The Washington Wizards continued to work in new addition Bojan Bogdanovich while welcoming another newcomer amid a busy work week. After being released by the New York Knicks earlier in the week, veteran point guard Brandon Jennings cleared waivers and joined the Wizards at the end of the week. But first, Washington had to survive a gauntlet of quality opponents. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.

Feb. 26: Utah Dominates Inside, Downs Washington 102-92

Washington opened the week with a tough home game against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 26. Utah’s size controlled the game in a 102-92 victory for the visitors which marked the Wizards’ second straight loss. John Wall paced the team with a double-double of 23 points

Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11), of Australia, battles for the ball against Washington Wizards guard John Wall, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

and 11 assists, and Beal added 22 points. Washington’s backcourt was productive, but it was Utah’s inside presence that dominated the day as the Jazz outrebounded the Wizards, 52-27.

Feb. 28: Durant’s Exit Opens Door for Wizards’ 112-108 Win Over Golden State

On the heels of that disappointing loss to Utah, Washington responded with a bounce-back game against the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 28. Shortly after the game started, Kevin Durant exited the contest with what was eventually diagnosed as a sprained MCL. With Durant off the floor, Washington took advantage, jumping out to a 40-26 first quarter lead en route to a surprising 112-108 victory. Six Wizards scored in double-figures, including 16 points from the newly acquired Bogdanovich, who established himself as a fan favorite to the warming crowd at the Verizon Center. Beal led the team with 25 points, and Wall recorded 19 assists.

March 1: Washington’s Bench Leads the Way, 105-96 Over Toronto

The Wizards hit the road on Mar. 1 to face the Toronto Raptors, and received a huge performance from their bench to earn a 105-96 win. Bogdanovich scored a team-high 27 points off the bench, nailing 6-of-7 from deep. His hot shooting sparked a 38-20 second

Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) dribbles against Toronto Raptors guard Cory Joseph (6), of Canada, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 3, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

quarter that Washington used to crack the game open. Washington went on a 26-1 run in that quarter, while Wall added another double-double of 12 points and 13 assists. Washington led by as many as 24 points and never faced a serious threat from the Raptors after the first quarter.

March 3: Back in D.C., Raptors Hang On for 114-106 Win

After a convincing road win and with Jennings suited up for his first game as a Wizard, Washington perhaps entered the second half of their home-and-home with the Raptors on March 3 a little overconfident. Washington started flat and battled back, but ultimately fell short in a 114-106 defeat. Toronto led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but Washington cut their lead to just nine points before halftime. Wall led Washington with 30 points, seven assists and eight rebounds, while Beal added 27 points and seven rebounds. Toronto’s energy was completely different from the prior contest and their bench showed up big time, outscoring Washington’s reserves 44-14.
Next: Washington (36-24) will return to action on Mar. 5 when they host the Orlando Magic (23-39) in an evening affair. With Bogdanovich and Jennings on board, Washington has the extra ammunition on their bench that they needed, but the Wizards will need to finish strong if they want to earn a high seed in the playoffs.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO