The Wizards' bench has been a work in progress this season under new head coach Scott Brooks, but in Wednesday night's win over the Boston Celtics, Washington's second unit looked about what the front office had hoped when they constructed the roster this offseason.
They saw contributions most notably from backup guards Trey Burke and Marcus Thornton and both came in handy when Bradley Beal left the game with a hamstring injury and John Wall was later ejected for a flagrant foul. On a night their two star guards departed early, it was the Wizards' backups who did their part to carry the load.
"It was huge," Brooks said after the 118-93 victory. "We needed that tonight. But not just tonight, we need it all the time. We have to continue to build our team."
Burke and Thornton both reached a season-high in point scored. Burke got 18 in 17 minutes on an efficient 7-for-9 shooting, while Thornton had 16 points with four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
For Burke, that was more points than he had scored in the Wizards' previous six games this season combined. After hitting zero threes in that span, he went 3-for-4 from long range on Wednesday night.
For Thornton, it was also a breakout performance, though he had shown more promise than Burke in recent games. Thornton scored nine points against the Magic on Nov. 5 and eight points against the Rockets on Monday.
Getting 16, however, was a big step in the right direction. And for both him and Burke to produce was a nice surprise for the Wizards.
"We knew we could do it. It was just about putting it all together," Burke said. "We would like it to come out that way a lot this year."
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