 12 points, six of which came from three-point paradise at the top of the key. He would use his strong first to propel him to a complete game, where he led Wizards in scoring on the evening with 22. Meanwhile the Heat had two shooters in double-digits with Chris Bosh tallying 14 points, 20 total on the night, and Dwayne Wade pocketing 11 of his 24 total points in the first two quarters.

LeBron James was conspicuously absent for most of the first half until he had a huge dunk and layup to get the Heat within two down the stretch in the second quarter. Washington would score the next two buckets though to neutralize the threat and headed to the half up 60-54.

In the past Washington has fallen apart in the third quarter, but they were able to maintain their lead through the third and into the fourth. Strong play defensively mixed with some much needed scoring helped the Wizards keep James and Wade at an arms length, even if it was a short one. The Wizards were so balanced in their scoring in the third, every Wizard who saw the floor, with the exception of Nene and Shuan Livingston, scored at least two points.

Washington continued to sink huge shots from all over in the fourth quarter to maintain their lead. Martell Webster put the Wizards up four by hitting an important three-pointer with a little over five and a half minutes to go in the fourth. The bucket allowed Washington to keep Miami at bay and allow the Wizards to maintain their momentum.

“It was real big, it was a big shot, you know the Miami players were playing with a lot of confidence,” Crawford said of Webster’s three. “I dont want anybody else taking it but Martell, he is the best three-point shooter on the team.”

With less than half a minute left, the Heat got a stop at their end of the floor and got the ball in James’ hands for a three that would have given them the lead. He released from the high left side of the arc, but failed to knock down the shot. Miami was then forced to foul and sent Crawford to the line who hit one and missed one to give the Heat a shot at the tie with 10 seconds left. The Heat would never knot it up though and after a series of fouls and possessions, the Wizards finally closed the game out for their second win of the year.

The win, their second in three games, improves the Wizards to 2-13. It was a hard fought win for the Wizards who shot well and really kept up the scoring throughout all four quarters to outpace the Heat. Washington will look to make it two in a row, and three in their last for games, against the Atlanta Hawks on the road Friday.

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