Wizards vs. Bulls final score: Washington falls to 0-3 in Summer League after 82-73 loss to Chicago

Sheldon Mac scored 20 points but didn’t get a whole lot of help from his teammates as the Wizards fell to the Chicago Bulls, 82-73 on Tuesday night.

Lauri Markkanen, the Bulls prized first round pick scored 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Antonio Blakeney scored 23 points as Chicago was able to hold off a late run from the Wizards to secure the victory.

After going 4-35 in Summer League action on Monday, the Bulls started 4-5 from range en route to a quick 20-7 lead. The Wizards shot just 29 percent in the first quarter and were only able to muster 15 points as they trailed, 33-15 after one.

After a very passive start, Sheldon Mac got in attack mode. Mac finished in traffic and had a nice transition layup to spark a 7-0 run for the Wizards. Mac and Daniel Ochefu combined for 17 points in the first half but the team shot just 31 percent from the field and trailed, 52-36 at halftime.

Mac stayed in attack mode to start the second half with two quick baskets. Chris McCullough finished a tough putback at the rim and just like that, the Wizards had trimmed the lead to 10, 55-45 midway through the third quarter. Mac’s 12 third quarter points brought the Wizards within nine as they trailed 62-53 after three.

Marcus Keene, no stranger to letting shots fly, got hot in the fourth quarter as he sliced his way into the lane for a tough layup only to follow it up with a three-pointer. The Wizards were able to cut the lead to one, 67-66 midway through the fourth quarter but the Bulls would get hot from three-point range to secure the victory, 82-73.

With the loss, the Wizards fell to 0-3 in league play. They will play again on Wednesday against someone in the opening round of Las Vegas Summer League tournament.

Outside of Sheldon Mac, the Wizards’ regular season players were underwhelming

Mac had a team-high 20 points tonight with 12 of those coming in the third quarter. Outside of Mac, the rest of the Wizards’ regular season players didn’t produce a whole lot. It looked like Ochefu might be in for a big game as he scored nine points in the first half and was active on the glass. However, Ochefu was a non-factor in the second half.

McCullough was overmatched as he was guarding Markkanen for most of the evening. The third-year player was no match for the rookie as he hit shots from deep and was active in the painted area. Danuel House scored just one point tonight and missed all seven of his shots.


Bulls at Wizards Final: Wall dishes out career-high 20 assists as Wizards win, 112-107.

John Wall dishes out a career-high 20 assists as the Wizards hang on to win despite a late comeback from the Bulls, 112-107. Bradley Beal was the Wizards’ high scorer with 24 points including some key baskets down the stretch while Jason Smith scored 17 points to go along with seven rebounds as he started in place of an ill Markieff Morris tonight.

The House of Guards got things going early on for the Wizards. Bradley Beal connected on four of his first six shots while John Wall dished out six assists in the first quarter as the Wizards led, 29-23 after one.

Kelly Oubre, who hasn’t seen the court in a while, got some playing time tonight due to Morris’ absence and took advantage of it. Oubre’s defensive presence was felt right when he checked in as he gathered a steal ending in an easy bucket for Otto Porter on the other end.

Jason Smith caught fire in the second quarter connecting on 3-4 three-pointers as the Wizards ended the quarter on a 10-0 run and led 59-40 at halftime.

The great defense that we saw in the first half was nowhere to be found in the second half. Paul Zipser hit two quick buckets for the Bulls as the lead was trimmed to 15. Chicago kept hanging around in this one. Robin Lopez scored a season-high 25 points tonight with many coming in the third quarter as the Bulls chipped away at the Wizards lead. Chicago outscored the Wizards 32-25 in the third quarter and all of a sudden, what looked like a blowout turned into a close game.

The Bulls kept the momentum rolling into the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run early on. Fortunately for the Wizards, Ian Mahinmi came up big with 16 points tonight including several baskets around the rim in crunch time.

Chicago continued to fight whenever it looked like the Wizards might pull away. Late three-pointers from Denzel Valentine and Jimmy Butler got the Bulls as close as 1, 108-107 with just under a minute to play. The Wizards would miss the shot the next time down the floor but Otto Porter got fouled and would calmly knock down two free-throws to give the Wizards a 110-107 lead. Jimmy Butler heaved up a tough shot with time winding down and missed as Porter grabbed the rebound.

