All five Washington starters and Kelly Oubre scored in double-figures tonight as the Wizards finally got in the win column after two tough losses.
The quarter-full Capital One Arena was about as roaring as a library to begin this one, and the play from both of these teams early on mirrored that as the two teams mustered up just 10 points through the first 5:37 of the opening period.
Everything changed in the second quarter as John Wall got his legs back under him and looked like the player we’ve grown accustomed to. He turned on the afterburners midway through the second period, finishing shots at the hole and hitting midrange jumpers as the Wizards took a 41-29 lead into halftime.
Washington was up by as many as 17 in the second half but as we know, no lead is safe with the Wizards. The Grizzlies hit a three-pointer at the beginning of the fourth quarter for their first lead of the game, 67-65. After that three, Washington went on a 13-0 run to take control of the game and secure the win.
John Wall makes his return
As expected, it took about a quarter for Wall to really put a mark on this game. It wasn’t so much that he needed to knock off the rust, but the aggression wasn’t there at first.
After scoring just one basket in the first quarter, Wall looked like his old self, taking Chandler Parsons off the dribble and finishing at the hole. His midrange jumper was falling too as he went on a personal 9-0 run to help the Wizards take a 14 point lead in the second quarter.
The second half wasn’t as kind for Wall. After scoring 11 points on 5-10 shooting in the first half, Wall only scored two points in the second half as he never really got going.
There were next to no highlight plays in a mostly sleepy game tonight. However, late in the fourth quarter, he pinned Chandler Parsons’ layup attempt to seal the win.
"No thanks, Chandler."— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 14, 2017
– John Wall, probably pic.twitter.com/pOAsu4eK0C
Mike Scott wants the starting power forward position
Mike Scott continued his rock-solid play while filling in for Markieff Morris, who sat this one out with a sore hip. He scored 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting including a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to stretch the Wizards’ lead to six as Memphis tried to claw their way back into the game.
Scott didn’t do anything extraordinary, but the Wizards don’t need him to do anything crazy, especially with Wall back. They just need him to knock down shots when he’s open and play respectable defense.
It’s going to be hard for the coaching staff to play Morris over Scott as long he keeps turning in these solid performances.
- Washington held the Grizzlies to 12 points in the first quarter and 29 points for the half; both season-lows for Wizards’ opponents. But it wasn’t because of good defense or anything, the Grizzlies just aren’t good.
- The Wizards hit all five of their three-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
- The Wizards didn’t do themselves any favors at the charity stripe as they were just 12 of 24 from the free throw line.
- Scott Brooks’ rotations remain confusing as he opted to go with a five-man lineup with no true point guard on the floor (at an odd time too) through the first few minutes of the fourth quarter.
Next up: The Wizards will try to get revenge for this Saturday’s loss as they host the Clippers at 7 p.m. on Friday.