The Washington Wizards beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-95 on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Here's analysis of what went down...
Rebound performance: The Wizards needed this one. After three upset losses in the last few weeks, a stretch bad enough for Marcin Gortat to describe as a s***hole, Washington bounced back with a convincing win over the Lakers on Thursday night and they did it with a much better effort on the defensive end.
Sure, the Lakers aren't a good offensive team. And yeah, they had a tough battle with the Celtics the night before. But the numbers the Wizards held L.A. to speak for themselves.
The Wizards locked down the Lakers to the tune of 95 points on 36 percent (31-for-86) shooting. That included 13 percent (3-for-23) from three.
Early on the Lakers' guards were getting past the Wizards at the perimeter, but that was corrected in the second half. The Lakers' tired legs may have helped, but the Wizards deserve credit for their response. In winning, they snapped a three-game home losing streak and got a victory after losing five of their last seven games.
The Lakers were one of the teams that snuck up on the Wizards early this season, but Bradley Beal (22 points, six assists, five rebounds), Otto Porter (20 points, 11 rebounds) and others were determined to make sure it wouldn't happen again.
Keef's best game: In his fourth game since returning from sports hernia surgery, Markieff Morris put in what was easily his best outing of the season so far. Morris dropped 16 points to go along with five rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting, all in 17 minutes of work.
Morris found his groove early with a fadeaway jumper over Kyle Kuzma in the first quarter. He then opened the second half with back-to-back threes. This was despite leaving for the locker room in the first quarter with a stiff left knee. He returned int he second quarter and showed no signs of slowing down.
Morris is one of the best players on the Wizards at getting off his own shot and he looked like himself on Thursday. He won't reach midseason form overnight, but Thursday was a great sign.
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Block party: John Wall calls himself the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history and he sure looked like it in this one. Wall (23 points, eight rebounds, four assists) had three blocks. Two were exceptional plays; the first on Jordan Clarkson and the second on Brandon Ingram. Both were on the fastbreak with Wall playing help defense.
Wall had another block in the third quarter on Kuzma. Wall's three blocks were tied for the third-most in his career for a single game. His career-best is five, set back on Oct. 28, 2015 against the Magic.
Wall also had two steals. Thursday was the 10th time in Wall's career he's had at least two steals and three blocks.
Bench made a run: The Wizards were given a nice boost by their bench, particularly in the second quarter as their lead grew to double digits. Of the Wizards' 22 bench points, 16 of them came in the first half. Tim Frazier had seven points and five assists. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had four points an seven rebounds, though he was 0-for-5 from three.
Up next: The Wizards continue their homestead with a Saturday night matchup against the Hawks. This is a much different team than the Wizards saw just months ago in the playoffs. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
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