February 1st Game Recap: Wizards vs. Magic
Despite 24 points from Nick Young including 20 4th quarter points, the Wizards fell just short and dropped Wednesday night's contest to the Magic, 109-103. Rashard Lewis had 20 points and eight rebounds facing his former team, but the real story of the game had to be the Wizards bench. Led by Jordan Crawford's 19 points and six assists, the Wizards bench scored 51 points which included a career-high 12 points from Shelvin Mack. Kevin Seraphin had his best game of the season as he dropped in 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds while containing Magic all-star center Dwight Howard for much of the game because of foul trouble on JaVale McGee. Trevor Booker also continued to fill in well (8 points, 9 rebounds) as the Wizards continue to look for production from the power forward spot with Andray Blatche out of the lineup.
In what was a back and forth contest for much of the night, the Magic were able to pull away in the fourth quarter and held off a late Wizards run to seal the victory and snap a four-game losing streak of their own. Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard had 23 points apiece to lead the Magic.
The Wizards are back in action on Friday night when they take on the Toronto Raptors.
Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman
“Well, it was another hard-fought game. We came up short again. I feel bad for those guys in there because those guys play so hard. It’s hard to win a game 39 free throws to nine (free throws), let alone be in a game. I told our guys, ‘we can’t stop playing as hard as we do.’ We’ve got nine guys under rookie contracts. Right now they’re not getting the respect; that’ll come, that’ll come. If we keep playing as hard as we play, night in and night out we’ll eventually get calls. That’s hard to overcome.”
On his team’s bench play…
“It was huge today. The first half was huge. We got off to a slow start and they came in, and they were big. They got us right back into the game at halftime. We got great production from our bench. I was proud of everybody. Gosh darn we’re playing hard. They didn’t stop, got a couple of steals to make it interesting down there. We still get 13 guys like that called upon to play and we play like that, I can live with that.”
On the play of John Wall…
“Yeah, I thought he got hit going to the hole a lot and he doesn’t shoot a free throw in 12 attempts. That’s tough but we fought through it, he stayed in the game. You’re going to go through some tough periods shooting the ball and you can’t just rely on that. He comes back with 10 assists, he kicked out for some big 3s late in transition, and that’s what you have to do. You’re going to have nights like that.”
On his team leading in almost every statistical category…
“Except free throws. Did you look at that? Not that one. I don’t know how else to put it, they’re a good team. They made some plays down the stretch. They’ve got a lot of experience on the team. There’s a lot of people who have been in the playoffs and been to the Finals, they made plays. Turk and Dwight made some plays down the stretch that we weren’t able to get.”
JORDAN CRAWFORD: “It hurts to play that hard and for it to turn out the way it did. It feels like they stole one.”
“We can’t control that (free throw disparity). All we can do is go out and play hard. Whatever they (officials) decide during the games, is what they decide.”
“In a shortened season like this, you have to play a lot of guys. We need the bench to be important and we hope they keep coming through.”
“We have come a long way. The past four or five games we have been playing really hard and starting on the defensive end. It has carried over onto the offense. If we keep this up, our wins will come. I think the fans can see we are running plays and executing and getting easy shots. If we keep doing that we will be alright.”
SHELVIN MACK: “We (bench) just tried to come in and bring energy for the guys. I felt good. I did a little bit of extra studying on film which I like to do.”
“It is a long game. You can see at the end of the game they kind of thought it was over but Nick hit some shots and pushed it out a little bit. Each team will go on some runs so it can go either way.”
NICK YOUNG: “We fought hard the whole game. The bench came in and played great. I just felt I was letting them down and I tried to do anything possible to get it going. It was a blessing I got it going in the fourth quarter.”
“Randy has just instilled some thing. He is a great motivator and a great Coach. He believes in us. His speeches before games make you feel you can go out there and beat anybody.”
RASHARD LEWIS: “We have been playing better as a team altogether over the last week or so. We have been playing hard and giving the effort more than anything regardless whether we make shots or miss shots. We have been playing together and I thought we did a lot of positive things and made some mistakes which we will learn from.”