September 21, 2019

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

BEAL SCORES 22, WIZARDS OVERCOME FIRST HALF BLUNDERS

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.

“We might have come out a little flat,” Bradley Beal (22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) said. “On our heels a little bit. I think we did a great job retaliating.

“I think we came out kind of on our heels, and they kind of hit us first, but we did a great job bouncing back.”

After turning the basketball over 12 times and only dishing six assists, the Wizards entered the halftime break on the wrong end of the scoreboard, 42-37.

“I think we had 12 turnovers and six assists at half,” head coach Randy Wittman said. “They had 21 points off our 12 turnovers and they had 10 second chance points off their misses. So they had 31 of their 42 (points at half) off our turnovers and then giving up second shots.”

Coming out the intermission, it was night and day. The Wizards outscored Utah 30-16 in the third quarter and committed just three second-half turnovers while recording 14 assists. Down the stretch, Washington just kept pace with the Jazz, holding them at bay to secure the win.

The Utah Jazz were led by point guard Alex Burks with 19 points and former-Wizard Trevor Booker had eight points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Next up, the Wizards stay home and look to extend their current winning streak to five games against the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-18) on Tuesday, Dec. 16. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.

FIVE REACTIONS

  1. Following the game, Paul Pierce was asked about the Wizards being an “elite” team. He responded by saying that they need to expect challenges from teams near the bottom of the standings. In a classic trap situation, the Wizards almost fell victim to what would have been a disappointing upset at home.
  2. While it hasn’t been a trend, the Wizards slow start is certainly something that head coach Randy Wittman is going have to keep an eye out for. They may be able to get away with it against the Jazz, but they were lucky to only be down at most seven points in the first. Come out like that against the Cleveland Cavaliers or Toronto Raptors and the game could be over by halftime.
  3. The job that Andre Miller is doing off the bench this season is quite commendable. In just 12 minutes Sunday night, he scored 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal. If the Wizards want to go deep in the playoffs, they need to be deep in the bench and they are proving just that.
  4. To continue that point, Kris Humphries may have only had two points and four rebounds, but his +/- 9 on the night shows that he wasn’t hurting the team while he was on the floor, either. For Wittman, he’ll either have Humphries or Nene Hilario (10 points, 6 rebounds) playing the low post and that’s trouble for most teams in the NBA.
  5. The Wizards shot 48.8-percent from the floor Sunday. While it wasn’t the 50-plus-percent that we’ve seen the past two games, the Wizards got a number of high-percentage looks. More than half (52) of their total points came in the paint. On a night when they were just 4-of-13 from three-point-land, their ability to get to the basket for close-range shots was a welcoming site.
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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