December 19, 2014

Washington Wizards Game 24 Review: Wiz down Wolves to go 12 games over .500


The Washington Wizards defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 109-95, Tuesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. John Wall tied a career high with 17 assists to go along with 21 points while Rasual Butler led the Wizards with 23 points off the bench. It was the Wizards’ fifth straight victory.

Washington (18-6) is now 12 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1978-79 season when they finished the campaign at 54-28.

“I think [Wall] still has the best ahead of him,” coach Randy Wittman said of his soaring superstar. “I want him to keep driving. He’s really been understanding that there’s nothing to rest on here. We have a chance, and he has an opportunity from a leadership standpoint, to continue to push this team. I want him to continue that, I don’t want him to take his foot off the pedal and be satisfied.”

Thaddeus Young led Minnesota with 29 points. Georgui Dieng contributed 12 points along with a team-high 12 rebounds, while Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points off the bench. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 23 Review: Wizards Rebound In Win Over Jazz


The Washington Wizards nearly fell victim to the underdog Utah Jazz on Sunday, but used a strong third-quarter surge to please the hometown crowd in the Verizon Center, winning their 12th home game, 93-84.

It was a tale of two halves for the Wizards. After a sluggish and sloppy first 24 minutes, they woke up after halftime and cleaned things up in the second half. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 22 Review: Wiz Play Team Basketball In Win


Back in the friendly confines of the Verizon Center on Friday night, the Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 104-96.

Right from the opening tip, the Wizards took control. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 21 Review: Beal Beats Buzzer, Magic


The Washington Wizards returned to the site of their first victory of the season and left with a similar result, defeating the Orlando Magic at the buzzer in Orlando, 91-89.

With 0.8 seconds left, it seemed as though the Wizards would be heading to overtime for the second straight game. That is, until head coach Randy Wittman drew up a buzzer-beating lob-pass in the huddle during a timeout.

As if it was drawn up in the dirt, Bradley Beal (9 points) rolled to the basket and looked back to Andre Miller for the pass. Miller placed the inbounds-lob-pass with precision accuracy and Beal laid it up and in before the backboard lit up in red. The Wizards stormed the floor in victory, their 15th of the season. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game 20 Review: Wall leads Wiz over Celts in double OT

John Wall, playing through a broken heart, scored 26 points with 17 assists and the Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 133-132 in double-overtime.

In a post-game interview, Wall broke down while dedicating the win to 6-year-old Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, who recently lost her battle with cancer. Wall befriended the youngster in the spring.

Coach Randy Wittman addressed the situation after the game. “Yeah, it was a tough day for [Wall]. He had a relationship with the young lady that passed away. To see a little girl like that is tough. I thought he handled it well, but he was hurting at the end.”

Paul Pierce had 28 points and seven rebounds and Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 12 boards.

The Wizards (14-6) led by three with 16.4 seconds left in regulation after Kris Humphries made 1 of 2 from the line, but Evan Turner shook loose for a 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left to force overtime. They trailed by five with 1:05 left in the first OT, but Gortat made a pair of free throws and Pierce drilled a 3 with 38.9 seconds left to tie.

Jeff Green and Brandon Bass missed for Boston while Wall missed a jumper for the Wiz and the teams headed for a second overtime.

Pierce spoke of the importance of the overtime win. “It was a tough one, especially since we had such a big lead and let the lead go.  They take the lead, they go up in overtime twice.  This team [Washington] is showing a lot of characteristics of a pretty good team and we’re trying to strive for greatness.  But a lot of lessons are going to be learned even in a win.  I’m glad we were on the winning side, especially since we blew a big lead.”

In the second extra session, Wall hit a running layup and was fouled, making the and-one with 44.6 seconds left to put Washington up by one. The Wizards forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and Turner’s jumper with 0.9 left missed.

Gortat had praise for his point guard. “It was an incredible game. John [Wall] was truly amazing. I’m glad that he had a game like that. He kind of backed what I posted on Twitter a few days ago. He is definitely the top point guards in the league right now.”

Green led Boston (7-12) with 28 points. Marcus Smart had 23 while Kelly Olynyk had 19 points and 11 boards.

Washington Wizards Game 17 Review: Wiz beat Lakers for 4th straight time

Bradley Beal had 27 points, on 11 of 19 shooting including three 3-pointers, and the Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 111-95 at Verizon Center.

