Final Score: Wizards 115 Magic 106
The Wizards won for the fourth consecutive time as they protected the Verizon Center, beating the Magic 115-106. Wall, Beal, Ariza and Gortat all went for over 20 points, giving the Wizards four guys with over 20 for the first time since April of 2010. The Magic never seriously threatened in the second, getting no closer than seven as the Wizards cruised to victory. Orlando, despite scoring 106 points, did not manage a single fast break point on the night. The Wizards had one of their best shooting nights of the year, shooting 52.5% from the floor, 62.5% from three and 75% from the charity stripe.
The Wizards had previously won just once this year without Nene but for one night at least, it was not a problem. Seraphin was missing as well, giving the Wizards a very thin front line but Booker, Harrington and Singleton all stepped up to give the Wizards solid minutes in the post. It was the big four that provided the vast majority of the scoring though. Wall had 27 points on 11/19 shooting, seven assists, five boards and turned the ball over just once for a very complete night. Gortat posted his fifth straight double-double, going for 21 points on 9/13 shooting and 10 boards. Ariza shot the lights out from long distance, going 5/5 from beyond the arc while scoring 22 points. Ariza has yet to miss from long distance against Orlando this year, going a total of 9/9 across the two games. Finally Beal tallied 21 points on 7/13 shooting. One final notable performance tonight for the Wizards was Andre Miller. While his stat line doesn't pop out with five points and three assists, Miller finished as a team leading +12 in his 14 minutes. For the Magic, Oladipo had 26, Harkless had 22 and Vucevic had 19 points and 14 boards.
The Wizards now head north of the border and will go for their fifth straight win Thursday against the Raptors. - Jacob Raim
The Wizards head into the locker room with a nine point lead over the Magic, 62-53. John Wall ended the half on an acrobatic take to the hoop and completed the three-point play to finish the half with a game-high 18 points. The Wizards, who are starting their six week stretch without their veteran PF Nene, have been playing scrappy, aggressive defense with six team steals and forcing the Magic into nine turnovers. Marcin Gortat, who is the Wizards only true center right now, has 12 points and four rebounds. He finished the first half with just one personal foul and will need to log big minutes with the Wizards thin up front. The Wizards have filled Nene's spot with Trevor Booker, who leads the team with six rebounds, and Chris Singleton who added four points in just under eight minutes. Veterans Andre Miller and Al Harrington have provided some really quality minutes for the team, including an exciting stretch of back to back three- pointers. Harrington has seven points in just under seven minutes, and Miller is spread across the stat sheet with three points, a steal, three assists, and two rebounds.
Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, and Victor Oladipo are tied for the Magic with 9 points each, and Vucevic added eight rebounds. Jameer Nelson added five points and six assists to the total. - Brad Bobrow
Just settling in here with about an hour until #WizMagic tips from Verizon Center.
Nothing has changed from this morning as far as injuries go. Nene and Kevin Seraphin will both be out, which puts the Wizards in a tough spot as it diminishes two of their biggest bodies on the post.
Randy Wittman talked about how the team plans on handling Nene's absence and how he may have to play some more "small ball" with a few of his bigs nicked up.
He would not go into specifics or delve into his new starting lineup, but it's almost certain that we'll see Trevor Booker step into that starting power forward spot. Book filled in for Nene while he was out earlier this season, and then started at the PF spot when Nene was playing limited minutes off the bench.
With Seraphin also out tonight, the Wizards have no backup center and will likely have to get creative when Marcin Gortat is off the court. They may have to go to one of their seldom used lineups that features Al Harrington at the center spot, which will really stretch out the Magic defense.
Wittman said it all depends on the flow of the game so we'll see how things shake out when the action starts at 7pm tonight.
We're back at Verizon Center for tonight's clash with the Magic. The good news: The Wizards have won three straight and have a chance to move back over .500 tonight. The not so good news: We learned yesterday that Nene will be sidelined for approximately six weeks.
The players spoke about dealing with the loss of the big man and adjusting to playing without him.
To make things tougher, Kevin Seraphin will also miss tonight's game with a sore knee, which makes the Wizards front line all of a sudden very thin.
Look for Trevor Booker to move into the starting lineup and Al Harrington to log heavy minutes off the bench. The Wiz will likely have to play a smaller lineup, either using Chris Singleton or Otto Porter at the "4", or sliding Trevor Ariza to that spot and stretching the defense out.
They will likely add another big man soon to bring on more depth up front, but tonight they could be short-handed on that front line.
The Magic will also be missing a key component, as their leading scorer, Arron Afflalo is out with a sprained ankle. That will put more pressure on the rookie standout and Upper Marlboro native Victor Oladipo to become more of a scorer.
The action tips off at 7pm, we'll check back in pregame with Randy Wittman's thoughts on tonight's game and how he plans to shuffle his lineup with some of his bigs out.