Fresh off a five-game losing streak that appeared to dash the Washington Wizards’ playoff hopes, the team pushed the reset button for four games this week. Washington welcomed shooting guard Bradley Beal back from a strained pelvis and reintroduced their new-look roster of athletic guards and forwards who can all run, move and shoot from deep.

The games marked an important stretch for the Wizards, who squared off against a pair of opponents who were also slugging it out for the final playoff spot. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Wizards.

Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) scramble for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 14, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) scramble for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 14, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

March 14: Beal Returns, Joins in 124-81 Rout of Pistons

The Wizards hosted the Detroit Pistons on March 14 and gave a big welcome back to Beal, whose return to the starting lineup gave Washington the most depth they’ve had all year. With Beal back, the Wizards put seven players in double-digit scoring en route to a 124-81 demolition of the Pistons. Washington jumped out to a 30-7 lead and never looked back, leading by as many as 44 points while shooting 56 percent from the field and 44 percent from deep. The Wizards turned the ball over just 10 times while forcing Detroit into 20 turnovers, and dished out 34 assists to the Pistons’ 17. It was a complete performance for the Wizards that snapped an ill-timed five-game losing streak from the prior week. 


March 16: Wizards Blow Out Bulls on National TV, 117-96

Washington returned to action on March 16, hosting the Chicago Bulls in an ESPN-televised contest putting on another show in a 117-96 blowout. Paced by John Wall’s 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, Washington turned in another dominant performance. Six players scored in double-figures for the Wizards, and Beal was his normal productive self, scoring 20 points while hauling in seven rebounds. The Wizards were efficient yet again, jetting to a 30-16 lead midway through the first quarter before settling in for the rest of the game. Wall’s performance was stellar, but it was reserve guard Garrett Temple who opened up the game by connecting on his first five three-pointers, all before halftime. 

Washington Wizards’ Nene Hilario in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, March 17, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

March 17: Washington Nearly Blows 24-Point Lead in 99-94 Win over Sixers

Riding high on two consecutive blowout home wins, the Wizards traveled up the road to Philadelphia to conclude back-to-back games on March 17. The lowly 76ers looked like an easy win, but Washington almost blew a 24-point lead before holding on for a 99-94 win. Washington again put six players in double-figures, and Wall recorded another triple-double with 16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Wall was just one forced turnover away from recording a dreaded quadruple-double, but finished with nine turnovers. The Wizards built a big lead before intermission but got sloppy in the second half as Philadelphia charged back to tie the game at 82-82 with just over five minutes remaining. The game remained close until Wall finally iced the win with a series of clutch free throws. Wall was 8-for-8 over the last 14 seconds to seal the game for the weary road team. 


March 20: Wizards Rally from 18 Down to Beat Knicks, 99-89

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives against Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Washington. The Wizards won 99-89. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Wizards closed out the week with a March 20 home date against the New York Knicks. Washington stumbled out of the gate, sliding into an 18-point deficit before using a strong second half to beat the visitors, 99-89. Led by Wall’s 24 points and 10 assists, Washington used a 33-13 third quarter to charge back into the game and take the lead for good. New York’s Carmelo Anthony had given the Wizards problems in their first two matchups this season. But this time around, newly-acquired 6-foot, 10-inch forward Markieff Morris was assigned to Anthony, and his quickness and length successfully deterred the perennial All-Star. Morris also recorded his best game as a Wizard, adding 17 points and a tip slam in the second half that got the blood pumping inside a noisy Verizon Center. Washington’s comeback victory extended the team’s winning streak to four, nearly balancing out the five-game losing streak of the prior week. 


Next: Washington will return to action on March 21 to face the Atlanta Hawks in D.C., then complete the home-and-home pair of games against the Hawks in Atlanta on March 23.