The Washington Wizards started a stretch of four straight games on the west-coast last night and barely survived a 30-37 Utah Jazz team that now holds a record of 17-17 at home. It was quite an odd game for Washington.
They shot 52.4 percent from the field, but also turned the ball over 22 times, which kept the came very close throughout. Starting point guard John Wall also scored just five points in the first half, but came back in the second half to lead Washington to victory. He ended the game nearly recording another triple-double, with 24 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
The Wizards have now extended their winning streak to five with 14 games remaining. With Toronto, Chicago, and Cleveland all grabbing victories last night, nothing has changed in the standings. However, the Wizards are hot and they have bumped their record back to 12 games over .500 after going as low as only seven over.
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Only ligament Wizards fans stayed up to watch this whole game, as it ended at around 1:15 in the morning. Not to brag or anything, but I watched the final buzzer of this game. The Jazz came into this contest winning 13 out of the last 16 games, including a six-game winning streak that was snapped by Washington.
The Wizards have now re-gained the title of hottest team in the NBA after winning five straight and seven out of nine. They have three games left to their stay on the west-coast, two of which come against two of the best teams in the league.
Tomorrow night, they will head to L.A. to take on the 44-25 Los Angeles Clipper. They will then make their way up California and take on the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, and finish up their road trip even further north in the San Francisco bay where they will take on the league-leading Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Their last 11 games of the season, which follow this trip, are pretty tough. However, six of them come at home. The Wizards now hold a record of 15-18 when playing away from the Verizon Center. Their struggles on the road were displayed last night when they committed 22 turnovers (Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, and Wall each recorded four while Nene committed five) and nearly blew the lead.
However, they were able to pull out the close victory which says a lot about how far this team has come. They made mistakes down the stretch, but were still able to make enough plays to grab the win. This is something that Washington will have to carry with them into the postseason.