An unlikely 116-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers has the looks of being the game that jump started the Wizards’ 2010-11 season. Down 52-38 at halftime, and trailing by 17 points in the second half, it looked like it was another tough loss for Washington, even as John Wall returned from injury. But an explosive second half led by Wall’s 25 points, including three free throws to tie the game at the end of regulation, gave Washington the momentum they needed to earn a crucial victory. A Nick Young three pointer with seven seconds left in overtime was the nail in the coffin for the Sixers, and could give the Wiz the confidence to get through a tough gauntlet to end 2010.
Somewhat lost in the dramatic comeback victory was the continuing break-out performances of JaVale McGee, who played 46 minutes, scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, 10 of which were on the offensive end. Also, Nick Young’s shooting has been much more consistent this season, and his elevated level of play off the bench has really solidified a shaky reserve unit. After a demoralizing loss to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, it was great to see the Wizards not give up on Tuesday. Sure, it helped that Elton Brand’s stupid foul on McGee got him ejected, but Mareese Speights stepped in and played well for the Sixers. The reality is that two rookies made veteran plays (Lorenzo Booker’s jump ball and Wall’s three free throws) down the stretch, and this team is growing up and improving day in and day out. If this team can find a way to finish the 2010 slate with a .500 record or better, it will be a very impressive feat, and it will set them up for a nice run to the playoffs.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.