The Wizards roll past a Gasol, Randolph, Conley, and Allen-less Grizzlies team 107-87 and win back-to-back games since February 7-9. Marcin Gortat had a very impressive 22 point, 9 rebound, 3 block, and 3 steal game for the Wizards. The win comes with an asterisks as four key players sat out for the Grizzlies but for this team, a win is a win right now.
The Grizzles actually played very well to start the game. They only made 2 of their first 6 shots to begin but then hit their next 5. Paul Pierce and Marcin Gortat got involved early as the pair started 4-4 from the field. John Wall was terrific tonight and took full advantage of his mismatch over Beno Udrih by scoring 21 points and dishing out 6 assists.
The Wizards forced the Grizzles into a track meet type game which is not their style of play. They like to move methodically and use all 24 seconds of the shot clock. They had a lead that was as big as nine points in the first quarter but this style of play caught up with them.
The Wizards took control of this game in the second quarter and never looked back. John Wall made an emphasis to push the ball relentlessly in the second quarter and it paid off as the Wizards ended the half with 19 fast break points. John was able to find Otto Porter in transition for some easy lay ins and found a trailing Paul Pierce on two occasions for three pointers.
The Wizards utilized a 16-2 run at the end of the second quarter to lead 60-47 at halftime.
To start the third quarter, In a crazy sequence of events, John Wall slung as pass across court that was picked off. He hustled back and blocked the shot in the paint and then blocked a three pointer just seconds later. It’s safe to say that he picked up his defense for this one as that part of his game has been questioned as of late.
Bradley Beal scored his first bucket of the game on a transition dunk midway through the third quarter and that seemed to get him going a little as he ended the quarter with seven points.
Marcin Gortat continued to impose his will on a thinned out Memphis front line with several put backs and shots around the rim. The game got a little chippy and the fouls got more and more physical. Things escalated a bit toward the end of the third quarter when Jon Leuer went up for a dunk and Kevin Seraphin ripped his hand off the rim causing him to fall flat on his back. Seraphin was assessed a flagrant-2 foul and was ejected from the game.
The Wizards were able to stretch the lead to 27 at one point and the Grizzlies were never able to get it back under 12 in the second half. Newly acquired Toure Murray got a little run in garbage time and scored four points.
The Wiz try to keep the momentum going as Sacramento comes into town Saturday night.