jazz 92 wizards 88
1/21/2013 - EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
NBA.com Game Highlights
(Photo by Rick Bowmer/ Associated Press)
The Wizards were clearly in a funk playing their fifth and final road game in Utah last night. The effort was sparse on both ends of the court and it showed. But in the midst of all the rubbish, Martell Webster quietly had a moderate performance. He finished with 15 points, with all of his field goals coming from 3-point territory. Besides a knuckle-head open floor foul on Gordon Hayward, Webster was the most persistent on the floor, reaching for steals, keeping up in transition, getting to the line where he was 6-6, and just being his normal, elusive self.
Nene: Nene was in the deepest of deep funks. A guy who’s been scrutinized as of late for his pass first mentality actually managed 14 shot attempts. Problem is, he only sunk 3 of them. Nene struggled to find his touch down low and some of that credit goes to the Jazz defenders down low. Countering the Jazz big boys was a concern going into the game, but it seems the Wizards game plan may have failed in trying to get Nene to battle them straight up. It was a frustrating night for the Big Brazilian, failing to get calls from the ref and picking up 5 fouls himself.
Al Jefferson: Like Nene, Jefferson also struggled from the floor, finishing with 11 points on 5-17 shooting. He and Millsap controlled the paint last night as the two combined for 26 rebounds and defended the Wizards big men well enough to make them a complete non factor. As suggested in the BulletsForever recap, the Wizards failed to exploit the inability of the Jazz big men to maneuver well on defense and instead decided to feed Nene near the rim to create scoring opportunities.
Well, the Wizards didn’t roll over when they were down, right? I guess that’s alright. The Wizards went on a 20-2 run which lasted until the midway mark of the fourth quarter to bring the game to within 3. A good dose of the run was facilitated by John Wall, who made a few buckets and assisted a few others before a Trevor Ariza steal and layup followed by a 3-pointer finally cut the lead to three.
Brad Beal has also been in a bit of a slump the last two games. It almost seems as if his jet lag finally caught up to him during the Portland game. Whatever it is, let’s hope it changes because we’re all yearning for some more Wall/Beal combinations. Jordan Crawford’s minutes have increased since his return from injury and that has subsequently resulted in Beal watching from the bench more often than we’d like.
What wouldn’t have been ugly is seeing this team heading back to DCA with a winning record on this five-game road trip. After a six-game stretch of wonderful basketball, the Wizards faced a reality check last night in Utah and tumbled. The scoring runs are bittersweet. Fun while it’s happening, but aching to see them become a disservice because of the hole the Wizards put themselves in initially. Hope the flight back wasn’t as turbulent and that a days rest will have their young legs refreshed and ready.