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Daily Digits: John Wall found his fourth quarter rhythm against the Pistons

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NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Daily Digits is a new daily feature we’re doing at Bullets Forever this year where we take a look at stats about the Wizards. We’ll dive into the numbers, add some context, and discuss how it affects the product on the court.

Today’s stat is John Wall’s field goal percentage in the fourth quarter last season, which was...

37.6%

The Wizards’ struggles late in games were a major issue last season, and Wall’s scoring in particular left a lot to be desired. Washington needs more from him late in games if they want to reach their goals this season, so it was great to see him close Wednesday’s victory over the Pistons on such a high note, scoring 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in the fourth quarter.

Last season, he only reached double-digits in fourth quarter scoring twice, and they both came in losses when he was making desperate shots to try and drag Washington back into the game. Wall was much more in control of this one, and it showed in how he meticulously broke down the Pistons in the closing moments.

Yes, he settled for a leaning midrange shot at the end, but he made it work, and part of the reason he was able to get away with it is because his legs were fresher than they were most of last season. He only played 32 minutes on Wednesday, after averaging 34.4 per game last season. More importantly, he only played the final 6:44 of the final quarter. Last season, he averaged 7.7 per game in the fourth quarter, including nine games where he played at least nine minutes.

If Washington’s bench can continue to play well and give him more time to rest earlier in the game, it will make it easier for Scott Brooks to save Wall’s best for last.