July 31, 2014

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 27: Off the bench, Crawford leads Wizards to 105-97 win over Magic

At last, the Washington Wizards (4-23) have snapped their losing streak which reached eight games before Friday night’s 105-97 win over the Orlando Magic (12-17) at the Verizon Center.

Sure, the Magic are without Glen Davis, who sprained his left shoulder against the Wizards on Dec. 19. And yes, it was a little bizarre that the Verizon Center erupted into chants of “RGIII” in the fourth quarter for Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. But, to take the glass-half-full approach – at least Wizards fans found positive reasons to make noise, right?

The Wizards shot 47.7% from the field and went 15-17 on free throws. They turned the ball over only 11 times – compared with 20 times against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night.

By day’s end, Crawford tallied 27 points, six rebounds and six assists against the Magic, who are riding their own four-game losing streak. Nene posted big numbers as well with 23 points, 11 boards and four assists.

Washington’s defense did little to slow the Magic in the first quarter. Orlando rocketed to a 15-4 start fueled by three Jameer Nelson three-pointers in a row. Luckily enough for the Wizards, Crawford and Garrett Temple delivered off the bench just as Nene and Kevin Seraphin seemingly mastered the art of sinking free throws.

With the Wizards trailing by just six, Crawford kept things close for D.C. by scoring nine points in the first six minutes of the second quarter.

It was not until much later in the quarter, however, that the Wizards finally took the lead. Down 49-44, Crawford scrambled down the court to pitch the alley-oop to Bradley Beal who slammed it in for the highlight reel. Then, Crawford and Temple sunk back-to-back threes to give the Wizards their first lead of the game, 52-51.

From there, they never gave it back. In fact, with 5:33 left in the third quarter, Seraphin sparked a 12-0 run for the Wizards to make it 78-63 Washington, but the Magic crawled back within eight by the buzzer.

Within the first two and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, the Magic trimmed the Wizards’ lead to just four points. However, a flurry of Nene free throws and a pair of jumpers by Kevin Seraphin helped bring the Wizards back to a 92-80 lead.

With just over three minutes left in the game, the Wizards did something they haven’t done since their Dec. 4 win against the Miami Heat – they reached the century mark. When all was said and done, Washington proved it can hold a lead against a sub-.500 team by battling it out to get the 105-97 win.

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