About Last Night

About Last Night: Wizards turn it around

Every NBA team struggles now and again. But the Washington Wizards, 5-11 coming into Tuesday night’s home game with the Los Angeles Clippers after starting the season as a potential contender in the East, have been mired in mediocrity — or worse — since opening night.

So poorly have they performed that talk has swirled in recent days about the franchise possibly trading one or both members of their All-Star backcourt tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Maybe such speculation was beaten back last night, at least for a while, as Wall and Beal combined for 57 points and 15 assists to rally the Wizards from a 24-point deficit to defeat the Clippers 125-118. LA’s loss snapped a five-game winning streak.

The first half was a microcosm of the Wizards’ woeful early season, as poor communication and lack of effort on defense lead to a 40-21 score at the end of the first quarter. NBA TV analyst Kevin McHale said effort was the dramatic difference between the first and second half, as the Wizards overcame a 20-point deficit as late as the third quarter.

Analyst Grant Hill pinned the successful rally on the awakening of Wall and Beal. “They showed their value, and they showed their heart.”

Green stamps his imprint

Raptors shooting guard Danny Green, acquired in the trade that sent Toronto fan favorite DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard, paid a dividend last night.

Green nailed a high-arcing, 10-foot baseline jumper with 0.5 second left to lift the Raptors to a 93-91 win over the Magic in Orlando. The victory improved the Raptors to 14-4 with a 7-2 road record, both of which are tops in the East.

Although he trailed Leonard, who scored 18 points, Green finished with 13. The 10-year veteran had eight points in the fourth quarter, including two 3-pointers.

Could this be the year of the Raptors?

Shaq’s big block party

Twenty-five years ago on Nov. 20, Shaquille O’Neal turned in a stunning performance against the Nets as a member of the Orlando Magic.

Shaq recalls the night — 15 blocks (second most in NBA history) , 28 rebounds and 24 points — in NBA TV’s Storytime. He says only the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, among current players, is capable of having 15 or more blocks in a triple-double performance:

Ready for Thanksgiving


And what about these holiday kicks …