The Washington Wizards already set the mark for most consecutive home wins this season, and now they’re trying to start a road streak as well.
With a home and road game on the schedule before All-Star Weekend, Washington checked off positive marks in both departments and entered the midseason break five games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards have established themselves as a power in the NBA and have become relevant for the first time since the Gilbert Arenas era of a few years ago. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.
Feb. 13: Wizards Bring Thunder Against OKC in 120-98 Blowout
Washington opened the week at home on national television against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder and put on a show in a 120-98 blowout win on Feb. 13.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) and Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) reach for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 120-98. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
John Wall dazzled, scoring 15 points and handing out 14 assists as six Wizards scored in double-figures. Markieff Morris scored a team-high 23 points and Bradley Beal could barely miss, scoring 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Washington exploded in the third quarter, outscoring the Thunder 34-19. Wall put on a passing display, finding several of his teammates for highlight reel dishes. It was perhaps the most complete game Washington played all season, and they did it on a big stage.
Feb. 16: Washington Extends Road Win Streak with 111-98 Win Over Indiana
The Wizards closed out the week by traveling to face the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 16, and added another road win in a 111-98 victory, their fifth straight away from the Verizon Center. Wall recorded another double-double with 20 points and 12 assists,
Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) defends Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
and Otto Porter Jr. scored a game-high 25 points, connecting on five three-pointers in the opening quarter including a buzzer-beater off the glass to end the opening quarter. Washington led by as many as 19 points in the first half but had to fight off a charge by Indiana in the second half. Despite a strong performance, Pacers fans showered Wall with chants of “overrated.” The jeers only fueled the four-time All-Star to a strong fourth quarter finish, as he blocked a potential layup and iced a few clutch jump shots to keep Indiana at bay.
Washington’s stock is high as the team continues to impress, but the Wizards still lack scoring punch off the bench. With the NBA trade deadline approaching on Feb. 23 the team could look to make a move to bring in another body, or they may elect to wait until some veterans are bought out of their contracts and become free agents in March. Washington has its sights set on the Eastern Conference Finals, but they won’t make it there unless the bench improves. The Wizards return to action when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 23.