After suffering a humbling loss that broke their 9 game winning streak against the Spurs, the Washington Wizards bounce back and take out the Los Angeles Lakers, for the season sweep!
The Los Angeles Lakers are hurt without their leader LeBron James and suffered their fourth loss in five games after losing Wednesday night to the Washington Wizards (28-34), 116-107. James has missed 20 consecutive games, there is no defined return date, and in that stretch the Lakers are 8-12 plus fallen to 5th place in the Western Conference.
On the other side of the tape, the Washington Wizards are making a push for the playoffs. Yes, I said playoffs!
Washington began the season 0-5, lost multiple players due to COVID, and is currently missing two starters to season-ending injuries. Who would have thought that a team with the record of 4-12 at the end of January would be 28-34 nearing the end of April.
Washington has won 11 of their last 13 with major contributions from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Coming into last night’s game, Russell has broken an NBA record with 12 triple-doubles recorded in the month of April and averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists in the last 5 games.
When recently asked about Triple-Doubles and their importance, Russell responds “I don’t care if people think it’s stat-padding or not useful. Interesting that it’s not useful when Magic & Oscar were doing it. Now that I do it, it looks easy. S*** ain’t easy tho.”
Last night was no different when Russell posted yet another triple-double. Russell-Mania finished with 18 points, secured 18 rebounds, and dished 14 assists in 40 minutes.
The NBA’s leading scorer, Beal, finished with 27 points on 11/18 shooting in 36 minutes. Obviously, Panda did not hit his season average in points but it was help from other Wizards players that contributed to their successful night.
Before we get into the stats, I am going to personally need that poster of Rui Hachimura just absolutely punching a dunk on Anthony Davis’ head. All season we have been wanting our 2019 draft pick to be more aggressive and if you ask then you shall receive.
If you have not seen it yet, you are welcome. Link below
Hibachi-mura finished with 12 points in 29 minutes but had a very tough matchup with Anthony Davis.
Hutchinson caught a body as well including a very impressive up and under layup. In Washington’s first nationally televised game of the year, the boys put on an absolute show.
“I love it. I’m glad the league allowed us to be on national TV and ESPN.” Scott Brooks
How did Washington Defeat Los Angeles?
Washington is currently the number one team in the league when it comes to pace (103.9). What stems from Washington’s high pace is their ability to force bad shots and score in transition.
Which was not necessarily happening in the first quarter. In the first quarter, the Lakers were shooting 60% from the field and limited their turnovers. Washington had no particular flow to their offense but was still able to hold their own with the Lakers due to their poor free-throw shooting.
Anthony Davis’ hot start would soon diminish and the Lakers were desperately looking for a bucket from anyone. By halftime, the Lakers shooting percentage fell to 47% and Washington improved their shooting percentage to 53%. To finish things off, LA shot 44% from the field, 29% from behind the arc, and 62% from the free throw.
Between the 2nd and 3rd quarter, the Lakers had more than 8 minutes going scoreless and Anthony Davis only had one basket. In the fourth, the announcer must have yelled “Finish Him” because Washington put their foot on the Laker’s neck. Washington was in transition and unstoppable.
Davis made a push by scoring 14 of his 26 in the fourth but it was ultimately not enough.
Great win, Washington! Fans are proud and the nation is on notice!