Beal also had seven assists as the Wizards (12-5) bounced back from a slow start — they trailed by six after the first period — to easily take care of the woeful Lakers squad.

“We’ve got to give some credit to L.A. [Los Angeles],” coach Randy Wittman said about the early deficit. “They shot the heck out of it in the first half and that was really our focus at halftime after looking at some stuff at the half from our defensive stuff.  We challenged a lot of shots that they made and my point to them at half was we can’t get discouraged by that.”

Beal credited an increased defensive pressure that led to the turnaround on offense.

“It was getting stops,” Beal said. “Whenever we get off to leads like that and whenever we excel in the open court and whenever we just get easy looks, it’s always off our defense. It was also us moving the ball on offense and taking what the defense gives us and basically getting the shots that we want. At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in if it wasn’t for our defense.”

John Wall had 17 points and 15 assists for the Wiz, while Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Paul Pierce and Rasual Butler added 14 points and Kris Humphries grabbed 20 boards.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Nick Young added 21 for Los Angeles (5-14).

Washington Wizards Game 15 Review: Gortat leads Wiz over Pelicans

Marcin Gortat scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds going head-to-head with Anthony Davis for most of the game to lead the Washington Wizards to an 83-80 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night at the Verizon Center in Washington.

Anthony Davis scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Pelicans but was held without a blocked shot for the first time this season. Davis entered the game as the NBA leader in blocked shots.

Tyreke Evans missed a game-tying three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left. Evans went 2 for 15 for the game.

The Wizards led the game almost in its entirety, allowing the Pelicans to take the lead only when a Davis dunk gave them a brief 77-76 lead with 3:48 left in the game. Five consecutive points from Paul Pierce regained the lead for the Wizards for good.

The largest lead the Wizards enjoyed was when Gortat’s layup gave them a 10-point lead at 71-61 with 9:09 left in the game.

“It’s fun when you keep scoring and scoring against the best defender in the league. It is a lot of fun. At the end of the day I believe that I should do this everyday. I needed a game like that. The last two or three games I did not play well. I’m glad I played this game and helped the team to win.”

Jrue Holiday contributed 17 points for the Pelicans in support of Davis. Austin Rivers scored 4 points starting in the place of the injured Eric Gordon.

John Wall scored 11 points and dished out 7 assists. Two other Wizards scored in double figures.

Nene missed his third straight game with plantar fasciitis. Kris Humphries took his place in the starting lineup.

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


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 13 Review: Streaking Hawks top Wiz


The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards, 106-102, Tuesday night at the Verizon Center in Washington. The Hawks have won six out of their last eight.

Mike Scott and former Wizard Shelvin Mack led a decisive 24-11 run at the beginning of fourth quarter by scoring 16 straight points to give the Hawks a 13-point lead. The game was tied at 66 going into the fourth quarter. The Wizards hit four late three-pointers to bring the score to its final margin.

The Hawks (7-5) never had a lead of larger than four before they broke it open. The largest Wizards lead was 10, at 22-12.

The Wizards (9-4) committed 25 turnovers. Bradley Beal was guilty of seven of them, while his backcourt mate John Wall turned the ball over six times.

“That was as bad as we could play offensively for whatever reason,” coach Randy Wittman said.”We were trying to do too much, over dribbling, ball sticking, and predetermining no matter what the defense was going to do. We just get in trouble like that. We had a little bit of that the first half in Milwaukee and we were able to come out of that and get it changed in the second half. That was trying to do too much by everyone.”

Bradley Beal was circumspect after the game.

“Yeah. I’m so upset at myself, I’ve never seen myself turn the ball over that many times. I think it is, everybody wants to just try and force it there and try and make a play and sometimes it just doesn’t fall in our favor, it’s a domino effect.”

Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 28 points. Paul Millsap scored 17 points and brought down 11 rebounds. Off the bench, Scott added 17 points, while Mack scored 13.

John Wall led the Wizards with 21 points and 13 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 12 points and contributed 11 rebounds.

Nene missed his first game of the season due to plantar fasciitis.

Washington Wizards Game 12 Review: Pierce leads Wiz over Bucks


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.

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