August 18, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 52 Recap: John Wall and company start the “second” half by dominating Jazz

WALL’S 31ST DOUBLE-DOUBLE PACES WIZARDS OVER JAZZ

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

Hours after making waves around the league by acquiring Markieff Morris, the Washington Wizards had to reset their focus on the Utah Jazz. In a makeup game that was previously snowed out nearly five weeks ago, Washington had to start the second half off right as they are currently tenth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Against a decently talented Utah team, Washington won every single quarter, a rarity. Great production from Washington’s two centers — Marcin Gortat with 22 and Nene with 16 points — complemented John Wall’s 31st double-double of the season. At the end of it all the Wizards were victorious 103-89.

With Nene back in the starting lineup for defensive reasons against Derrick Favors and Bradley Beal starting the three-straight game stretch on the bench, the spacing was not ideal to start the game. The big Brazilian was doing work in the paint with three straight isolation post ups against both Favors and 7-foot-2 Rudy Gobert.

Wall continued to do his thing with an energizing alley-oop pass to Otto Porter before his patented behind the back layup in transition. Washington went on an 11-2 run when Jared Dudley checked in for Gortat, who picked up two early fouls, to improve the floor spacing. After one quarter, the Wizards led 28-23.

Rodney Hood kept Utah close with nine points by the early moments of the second quarter. Former Wizards forward Trevor Booker was also efficient by making all three of his shots to start the game off the bench. The Polish Machine seemed to be making up for lost time in the first session by going four of five from the field in the second quarter. Washington went on a 14-6 run in the middle of the quarter to take a then game-high nine point lead. Good team defense, highlighted by seven blocks in the first half, held Utah to just 42 points as Washington had a seven point edge at halftime.

While Ernie Grunfeld spoke to the media regarding Markieff Morris, Washington kicked it into high gear with a 12-2 run. After building up a 17-point lead, the Wizards began to get sloppy with the basketball. Utah made the home team pay with a 15-5 run that cut their deficit to single-digits. Randy Wittman‘s club weathered the storm the for the latter parts of the quarter by taking advantage of the Jazz’s plentiful turnovers: 23 points off of 20 miscues. Headed into the fourth quarter, Washington still held a 76-68 advantage.

After starting the game a miserable 1 of 7 from the field, it was time for Bradley Beal to play to his potential. The Florida product came out energized after a transition dunk by aggressively attacking the basket before hitting a transition 3-pointer.

Beal had nine fourth quarter points in the quarters first five minutes. Despite a bit of a cold spell, Gortat continued to convert in the paint to put the game out of reach. On Wall’s 10 assist of the game, a bounce pass beauty, Gortat was able to roll to to rim for an easy three-point play. Washington started the post-all star break off right with a 103-89 victory.

Wittman was enthused by the effort. “Yeah you know what I was really proud of our guys today. We stress coming out and doing some things defensively that was import for us tonight to really try to speed the pace up and it all stemmed from what we were doing defensively. We came out and executed that plan as good as I could ask. We forced 23 turnovers and 34 fast break points, one of the better teams in the league allowing fast break points and to get 34 that was big for us, I really liked our pace and it all started, like I said, from our defensive pressure.”

The brutal back-to-back-to-back stretch continues tomorrow with a home game against the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. In Markieff Morris’ likely Wizards debuts, he may be going up against his twin brother Marcus.

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.

Trackbacks

  1. […] day after tackling the Utah Jazz in the first of a three straight game stretch, the Washington Wizards quickly turned their […]

  2. […] to go through it. So far the Washington Wizards have put together great defensive efforts against Utah and Detroit before taking a trip to South Beach. While the DC club continues to be without the […]

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