The Washington Wizards made it eight straight wins against the Orlando Magic with a 96-80 victory. This was the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two teams, and the Wizards were able to sweep the series in a smooth manor.
John Wall did everything tonight, falling one point shy of attaining his first triple-double of the season. Wall finished the game with nine points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. The All-Star struggled from the field as he shot 3-of-10; he missed a floater with less than a minute left in regulation.
Marcin Gortat had one of his better games in recent memory as he recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. The “Polish Machine’s” hustle and effort on both ends of the floor really helped Washington beat the Magic with ease. Nene added 14 points as well, and Rasual Butler led the Wizards in scoring with 15 points.
Washington’s role players were active tonight as the bench scored 46 points as opposed to 34 by the Orlando Magic. Kris Humphries left the game with a back injury, but Drew Gooden stepped in and scored 10 points while grabbing four rebounds. Garrett Temple received the start in place of Bradley Beal, and he added seven points while forcing three steals.
The Magic struggled offensively as they shot only 39.8 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from three-point land. Nikola Vucevic scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds. Evan Fournier led Orlando in scoring with 18 points off the bench. Victor Oladipo struggled shooting the ball as he scored 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Elfrid Payton only tallied 11 points, but he was a pesky on defense as he piled up six steals.
The Wizards weren’t much better offensively as they only shot 42.9 percent from the field and 28 percent from behind the arc. The difference was their ability to out-rebound Orlando, 53-to-33, and the ability to knock down free throws, going 23-of-27 from the charity stripe. The biggest bugaboo Washington will need to sure up is their turnovers. They turned the ball over 22 times leading to 24 Orlando points. That was the only reason the Magic stayed in the game as long as they did.
Orlando suffered a crushing loss against the Chicago Bulls the night before as they blew a six-point lead with 32 seconds left in the game. Chicago went on a 7-0 run, including a Pau Gasol second chance dunk that ended up being the deciding basket. They came into this game wounded with the loss of Tobias Harris, who missed a tip-in that would have defeated Chicago, with a knee injury. Combine that with a back-to-back on the road, it didn’t seem they had a chance against a Washington team that is looking better in recent days.
The Magic will try and get back on the winning track as they head home to face the New York Knicks Wednesday night at 7:00 PM EST. Washington will head on the road to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM EST. This will be the final game before the All-Star break and the third and final time the Wizards-Raptors will face each other in the regular season. Toronto has beaten the Wizards in their previous two meetings.