The Washington Wizards have been searching for consistency all season, and they finally found a week where things bounced their way.
Washington used a solid 3-0 run to finally reach the .500 mark for the first time since the early weeks of November. With their team still missing key players, John Wall and Marcin Gortat stepped up to the plate as Washington capitalized on a favorable schedule and a pair of key home games. Washington is creeping up the standings, but still has far to go; they sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings and are dead last at the bottom of the Southeastern Division. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards guard Garrett Temple (17) goes up to shoot over Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins (15) and Darren Collison (7), as Kings forward Omri Casspi (18) looks on at left, and Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) moves in at right during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in Washington. The Wizards won 113-99. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Dec. 21: Strong Fourth Quarter Propels Washington Over Sacramento, 114-99
The Wizards kicked off the week with an impressive win against the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 21. Wall added 19 assists and the team shot 14-of-28 from long range in a 114-99 victory. Six players scored in double-figures and Gortat added a huge night, scoring 27 points while collecting 16 rebounds and four blocks. The teams traded punches for much of the night before Washington closed out the game with a 29-15 fourth quarter. There were a lot of positives on a night where several Wizards shined, but none stood brighter than reserve guard Garret Temple who also added 23 points, five rebounds, and three assists while nailing five of 10 shots from deep.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes, left, and Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) fight for a rebound as Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) and guard John Wall (2) move in during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Dec. 23: Wizards Bag Grizzlies, 100-91
In a pivotal matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 23, six Washington players scored in double figures while Wall and Gortat each poured in double-doubles en route to a 100-91 Wizards win. It was a positive game for the Wizards, who tested their mettle against one of the league’s more solid clubs. Washington was helped by Memphis’ poor shooting; the Grizzlies shot just 17 percent from deep while the Wizards continued their hot shooting from the previous game, knocking down 44 percent of their three-point attempts. The win completed an undefeated three-game home stand for Washington.
Dec. 26: Washington Pulls Away in Brooklyn, 111-96
Washington took to the road on Dec. 26 to square off against the Brooklyn Nets and continue their recent stretch of solid play. The Wizards succeeded in that goal, claiming victory in an eventual 111-96 rout. Wall was efficient, adding 22 points, 13 assists, four rebounds and two blocks while Gortat chipped in 25 points and seven rebounds. Washington led just 79-77 going into the final quarter before ending the game on a 32-19 run. The Nets pounded the Wizards on the glass, holding a 50-39 edge in rebounding, but Washington’s three-point accuracy was the difference yet again, as the Wizards shot 44 percent from deep.
Next: The Wizards will return to action in a home game on Dec. 28 against the Los Angeles Clippers.