The Washington Wizards followed up last week’s four-game losing streak with four more losses, dropping their overall record to 13-37. Washington continued to be inept on the road, dropping two more games to begin the week before they ventured home to the Verizon Center.

Things didn’t come easy for Washington, as the team squared off against a consecutive slate of All-Star players, opening the week against Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, New Orleans’ Chris Paul, Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson.

The Wizards opened the week with a road trip to Dallas to play the red-hot Mavericks. Owners of a now eight-game winning streak, Dallas continued their winning ways with a 102-92 win over the Wizards on Jan. 31. Washington kept it close against Dallas for much of the game, but a 39 percent shooting day from the field allowed the Mavericks to pull away late. Rookie point guard John Wall posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists.

Washington guard Nick Young tried to boost his team, but even a game-high 30 points couldn’t help the Wizards avoid their 25th road loss as they dropped a close one to the New Orleans Hornets, 97-89, on Feb. 1. Young shot 50 percent from the field and connected on three three-pointers but the Hornets put six players in double figures.

Former Wizards star Gilbert Arenas wasn’t expecting any cheers in his return to Washington, D.C., but he got them anyway. The Orlando Magic’s sixth man avoided a chilly reception as he helped his new team top his old one, 110-92, on Feb. 4. The Wizards trailed 51-49 at halftime but were outscored 59-43 in the second half. Reserve guard Kirk Hinrich came off the bench to tie the Wizards’ game-high of 17 points and Wizards forward Rashard Lewis, who was acquired in a swap with Orlando for Arenas, added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Washington remained at the Verizon Center on Feb. 5 to host the Atlanta Hawks, but a 29-point, 16-rebound game from forward Josh Smith ruined the Wizards’ home stand and handed them their eighth straight loss. Young led the Wizards with 21 points as the team put six players in double figures, but Atlanta out rebounded Washington, 45-33.

The Wizards will return to action Feb. 9 when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Verizon Center.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO