In a game that was waaaaaaaaaay to close for comfort, the Wizards hang on to beat the red hot Jazz, 88-84. John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The Wizards have now won 40 games this year and keep pace with Chicago and Toronto who also won tonight.
Nene threw down a dunk for the Wizards’ first basket of the game and Marcin Gortat had a nice dunk in transition the next time down the court but aside from that, the Jazz bigs negated the Wizards bigs in the first half. Rudy Gobert finished with nine points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz and looks like the player Wizards fans hoped JaVale McGee would turn into. Gobert is long and lanky and disrupted Nene and Gortat from getting easy shots all night.
Nene picked up his second foul at the 8:17 mark and was forced to go to the bench. Drew Gooden stepped right in and hit his first three shots to score seven points in the quarter. Unfortunately, turnovers were a huge problem for the Wiz as they committed 21 for the game and five in the first quarter. Even so, the Wiz still led 26-21 after one quarter.
The turnovers continued to haunt this team as they turned the ball over twice to start the second quarter and allowed the Jazz to start the quarter on a 10-2 run to regain the lead.
Randy Wittman was forced to call timeout and the team settled down afterwards. Bradley Beal hit a couple of mid range jumpers as the Wizards were able to regain the lead and went into halftime up 42-40.
Once again, the Jazz started the third quarter hot on an 8-3 run to take the lead by five. After another quick timeout, John Wall started pushing the ball out in transition. John was able to get Daunte Exum back peddling and that’s bad news for any defender.
With the game tied at 50, Paul Pierce hit a corner three to put the Wiz up 53-50. Pierce then knocked down two more threes in the quarter to stretch the lead out to nine. The Wizards couldn’t pull away though. Trey Burke knocked down four threes in the second half to keep the Jazz in this one.
With the lead at eight early in the fourth quarter, former Wizard, Trevor Booker out hustled everyone for an impressive rebound and put back layup. He backed that up with another aggressive lay in at the rim to cut the Wizards lead to four.
The Wizards were able to push the lead to six but once again, Trey Burke had an answer from deep.
With under 30 seconds remaining and the Wizards inbounding the ball with a four point lead, Paul Pierce was called for a travel. The Jazz wasted no time in throwing an alley oop to Gordon Haywood to cut the lead to two with 12.9 second to play. The Wizards were able to inbound the ball to John Wall who knocked down two free throws to ice the game.
It’s nice for the Wizards to get back to their winning ways but this one was far from pretty. The team committed 21 turnovers and almost let a Jazz team that was dead in the water come back and win this one. Regardless, a win is a win. Up next, the ClipShow.