November 20, 2018

Washington Wizards Game 23 Review: Wall struggles as Grizzlies rout Wizards

The Washington Wizards continued their inconsistent and woeful ways Monday night, following up Saturday’s big performance with an abysmal one. The injury-depleted Wizards lost in a blowout to the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-95, at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Wizards really never got things going in this one, going down 57-46 at half with at least some sort of a comeback still in the realm of possibilities. But Memphis came out with nine unanswered points to take a commanding lead that they never lost, especially with the way they were shooting. The Wizards’ defense continued its season-long struggles again, and was allowing open shots the entire night. Memphis shot an incredible 56 percent from the field, including 10 of 15 from 3-point range. In nine December games, the Wizards have held their opponents under 100 points just once. [Read more…]

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 70 Wrap: Wall’s 47 points powers shorthanded Wizards past Memphis

With five of the Washington Wizards’ (26-44) sidelined for the start of Monday night’s game, the Memphis Grizzlies (47-23) were all but guaranteed their first road win in four away contests.  But, as has been the case repeatedly this year, when the Wizards are outmatched, hurting or some unfortunate combination of the two, they tend to muster inexplicable strength – and, more often than not, it stems from John Wall. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 45: Wizards fall in Tayshaun Prince’s debut with Grizzlies

Tayshaun Prince celebrated his first victory with the Memphis Grizzlies (30-16) as the Washington Wizards (11-34) fell 85-76 and slipped to 3-20 on the road.

The Wizards were neck-and-neck with the Grizzlies for the greater part of the first half, but it was in no way a testament to good defense or stellar shooting from either side. Both teams relied heavily on fast breaks throughout the first 24 minutes of play. Even still, the Wizards and Grizzlies struggled to find the net.

In the second quarter, however, Washington narrowly avoided a blow far more crushing than another tally in the loss column.

With 3:30 remaining in the first half, the Wizards clung to a 34-32 lead. John Wall lined up for the jumper and missed before the Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph grabbed the rebound. Shortly after, Wall fell on the court and winced in pain as he clutched his left shoulder and walked off.

Jordan Crawford entered the game to relieve Wall, who reportedly suffered a strained shoulder. His return was deemed questionable and, in his absence, the Wizards failed to add padding to their lead. Washington entered the half on top by the score of 40-39.

Surprisingly enough, the break provided enough rest time for Wall’s return. He started things off for the Wizards with a 20-foot jumper less than a minute into the third. In fact, only Wall contributed for the Wizards through the first four minutes of the third quarter.

Washington lucked out as Memphis continued to take poor shots and by the time Nene sunk a jumper of his own, the Wizards were up by four points.

Their lead was short-lived, however, as Jerryd Bayless sunk a 19-footer and Mike Conley made a seemingly effortless driving layup.

The Wizards failed to catch the Grizzlies the rest of the night as it appeared even Wall could not keep up with the pace of the game as he appeared to force breaks and struggled to sink his jumpers.

Wall sat the first nine minutes of the final quarter and, by the time he re-entered, the Wizards had dug a 78-72 hole.

Prince added four points to his total in Grizzlies’ uniform in the final minutes, while Conley and Tony Allen contributed free throws to close the book on Washington’s 85-76 loss.

By the end of the night, only Nene tallied double-digit points for the Wizards with 14, compared to a Grizzlies’ staff that featured five players with more than 10 points on the night.

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Alyssa Wolice is a Contributor to District Sports Page. An American University alum, Alyssa worked as a political blogger and financial reporter before making the switch to sports journalism. As a former production assistant, she covered the Nationals, Redskins, Capitals, Wizards, D.C. United and local collegiate teams. A New Jersey native, Alyssa currently serves as a community and sports reporter for a number of small-town newspapers in her home state and works full-time as a marketing communications specialist with a trade association based in Washington, D.C. You can follow her on Twitter @awolice.

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