The Washington Wizards beat the New Orleans Pelicans 116-106 on Tuesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...
Weird game: The Wizards have been difficult to figure out so far this season, sometimes playing like a title contender and other times playing down to some of the worst teams in the NBA. Their inconsistency was displayed in extreme fashion on Tuesday night in a topsy-turvy win against the Pelicans.
The net result is a victory over a team currently in the Western Conference playoff picture, but this game was just plain weird. The Wizards led by 25 points midway through the second quarter before the Pelicans charged all the way back to tie the game at 61-61 with 10:21 left in the third. Then, the Wizards erupted to lead by 23 points entering the fourth quarter. They won by 10.
The Pelicans' comeback was in large part due to Anthony Davis (37 points, nine rebounds), who had 22 points by halftime and got pretty much anything he wanted in the paint. But give credit to the Wizards, who responded with a big run of their own.
The Wizards are now 17-14 on the season and are 3-1 since John Wall returned. Speaking of Wall...
Wall started out hot: Early on in this one we saw a version of Wall we hadn't seen in quite some time. He was absolutely unstoppable in the first quarter with 14 points and six assists on 5-for-8 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 from three. By halftime he had 15 points, tying his most since returning from his two knee procedures and his most in a game since Nov. 22, nearly a month ago.
Everything was working for Wall in the first half, including his no-look passes:
Wall would cool off after that. He scored just three points in the second half and ended up with 18 to go along with 10 assists and six rebounds. Still, it was a great sign for the Wizards, as their All-Star point guard took a step closer to reaching midseason form.
Wall, by the way, was wearing Kobe Bryant's signature shoes as a tribute to the Lakers legend, who had not one but two numbers retired in L.A. on Monday night.
Porter out again: The Wizards played their second straight game without starting small forward Otto Porter, who continues to deal with a right hip contusion. He was considered a gametime decision, but was not able to give it a go. This was not a surprise, as he missed practice on Monday and shootaround Tuesday morning. Head coach Scott Brooks said before Tuesday's game that Porter has not required further testing, so there seems to be no serious concern, yet he remains sidelined.
Beal injury scare: Already without Porter, the Wizards nearly saw another star go down in the third quarter when Bradley Beal (26 points, five rebounds, four assists) fell to the ground after appearing to roll his ankle. Beal was in obvious pain, but was able to rally and put together a strong second half of 22 points.
Here's the play Beal got injured on:
It looks like Bradley Beal rolled his ankle on that play. He will stay in the game. pic.twitter.com/Lzexp29yq8— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 20, 2017
That sound you hear is Wizards fans sighing in relief.
Scott-o-matic: We may have an early-season favorite for the NBA's Comeback Player of the Year award. Mike Scott is straight-up unstoppable these days. The Pelicans were the latest to try to contain him and that they could not.
Scott found his groove early, per usual, with nine points in his first four minutes on 4-for-4 from the field. He ended up with 24 points, a new season-high and his most since April of 2014, and shot 11-for-15. In his last eight games, he's got 123 points (15.4 ppg) and has shot an insane 53-for-72 (79.1%). He is quickly turning into one of the best bargains in the NBA.
Up next: The Wizards have two days off before heading up to Brooklyn to face the Nets on Friday night. The Nets aren't good, but they did beat the Wizards just recently on Dec. 12, when Washington was playing without Wall. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.
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