The Washington Wizards’ Saturday night matchup against the Orlando Magic — which coincided with two NFL playoff games — was truly a litmus test for the most dedicated of Wizards fans considering the breadth of other sports-watching available. Such loyal fans were rewarded with a decisive 138-118 home win to inch back toward .500.
The Wizards jumped out to a huge early lead as Kyle Kuzma and Delon Wright opened the game pouring points on the Magic’s defense. Kuzma finished the game with 25 points, while Wright was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field.
Tonight’s win was an all-around team effort — Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford contributed 17 and 14 points, respectively, before both exiting with injuries. Rui Hachimura also exploded for 30, tying his season-high. Hachimura’s scoring outburst was especially huge for the Wizards, who are rumored to be shopping him ahead of the trade deadline and are hoping to recoup maximum value.
The key to the victory for the Wizards was efficiency — the team as a whole shot 54% from the field and a scorching 53% from beyond the three-point line. They also benefitted from a quiet game from Rookie of the Year frontrunner Paolo Banchero, who put up just 15 points and one rebound.
The Wizards’ next game is against the Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday.