The Washington Wizards bounced back from their embarrassing loss at home to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday with a win against Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. The Wizards managed to earn a double-digit lead at half-time, and like in typical Wizards’ fashion, they let that lead dwindle away. However, led by John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards maintained their lead and went on to win 111-95.
The Wizards managed to go up by as many as 21 points against the Lakers in the third quarter. The Lakers did manage to make a run and cut the lead to a nine point game when it was 93-84 with eight minutes left in the game. But the Wizards went on a run of their own and went back up by 15 and cruised to the victory from there.
John Wall played at an All-Star level as he finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals. Wall had some pretty emphatic blocks against Los Angeles and reminded rookie Lonzo Ball that he has to earn his respect and it won’t be given so easily. Bradley Beal finished with 22 points for Washington as he came up with key buckets throughout the night when the Wizards needed a spark.
Washington’s Otto Porter Jr. finished the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Markieff Morris scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including a pair of 3s to open the second half. Morris found his groove early with a fadeaway jumper over rookie forward Kyle Kuzma in the first quarter. This was despite leaving for the locker room in the first quarter with what appeared to be a left leg injury. He returned in the second quarter and showed no signs of slowing down. Morris continues to play on a minute’s restriction until he is fully healthy. Centers Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi combined for 10 points and 11 personal fouls in 44 minutes.
The Wizards received a well needed boost by their bench tonight, particularly in the second quarter as their lead grew to double digits. Of the Wizards’ 22 bench points, 16 of them came in the first half. Tim Frazier had seven points and five assists. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had four points and seven rebounds, though he was 0-for-5 from three.
The Wizards played good team defense tonight to slow down the Lakers. That’s not always been the case for Washington this season, when its defense has seemed to be optional at times. But Washington was able to hold the Lakers to 36 percent shooting on Thursday.
When the teams played each other in Los Angeles a few weeks ago in the fourth game of the season for each, the Wizards had a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter before the Lakers wound up winning 102-99 in overtime.
Like the last game, there was plenty of Wall vs Ball hype going into the game. All mainly fueled by Ball’s father, LaVar Ball. Ball finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. But he only shot three for 12 from the field which is 25%, which worsened his already low 29.5% to start his career. The Lakers came into the game averaging an NBA-high 56 points in the paint per game, but only finished with 48 against Washington.
Next up for the Wizards is home matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, and for the Lakers they will head to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks on Saturday.
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