Wizards hang on 112-107.

Career-high 20 assists for John Wall

Wall has had two games this season where he dished out 19 assists but tonight, eclipsed that with a career-high 20. Wall’s shot was not falling early and rather than chucking up shots, he continued to dish out dimes evidenced as he had eight in the first quarter and 12 by halftime. Wall’s 20th and most important assist came on a pick and roll with Marcin Gortat ending in a Gortat layup as the Wizards stretched the lead out to three.

Jason Smith turns in his best game of the season

Markieff Morris was a late scratch due to illness and Jason Smith got the start as a result. And boy, did he seize the opportunity. Smith ended the night with 17 points and seven rebounds including knocking down three three-pointers. Smith was also a presence on the defensive end as he recorded two blocks. Credit to Smith; he was in and out of the rotation for weeks but always stayed ready and tonight, he got his chance and shined.

The bench had a great game

The reserves combined for 35 points tonight led by Ian Mahinmi with 16 on 8-11 shooting. Bogdanovic was his typical self with 12 points including two three-pointers while Brandon Jennings only scored three points but dished out eight assists. The Wizards will need to get performances like this from the reserves more often especially with big games looming.

Wizards vs. Bulls final score: Wall, Beal close out Chicago for 107-97 win

The dynamic backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal helped the Wizards close out the Bulls with some key plays late to pull out a 107-97 win in Chicago. John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 23 points and 9 assists, while Beal wasn’t far behind with 21 points and five assists of his own.

Washington fell behind early as the Bulls shot 62.5 percent in the first quarter and outrebounded the Wizards 18-3 in the period en route to a 33-22 lead. But the Wizards roared back in the second quarter using a 10-1 run to get back into the game. They also got more active in transition in the quarter. They scored 13 points in transition in the second quarter alone, finishing with 32 for the night. The Wizards went into halftime trailing by only one.

The lead seesawed back and forth throughout the third quarter, and ended with the game all knotted up at 77 going into the final quarter.

The bench helped the Wizards get off to a good start as Marcus Thornton hit the first two baskets for the Wizards including one where he was falling out of bounds with the shot clock running out. Trey Burke came alive and chipped in four points as well.

The Bulls came back, however, cutting the lead down to 4, 97-93 late in the fourth but Bradley Beal would use a Gortat screen to knock down a jumper and put the Wizards back up six. John Wall then iced the game the next time down the court with this dagger.

With the win, the Wizards now have a crucial road win against an Eastern Conference foe that’s sitting right above them in the standings. They’ll have a chance to pick up another one on Friday night when they take on the Bucks in Milwaukee.

Technical foul gets Wall fired up

Wall got T’d up with 2:50 remaining the first half, on a play where Taj Gibson plowed into him but no charge was called.

Dwyane Wade cleaned up the miss and was fouled as the Bulls completed a quasi four-point play to put them up 52-44. That lit a fire under Wall as the next three times down the court; he got a layup in transition, was fouled in transition, and found a trailing Beal for three as the Wizards ended the quarter on a 11-4 run. Wall turned up the heat on the defensive end, resulting in the Bulls turnovers and as mentioned, easy baskets for the Wizards.

Wizards turn defense into offense

The Wizards looked to get out on the fast break tonight and the Bulls helped them. The Bulls committed 14 turnovers (9 in the first half) resulting in 19 points for Washington. Washington turned the nine first half turnovers into 13 points as many of them were of the live-ball variety. This allowed the Wizards to get out on the fast break and convert on some easy buckets as the Wizards had 13 fast break points in the second quarter and 32 for the game.

The Bulls, the second best rebounding team in the NBA, grabbed six offensive rebounds in the first quarter. They continued sending guys to the glass in the second quarter which also helped the Wizards get out in transition and claw away at the lead.

Extended play for Sheldon McClellan

Scott Brooks said he wanted to get McClellan some playing time on this road trip, and the rookie got his opportunity tonight. McClellan scored seven points tonight (2-3 shooting) and did a pretty good job on the defensive end as he was matched up against Jimmy Butler or switched onto Dwayne Wade. McClellan saw extended time in the second half because Porter was sidelined with back spasms. If he can continue to turn in nights like this, that’ll result in more and more playing time.

