By Dave Johnson
Drum roll please. We have made it to number one. Number one on our list of top 10 games from the Washington Wizards 2012/2013 season goes to a 103-100 victory over the Lakers March 23 in Los Angeles.
As we noted at the beginning of this two-week audio journey, the Wizards delivered some special moments to go with their 29 wins. Their commitment and quality victories added to the fun of putting together the list. In the end, the win over the Lakers in Los Angeles prevailed because it exemplified the Wizards' spirit.
The 2012/2013 Wizards were a team that did not give up. The Wizards even through a difficult start to the season were professional in their approach and once healthy were able to realize some of their potential. Make no mistake, the Lakers, in a push for the playoffs, wanted to win a Friday night game at home, but the Wizards were able to enjoy success.
Audio montage of win over Lakers:
The complete list:
1----Wizards beat Lakers in LA.
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My game recap from the night:
The Washington Wizards kept fans in Los Angeles in their seats until the end and in the end they were stunned. The Wizards fought through an 18-point deficit to defeat the Lakers 103-100 and now go after a winning record on their four-game road trip tonight against the Golden State Warriors.
John Wall seized control of the game in the second half when he scored 18 of his team-high 24 points. He was in charge. Wall delivered a career-high 16 assists and only had one turnover. One of Wall’s favorite targets was Trevor Ariza, who came off the bench to score an incredible 25 points in 29 minutes including 7 of 12 beyond the arc.
When Ariza wasn’t silencing the crowd with his offense, he was busy on defense against Kobe Bryant. While Bryant led the Lakers with 21 points, he had to work for his shots and finished 5 of 18 shooting from the field. Dwight Howard had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, but of note did not attempt a shot in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards' victory triggered memories. Like their win over the Suns in Phoenix, it was their first win over the Lakers in Los Angeles since December of 2006. It was different then. On that road trip in 2006 Gilbert Arenas scored 60 points to beat the Lakers and then 54 points to beat the Suns.
This time in wins over the Suns and Lakers, the Wizards' success was based on defense. On Wednesday the Wizards won in Phoenix by holding the Suns to 79 points. To rally in Los Angeles the Wizards used a third quarter when they outscored the Lakers 31-17 to get back in the game.
"I told them, the last three or four minutes of that second quarter has to be how we play, and we have to start out by getting stops. I said, if we keep running our offense and getting the same shots, you guys are going to knock them down. You’re going to make shots; take the shots, and take them with confidence. That’s what they did, and I’m proud of those guys."
“It was a colossal win; it’s awesome, pure joy. We continue to have each other’s back, we can do anything. We were down in that first half, mainly because we were getting great looks, we just weren’t making shots and the resilience on defense was, immaculate. So getting stops and running out on the other end, you know, John [Wall] had a great game, Trevor [Ariza], 7 of 12 from the three-point line, all big shots, great shots and just continue to fight is the most important thing and we showed that tonight. Walking out here with a win is just the ultimate feeling.”