The Wizards came to the Wells Fargo Center looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to a depleted Chicago squad. With the Wizards still outside of the playoffs, every win matters a whole lot, but this one was still too close for comfort.
The first three quarters were a constant stream of lead changes. Some of that was attributable to cold shooting from the Wizards, who shot just 10 for 28 in the first quarter. Some of it came from defensive sloppiness and turnovers. And some of it came from legitimately impressive play from the Sixers' Jahlil Okafor, who had stretches where he looked unstoppable going up against both Marcin Gortat and Nene.
But at the end of the third quarter John Wall shifted gears, propelling a 12-2 Wizards' run to give them a 76-74 lead. Washington turned up the pressure on defense, and the Sixers were never able to recover. A five-second inbound turnover with 44 seconds remaining more or less sealed Philadelphia's fate, and the Wizards left with a 103-94 victory.
Bradley Beal has a rough night
Beal somehow managed to be worse than his 4-14 shooting, 1-6 from three box score indicates. Beal was a ball-stopper tonight, over-dribbling nearly every time he got the ball. It's a frequent problem Beal has, but it's forgivable when he's trying to act as more of a playmaker, as he often should when playing next to Ramon Sessions. But tonight he missed open teammates more than once, and got himself into trouble by dribbling into the teeth of the defense with nowhere to go. Let's hope for a big bounce-back game from Beal on Sunday against Cleveland.
Wizards win the rebounding battle 55-41.
Rebounding has been a big weakness for the Wizards this season. The addition of Markieff Morris to share the power forward position with the undersized Jared Dudley helps a lot; Morris had 7 rebounds in 18 minutes tonight. The rebounding tear John Wall has been on this month also helps. Wall is averaging 6.4 rebounds in the month of February, and had 8 tonight. Otto Porter contributed 10, and Gortat 11. The Wizards had a particularly big advantage on the offensive boards, beating the Sixers 17-7.
Your John Wall highlights of the night
Wall nearly got another triple double, with 23 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds. He also had perhaps the best block of the night:
And just in case you forgot how fast he is, here is Wall racing down the court in under five seconds for this buzzer beater: