Washington struck first, jumping out to an early 30-13 lead in the first quarter. The bench built on that early success, helping Washington race out to a 25 point lead midway through the second quarter.
New Orleans fought their way back into the game thanks to their spectacular big men. Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins spurred an 18-0 run, with 16 points coming at the charity stripe, to get the Pelicans back in the game. They cut the 25 point deficit down to 6 by halftime, and evened up the game at 61 less than two minutes into the third quarter.
However, the Pelicans’ big run gave the Wizards the jolt they needed to get back into gear, as they quickly rattled off a 7-0 run to get back out in front and followed it up later in the quarter with a 12-0 run. The second run established another double-digit lead which they would not relinquish the rest of the way as they finished their homestand on a high note.
John Wall finds his groove for a quarter
Wall looked a bit off in his first three games back, but put together a classic performance tonight. He exploited the Pelicans’ leaky transition defense to set the tone, help the Wizards get out to a big early lead, and racked up some big numbers in the process. He had 14 points and 6 assists in the first quarter alone.
After that, he was fairly quiet the rest of the game. He only added 4 points and 4 assists the rest of the way, but it’s still a big step forward from how he looked in the first three games. From a physical standpoint, it looked like Wall finally had his legs under him. He was more aggressive pushing the ball, and he showed off his hops on defense when needed.
A foul was called, but John Wall almost pulled off a 'Wizards MJ on Ron Mercer' block. pic.twitter.com/Jvrik3eozf— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) December 20, 2017
Mike Scott is still unstoppable
Scott’s unbelievable run shooting the ball just keeps going. He was 11 of 15 from the field for 24 points in 23 minutes of playing time. It would have easily been the best performance by a power forward in this game if it weren’t for Anthony Davis very quietly scoring 37 points on 21 shots.
- Bradley Beal struggled for most of the game. He only had 8 points on 11 shots midway through the third. Then, he twisted his ankle, stayed in the game, and scored 18 points on his next 8 shots. Basketball is a weird sport sometimes.
- Ian Mahinmi had a career-high five assists. Everyone looks good when Mike Scott is hitting everything in sight.
- The Wizards won their first game this season without Otto Porter, who missed the game with a hip injury.
- John Wall paid homage to Kobe Bryant, who had his jerseys retired on Monday, by wearing Kobe AD’s during Tuesday’s game rather than his standard PG1’s.
Next up: The Wizards hit the road to face the Nets in Brooklyn on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.