September 19, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 35 Recap: Wiz end three game skid with continued dominance of Magic

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)


On New Year’s Day, the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic for the eleventh straight time, an impressive feat on its own. After looking foolish in their past three games, Washington was desperate to not fall further behind in the playoff picture. The domination for the Magic continued with a balanced scoring attack that saw every starter and Gary Neal off the bench score in double-digits. John Wall led the way with 24 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, and four steals as Washington snapped a three-game losing streak with a 105-99 victory over the Magic.

The Wizards got off to a similar start as Friday against the Raptors, by capitalizing off of the opponents turnovers. 57.9 percent (11 of 19) shooting in the first quarter was helped by 12 easy points off of six Magic turnovers. A 13-4 run gave Washington an eight-point lead, thanks to a couple of jumpers from Garrett Temple. The DC club also had a 12-2 edge in the fast break department, which gave them a 27-17 lead after one quarter.

The pace was fast and furious for both sides as Drew Gooden heated up for Washington with a couple of jumpers. At the same time, Orlando scored ten points in less than a three-minute span. Jared Dudley got back to his hot shooting of December, draining back-to-back threes, but Orlando responded with a 9-0 run nearing the end of the half. When it looked like the wheels were going to start coming off, a three-point play from John Wall and a 3-pointer from Gary Neal at the buzzer secured a 60-49 lead for Washington at half.

The balance scoring for Washington continued in the third quarter, as all five starters scored before the midway mark of the frame. On the other hand, Nikola Vucevic was trying to put the Magic on his back with 10 straight points for Orlando on a flurry of jumpers. Washington responded with big shots every time Orlando tried to cut into the lead. For example, Wall hit a left-handed floater to beat the third quarter buzzer from 22 feet away. The Wizards were in control going to the fourth with a 85-70 lead.

Neal continued to be the lift off the bench the Wizards needed with 16 points in the game. The Magic were within single digits since just before the half when they went on a 6-0 run, but Washington was not going to give this one away. Dudley hit his fourth 3 of the game, before John Wall hit back-to-back 3s, with the latter coming from a deep 30 feet away. Vucevic came back with five straight points but it was be too little, too late, as Washington won 105-99.

A loss Saturday would have dropped the Wizards to five games below .500 for the first time since starting the 2013-14 season 2-7, but thankfully that was not the case. The Wizards will travel to Chicago for a matchup against the Bulls, who currently boast the second best record in the East, on Monday at 8 p.m.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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