home 2013-14, Blogs, Game Coverage Game recap – Winning cures all; Wizards down T’Wolves 104-100

Game recap – Winning cures all; Wizards down T’Wolves 104-100

Martell stank face

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Wizards 104 T’Wolves 100

November 19, 2013
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
NBA.com boxscore/highlights

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I just might write this recap like a child emphatically scribbling the events in his journal. Last night was simply epic. When Kevin Love fired off that barrage of 3-pointers, I could have sworn the Wizards were on the brink of complete annihilation. And while all of us on blog row (section 104) sat somberly, in my head I had already began creating the tone of my forthcoming article about the disaster that lied ahead. I mean at one point in that 1st quarter, Kevin Love was on pace for what… 70 points? The dude is a phenom. So much in fact that Nene was in complete awe of him during his post-game interview, admitting that he asked Love to “teach him some of his tricks.” Kevin Love is water. He is unblemished. He is worth your entire salary cap and your unborn child. Was that over the top a bit? My fault, I just HAD to get that off my chest.

Love had the Wizards reeling (as I keep going), scoring 16 points in the 1st quarter alone. He was nasty off the pick & roll, and his perimeter game is one of kind, with a 3-point shot so deadly it could single handedly obviate the concept of closing out. He hit that dag-on shot three times in the first 10 minutes.

But somehow, it all ceased. Love scored just one point for the rest of the half and just eight more for the rest of the game. And credit much of that to Nene who was atypically defending much further outside his usual grounds, but remained persistent as Love went just 3-for-11 the rest of the night.

The Wizards fell behind by 15 at one point, but thanks to critical halftime adjustments, they managed to chew into that lead and stay within reach. Wittman’s much improved lineup rotations — leaving a scorer or two on the floor while the rest of the starting unit rested — helped the Wizards finally pull ahead late in the 3rd period.

With the Wizards nursing a 2-point lead in the final 90 seconds, the crowd held their breath as they braced themselves for another last minute meltdown. But breaking through the recurring overcast of late game collapses, gleamed a ray of self-composure, of pride. The players-only meeting that was conducted by the locker room captains before the game had seemingly set the tone for the Wizards in that final stretch. Martell Webster answered a Kevin Martin 3-pointer with one of his, before a crucial defensive stop of Martin by Bradley Beal, who would then knock down two clutch free throws to seal the game.

Wizards win this one 104-100 and snap a 4-game losing streak.

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MVP: John Wall – 14 points, 16 assists, 1 turnover

Despite his continuous struggles shooting the ball, Wall has a superb attribute of remaining embodied within the game plan and playing through. Shooting just a measly 5-for-17 from the floor, Wall shrugged it off with 16 assists and just ONE turnover. Randy Wittman said after the game that he reminded Wall that he can impact the game in many more ways than scoring and that’s exactly what Wall did, matching his career high of 16 dimes. He also hit a critical jumper in the final two minutes that broke a tie. Wall’s aggression on defense helped faze Ricky Rubio out of most of the game as Rubio struggled with early foul trouble and played just 19 minutes.

LVP: The Wizards’ backup guards (Maynor, Rice, Temple) – 2-6 FG, 4 points in 23 minutes combined

One of the bigger issues facing the Wizards is their lack of depth in the backcourt. With Wall and Beal growing into one of the more dominant tandems in the league, their relief system is extremely inadequate. With Maynor, Rice, and Temple being virtually ineffective, Wittman resorted to mix and matching his shooters in different positions. We even saw Beal running the point and Martell at the 2 on a few plays.

Tweet of the night:

What’s next:

A momentum swing could not have come at a better time for these guys. On the cusp of a 2-8 start and riding a 4-game losing streak, the Wizards needed this win badly. Like Tupac in “Thug Luv,” the Wizards caught a plane out to Cleveland late last evening and hopefully did so with the same kind of rage heard in that song. I am hoping Martell Webster took his late-game stinky face with him as well. Wiz play the Cavs tonight in Cleveland, then head a little further north to Toronto before coming home for the Knicks and Lakers.

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