By Dave Johnson
Number two on our list of best Wizards games from the 2012/2013 season was a huge surprise at the time. Shorthanded a just back from a West coast road trip, the Wizards followed John Wall’s career-high 47 points to a win over the playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies.
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The list so far:
Audio montage of Wall’s special night:
My game recap from the night:
Early Monday morning the week started in the nation’s capital with a spring snowstorm. In the evening John Wall added to the wild day with a scoring blizzard defined by a career-high 47 points in a 107-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
John Wall post game with Glenn Consor on the radio:
After being tossed out of Saturday’s road loss to Golden State with two technical fouls,Wall said he felt like he owed his teammates something. The debt was paid off with interest. Wall set the tone for the evening by making his first three shots from the perimeter and then proceeded to score 26 points in the first half.
“I was just in the zone. I made my first couple shots and I knew I was in a great rhythm—10 points in the first quarter—I knew I had it going. My coach and my teammates just rolled me, and they just said keep carrying them, and they also stepped up and made big shots and big plays for us.”
The franchise record for points in a game is still held by Gilbert Arenas with 60, but considering the circumstances on Monday Wall’s scoring binge is one of the most impressive in team history. The Wizards only dressed nine players. Nene with a sore right knee and Martell Webster with an abdominal strain joined Trevor Ariza (flu), A.J. Price (groin), and Bradley Beal (sprained ankle) on the sideline
“I’m just so proud of these guys. We talked this morning when we got the news that we were gonna have five or six guys out. We sat and talked and I said, ‘We’ve got to believe. That’s the first and foremost thing that you nine guys that are here have to believe. That’s where it starts.’ Then I said, ‘If we go out and just play as hard and recklessly as we can and just lay it on the line, you’ll give yourselves a chance to win.’ This is an incredible win for us.”
In addition Wall was able to collect his points against the NBA’s top ranked defense. The Grizzlies have only allowed eight teams to score over 100 points in 70 games. On average the Grizzlies have held their opponents to 89.5 points per game. They are a physical team with two of the better defensive guards in Tony Allen and Mike Conley.
“When somebody has got it going like that, there is really nothing you can do. You just put a hand up and hope he misses. He’s very tough because obviously he’s one of the best at getting from end to end and getting to the rim and finishing. So you’re already playing him for the drive, but when he’s making shots you have to honor his jumper, which makes it hard to stay in front of him.”
With the Wizards shorthanded Wall was in attack mode and made 19 of 24 free throws. The Grizzlies as team only had 22 free throws. Wall also finished with 8 assists and 7 rebounds and to neatly wrap up his impressive line only had two turnovers. Wall played every minute of the second half and logged over 44 minutes for the game.
“When you have a game like that there’s got to be a lot of will involved in it. You try to will yourself to win a game. There’s no question. He’s been playing at this level. We’ve talked before games here. He’s playing at a very high level. I think he understands why and the work he’s done and the kind of work he’s doing and it’s starting to pay off for him. And he’s seeing that.”
While Wall led the way, he did have support. Emeka Okafor added 21 points and 9 rebounds. With Nene and Webster out, Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton were the starting forwards. Singleton had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Booker 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Booker and Singleton provided more than their numbers indicate and were especially effective on defense