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Wizards Topple Blazers In MLK Matinee

Wizards 120
Blazers 101

January 16, 2017 – Verizon Center, Washington, DC

NBA Stats Box Score


On a day that means quite a bit to Washington, D.C., the Wizards put on a show. Before the first half was even over Portland was close to waving the white towel as they were a step too slow to react to everything the home team was doing. In a game much anticipated for a matchup between the backcourts, the Wizards won that battle 49-34 as well as the game, 120-101.

1st quarter

I think the Wizards should play more day games against West Coast teams. Similarly, to their hot start against the Clippers a month ago, Washington came out ready to rumble early against the Trail Blazers. The home team was off to a sizzling 10-0 start in a bit more than two minutes.

Everyone likes to talk about Portland’s backcourt being second best to the Splash Brothers, but they did not live up to the hype in the first quarter. The scoring duo combined for just 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting and three turnovers. As a team, the Blazers only shot 30 percent from the field and as a result the Wizards led 37-21 after one quarter of play.

2nd quarter

A couple months ago, we would be hesitant when Tomas Satoransky, Trey Burke, Kelly Oubre, and Jason Smith were in the game, but that may no longer be the case. Moments after Burke was the last one in to complete the unit in the first half, Washington went on a 17-0 run. And yes, you read that correctly. Sato was running the offense with confidence and Kelly Oubre had 12 points in 13 first half minutes. When Wall, Beal, and Gortat returned, Burke, Sato, and Smith sat to a loud round of applause as the Wizards lead 51-25.

Kelly OuBRUH!

Portland had a better half offensively with 29 points in the quarter but they still had no answer for the Wizards balanced scoring attack. Beal had 10 points in the quarter thanks to three trips to the free throw line, and Wall, Porter, and Morris all had six points in the frame. Besides the opening minute, the Trail Blazers were never closer than 19 points in the quarter. At halftime Washington was up 75-50, which was their season-high for scoring in the first half.

3rd quarter

Portland was able to get to 19 early in the quarter but that just fueled a 16-5 Washington run to go up by 30 midway through the frame. It was more of the same balanced scoring for the DC team as Wall had seven accompanied by Morris and Gortat with six each in the quarter.

Per usual, John Wall was filthy:

With four minutes to go in the frame, Portland coach Terry Stotts made a hockey line substitution by pulling all five of his starters, seemingly throwing in the towel for a moment. After three quarters, Washington still held a commanding 101-77 lead.

4th quarter

With 7:28 left in the game, Brooks reinserted Wall and Beal with the lead down to 17. That might not seem like much, but Portland was on a 19-6 run. Brooks commented that “the lead was not where I wanted it to be,” after the game.

Less than three minutes after the House of Guards were subbed into the game, Brooks sat them in favor Burke and McClellan. The only play of note late in the game was Satoransky grabbing his career-high tenth rebound and recording his first double-double in the NBA, which was much to his surprise afterwards. He is just the third rookie guard to record ten boards this season, joining Malcom Brogdon and Isaiah Whitehead. At the end of the MLK afternoon, Washington was victorious 120-101.


#WizBlazers in a Tweet


The Game’s Top Performer

Bradley Beal – 25 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds

One could have easily gone with John Wall or even Kelly Oubre in this blowout victory, but Beal was too efficient to pass up. Beal got to the free throw line for eight attempts, of which he made them all, and only took 11 field goal attempts. The Panda made all three of his three-point field goals, but possible more importantly was his solid defense on CJ McCollum (12 points on 12 shots).


A forgettable night for..

Damian Lillard

Let’s change things up a bit. Since this was one of Washington’s best all-around performances of the year, let’s pick on someone from the other team. Lillard is often hyped as being part of the second best back court in the NBA, but he did not show up in the Nation’s Capital. 22 points and 7 rebounds looks like a decent day at the office, but 17 field goal attempts and three assists to two turnovers is not anything to brag about.


Key Stat of the Night

75 points in the first half, WOW! Behind 54.5 percent shooting from the field, nine three-pointers, and getting to the free throw line 20 times, Washington was scoring at will. The Wizards said after the game that it still started with defense to get easy opportunities in transition, which is true, but the home team was still on fire early.


What’s next?

Washington will look to avenge their early season loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and put their 12-game home winning streak on the line when doing so. Marc Gasol went off for 20 points, including eight in overtime, thanks to his sudden three-point shooting ability. In a year where the Wizards have prided themselves on being physical, the Grizzlies will try to give them a taste of their own medicine.

Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for Hoop District covering the Wizards. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland, College Park. Neil also covers the Washington Redskins for Breaking Burgundy and Maryland Terrapins for Testudo Times. Neil previously covered the Wizards for District Sports Page and is looking forward to bring his in-person coverage to each of the loyal Hoop District followers.

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