Wizards

Takeaways from the Wizards' first road win of the season at Magic

Wizards

ORLANDO -- This is no holiday joke: The Washington Wizards can feel thankful for what happened Friday night.

They won. On the road.

Having John Wall certainly helped.

The All-Star guard missed Washington's previous and unsuccessful trip to Orlando earlier this month, but in the rematch had seven of his 26 points in the final 98 seconds and 10 assists as the Wizards downed the Magic 94-91 at the Amway Center.

Otto Porter scored 19 points and Bradley Beal had 14 points and eight assists for the Wizards (5-9), who were winless in five previous road games including an 88-86 loss at Orlando on Nov. 5. Washington and Philadelphia were the only NBA teams without a road win this season.

Wall sat out that game due to Washington not using the point guard in back-to-back games at that point in the season following his two off-season knee surgeries. With Washington leading 86-85 after letting a 19-point cushion evaporate, Wall's craftiness and speed led to two layups. The point guard then hit three free throws in the closing seconds to clinch Washington's second straight win.

Serge Ibaka led the Magic (6-10) with 19 points. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 17 rebounds, but was quiet late.

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Washington's 12-game winning streak over Orlando ended that previous November night as the Magic closed by outscoring the Wizards 27-16 in the final period. It was a similar scene after the Wizards led by 17 in the first quarter and 48-38 at halftime.

 

The Magic whittled the lead to 72-68 entering the fourth and pulled ahead for the first time at 77-76 on Evan Fournier's 3-pointer with 8:17 remaining. Neither team scored again until D.J. Augustin's 3-point play with 6:22 left put the Magic up 80-76, but Porter's back-to-back 3-pointers and two Marcin Gortat layups had Washington on top 86-83.

Key Stat: The presence of Wall boosted Washington on both ends. The Magic only had nine turnovers in the previous game, but 19 Friday and the Wizards turned those into 17 points. Wall, whose activity led to easy looks whether in half court or transition, and Markieff Morris each had three steals. All nine Orlando players that entered in the first half committed at least one turnover.

Quick start: Washington's defense turned Orlando over repeatedly in the first quarter especially during a 17-1 run for a 26-7 lead. The Magic chipped back, but their 15 turnovers and Wall's all-court performance sent Washington into halftime leading 48-38.

Heavy minutes: Wall played 39 and Beal 37 as Washington returns from the Thanksgiving break with a back-to-back set. Each played the entire third quarter as coach Scott Brooks couldn't find a chance for rest with Orlando rallying. Each sat for around two minutes of the fourth with one remaining on the court.  All five starters played at least 32 minutes.

Up next: The Wizards are back in Chinatown Saturday where they receive their first look at the Tim Duncan-less San Antonio Spurs (13-3). Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs in Friday's 109-103 win at Boston. San Antonio improved to 9-0 on the road this season despite trailing 14 points in the first quarter.

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