Otto Porter proves his previously rolled ankle was no issue as he leads with Wizards with 26 points and Washington knocks off Charlotte, 107-93. John Wall, who played in his first game since going under the knife on January 30th didn’t miss a beat with 15 points and 14 assists in 33 minutes of play as the Wizards clinched a playoff birth for the fourth time in five years.
Even with the return of Wall, the Wizards lacked energy on the defensive end. Charlotte got too many opportunities from close in evidenced as Washington gave up 28 points in the paint to Charlotte in the first half and trailed 51-50, at halftime.
Washington would flip the script in the second half roaring out to an 11-0 run to start the third quarter behind three three-pointers from Bradley Beal as they regained the lead 61-51. Washington would win the third quarter 37-23 behind 14 points in the period from Beal and led 87-74 after three quarters.
After cutting the lead to eight, Scott Brooks re-inserted the starters, as the Wizards were able to build the lead up to 16. With just minutes remaining, John Wall crossed up Malik Monk for Kentucky on Kentucky crime for the icing on the cake as the Wizards down the Hornets for the first time this season.
John Wall makes his return
John Wall knocked down his first shot of the game, a three-pointer, in his first game action since January 25th in Oklahoma City. Wall was clearly looking to get others first as he wasn’t pushing the ball in transition or driving to the hole but rather, was facilitating to get others wide-open shots.
Bradley Beal and Otto Porter were the beneficiary’s early on as they curled off screens and Wall would hit them in their shooting motion for three.
By halftime, Wall had already scored 10 points to go along with six assets all without turning the ball over.
Wall looked to push the pace in the second half after getting his feet under him and once again, Beal benefitted. Wall found Beal for two quick three-pointers to start the second half as the Wizards pulled away. After being re-inserted in the fourth quarter, Wall turned on the burners taking on two defenders for the tough layup – reminiscent of the Wall we know.
Wall did struggle a bit from the field connecting on just 6 of 17 field goals. But, we’re just nitpicking as the guy scored 15 points and dished out 14 dimes in his first game back in two months.
Washington gets hot from three-point range
After struggling from three-point range in Detroit, the Wizards found their collective stroke from three-point range this afternoon. Washington connected on 18-39 (46 percent) of their shots from three-point range in a bounce-back performance.
Otto Porter started hot and continued to stay hot knocking down 6-10 three-point attempts this afternoon including the dagger to bury the Hornets. Bradley Beal was 6-8 from range including going 3-4 from behind the arc in the third quarter as the Wizards pulled away.
Mike Scott relished in his role today as he scored 15 points including knocking down two three-pointers as Markieff Morris played in just one quarter due to flu-like symptoms.
Is it really a surprise that John Wall back in the lineup led to more transition and wide-open threes for others?
- Kelly Oubre continues to struggle with his jump shot as he was just 2-14 from the field today and just 1-9 from three-point range. The Wizards need Oubre to break out of this funk and quickly if the Wizards hope to make noise come playoff time
- Everyone eats with Wall – Washington dished out 30 assists on 40 made baskets with Wall accounting for 14 of them
- With Wall’s return, to no one’s surprise, Ramon Sessions and Jodie Meeks have officially fallen out of the rotation
Up Next: Washington heads to Chicago to take on the Bulls on Easter Sunday.