The Washington Wizards (18-32) snap a four-game losing streak against the Orlando Magic last night in an impressive fashion, 131-116. While Washington almost gave up 21 point lead, key and role players did what was necessary to turn up the pressure and close out the 4th Quarter right to secure the win.
Wish this team knew how to close out games earlier in the season because that current 13th place ranking can easily be a playoff seed or in-tournament season contender.
Washington shot 49/85 (58%) from the field, 19/36 (53%) from behind the arc, assisted more by a margin of 35-22 and Washington slowed down their turnovers from the first quarter to the fourth.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, Washington played Orlando on December 27th and miraculously managed to blow a 17 point lead going into the 4th and lost by 10 making it one of their most embarrassing losses of the season.
We, as fans, were starting to feel the heat on our necks once Orlando closed the 3rd quarter on a 15-4 run. Bamba, 19 points and 8 rebounds, starting draining consistent 3 pointers from behind the arc and securing 2nd chance points early in the 4th cutting Washington’s lead to 5.
Washington’s defense guarding Mo Bamba on the perimeter was pretty awful. On the first 3-pointer Russell Westbrook was mismatched but didn’t show respect and on the second Robin Lopez failed to close out. As I always say, this team loves playing with fire.
Terrence Ross was on an absolute tear last night against Washington putting up 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting and added a few posters to his collection.
To our favor, Demi-God mode was activated once Washington sniffed yet another embarrassing loss coming their way. Beal and Westbrook made the right plays and hit the big shots in order to make sure Washington was not another laughing stock on media platforms.
Bradley Beal returned from a 5-game absence due to a hip contusion diagnosed on March 27th and looked as if he did not miss a beat. In his return, Beal scored 26 points on 11 of 19 shooting from the field and converted on 4 of his 6 three-pointers in 30 minutes.
“Brad had been questionable and a game-time decision for five games, and I like that because I’ve been around a lot of teams and players who would’ve said, ‘I’ll see you guys in two weeks,’” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “But he wanted to play every night. … Tonight, Brad looked he hadn’t skipped a beat. That’s how dynamic and amazing of a player he is.”
Not too shabby, Panda! Not too shabby.
When Beal is asked about his injury, he responds “It’s a little worse than just a contusion. I’ve got some nerve stuff going on, too” via Chase Hughes.
Why are we rushing Beal back? What are we playing for this season? On the next episode of Why Scott Brooks needs to be fired….
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 15 assists, and 14 rebounds in 26 minutes. Russell-Mania secured his 20th triple-double of the season placing him second all-time below Oscar Robertson (5) with 4 seasons of 20 or more triple-doubles. In his career, the future Hall of Famer has secured 166 triple-doubles and is only shy 15 of Oscar Robertson’s career 181 triple-doubles.
Bertans added 22 points and shot 6 for 11 from behind the arc in 19 minutes. Bertans is now shooting 39.5% from 3 point range on 7.4 attempts per game.
Washington is currently 3-7 in their last 10 games and will start their West Coast trip against the Golden State Warriors (24-27) on Friday. Golden State is still dangerous from beyond the arc and Washington will have a long night if they do not close out on the perimeter.
Stephen Curry scored 41 points in a thrilling win against the Bucks and can easily do the same against an inconsistent Washington defense. Oh yeah, the Warriors are currently 14-5 at Home. This should be a very interesting game.
Spice Out! Thanks for reading.