September 20, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 8: Late game heroics from Kris Humphries help Wiz drop Magic

For the second straight game since Bradley Beal suffered a left shoulder injury against the Atlanta Hawks a week ago, the Washington Wizards will be without the Florida guard’s services. Instead of Towson product Gary Neal getting the start, defensive minded guard Garrett Temple got the nod to play with the first unit. The Orlando Magic were in a similar predicament as they were without former DeMatha star Victor Oladipo. A back and forth game throughout, Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple were the heros for the Wizards on their way to a 108-99 victory to snap their three game losing streak.

After starting the game with a backcourt violation, the Orlando Magic made their next four field goal attempts while Marcin Gortat missed a couple of chip shots from up close that he would like to have back. This forced Randy Wittman to call timeout just two and a half minutes into the game when down 9-3. The Magic would stretch their lead out to 15-5, but Washington would come roaring back with strong shooting from beyond the arc where they finished 5 of 10 at the end of one. Nene gave Washington a boost off the bench with 2 points, 2 beautiful assists, and 2 rebounds to outscore the Magic bench by 9. Although a John Wall floater at the end of the quarter was eventually waived off for coming a split second after the horn, Washington led 29-27.

The second quarter started out extremely poorly for the Wizards as they allowed the Magic to go on a 25-12 run. There were just too many times that Washington found themselves out of position that led to fouls on help defense. Getting towards the end of the half, things were beginning to get away from the Wizards again. The Magic had retaken the lead and stretched it out to nine points. Washington got reinforcements from an unlikely source in Temple who came up with five straight points. Sloppiness at the end of the half from Kris Humphries helped the Magic maintain a 56-50 lead at halftime.

(Photo by: @NBA)

Wall had a look on his face going into halftime where you knew he was not happy with his team’s recent performance. The Wizards looked fired up with a 13-4 run to start the third quarter thanks to some aggressive cutting to the basket. After a couple of bad luck effort plays, Orlando had briefly retaken the lead before the Wizards fought back with a run of the 15-4 variety. Garrett Temple was a HUGE lift to Wizards who were without their best scorer in Beal. Mid way through the third quarter before coming out of a rest, Temple had 16 points including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Nene was again involved on both sides of the court as he had a monster block on Aaron Gordon. Heading into the final quarter, Washington was up 79-76.

The hectic back and forth pace would continue at a rampant pace during the final session. After Gary Neal hit a three pointer, Orlando came back with an and-1. Rookie Mario Hezonja started to feel it on his jump shot. After Gortat was able to comeback with an and-1 after a bad stretch, the Wizards began to dig in on defense. They had back to back possession of GREAT team defense that saw perfect rotations and help. Both led directly to scores including two three pointers from newly developed stretch four option Kris Humphries.

John Wall might not have had the best scoring night, but he came through with a clutch jump shot to put Washington up by seven with less than two minutes to go. After cutting it to 5, the Magic drew back within two after Temple could not fight through a screen that resulted in Gortat giving up an and-1. As if this crowd did not have enough faith in Humphries three point ability, #43 knocked down his fifth of the game from the top of the key. The Magic compounded their problems with a clear-path foul that resulted in Washington going up 107-99 with 34.7 seconds to go after a Wall lay-in after a nice crossover. Washington would break their three game losing streak with a 108-99 victory over the Magic.

Washington will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday in a rematch of the second game of the season and hope to have the services of Bradley Beal back in their lineup.

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.

%d bloggers like this: