Local SportsNationalSports

Wizards Blast Nets, Clinch Playoff Spot

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall missed shoot-around before Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets because of a migraine.

He was a headache for the Nets, too.

The four-time All-Star scored 22 points with nine assists in only 24 minutes as Washington cruised to a 129-108 victory at Verizon Center in northwest D.C.

More importantly, the Wizards officially clinched a playoff berth and are third in the Eastern Conference at 44-28.

Washington’s bench scored 70 points, grabbed 28 rebounds and had nearly half of the team’s 29 assists.

“Those guys played great,” Wall said of the reserves. “That’s what we got those guys for. Guys are getting comfortable playing with each other [and] playing at a faster pace. They played better defense … than the starting group and got us the lead.”

Wall and the rest of the starters got off to a slow start and trailed Brooklyn 13-4 within the first five minutes of the game.

They woke up and took a 31-22 lead into the second quarter.

None of the starters played the first six minutes of that quarter and the reserves extended the lead to 53-31.

Brandon Jennings, who signed with the Wizards on March 1, led the bench with 18 points, nine assists and no turnovers.

The team’s “swag,” as shooting guard Bradley Beal put it, was on full display Friday, as an alley-oop from Jennings to Kelly Oubre Jr. got the Wizards faithful jumping from their seats.

“I’m definitely getting comfortable,” Jennings said. “I just like our ball movement … and the way the second unit is playing. We’re getting stops and actually able to help the first unit, which is good to give them some rest.

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez attempts a jump shot over Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. in the second quarter of the Wizards' 129-108 win at Verizon Center in northwest D.C. on March 24. (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez attempts a jump shot over Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. in the second quarter of the Wizards’ 129-108 win at Verizon Center in northwest D.C. on March 24. (John De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

None of the Wizards starters played more than 25 minutes against the league-worst Nets (15-57).

Wizards backup center Ian Mahinmi played nearly 24 minutes and scored 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Bojan Bogdanovic, who came to Washington last month from Brooklyn via trade and played a team-high 26 minutes Friday, chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds.

The last time the Wizards reserves outscored the starters was March 2, 2016, in Minnesota against the Timberwolves.

“Our bench played hard,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “That second unit did a great job. It’s a good overall win for us.”

As for Wall and his headache, he’s still taking some medicine and will “be all right” for Saturday’s game against the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (47-24) — the first of a five-game, nine-day road trip which the Wizards face only one team with a losing record.

“We’ve been able to see this schedule since August and we knew that March was going to be pretty demanding [and] challenging,” Brooks said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but our guys are excited about it.”

Tags
Show More

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker