April 22, 2018

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

BEAL WITH 29, WIZARDS SET FRANCHISE RECORD FOR HOME START AT 11-2

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.

After gaining control off the toss, Paul Pierce opened the scoring with a 20-foot jumper. To answer, Matt Barnes made a short-range shot at the other end.

That was the last time the Clippers were even tied with the Wizards. Washington answered with a 6-0 run and continued to grow its lead over the first quarter, finishing the opening 12 minutes with a 30-21 lead.

In the final minutes, the Clippers closed the lead to within eight, but Washington wouldn’t be denied a team record as their 11-2 start at home is the best in the history of the franchise while they also snapped their opponents 9-game winning streak.

The story of the game was the Wizards ability to share the basketball. They doubled the Clippers in assists with 28 and finished with 13 fast-break points (compared to the Clippers’ 3). John Wall polished off 10-point, 11-assist double-double with one last assist in the closing moments of the game.

Next up, the Wizards stay home for a matchup with the Utah Jazz inside the Verizon Center on Sunday evening. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. ET.

FIVE REACTIONS

  1. The Wizards shot a staggering 56.3-percent from the floor and it’s a number that stems from their team-oriented basketball. Marcin Gortat was the only starter not record an assist on the night. Team basketball, it wins games.
  2. Following the game, head coach Randy Wittman used the perfect word to describe the Wizards’ defense and that was “disruptive.” Washington did a good job getting their hands in the passing lanes and not allowing the Clippers to find a rhythm. On the night, the Wizards had 10 steals and Los Angeles turned the basketball over 18 times.
  3. Something certainly needs to be said of the effort that Kris Humphries put forward. In 27 minutes, the power forward dropped 11 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, recorded a monster block and tied Bradley Beal for a game-high three steals. He continues to produce and show the depth that the Wizards have at that position.
  4. Speaking of Beal, he put together one of his finest performances of the season. With a season-best 29 points, he shot 9-of-17 from the floor and made four three pointers. At the free throw line, he was near perfect, making 7-of-8. He was certainly the total package on this night.
  5. At 16-6, Washington just has everything clicking. In the month of December, they’re 6-1 and have won seven of their last eight going back to November. Their defense is currently ranked eighth in points allowed (97.2/game), but more importantly, they rank first in assists per game (25.8). This is a team playing team basketball, but they also have super stars that can step up and take control, like we’ve seen both Wall and Beal do this year.
About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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