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Wizards win fourth straight, 115-98 over Magic
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“Everybody eats. Everybody has success. Everybody gets a touch,” Bradley Beal explained once again after the Wizards’ 115-98 win over the Magic on Saturday night. "Everybody shoots the ball. Everybody plays defense. Everybody rebounds."
That’s been Beal’s answer to why the Wizards ball movement has been so good the last four games. The quote comes from the movie “Paid in Full” and Beal’s enjoyed applying it to the team’s success. If you work hard and make the extra pass, you get rewarded. Draw a double-team and find the open man? Let your teammate eat and get in on the scoring.
Beal and the Wizards dished out 35 assists on 46 made field goals, now totaling 132 assists on their last 173 field goals in the team’s last four games. It was the Wizards' fifth consecutive game with 25-plus assists, which is the Wizards’ longest streak since November 6-16, 2010. The streak ties the eighth-longest streak in the NBA this season.
The first-time All-Star had 18 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, and held Evan Fournier to 3-of-12 shooting and only 11 points. Beal likely would have recorded his first career triple-double if he played in the fourth quarter. Instead, the Wizards were happy to rest Beal with a back-to-back coming Monday and Tuesday.
“Everybody eats," Beal continued. "It has been working for us. We figured it out I think. We haven’t been playing our style of basketball earlier in the year. Now over the course of the last four games we have been playing really well moving the ball."
Beal’s starting backcourt mate Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 19 points to go along with six assists. Satoransky made 7-of-9 field goals, including all three of his 3-pointers, and was impressive on defense per usual. Otto Porter Jr. added 20 points and five assists to complement the starting backcourt.
“I think lately I have been playing really confidently and today it was one of those games that everything was going well for you from the beginning," Satoransky said after the win. "I felt very comfortable after that first plays of the game. Defensively, I think it is always my responsibility to bring something to this team and play good in my matchups. Team defense is the key for us.”
The Wizards started the game hot, making five of their first six shots to jump out to an 11-4 lead. Satoransky had nine points in the first 12 minutes, while Beal and Porter added eight points apiece. The Wizards continue to share the ball well, assisting on 10 of their first 13 field goals. Still, five turnovers for eight Magic points kept Orlando hanging around and trailing by only six at the end of the first quarter.
With 18 assists on 23 first half field goals, the Wizards were sharing the sugar. Four players finished the first half in double figures, with Beal’s first half line of 10 points, five rebounds, and seven assists leading the way. Washington forced 11 Orlando turnovers, but the Magic scored another six points off five second quarter turnovers by the Wizards. Still, by holding the Magic scoreless in the final 4:21 of the first half, the Wizards finished the second quarter on a 12-2 run and led 56-47 heading into the locker room.
Washington dominated the third quarter on both ends of the floor, outscoring the Magic 31-22. The Wizards shot 52.2% from the floor, but most importantly on offense only turned the ball over once. Defensively, Orlando was held to 6-of-19 shooting and five turnovers in the third, the Wizards’ best defensive quarter of the game. Marcin Gortat led the Wizards with eight points and five rebounds in the third and protected the rim, as the Magic only made 3-of-9 field goals for six points in the paint in that period.
"Our defense allowed us to get easy buckets in transition and it kind of fueled our offense and that’s what we talk about all the time," Scott Brooks said postgame. "We’ve got to score off of our defense. We’ve got to play for each other on the defensive end, trust each other on the defensive end.
Leading by 18 at the end of the third, the Wizards were able to rest most of their starters in the fourth quarter. Only Porter, who drained two triples in almost five minutes in the final period, played in the fourth. The second unit, which was without Mike Scott (flulike symptoms), scored 22 points to secure the Wizards’ fourth straight win.
Next up, the Wizards (30-22) will look to stay hungry for their fifth straight win as they head to Indianapolis to take on the Pacers Monday night at 7:00pm.
And remember, everybody eats.