When: Saturday, Dec. 26 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
How to listen: 1500 AM, Washington Wizards app (if local), SiriusXM
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (Eye, Out)
Magic: James Ennis III (Calf, Day-to-day), Al-Farouq Aminu (Knee, Out), Jonathan Isaac (Knee, Out), Mo Bamba (COVID-19, Out)
In his Wizards debut, Westbrook had a triple-double in the first three quarters of the game and finished with 21 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds. Beal, who averaged a career-high 30.5 points per game last season, picked up right where he left off and lead the team with 31 points.
These two have the chance the make Wizards basketball fun to watch and even more so if the team can finish games. They had a strong third quarter, leading to a double-digit lead but it was the last two minutes where they just couldn’t pull through. The Wizards were outscored 24-40 in the fourth quarter, which is no recipe for any kind of success.
The loss showed that they will need more help, especially from the bench, in order to beat the Magic. Every player on the Wizards active roster was able to get on the scoreboard but Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant scoring a combined 24 points wasn’t enough support to Beal and Westbrook to get the job done.
Unlike the Wizards, the Magic won their first game of the season. Four Magic starters scored in double figures. Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon led with 25 and 20 points respectively. Nikola Vucevic had an impressive double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Markelle Fultz put up 15 points and Terrence Ross came off the bench with 19 points. If these players put on similar performances Saturday night, the Wizards will have their work cut out for them.
The season is certainly young and the Wizards will have their chance to see what home-court advantage looks like this season...