The Wizards had a little swagger in their step as they took the court Friday night. Coming off a big win over the NBA-best Oklahoma City Thunder, the ‘zards went up against the Denver Nuggets and pummeled them in the first quarter. Washington scored a season-high 37 points and were in the game down to the end.
However the Wizards could not solve Denver’s Al Harrington, who led the Nuggets with 29 points. His dunk with 7.9 seconds left in the game sealed the Wizards’ fate in a 104-108 loss.
“Tonight was a tough night- not making shots and not really controlling the game like I did the other night,” Wizards Point Guard John Wall said after the game. According to ESPN’s John Hollinger, Denver averages 98.6 possessions per game- the most in the league. Washington is tied for sixth in the league with 96.
What that means is that Washington plays fast but Denver plays just a little bit faster.
“The pace that [Denver] played at- that’s how they always play, you know we don’t always play at that pace. I think some of our guys got winded,” Coach Flip Saunders said in the post-game press conference.
There is a little bit of hope to walk away with tonight’s loss. Now at 2-13, the most we can ask of the Washington Professional Basketball Team is to play competitive- and they did for the most part.
John Wall put up another great game and was only one rebound away from a triple-double (13 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds). Nick Young started the game hot racking up 17 points in the first quarter. He ended the night with a team-high 25. Even Jordan Crawford looked respectable going 6-14 in the field with 18 points.
“Tonight we put ourselves in a position to win, so now we’re competing at a good level- now what we gotta do is we gotta put ourselves in a position to close out games,” said Saunders.
However one player that did not do well was Andray Blatche. The boos kept coming as he went 0-7 with two points.
“It’s tough playing through that situation but we’re here as a team and in the locker room we’re cheering him on, telling to keep taking those shots,” Wall said when asked about the boos. Flip noted that while the fans maybe frustrated with his play, booing isn’t the answer.
“Booing is not going to help somebody play better- I know that. I don’t think all of a sudden [Blatche] is going to get 20 points and 15 rebounds because we’re booing him- if that was the case everyone would do it.”
On the Denver side of the ball Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari both scored 21 points in an offense that ultimate out ran the Wizards.
The Wizards take on the Celtics this Sunday. While it is disappointing to follow a big win with a loss, the team is now in a mindset to win according to Crawford.
“We feel like we can win any time- that’s what we got out of the last two, even though we lost this one.”