In the offseason, the Wizards said they were going to play with more pace and would stop taking long two’s in favor of three-pointers. Both were on full all night display as the Wizards use a huge second half to roll past the 76ers 117-88 in their preseason debut.
Kris Humphries got the start over Nene at the power forward position, already a sign of things to come. With the small-ball lineup intact, the Wizards looked to push the ball early and often; even on made baskets. On two early occasions, Wall found Porter in transition and Gooden trailing the play to knock down open three pointers. Even with the new pace of play, the Wizards found themselves down early due to an impressive rookie debut from Jahlil Okafor who started 4-4 from the field.
In cringe worthy fashion, Bradley Beal stepped in front of a streaking Robert Covington and took a knee to the midsection. Beal would roll around on the floor in pain as those aren’t the type of injuries where you can ice the pain away. At least it wasn’t a wrist injury….
Otto Porter looked like a man on a mission and in all started late in the first quarter. Back-to-back threes from the Goggle-less Paul Pierce mentee had Porter’s confidence sky high which he rode the entire night to the tune of 22 points on 8-11 shooting.
The Wizards used a late first quarter run to stretch the lead to 10, 32-22 and never relinquished it the rest of the night.
In midseason form, Nene came off the bench and starting forcing things to make his presence known. The big man started 1-7 from the field but would end the night with 12 points on 5-11 shooting.
Sessions and Neal came in for Wall and Beal and there was very little drop off speed wise as the Wizards continued to push the ball. Sessions had a very quiet but impressive 11 points on 3-4 shooting while going 4-4 from the charity stripe. He was constantly putting pressure on the defense and ended the night with 10 assists.
The second quarter did not end so well for the Wizards as they allowed the 76ers to claw back into this one and the Wizards led by just 2, 56-54 going into halftime.
The flood gates opened in the third quarter. Two consecutive baskets from Beal to start the second half got the Wizards rolling and they never looked back. Kris Humphries finally got into the action on a three ball from the wing to show everyone “yeah, I can make these too.”
Once again, the newly oozing confident Otto Porter continued to slash and dash into the lane for easy buckets, hit baseline jumpers, and knocked down open three pointers to put this game away for the Wizards.
With the shot clock winding down for the Wizards, the ball got whipped around and found its way to Gary Neal who knocked down a deep three pointer as the shot clock expired. That was the “dagger” as the Wizards went up 28 and never looked back winning 129-95.
The Wizards connected on 15 three-pointers tonight and combined for 36 assists. Up next are the New York Knicks on Friday night.