March 30th Game Recap: Wizards vs. 76ers

Wizards Win Big Over Philly

The Wizards returned home on Friday night and came to play for the hometown crowd, as they took down the 76ers 97-76 at Verizon Center. Similar to the past three home games, the Wizards built up a sizeable lead in the first half, but in this one, they were able to maintain that lead throughout the second half and never let the lead slip into single digits.

It was a total team effort, as there were many contributing pieces to this win, including recently signed sharpshooter Cartier Martin who lit it up for a team-high 20 points off the Wizards bench.

Nene had another stellar performance, adding 16 points and 8 boards before being forced to leave with a foot injury.

Kevin Seraphin continued his outstanding play as he tallied 14 points and pulled down seven boards off the bench.

Jordan Crawford dropped in 17 points, which stopped his streak of 20-point games at seven.

John Wall finished with nine points, six rebounds, and six assists in the win.

Next, the Wizards travel north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

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Postgame

WIZARDS GUARD JOHN WALL:

On team effort:
“Tonight our bench played great. They did a great job, especially Kevin (Seraphin), Cartier (Martin), Mase (Roger Mason), Shelvin (Mack), Jan (Vesely). All those guys played great. That’s what really helped us. Sometimes when you get leads either the first group or second group lose it, but today both teams kept it up.”

On Cartier Martin:
“We know he can shoot the ball very well. He gives us another presence out there with Mase (Roger Mason) that can make shots. He doesn’t know too many plays but he knows how to get to the right spots and make shots which is what we need.”

On closing out the game:
“When we had a lead in the third quarter, our second group kept it and played great. We got back in there and it got down to 14 at one point but we didn’t fold. We kept running, executing and getting the ball in the post. When they double-teamed, we made the right passes and made shots.”


WIZARDS GUARD JORDAN CRAWFORD:

On the game:
“This was a big win for us. It was a team effort and we played hard until the final whistle. The bench played a really big part in the win tonight. With their effort the starters were able to get some rest, while they added a cushion to the lead. The main key to this victory tonight was closing the game. We have played very well in the first half in our previous games, but we have struggled to close it out. Coach Randy Wittman made it a point of emphasis to do what we have to do to get the victory. Finishing out the last five minutes was the final task and we did that.”

On Cartier Martin:
“He’s comfortable. He has been around the team before so it made his transition a lot easier. He played a really good game tonight. Defenses can’t help off of him because he will make them pay by knocking down shots. His ability to knock down shots spreads the floor and allows us to create.”


WIZARDS GUARD CARTIER MARTIN:

On the game:
“I played within myself. They have trust in me, believe in me and I was able to make my shots.”

On the D-League:
“It’s a great place, a great opportunity to develop your skills and to showcase the type of player that you are. I knew it was going to be tough but I played hard every night and the Wizards gave me a shot.”

On Nene:
“It is very important to have Nene. He understands the game. He opens up the floor for us. He is a great passer and an outstanding player.”

On Head Coach Randy Wittman:
“Coach Witt (Randy Wittman) is a great coach. He has confidence in me. He gave me valuable minutes early on and is giving me a great opportunity that I have to take advantage of.”


WIZARDS CENTER NENE:

On the game:
“It was great. Tonight we did what we were supposed to do in the last four games. We played hard, pushed the tempo, hit the boards and were physical…The second group came in and maintained the level. That’s the reason we won the game.”


WIZARDS CENTER KEVIN SERAPHIN:


WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN:

On the tonight’s win:
“Well it’s finally a nice break-through. This was a game we needed to have in order to break the ice. We have talked the last few weeks about holding on and keeping up our defense. That was spectacular by our guys tonight. The defensive effort we put forth tonight was just as good and if not better than what we’ve done the last seven or eight games. We were able to turn the corner and able to understand what we are trying to do defensively, that is why we won this game. We got them early in the first quarter turning over four out of five possessions to get us out in the open floor and we gained a five point lead, which was important for our guys.”

On playing the 76ers:
“This is a team fighting right in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race and we knew this was a game that they were pointing towards. I know when you get down to this part of the season, you are fighting for positioning and these are the best wins and our guys responded.”

On Cartier Martin:
“We went 17 points ahead into the fourth and the team made a four-point run. We answered with Cartier (Martin) and that was huge. We tried to play through Nene and then they started doubling him which left Cartier open. Nene is a willing passer and got him going. For a kid that’s been here two days and not knowing what we are doing, I told him don’t learn anything by Sunday. To have him come out front was great. I thought Kevin (Seraphin) again had a nice game for us. John (Wall) was solid in trying to run things through Nene on the floor.”

On the second quarter:
“The second quarter was great and it gave us rest. I was able to sit Nene and Book (Trevor Booker) at the time and get great rest in having come off a back-to-back and all the games we are going to play. We have a day off tomorrow, another back-to-back, a day off and then three games in a row. When we play like that, it helps our first unit not have to extend their minutes.”