The Wizards blow a 25 point lead but ultimately hang on to beat the Trail Blazers 105-97. John Wall messed around and nearly got a triple-double posting 21 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals as his final stat line. The Wizards have won their fourth straight and look to be out of that funk which lasted over a month. The win also brings the Wizards within .5 games of the Chicago Bulls for the 4 seed.
Nene was back in the starting lineup after missing two games due to personal reasons and the big man started off very aggressive. Nene started 2-4 from the field and took it right at Robin Lopez. The matchup was a fun and physical one to watch the entire night.
During this win streak, the Wizards have made it an emphasis to push the ball more and get some easy buckets. The Wizards had eight fast break points in the quarter (25 overall) and were up 27-20 after the first quarter.
Drew Gooden got hot scoring seven of his nine points in the second quarter. All of his points came on deep jump shots including a corner three pointer.
Ramon Sessions came in and was also looking to push the ball. Even though Sessions is undersized, he is not afraid to drive to the hole amongst the trees. Having a quick back up point guard is something this team has desperately needed and just may have found its match.
The Wizards used an 11-0 run to end the quarter and stretched the lead to 20, leading 60-40 at halftime on 57% shooting.
Early in the third quarter, Paul Pierce found a streaking Nene who threw down a viscous reverse dunk and the Wiz were up 25, 71-46. This game was over right? Wrong. Aaron Afflalo started to heat up towards the end of the third hitting two three pointers and cutting the lead to 14. Steve Blake hit a three pointer at the 35 second mark and the lead was cut to seven.
The Wizards were playing super tight on offense and you could feel it. They weren’t turning the ball over but jump shots that were falling earlier in the game were no longer going in. With the Wizards up just three, Bradley Beal hit a corner three out of a timeout. The Wizards then followed that up with an alley-oop from John Wall to Marcin Gortat and the Wiz were back up eight.
With the Wizards up 96-90, John Wall raced out in transition and found Paul Pierce in the corner for a three, Dagger. The Wiz would hold on to the win 105-97 and avoid a pretty bad collapse.
This team heads out west for a four game road trip. Up next, a very improved Utah Jazz team.