March 7th Game Recap: Wizards vs. Lakers
A packed house at Verizon Center witnessed a stunning come-from-behind win on Wednesday night as the Wizards overcame a 21 point deficit to come back and knock off the Lakers, 106-101.
After controlling the game for the entire first half, the Lakers lead began slipping away midway through the third quarter. Led by strong inside play from Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin and some big shots from Roger Mason Jr. and Nick Young, the Wizards climbed their way back into the game and got to within one at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was probably the most electric quarter seen at Verizon Center all season as both teams were exchanging blows. Chants of ‘Beat LA’ began surfacing throughout the crowd once the fans realized that a win was within reach. The Wizards made all of the plays needed down the stretch, completed the comeback, and beat the Lakers for the first time since 2006.
Trevor Booker had one of the better games of his career, dropping in 18 points and pulling down 17 rebounds (8 offensive).
Nick Young, playing against the team he grew up watching, had a team-high 19 points, including the clutch jumper with 43 seconds left to put the Wizards up by five.
Kevin Seraphin came off the bench for a career high 14 points to go along with his 9 rebounds. Seraphin played significant minutes in the fourth quarter and showed a lot of confidence taking and making some big shots down the stretch.
Roger Mason Jr. also had 14 points off the bench and buried some of the biggest 3 pointers of the game when it mattered most.
JaVale Mcgee had himself another double-double, tallying 12 points and 12 boards.
The Wizards will now have two days off before they return to the court to host the Portland Trailblazers on Saturday night at Verizon Center.
WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL:
On the game:
“They did a great job keeping me out of the lane. A lot of shots that normally go down just weren’t falling for me tonight. I realized it just wasn’t my night. Instead of shooting myself out of the game I tried to get my teammates more involved. The bench contributed tonight in a big way. The bench was a key component in our come back tonight. They deserve a lot of credit.”
On the comeback:
“We were down 20, but anytime you are down in this league there is a chance that you can come back. The second group just gave us the spark we needed. Players like Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker did a great job battling down low for us. This game allowed both of those players to play physical and be the aggressors. We sensed that the momentum was changing in the game when a lot of the calls were going in our favor. In the second half we wanted to be in the game and we needed the crowd to be on our side.”
WIZARDS GUARD NICK YOUNG:
On the game:
“We came out with energy. We knew we were in a little slump but we had to pick up each other and fight. It was an amazing atmosphere tonight. We had to come out with the right attitude playing against the best team.”
On guarding Kobe:
“I was just doing the best I could, not going for his pump fakes. I grew up watching him and I knew everyone back at home was watching the game. I just went out there and gave it my all.”
On Kevin Seraphin:
“They were not ready for him. He played hard tonight. He used his strength and just had fun out there tonight. We know the type of potential that he has, he just slowed down tonight and played his game.”
WIZARDS FORWARD TREVOR BOOKER:
WIZARDS CENTER KEVIN SERAPHIN:
On the game:
“We came out very focused tonight. Coach felt this would be a great matchup for me. Banging with (Andrew) Bynum tonight was a great challenge. Playing physical is something I like to do, and I was able to benefit from it. I just played hard and didn’t rush myself.”
WIZARDS GUARD ROGER MASON JR.:
On opportunities to play in tonight’s game:
“I’m just staying persistent and being a leader. I tell these guys to be patient for their opportunity to come, and it came today. Kevin (Seraphin) was ready. Shelvin (Mack) played a great floor game and Nick (Young) came off the bench and was ready. That’s the thing that you have to have on a team.”
On tonight’s game:
“We had guys that just didn’t quit. It was evident in the third quarter and we finished hard.”
WIZARDS GUARD JORDAN CRAWFORD.:
WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN:
On the overall game strategy:
“What a difference a day makes. These are the kinds of things we’ve been talking about with this team. Start to finish, even when we got down 21, we were doing the right things, we were doing them the right way. We were doing them hard and stayed in the game. That’s all we did. Then we started making some shots and the crowd got into it.”
On changing the team’s mentality:
“The momentum shifted and hopefully this can go a long way for us in terms of that mentality of staying in the game, and playing as hard as you can. You never know in an NBA game what’s going to happen. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, and tonight that was it. We had some really big performances.”
On key shooters for the Wizards:
“I thought Mase (Roger Mason Jr.) came in and really got us lifted from the three, got our momentum up and then Nick added a little bit, too. Guys that shoot the ball made shots and the other guys that are shooters are like, yes, I like what I am seeing.”
On Kevin Seraphin:
“Kevin (Seraphin), this is the best game that he has had since he’s been here. He was under control, he rebounded, and he made shots. Then he took shots under control, he defended and he played strong defense on (Andrew) Bynum.”
On Trevor Booker:
“I couldn’t take him (Trevor Booker) out in the second half. I was worried when he got his fifth foul with three minutes to go. I didn’t know what I was going to do. He was really, really big for us. It’s wonderful to win it on top of that. These guys are thrilled; it’s the difference of 48 hours.”
On Shelvin Mack and John Wall:
“John (Wall) went through a tough game from an offensive standpoint, but he persevered through it. Shelvin (Mack) really gave us a boost, and that’s what teammates can do. John had a struggle, he was played differently tonight than he was played all year in the pick and rolls. It is something that he will adjust to, but Shelvin came in and really gave that second unit a great boost.”