A way too early ranking of the Eastern Conference

Last week we took a look at how the teams stack up early in the Southeast Division.

Now let’s see how the entire Eastern Conference stacks up now that free agency is in the rearview mirror.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs just won the championship. Cleveland just re-signed LeBron James to a three-year deal. Not much else to discuss here. Let’s keep moving.

2. Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are here by default. After making their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in team history, the Raptors are looking to build on that momentum to carry them even further. They re-signed All-Star DeMar DeRozan to a five-year $145 million dollar year to keep the dynamic backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan intact.

Bismack Biyombo played out of his mind during the playoffs earning him a large payday but with the Orlando Magic. Many think that Biyombo’s departure could potentially set the Raptors back. I disagree. Biyombo is a backup center and a rim protector. He averaged 5.5 points and eight rebounds during the regular season but those numbers jumped 6.2 points and 9.4 rebounds during the postseason. Biyombo is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end but is very limited on the offensive end. He’s a classic energy guy who happened to explode on a national stage at the right time. Yes, they’ll miss his defensive presence and shot-blocking; it’s just, I don’t think that’s enough to set the entire team back.

The Raptors replaced Biyombo with the acquisition of Jared Sullinger. As a starter last season, Sullinger averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Celtics. However this year, he’s expected to come off of the bench for the Raptors. Sullinger’s playing style is the opposite of Biyombo. Sullinger is shorter in stature but throws his weight around to gain position in the paint. Sullinger can stretch the floor and is effective in doing so as he shot 44.1 percent from shots 5-9 feet from the basket and 44.9 percent on shots 20-24 feet from the hoop.

He isn’t a great three-point shooter but is capable of knocking them down as he shot a modest 28.2 percent from distance last season which is better than most centers.

The Raptors did what they had to do to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference. They may not scare Cleveland, but keeping DeRozan and other key players intact will make them a force to be reckoned with next season.

3. Boston Celtics

The Celtics return four of their five starters from last season. They upgraded at the center position in acquiring Al Horford to fill the void left by Jared Sullinger. Although Horford is 30 years old, the former All-Star is an instant upgrade over Sullinger as he averaged more points (15.2), shot better from the field (50.5 percent), and shot better from three-point range (34.4 percent).

Plug in rookie Jaylen Brown and now the Celtics have another long wing to go alongside Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, and Gerald Green.

Additionally, according to ESPN.com, the Celtics are projected to have the easiest schedule in the league next season.

This team still lacks an “alpha dog” as I don’t believe Isaiah Thomas has reached that level yet. However, they still have a very good roster and one of the top coaches in the NBA. The arrow continues to point up for this team.

4. Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers didn’t get much publicity but positioned themselves very well for next season. The Pacers upgraded at point guard acquiring Indianapolis native Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade. Teague and Hill shot almost identical shooting percentages from three-point range and from the field, however,Teague averaged more points (15.7) and assists (5.9).

Us Wizards fans know that Ian Mahinmi is now gone from the Pacers. The Pacers seem very pleased and confident to move forward with second-year player Myles Turner at center and they also signed a Swiss Army Knife player in Thaddeus Young.

The Pacers secured up the center position with Al Jefferson and it’s very clear that Paul George is back to his superstar ways. The Pacers do have a new coach in Nate McMillan to get used to, however; this team looks poised to take a step forward after getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

5. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons bring back essentially the same roster that they had last season after re-signing All-Star center Andre Drummond. In somewhat of an under the radar move, the Pistons acquired Boban Marjanovic from the Spurs to play the backup center position. He is still somewhat of an unknown as he didn’t get too much playing time in San Antonio, however, he’s coming from the best culture in the NBA and will practice against one of the best centers in the NBA in Andre Drummond.

Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris will now have the entire offseason to get acclimated with the team rather than learning on the fly in just 30 games prior to the postseason. The Pistons have a nice core of players and young guys such as Stanley Johnson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who should continue to get better with time.

Expect a big step forward from the Pistons this season.

