What an upset! The Washington Wizards defeated the Denver Nuggets, the second place team in the Western Conference on Saturday, 128-114.
Washington started strong with a 31-19 lead and a 10 rebound advantage. Sure, Nikola Jokic was his consistent self but Anzejs Pasecniks scored 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in the quarter.
Sure enough, Denver made their comeback as they eventually finished the first half with a 61-55 deficit and retook the lead in the third quarter, albeit briefly. But it was the fourth quarter where the Wizards made their presence known when they opened up a 120-105 lead with just 3 minutes left in the game thanks to their efficient shooting and rebounding. Washington won the battle of the boards 49-33 tonight.
Ish Smith was the hero of this game, scoring a career-high 32 points and 8 assists. His domination in the second half was particularly impressive, where he scored 23 of his points in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter.
WELCOME TO THE ISH SHOW!! pic.twitter.com/uvWRxZ51dk— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 5, 2020
Troy Brown also added 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds coming off the bench, shooting 10-of-12 from the field. If Smith was the one who closed the deal in the second half, Brown did much of his damage in the first, scoring 18 points in the first 24 minutes. Absolutely fantastic!
If there is something that really stood out, it’s ... the bench! The reserves scored 92 points as most of the starters had off nights. Gary Payton II was scoreless and Isaiah Thomas scored just 9 points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
For the Nuggets, Jamal Murray scored 39 points to lead Denver. Besides him, no one else shot above 50 percent from the field.
The Wizards will be back in action on Monday, Jan. 6 to host the Boston Celtics. Gametime is at 7 p.m. ET.