The last building block may be in place for the Wizards, who have won 14 in a row at home but have been less-than-adequate on the road for much of this season. After winning at New York and Charlotte earlier in the week, their end-to-end domination of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night produced one of their most lopsided wins of the season, 112-86.
All five starters were in double figures: John Wall (19 points, nine rebounds, six assists), Bradley Beal (15 points), Otto Porter (21 points, 11 rebounds), Markieff Morris (15 points, nine rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (15 points, 12 rebounds, three steals).
The only offense the Hawks (27-19) had early came from the perimeter. Kent Bazemore (15 points) and Tim Hardaway (12 points). But Dennis Schroder (nine points), Thabo Sefolosha (two points) and All-Star Paul Millsap (four points) were non-factors.
The Wizards are 7-14 away from Verizon Center. They began the calendar year with two losses at the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks that they easily could’ve won, but since then have won 4 of 6 road games.
--For the third time in as many meetings, Morris dominated his matchup with Millsap who was 1-for-6 in the first half and couldn’t get on track. Morris’ length bothers him on the three-point shot and he’s strong enough to prevent Millsap from getting to his preferred spots in the low post. Millsap only took one shot in the second half and missed.
--With Porter’s help on the boards, the Wizards were able to dominate the rebounding category in the way Atlanta dominated them in that area. Porter had seven rebounds in the first quarter alone and other than a few offensive boards Dwight Howard (12 points, 13 rebounds) wasn’t much of a factor. When he tried to post up Gortat in the first quarter, Howard was forced to take a jump hook out of his comfort zone that was short. They never were able to get much out of that matchup. When Howard tried to go at Gortat, he was called for travelling twice and that further disrupted him. Most of his numbers came with the game already out of reach.
--Wall fall fell hard in transition when Millsap pushed him in the lower back on a drive. His right leg got stuck under him on the landing but Wall, who had surgeries to both knees May 5, got up slowly. The last time the Wizards were here, Bazemore was assessed a flagrant foul on Wall in transition. This is where Wall broke his left wrist in the 2015 playoff series.
-- The bench did its job again, even though their numbers were modest. When the first quarter ended, the Wizards led 37-25. When Tomas Satoransky (nine points), Trey Burke (nine points, three assists) and Kelly Oubre (four points, three steals) began the second quarter, they all made plays to help extend it to 67-45 at halftime. Satoransky was patient with his dribble, got his 6-7 frame into the paint and made a floater. Oubre had a block on Hardaway, Burke nailed a 21-foot jumper and Satoransky was assisted on a dunk by Oubre.
--The Wizards have scored 100 or more points in 13 consecutive games which was achieved around the eight-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Porter was 5 of 7 on threes, one short of tying his career-high of six which he has achieved twice this season.