6. Charlotte Hornets

The losses of Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson and Courtney Lee sting; No doubt about it. But as Kemba Walker enters his sixth NBA season, I feel that he’s on the verge of a breakout year. Walker scored a career-best 20.9 points last season. After getting snubbed from the All-Star game, Walkers’ numbers ballooned to 25.2 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in the three weeks afterward. Walker has had his superstar moments evidenced by his 52-point game against the Jazz last season. We’ve seen Walker perform at All-Star levels in stretches; now’s the time where he does it for an entire season.

Outside of Walker, the Hornets kept many key guys intact by re-signing Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still around along with young, fresher guys in Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, and Jeremy Lamb to round out the roster. That’s enough to make the Hornets the early favorites to win the Southeast division.

7. Washington Wizards

The Wizards return their starting five (after the All-Star game) from last season. The big X-factor this season will be Bradley Beal. Will he stay healthy? That’s the $128 million dollar question. Although he feels his injury woes are behind him, the elephant in the room will remain until Beal proves that he can stay healthy as the four-year player averages just 62 games played per season in his short four-year career.

Another uncertainty for the Wizards is Otto Porter’s development. He has continued to develop over the past three seasons, however if the Wizards are going to be relevant in the playoff race again, they’ll need Porter to take yet another step forward. He needs to continue to increase his scoring as the front office is all in on him and Kelly Oubre at the small forward position.

John Wall on the mend from knee surgery and Bradley Beal’s health are a constant question mark, so if Porter can take on more of a scoring load for this team early; that will pay dividends down the road.

8. Miami Heat

Let me preface this by saying this ranking assumes Chris Bosh DOESN’T play next season.

The Heat lost key players in Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, and Joe Johnson to free agency. That hurts. The team will now be counting on Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and up and comer Justice Winslow to carry the torch for this team.

The Heat should be just fine defensively as Eric Spoelstra is known for his defensive schemes however the offense is another question. Hassan Whiteside is limited offensively, the team replaced Wade with Dion Waiters, but will count on Goran Dragic to carry the scoring load. Dragic has averaged 20 points for a season just once in his career and if the Heat are going to be competitive this year, he’ll need to do that again.

The wildcard here is Chris Bosh. As mentioned, Bosh has been dealing with blood clots over the past two years causing him to miss 67 games over the past two seasons. If Bosh is cleared to play and can stay healthy, that should be enough for the Heat to make the playoffs. If he can’t, the Heat will probably be on the outside looking in.

9. Chicago Bulls

Will the Bulls make any three-pointers next year? It can be assumed that Rondo, Wade, and Butler will be starting at the point guard, shooting guard, and small forward positions. None of them shoot threes very well. That leaves Nikola Mirotic, the team’s power forward, as the Bulls’ best three-point option.

10. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks lost Jeff Teague and Al Horford in the offseason. Yes, they signed Dwight Howard but he has proven that he’s not the easiest teammate to play with. In addition, Dennis Schroder will now be counted on to lead this team. There’re too many unknowns right now. Expect the Hawks to fall out of the playoffs.

11. New York Knicks

Derrick Rose was right. The Knicks did form a “Super-Team”…… if the year was 2011. The Knicks should have an improved record now that there’s more talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s just the players they signed in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee are injury prone or are already past their prime.

12. Milwaukee Bucks

I thought the Bucks would break out last year but they didn’t. They have youth, size, athleticism, and a good coach (so we think). They fooled me last year. Now I need to see the improvement to believe it.

13. Orlando Magic

The Magic added size and athleticism in the offseason. Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka are good players; however, scoring is not their strong suit. Scoring for this team will be difficult.

14. Philadelphia 76ers

They went 10-72 last season and drafted the preseason favorite for rookie of the year in Ben Simmons. Can only go up from here, right?

15. Brooklyn Nets

Close your eyes Nets’ fans.

Wizards vs Bulls Recap: Wizards blow out Bulls 117-96, inch closer to the last playoff spot

Where was this team during the five-game losing streak?

John Wall notched his third triple-double of the season with 29 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds as the Wizards ran past the Bulls, 117-96. This was another blowout win against a team sitting right in front of them in the standings.

