By Dave Johnson
As we launch into the off-season, we will look ahead to the future here on Daily Wizdom and also take time to look back at some of the high points from the just-completed season. To begin, we offer a review of our top 10 Wizards games of 2012/2013.
Number 10 on our list involves a player no longer with the Wizards, but it is still worth noting. On January 21, the Wizards pulled out a dramatic 98-95 win over the Trail Blazers. Nene and Martell Webster each scored 24 points to lead the Wizards, but Jordan Crawford saved the day on the final play.
Number 10….win in Portland
Below is my written review from that night:
Jordan Crawford has stunned crowds before with his amazing long distance shots. Against the Trail Blazers in Portland he silenced the crowd when he nailed a 31-foot shot with Wesley Mathews draped on him as time expired to deliver the Washington Wizards a 98-85 win.
Amazingly Crawford, who is loaded with confidence in pressure situations, says he has never made a game-winning shot before. Not only was it his first game-winner in the NBA, but Crawford says he has never made a game-winning shot at any level. Like many basketball players Crawford has practiced the last second shot, but with 3.6 seconds left against Portland he lived the dream.
“That’s where J.C. shoots from. He shoots from there in practice and warm ups. You give the guy some room and he can do some deadly things. He’s very capable of doing that and he showed it tonight. We all have confidence in J.C. knocking down any jump shot at any time.”
“That’s what we like from Jordan—his ability to come in off the bench and heat up. Bradley struggled a little bit tonight, and to have a guy like that that can come in is huge for us.”
Indeed Crawford was a not a factor through the first three quarters, but scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Nene and Webster:
Nene (24 points) and Martell Webster (24 points) both recorded season highs for scoring. The two combined for 48 of the Wizards’ 98 points.
Finding a way:
The Wizards won on a night when John Wall and Bradley Beal struggled. Wall had 4 turnovers and only two assists to go with his 6 points on 2 of 8 shooting from the field. Beal never was able to get involved and had only 2 points on 1 of 7 shooting from the field.
Slip, sliding, away:
The Wizards went into the final quarter with a 69-64 lead and led by as many as eight points. A steal and a dunk by Wall put the Wizards ahead 95-90 with only 58 seconds left in the game. The Blazers then responded with a 5-0 run to tie the game with 7.9 seconds left. It was part of an impressive closing 12 minutes for the Blazers. The Trail Blazers shot 75.0 percent (12-of-16) in the fourth quarter, tied for the team’s best shooting percentage in any quarter this season (Jan. 7 vs. Orlando, 3rd quarter, 15-20 FG). Damian Lillard scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, making all five of his field goal attempts.
The Wizards don’t win the game against the Blazers without another solid effort from Emeka Okafor. He was the Wizards’ rock. Okafor had 13 points and 13 rebounds and was a steadying influence throughout the game.