The Washington Wizards improved to 18-6 on the season thanks to a 109-95 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thaddeus Young did his best to keep the Timberwolves in the game, using a monster third quarter to make this a close game heading into the fourth quarter, but the Wizards just weren't going to let this game slip away. A flurry of John Wall assists and Rasual Butler buckets turned a single-digit game into a blowout before you had time to realize the second unit was back in to close out things in garbage time.
Things happened really quickly in that fourth quarter, but that's what tends to happen when John Wall is on the court.
Here's what we learned tonight.
The John Wall vs. Zach LaVine match-up went the way you would expect
Coming into tonight's game, Zach LaVine had the worst defensive real plus/minus rating among poing guards in the NBA. John Wall, as you may remember, has the best defensive RPM in the NBA among point guards. Given that, it probably shouldn't surprise you that John Wall either scored or assisted on the Wizards' first 18 points of the game, on his way to a 10 point, 6 assist first quarter.
With all due respect to Zach LaVine, who should be a great player with time, you could tell Wall smelled blood in the water, and he came ready to get it. Also, it probably didn't help that it looked like Flip Saunders told the Timberwolves to cover Wall the way teams were covering him back when Saunders was still Wall's coach. Wall had way too much room on the break and too much space in the halfcourt and he made Minnesota pay all night long.
Even when the Timberwolves tried to put Mo Williams on Wall in the fourth quarter to slow him down, it didn't work out very well for Minnesota.
Wall finished with 21 points and 17 assists (tying a career-high). The double-double is Wall's 100th in his 290 game NBA career. Not bad.
Otto Porter's had a respectable first career NBA start
Otto got the nod as a starter after Paul Pierce was ruled out with a sore right toe. Porter has been struggling as of late, but as tends to happen, he got a nice little boost offensively thanks to playing alongside John Wall, who assisted him on a three early in the game.
Unfortunately, that was about it from Porter early in the game. He struggled with foul issues in the first quarter, but didn't let the quick trip to the bench affect him when he returned to action. He finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds in just over 22 minutes of action. His play will be overshadowed by another hot night from Rasual Butler, but Porter started to get his groove back tonight, and that's a good thing.
Andre Miller tried to defy age and gravity
We still can't get over how ridiculous this play was:
In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine 38 year old Andre Miller would try a putback dunk in the middle of a game? Say what you want about Andre Miller, but he'll never fit the mold you try to squeeze him in.