John Wall dished out a career-high 20 assists to help the Wizards pick up a much-needed 112-107 victory at Verizon Center against the Bulls on Friday night.
The Wizards (42-26) led by as many as 19 points in the first half but Denzel Valentine cut it to 87-81 in the fourth quarter with 10:06 left. But they still managed to hold on and end a modest two game losing streak.
Back in action after spraining his left foot in a loss to Dallas two days ago, Wall made a career-high 20 assists and scored 14 points. "Eventually you would think that it would change, but what, we're 70, I don't know, 60-something games in, and it's still there". In the three minute span, Washington committed three turnovers, missed one field goal attempt, and Marcin Gortat bricked two free throws.
"When we were down 10, we turned up the defense a little bit, and finally made some shots, so that was good to see", said Nowitzki. The Wizards now face another winnable home game tonight against Chicago, who will be without Dwyane Wade (out for the season); John Wall's status (ankle) is questionable. He has a 52-point game and four 40-point games. Both were used sparingly in the second half. I figure that we'd get exhausted of it. Unfortunately, Beal picked up 2 early fouls, which led to a surprise appearance by Kelly Oubre, after being left out of the rotation in recent games. Head coach Scott Brooks said that there will be "no limitations" on Wall. This time, the Pelicans defended aggressively on the perimeter, which provided Harden opportunities to attack the basket but seemed to stifle many other usual contributors such as Eric Gordon (12 points) and Ryan Anderson (eight points).
Davis had 24 points and 15 rebounds and Jrue Holiday added 19 points for New Orleans, which has won three of four. Valentine hit 4-of-10 shots and attempted seven triples, so he has the green light on a Bulls team that ranks last in 3-pointers per game.
Jason Smith had a rare start and tied his career-high with 17 points, while Ian Mahinmi came off the bench to deliver 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting. He replaced Markieff Morris (illness) in the starting lineup and made his first three 3-point attempts. "He was distributing the ball to everybody". "I just got caught up going up for a rebound with Zach (Randolph) and one of our big guys, got caught up there in the mix of stuff and heard a couple of pops". Dwight Powell led the Mavericks with 14 points.
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"I really challenged them at halftime", Hoiberg said. They beat us to every 50-50 ball, whooped our tail in transition and we turned the ball over. Wall would end up hitting a tough 3-pointer as the half expired.
There was actually fight in the second half.
We often point to the Washington's brass (essentially) passing on Golden State stars Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson in the National Basketball Association draft, but they also could have drafted two key Mavericks players.
Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle went deep to his bench late in the quarter to try anything that might work, but the Mavericks had no answers for the 76ers, who led by as many as 43 points.
- With their 42nd win of the season, the Wizards ensured a better record than last season's 41-41 mark.