home 2015-16, Blogs, Game Coverage Wizards After Dark: No Match For Lillard, Blazers In Overtime

Wizards After Dark: No Match For Lillard, Blazers In Overtime

Blazers 116
Wizards 109 (ot)

March 8, 2016 – Moda Center, Portland, OR

NBA Stats Box Score

The Wizards entered last night’s game against the Portland Trailblazers losers of two straight and in need of a win to begin their West Coast road swing. The Blazers – who many wrote off as a lottery dweller before the season started – were also coming off a loss, but were already in the thick of their conference playoff hunt. The last time the teams matched up, Portland cruised to a victory that was more lopsided than the 108-98 score. In order to counter the scoring tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Washington would have to find points without Bradley Beal, who was out due to injury.

Washington forced several turnovers in the first quarter, but could not transform them to offensive output. Otto Porter missed on an alley oop attempt from John Wall and blew a layup in transition. Damian Lillard, meanwhile, put together a stellar first quarter for the Blazers, totaling 13 points on a perfect 5-5 from the floor, including 3-3 from three point range.

In the second quarter, Washington’s bench played excellent, pulling the Wizards to a 55-54 halftime lead. The Wizards withstood solid play by Gerald Henderson and a Blazers run that extended their lead to 10. Washington’s second unit was anchored by Ramon Sessions and Jared Dudley, who had 11 points each by the break.

The Wizards started the third quarter strong, ripping off a huge run to take a 13 point lead going into a Blazers timeout. Portland would right the ship, however, and pull off their own 15-2 run to take an 85-81 lead into the fourth quarter. The remainder of the game was nip and tuck with John Wall, Jared Dudley, and Ramon Sessions making clutch shots. Washington failed to close, however, and the game went into overtime after Gerald Henderson blocked Marcin Gortat’s shot at the rim as time expired. In the extra period, it was too much Lillard, who finished with finished with a game-high 41 points.

Washington is back in action on Friday with a matchup against the Jazz.


The Game’s Top Performer

Ramon Sessions

Sesh played perhaps his best game of the season for Washington, playing a steady offensive role off the bench and stabilizing the Wizards through Blazers runs. Sessions finished with a team-high 21 points on an efficient 9-12 from the field, including a late dunk through the middle of the Portland defense.

On night when Wall struggled from the field (8-25), Sessions further cemented his status as a very reliable back-up.


A forgettable night for..

Kelly Oubre Jr.

After Alan Anderson was ejected in the first quarter after a scuffle with Gerald Henderson, Kelly Oubre Jr. gained an opportunity to take on some minutes in an important road game. The result, however, was far from favorable.

In ten minutes of play, Oubre missed both of his field goal attempts, including an embarrassing blocked layup on a fast break. We know Oubre’s playing time has been far from consistent, but on a night when Washington was short-handed, his contributions were needed.


Notables:

It’s not enough to say John Wall shot poorly last night – it’s of note how bad some of his misses were. A significant number of hi shots were nowhere close to being on line, which hurt second chance points. I’m glad Wall knocked down his clutch shots but this was a night where his outside shooting deficiency really showed.

Marcin Gortat continues to produce very well for the Wizards. He put up another quiet double double last night with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Also lost in the game storyline was Nene’s 10 points off the bench. Washington’s starting front court also put up a solid defensive effort against Portland’s starting bigs, holding them to 9 points combined.


Some of the better moments, courtesy of John Wall

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