For the second game in a row, the Wizards jumped on the Bulls early, storming out to a 15-6 lead. Nene got the start for Gortat who experienced back pain during warm ups. Nene didn’t disappoint as he scored 12 points to go along with four rebounds in his starting role.

The Wizards used a 10-0 run to take a 30-16 lead late in the first quarter but the Bulls answered back. Doug McDermott scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half as the Bulls would regain the lead 34-32.

The Wizards ended the half on a on a 25-9 run led by Garrett Temple who connected on all five three-point attempts in the half as the Wizards led 63-52 at halftime.

The Wizards jumped on the Bulls again to start the second half with a quick 8-2 run. John Wall played a little antsy in the third quarter committing too many turnovers on forced passes as he could sense the triple-double coming, but got out of his funk in the closing minutes of the quarter to help the Wizards widen their lead.

The Wizards led 92-74 after three quarters and this game was all but over. Doug McDermott went on a 7-0 run by himself to cut the lead to 12, 101-89 midway through the fourth quarter but the Bulls wouldn’t get any closer as the Wizards went on to win 117-96.

John Wall triple-double: John Wall turned in another fantastic performance notching his third triple double of the season with 29 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Wall shot 11-19 from the field (2-3 from three-point range) and knocked down 5-6 free throws. Wall had an absurd +/- of +38 tonight in one of his best games of the year.

If we’re going to nitpick, John was loose with the ball in the second half. Wall committed eight turnovers, six of which coming in the second half. But the Wizards got the win and that’s all that matters.

Wizards get off to a fast start: During their five game losing streak and specifically during the tail end of the recent road swing, the Wizards were getting off to slow starts. They flipped the switch against Detroit the other night and also started tonight’s game fast.

The Wizards led 15-6 in the blink of an eye. Nene, Beal, and Morris were swinging the ball from side to side as four of the first five Wizards’ made baskets were assisted. The Wizards led 30-16 at one point in the first quarter but let the Bulls climb back in. The Wizards are a different ball club when they get out to a fast start versus when they dig themselves an early hole.

The Wizards jumped on the Bulls 8-2 to start the second half which gave them a comfortable cushion the rest of the game.

Wizards were on fire from three-point range: The Wizards were on fire from three-point range knocking down 8-10 shots from distance in the first half. Garrett Temple warped into Ray Allen tonight hitting his first five three-pointers off the bench. Morris and Porter joined the party knocking down threes of their own for the Wizards but Jared Dudley ruined the party going 0-2 from distance (kidding). The Wizards ended the night 13-21 (62 percent) from three-point range.

Wizards vs. Bulls final score: Shorthanded Bulls take down the Wizards, 109-104

Just when it looks like the Wizards have turned the corner, they put in this type of effort. The Bulls were without Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Nikola Mirotic but still beat the Wizards 109-104. This is a bad loss for the Wizards who are jockeying for that eighth playoff spot.

Garrett Temple broke out of his shooting slump as he knocked down two three-pointers in the first quarter. This was a promising sign as Temple has struggled with his jumper as of late.

Unfortunately, John Wall picked up his second foul of the game at the 5:33 mark of the first quarter and was forced to the bench. Ramon Sessions filled in nicely with seven points in his first five minutes of play as the Wizards led 31-28 after one.

Taj Gibson was a man on a mission in the first half scoring 17 points on 6-9 shooting. Dudley had no answer for Gibson down low and the Wizards were forced to switch Markieff Morris onto him.

The Bulls’ guards were able to get into the paint for easy buckets too as they led 57-55 at halftime.

The Bulls then hit their first eight shots of the second half to stretch this lead out to 13, 81-68. Doug McDermott drove baseline past a sleepwalking Wall to dunk over Markieff Morris and it had you thinking; “It’s that kind of night huh?”

The Wizards would cut the lead to three on an Alan Anderson three-pointer early in the fourth quarter but would get no closer. Wizards fall to the Bulls, 109-104.

Wizards waste an outstanding performance from the bench: The Wizards’ bench scored 55 points tonight but it was all for naught. John Wall was forced to the bench early as he committed his second foul at the 5:33 mark of the first quarter. Ramon Sessions came right in and per usual, was in attack mode. Sessions scored 10 points in relief of Wall in the first half and finished with 16 for the game. Alan Anderson played 16 minutes tonight in his first game back from injury and scored nine points on 3-4 shooting including a key bucket in the fourth quarter which cut the Bulls’ lead to three.

