After coming off a three game losing streak, the Washington Wizards were in need of a win on Saturday as they hosted the Orlando Magic. The Wizards did everything necessary to ensure they would come out victorious. As Bradley Beal sat another game out due to his shoulder injury, the Wizards needed other players to step up and they did. The Wizards and Magic had a close second half, but Washington broke free late in the fourth quarter. The Wizards defeated Orlando by a score of 108-99.
Prior to the game, Coach Randy Wittman had high expectations for center Marcin Gortat. During the Oklahoma game, Gortat experienced a tough night and Wittman felt he would bounce back against the Magic. After tallying a double-double scoring 13 points and collecting 10 rebounds, it’s clear he did just that.
Kris Humphries hit a career high five three pointers and finished the game with 23 points. Starting in Beal’s absence, Garrett Temple scored a career high 18 points while John Wall finished the game with 15 points and 11 assists. Temple stepping up was huge for Washington with the absence of Beal, when Bradley return we’ll see if Temple’s play earns him more minutes in the rotation.
The Wizards used strong defense to get out in transition and force Orlando’s hand on the defensive end. Wall also did a great job choosing when to push the pace and when to slow it down. At times when the Magic appeared fatigued, the Wizards would capitalize by pushing the pace. Those quick runs cut deficits and helped Washington regain the lead
. The Wizards ended the first half with a six point deficit, 56-50. Washington quickly took the lead at the beginning of the third quarter with a stingy defensive effort, but Orlando would respond. The teams traded baskets for many stretches, but eventually the Wizards made consecutive stops to pull away.
The Wizards will look to keep their momentum as they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.