The Washington Wizards reinforced their status as leaders of the East with a victory in Orlando. Despite the loss of Bradley Beal, absent due to the death of his grandmother, the capitalists defeated Florida comfortably to take their fourth consecutive victory and achieve a 9-3 balance that no one improves in their conference. Quite the opposite is true of the Magic, whose 3-10 is the worst record of any team in their half of the country.
This difference between the two teams became latent in the clash, since the Wizards took the reins of it very soon and did not stop increasing their distance on the scoreboard. At halftime they already had a comfortable income of 13 points (37-50) that would reach 25 with the passing of the second half (57-82), allowing Wes Unseld Jr.’s team to have a quieter end. The coach was asked about the good time of his team and if he thinks it can be misleading or generate relaxation, but he did not want to see potential problems at such an exciting start.
“I’d rather be in the situation we are in now than not be,” he said. “We just have to fight the temptation to trust ourselves. We have not had it easy, and I want to recognize the merit of the players for finding a way to get the games going on so many nights. For now, we can look in the mirror and say that we are a good team.
Spencer Dinwiddie, with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, was the most outstanding man of Washington’s team, taking advantage of Beal’s absence to take control of the backcourt. Montrezl Harrell, meanwhile, was in charge of leading the second unit with 20 points and 7 assists, while Kyle Kuzma was the third in scoring with 17. The former Lakers started somewhat lacking in success, but he found himself again in the third quarter, in which he dynamited the game with three consecutive triples, the second of them surprisingly distant.
On the home side, Cole Anthony was once again the top man with 22 points, although he did not have a particularly fine night. The point guard could only score 4 of his 16 shots to the basket, and it was his 11/12 in free throws that helped him the most. Wendell Carter Jr., with 17 points, was the Magic’s second scorer, followed by Mo Bamba with 14, adding 17 rebounds and 3 blocks.
“I think we have made a lot of silly mistakes,” the center acknowledged. “Tonight we have competed better, but in general we continue to fail in many of the details that determine who wins the games.”
(Cover photo: Sarah Stier / Getty Images)