Wizards revert back to old defensive ways: The pre-All Star break Wizards’ defense reared it’s ugly head tonight as the Bulls shot 50 percent from the field. The team looked uninterested in playing defense and resorted to reaching for the ball rather moving their feet. The Bulls scored 54 points in the paint and the Wizards had no answer for Taj Gibson in the first half who did his damage down low against Dudley on the block. In the second half, it was the Bulls’ guards cutting to the hole for uncontested layups. Lastly, I counted at least four instances where Wall let his man drive by him and he’d try to poke the ball out from behind; that clearly didn’t work.

Bobby Portis Vs. Kelly Oubre Jr.: Heading into the 2015 draft, it was clear that the Wizards needed a young stretch four and Portis was sitting there when the Wizards made their selection. Ultimately, they went with Kelly Oubre Jr. Is it too early to draw conclusions? Absolutely. But, you can see the potential with Portis. He didn’t put up gaudy stats as he had just five points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes. But he plays hard, is physical, and is aggressive around the rim. Meanwhile, Kelly Oubre Jr. is sitting on the bench.

Recap: Wiz drop Bulls 114-100 with balanced attack.

Please raise your hand if you have this team figured out.

In the latest edition of “The Wizards beat who on the road?” The Wizards knocked down the Chicago Bulls 114-100 in a game they controlled from the very beginning.

Seven Wizards’ players scored in double figures led by John Wall with 17, Ramon Sessions with 16, Garrett Temple, Nene, and Otto Porter with 14 apiece; and Gary Neal and Drew Gooden contributing 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Wizards took control early as they raced out to a 17-9 lead. They turned the Bulls over five times in the first quarter resulting in eight fast break points.

With the Wizards up just 3, Gary Neal knocked down a three-pointer and got fouled only to knock down a floater in the lane and get fouled on the next trip down the floor. Neal then found Oubre in transition for this alley-oop dunk:

The Wizards used the 18-2 run to take a 50-35 lead midway through the second quarter and led 62-48 at halftime.

Chicago would not lay down. The Bulls opened the third quarter on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to six, 69-63 midway through the third quarter.

The Wiz countered with a 7-2 run of their own to take an 83-74 lead into the fourth quarter.

Once again, the Bulls punched back and were able to get as close as four, 89-95. That’s when the Wizards defense tightened up and turned Bulls’ miscues into easy baskets. The Wizards would use an 18-4 run to pull away from the Bulls and win 114-100.

Wizards start out hot: For all that’s been said about this team, they don’t normally get off to slow starts. With Nene filling in for an injured Gortat, it was unclear what we’d get from the big man. Well, Nene was aggressive going right at Gasol for a quick four points to start the game. Active hands from the Orlando game carried over as the Wizards turned the Bulls over five times in the first quarter resulting in eight fast break points. John Wall led the way with eight points, four assists, and two steals in the quarter. Aside from a 6-0 run to end the period for the Bulls, the shorthanded Wizards set the tone in the first 12 minutes of play.

The bench comes up big: The Wizards’ bench scored 47 points tonight and outscored the starters 32-30 in the first half. Sessions was perfect from the field in the first half going 4-4 from the field and 6-10 for 16 points for the game. Gary Neal scored 11 points including a 4-point and 3-point play just seconds apart from each other. Drew Gooden was instant energy off the bench with 10 points and 12 rebounds. At one point, the Wizards were forced to use the ultimate hodgepodge lineup of Sessions/Neal/Oubre/Gooden/Blair but they kept the team afloat.

Grit: For all the talk about how this team lacks grittiness, every player brought it tonight. Players were hustling as evidenced by a chase down block from Kelly Oubre as well as John Wall denying Joakim Noah at the rim. Temple somewhat slowed down Jimmy Butler who scored just 19 points.

Also, let’s not forget the heady play by Temple who followed up Sessions on a missed dunk for an easy putback layup to keep the lead at bay. All in all, a terrific all-around team performance from the Wizards tonight.