The shorthanded Magic got out to a good start, briefly taking a 25-24 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter, but that was their last hurrah. The Wizards went on a 27-10 run over the next eight minutes to blow the game wide open, fueled by another strong game from their bench.
It was clear Washington wanted to put Friday’s loss behind them in a big way, and it showed in all the key numbers. The shot 54 percent from the field, made 16 threes, had a 49-28 advantage rebounding, and finished with 29 assists.
It won’t make up for losing a winnable game in Brooklyn in embarrassing fashion, but it’ll help a little bit.
Washington really didn’t even have to try that hard on defense
You’d think that given the Wizards’ big margin of victory and how poorly they played last night that they’d really get after it on the defensive end, but that’s not quite what happened.
The Magic shot 48 percent from the field, thanks in large part to a great night from Elfrid Payton, who had 30 points and 10 assists on 11-of-16 shooting. Jonathon Simmons was also en route to a big night, scoring 14 points in 24 minutes, but he wasn’t able to tack on more because he was saddled with foul trouble all night long.
That was the real story here. Washington didn’t put on the clamps, they just ran the Magic off the floor with devastating offense, getting to the foul line early and often and generating plenty of open looks. Other than John Wall having another off night shooting the ball, everyone else was dialed in. Seven different Wizards hit double figures, including Jodie Meeks, who had his first game with multiple three-pointers since November 29.
In an ideal world, it would’ve been nice to see Washington put together a more convincing effort on the defensive end, especially considering how much Orlando is struggling right now, but if you can win by over 20 points without giving your best on the defensive end, why bother? It’s a long season. They’ll have plenty of times to bring out their best defense for when it’s needed.
- Nikola Vucevic fractured his hand in the first quarter and will miss the next 6-8 weeks recovering. He joined Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and Terrence Ross who all missed the game with various ailments. Elfrid Payton was Orlando’s only starter from opening night who played more than six minutes in this game.
- As Hoop District notes, the Wizards are now 1-4 on the first half of back-to-backs and 4-1 on the second half. That sounds just about right for this squad that always feels like they’re waiting to do homework until 40 minutes before it’s due.
- The Wizards’ starters and bench each scored exactly 65 points.
- Mike Scott, a walking can of lighter fluid, scored 18 points on 8 shots.
- Washington was the epitome of team rebounding. No Wizard grabbed more than six rebounds, but every player who played over ten minutes grabbed at least three.
- Imagine seeing this play last season. It’s still incredible to see how Kelly Oubre has developed into someone who can be a threat handling the ball.
Next up: The Wizards are back in action Christmas Day as they take on the Celtics in Boston at 5:30 p.m. ET on ABC.