The Washington Wizards were set for a three-game home stand to try to build on a solid January, but were only able to get in two games before winter snow storm Jonas shut down the District over the weekend.
Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) shoots surrounded by Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, left, center Mason Plumlee, guard Damian Lillard, forward Noah Vonleh, and guard C.J. McCollum, in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Washington. The Trail Blazers won 108-98. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Wizards have been trying to integrate players including Nene and Bradley Beal back into the lineup from injury, while still remaining competitive. It’s been a struggle to break .500, but the team continues to creep up the Eastern standings and is just one spot out of the playoff picture. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Wizards.
Jan. 18: Wizards Stumble in Loss to Trail Blazers, 108-98
Washington opened the week with a Jan. 18 afternoon home game against the Portland Trail Blazers as the city celebrated Martin Luther King’s birthday. Portland spoiled the holiday, however, building a 32-17 lead after the first quarter and using a 35-19 third quarter run to ice an eventual 108-98 win. Wizards star John Wall struggled, finishing with just nine points but handed out 10 assists as six other players scored in double-figures. Garrett Temple scored a team-high 18 points but it wasn’t enough as Portland built their lead to as many as 24 points.
Jan. 20: Washington Coasts in Rout of Miami, 106-87
Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson (8) can’t get around Washington Wizards center Nene (42), from Brazil, with guard Gary Neal (14) nearby during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The Wizards returned to the Verizon Center on Jan. 20 and took full advantage of a short-handed Miami Heat team, building a lead of as many as 24 points in a 106-87 win. Washington never trailed in the game and crushed Miami in the paint 46-32 on their way to their 20th win of the season. Six players once again scored in double-figures; Wall and Beal led the way with 18 points each. Nene turned in a strong performance, recording 16 points, six rebounds and five steals. Miami came into the game missing its starting backcourt including Dwyane Wade, and saw their center Hassan Whiteside go down shortly before halftime with an oblique injury. Perhaps no team has been blasted harder by the injury bug than the Wizards, but they showed no signs of remorse in their rout of the Heat.
Jan. 23: Wizards-Jazz Game Postponed Due to Blizzard
Washington had a Jan. 23 game scheduled against the Utah Jazz, but a winter storm that dumped more than 30 inches of snow on the District caused the contest to be postponed for a later date.
Next: Washington is scheduled to host the Boston Celtics on Jan. 25, and then head to Toronto to face the Raptors the following night. The Wizards return to D.C. to host the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 27, before traveling to Houston to face the Rockets on Jan. 29.