It is very rare that a game gets broken down by the first six and a half minutes and the last forty-one and a half minutes but that was the case tonight at Verizon Center. After six and a half minutes the Wizards trailed the Magic 25-8, but the Wizards outscored the Magic by 25 points over the rest of the way to win 105-97. The eight point margin was the Wizards biggest win of the season.

The Magic and particularly Jameer Nelson came out on fire, jumping all over the Wizards to open up a 17 point lead. Nelson hit three pointers on three consecutive possessions and by that six and a half minute mark was 5/5 from the field for 14 points. But he would only score two points the rest of the way, not scoring in the second half. The Magic were shooting 76% (10/13) when they took that 17 point lead and then shot under 40% the rest of the way. By the end of the first quarter the Wizards had already cut the lead to six and by halftime had the lead for good. The Magic got as close as three in the fourth quarter but the Wizards closed it out.

Two keys to the win tonight were the fact that the Wizards controlled the tempo of the game and dominated in the paint. The Wizards scored 23 fast break points compared to Orlando's 7 and only turned the ball over fewer times than Orlando. The Wizards won the battle down low by outrebounding the Magic 47-41 and outscoring the Magic in the paint 46-38.

Jordan Crawford led five Wizards in double figures with 27 points on a tidy 11/16 shooting including 3/5 from three point range and added six boards and six assists. Nene had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, and he also was very efficient shooting 8/11 from the field. Garret Temple stepped up in only his second game with the team shooting 6/8 for 13 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists over 35 minutes. Kevin Seraphin added 17 points and Beal had 11. For the Magic, Afflalo led with 26 points and J.J. Redick had 23.

The Wizards look to close out 2012 on a winning streak as they take on the Bulls in Chicago, Saturday night at 8pm.

Chris Singleton
Singleton did not appear in tonight's game.

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Points: Jordan Crawford - 27
Rebounds: Okafor and Nene - 11
Assists: Temple and Crawford - 6
Blocks: Kevin Seraphin - 4
Steals: Garrett Temple - 2

On staying in the game:

“What this team’s gone through here at the start of the year, to go down, Nelson went off at the start of the game. For our guys to not put their heads down, to grind it out. We kept saying every timeout, ‘Long game. Next timeout let’s make it closer. Next timeout let’s make it closer.’ And they did. That just shows the character of these guys. They haven’t given me too much to where I’ve got to worry about, ‘Are they gonna bring it tonight?’ Even the start we had, could have easily maybe led that way and that’s a credit to those guys. That was good. Then we got a lift from everybody.”

On the impact of Garrett Temple and Nene:

“If a guy got hot, I tended to say ‘You go guard him.’ And he did a hell of a job coming in and not only running the team and going 6-for-8 from the floor and six assists, but defensively I thought he was really a key force. Obviously Nene, just his presence on the floor kind of gives the guys with him a comfort level. So I’m really pleased, obviously to get this one.”
On the win:

“It was faith and confidence in ourselves. Those are the things that matter. We ended up sticking together and we pulled it out at the end. It feels great. We know we are capable of doing it, it’s a matter of us just doing it. We showed tonight that we are able to.”

On winning:

“We are amped. We are ready to go. We can’t stop right now, we can’t get complacent. Yeah, we won a game, but we have to forget about it. We have a tough one tomorrow. We have to get ready and take a trip to Chicago.”
On his alley-oop to Beal:

“He got young legs and I knew he would go for it, get his confidence going.”

On going 11- of- 16 from the field:

“I came out aggressive, that’s what I wanted to do. Simply that.”
On still learning the plays:

“I know a little bit. Obviously, he calls plays that I know. Hopefully, I know 90% of what we do out there. They have some other stuff still that they haven’t told me, that we haven’t run yet, but they are bringing me along slowly.”

On the fourth quarter:

“You have to know guys, study film, study the tendencies that guys have, just try to get your teammates to help you out. Redick runs off a lot of screens, Nelson can handle the ball really well, keeps the ball. You have to persevere and play hard.”