John Wall tied a career-high with 19 assists as the Wizards took down the Pelicans, 107-94 for their fourth straight win. All five Wizards starters scored in double figures led by Beal with 27 points and Morris with 21.
Hot starts have been the norm for the Wizards as of late. The team knocked down five of their first six field goals en route to lighting quick 11-2 lead. After connecting on 12 of their first 20 shots, the team went on a bit of a dry spell as they missed their next five field goals but still held a 29-23 at the end of the first quarter.
The start of the second quarter was ugly for both squads as both teams had trouble scoring. The Pelicans cut the lead to four, forcing Scott Brooks to reinsert the starters. As the starters began re-entering the game, that flipped the switch for the Wizards thanks to some sharp shooting from Bradley Beal, two Marcin Gortat finishes around the rim, and a dunk from Jason Smith.
The Wizards went on a 13-1 run to take a 45-29 lead.
Washington clamped down on defense holding the Pelicans to just 17 points as they took a 57-40 lead into halftime.
For as great as the first half was for the Wizards, the third quarter was equally as bad. Four early turnovers allowed New Orleans to cut the 17-point deficit to 10 at the blink of an eye. Anthony Davis went on a personal 10-0 run towards the end of the period as the Pelicans outscored the Wizards 33-17 in the quarter and cut the lead to one, 74-73 entering the fourth.
Markieff Morris got the Wizards going in the fourth quarter scoring seven of the Wizards’ first nine points as they regained control of the game and took an 83-76 lead. Midway through the period, Beal and Morris hit back to back threes to essentially put the game out of reach as the Wizards picked up their eighth win in their last nine games.
Here’s what else stuck out in the win:
Wizards get off to another hot start
A key factor in the Wizards’ recent success has been their ability to get off to hot starts, and tonight was no different. The team started 5-6 from the field and everyone was involved. Otto knocked down his first three of the game, Beal streaked through the lane for an explosive dunk, and Gortat was hitting shots over Davis.
Playing with the lead versus climbing out of a hole makes a world of difference for this team.
Markieff Morris comes up big in the fourth quarter
Wall, Beal, and Gortat were great tonight but it was Morris who sparked the Wizards after they relinquished the lead. He scored 21 points (12 in the fourth quarter) to go along with 11 rebounds as his January to remember keeps on going.
Best week for Washington in recent memory
Washington capped off the best week in recent history by going 4-0 with three of those wins coming against Eastern Conference teams likely heading to the playoffs. The Wizards have won four straight games, and eight out of nine, and are just a Marcus Morris tip at the buzzer away from a nine-game win streak.