The Wiz blow out another inferior opponent in the Magic 96-80 behind 15 points from Rasual Butler off the bench. Once again, John Wall barely missed a triple-double posting a stat line of 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. In addition to Butler; Gooden, Gortat, and Nene all scored in double figures in a balanced effort from this team.
The Wizards bigs got involved right from the get go. Gortat hit a floater to start the game and Nene was very active swooping to the lane looking to attack the rim. The Wizards pushed the ball early resulting in some easy buckets and 17 transition points for the game.
Scary moment at the 27 second mark of the first quarter. Kris Humphries went up for a rebound and it looked like his leg got caught on Kyle O’Quinn’s. Kris was unable to break his fall and landed on his back, he would not return.
Both teams started quarter the second ice cold. The Wizards started 3-11 from the field whereas the Magic were 4-11. Unfortunately, turnovers reared their ugly head once again as the Wizards committed their 11th midway through the second quarter and had 20 overall. Against teams like the Magic and the Nets, you can get away with this. Turnovers were a huge issue during the losing streak and that must get cleaned up against the upper echelon teams.
As a result, the Wiz were just up eight, 43-35 at half.
Neither team hit a three pointer in the first half; the Magic were 0-11 and the Wizards went 0-7 from three point range. That changed quickly as the Wizards hit three three pointers in as many possessions from Wall, Temple, and Pierce. Slow starts to halves have plagued this team but these three pointers stretched the lead out to 15.
Gortat seems to be out of his funk which is a great sign. The Polish hammer had 14 points and 14 rebounds and really turned things on in the third quarter. Him and John got the pick and roll going again which led to easy dunks or drawing a foul while going up for a shot.
Once again, John went all “Skip to My Lou” when we threw a behind the back pass in transition for Nene who threw down a thunderous jam. The Wizards coasted the rest of the way and the Magic never got closer than 10. The Wiz win 96-80 in their last home game before the All Star break.