By Dave Johnson
In a loss Wednesday in Utah the Washington Wizards looked like a team ready to go home at the end of five-game road trip. On Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves the Wizards looked like a team glad to be home in a 114-101 win at Verizon Center.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
LISTEN: Wizards Report January 26
The Wizards led by as many as 23 points and with the comfortable margin of victory were able to manage player’s minutes. All 13 players that dressed played with six finishing in double figures scoring led by Jordan Crawford off the bench with 19 points. The ability to spread out the minutes might help the Wizards with another game at home tonight against Chicago.
Coverage of the Wizards and Bulls starts at 6:45 on the Washington Wizards Radio Network.
“This was obviously a good win coming off a road trip. These are always the games as a coach you are always concerned about. In terms of energy level, our guys came out right from the start with good energy. We moved the ball tremendously. We had 29 assists, so the ball was definitely moving; players were moving, everyone was touching it. Just another continuation of what we have been talking about over these last two or three weeks. We have some things that we need to clean up, offensive rebounds being one of them. We can’t let a team come in and get 22 of them. We also had a lot of fouls, but a very good win for us.”
It was the Wizards’ fourth straight win at home and a positive response after letting an opportunity for a winning west coast road trip slip away in a 92-88 loss to the Jazz. Several Wizards admitted after that loss to succumbing to the desire to get home and failing to take care of business on the court first.
Often the first game back from a west coast trip can be a challenge, but the Wizards played through any fatigue to shoot a season-high 59 percent from the field and deliver one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season. The Wizards lowest scoring quarter was the fourth when they scored 23 points on 52 percent shooting from the field.
Start me up:
The Timberwolves never had a lead against the Wizards. The Wizards had strong starts to each quarter.
1st quarter: Wizards made 7 of their first 8 shots.
2nd quarter: Wizards made 7 of their first 8 shots.
3rd quarter: Wizards made 5 of their first 6 shots.
4rth quarter: Wizards made 4 of their first 5 shots.
It was also John Wall’s first start of the season. In twenty minutes Wall scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting and had 9 assists. Since Wall returned from a stress injury to his left knee the Wizards have averaged 100.7 points per-game and 25 assists per game over the last eight games.
“I thought John Wall was ready after the road trip. We still have limited minutes with him, but I thought it was time. He has his legs under him a little, but he’s still not where he needs to be. I think another couple of weeks of conditioning to get his legs back, but I thought it was time to play with that unit. He hasn’t played a lot with those guys, but overall I think he did fine. He directed the offense very well and distributed a lot. It’s time for John to be back in the starting lineup; he’s the point guard of our team.”
Glenn Consor Radio Post Game with John Wall:
LISTEN: Postgame - John Wall
Glenn Consor Radio Post Game with A.J. Price:
LISTEN: Post Game - A.J. Price