The Wizards down 18 at one point in the second quarter, complete a furious comeback and beat the short-handed Lakers 98-92. John Wall came thiiiiiiiis close to a triple-double finishing with a final stat line of 21 points, 13 assists, and 9 rebounds. The Wizards dynamic backcourt of Wall and Beal combined for 40 points as the team improves to 31-15 on the season.
This was ugly to begin. It looked as if the Wizards thought they could just show up to this game and the rest would take care of itself. Wayne Ellington was on fire, starting the game 6-6 from the field and 2-2 from 3 point land as the Lakers took an early 10 point lead.
Sloppy passes and missed free throws were on display from the wizards as they committed 16 turnovers for the game and shot 18-27 from the charity stripe; including a surprising 5-12 from John Wall.
The Lakers used a 13-2 run to start the second quarter and were able to stretch the lead out to 18. Randy Wittman brought the starters back in earlier than usual as the reserves couldn’t get anything going to start the second quarter. John Wall does what leaders do and took it upon himself to dig this team out of a hole. John deflected a pass on defense, spun around but was able to keep his balance and threw down an open dunk in transition. Then, Robert Sacre of the Lakers threw a lazy inbounds pass and John intercepted it and scored an easy layup. The Wiz were able to chisel into the lead and were only down 11 at halftime.
John continued his aggressiveness by pushing the ball and getting to the hole to start the third quarter. Bradley Beal who has been criticized some as of late continued to take the ball to the hole and not settle for jumpers. Late in the quarter at the 3:22 mark, Otto took a lazy Lakers pass the length of the court to lay the ball in and get fouled, that would tie the game at 68. The Wizards 14-0 run ended on a dunk from Ed Davis. The Wiz entered the 4th quarter down one but you could feel the momentum was shifting.
Rasual Butler hit a 3 pointer at the 10:30 mark as the Wizards regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter.
Kris Humphries provided some very good play off the bench chipping in with eight points and 11 rebounds including a vicious put back dunk in the 4th.
Kevin Seraphin converted on back to back trips down the court as the Wiz were able to stretch the lead to six. The Lakers went on a run of their own and were able to cut the lead back to one but never regain the lead.
With the starters reinserted back into the line up, John Wall raised up on back to back possessions for two smooth jump shots stretching the Wizards lead to five. The Wiz wouldn’t look back.
Washington has one final game on this road trip, tomorrow at Phoenix. Let’s see if we can finish this on a positive note.