After recording their first road win of the season, things were beginning to look up for the Washington Wizards. A coaching change and victories in two of their last three games had the Wizards floating on air heading into the week. But another winless stretch appears to have them back at ground zero. The AFRO recaps the week that wasn’t for the Washington Wizards.

Jan. 30, Wizards, 88 – Chicago, 98:
A home stand against President Obama’s hometown team kicked the week off for the Wizards. The Bulls’ MVP, Derrick Rose, kicked Washington to the curb. Point guard Rose scored a game-high, and season high, 35 points, adding eight assists, two steals and three blocks en route to a hard fought victory. Washington never got closer than eight points in the final quarter as Chicago deflected every comeback attempt. The Wizards trailed by 10 points after the first quarter and hovered around a double-digit deficit for the rest of the game. Point guard John Wall scored a game-high 20 points and recorded six assists for Washington.

Feb. 1, Wizards, 103 vs. Orlando, 109— The Wizards arrived in Orlando with a chance to steal one against the suddenly slumping Magic. But Orlando snapped a four-game losing streak against Washington despite the Wizards putting five players in double figures. Nick Young led Washington with 24 points but Orlando center Dwight Howard poured in 23 points, 18 rebounds, four steals and three assists. The Wizards’ Rashard Lewis, a former Magic, performed well in his return against his previous team, scoring 20 points and connecting on 3-of-4 from three-point range.

Feb. 3, Wizards, 89 – Toronto, 106: Under interim coach Randy Wittman, the Wizards had transformed into a gritty, feisty opponent. But all of that regressed in a trip to Toronto where the Raptors used a 33-23 second quarter to push Washington to its third straight loss. Toronto placed five players in double figures with reserves forward Amir Johnson and guard Leandro Barbosa combining for 37 points. Young led Washington with 21 points.

Feb. 4, Wizards, 81 – Los Angeles Clippers, 107:
The Clippers are emerging as one of the NBA’s top teams in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, the Wizards found out the hard way in a home demolition at the hands of guard Chris Paul, forward Blake Griffin and company. Wall and Young tied for the team lead with 14 points apiece but Washington was out of it before the game even started. Los Angeles led 28-17 after the first quarter and 58-34 at halftime. By the time the third quarter ended, the Wizards were down by over 30 points and the Verizon Center had transformed into a ghost town. Griffin led all scorers with 21 points, adding 11 rebounds and eight assists in the process.

Washington dropped to 4-20 after the week. The Wizards will return to the Verizon Center Feb. 6 with a chance to avenge a blowout loss when they host Toronto. Washington is now 0-4 without the services of power forward Andray Blatche, who is expected to miss the next month with a calf injury.

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO