Wizards

Quick Links

Takeaways from Wizards' road win over Pelicans

Takeaways from Wizards' road win over Pelicans

It took three quarters for Markieff Morris to wake up and take advantage of the matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, and when he did he sparked the Wizards for two runs – the latter leading them to a 107-94 win at Smoothie King Center on Sunday.

It was the Wizards’ fourth win in a row, eighth in nine games and their fourth in five road games.

New Orleans (19-29) had trimmed the deficit to 83-80 after Anthony Davis completed a layup and the free throw on the foul and another foul shot after Wizards coach Scott Brooks was assessed a technical.

But the Wizards (27-20) went on an 8-0 that included a three by Morris and Bradley Beal to go up again by double digits. Otto Porter’s third three-pointer and another jumper by Morris sealed it with a 100-88 lead with a little more than three minutes left.

John Wall (18 points, 19 assists) earned his 27th double-double and Marcin Gortat (17 points, 11 rebounds) his 26th double-double. Beal (27 points, six rebounds) and Morris (21 points, eight rebounds) also contributed. Wall's 19 assists tied a career-high.

Anthony Davis (36 points, 17 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (26 points, 11 assists) led New Orleans in a comeback from an 18-point deficit.  The duo combined to make 26 of 44 shots but didn’t get much help elsewhere. No other starter scored in double figures.

The Wizards are 21-9 since Dec. 1, the best record in that span in the East. They’ve won 9 of 10 vs. the Pelicans.

[RELATED: WATCH: Wall posterizes Davis in Wildcat-on-Wildcat crime]

-- The Morris-Trey Burke combination continues to thrive. Morris scored off two assists from Burke to begin the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer, and he returned the favor to the point guard on a cut to the basket. It helped steady the Wizards with the outcome in the balance.

--The Pelicans were held to 40 points in the first half, only the third time the Wizards kept a team to 40 or less. The previous two times came against the same team – in a Nov. 5 loss vs. the Orlando Magic and 38 on Nov. 25 in a win vs. Orlando. It marked the third consecutive road game an opponent has been held to 48 or less.

--New Orleans is known for switching smalls onto bigs, and vice versa. They allowed Solomon Hill to matchup with Gortat in the low post and Holiday vs. Morris and Buddy Hield vs. Morris. They didn’t make them pay enough early because they rarely finished these chances, though it did allow for Jason Smith’s highlight, one-handed putback dunk on an offensive rebound. Wall took full advantage of when he was guarded at the top of the key on a switch by Donatas Motiejunas. He blew by him for a tomahawk dunk in the first quarter. Wall ended the first half with consecutive jumpers for a 57-40 lead with Motiejunas again stranded at the top of the key. He played so soft, Wall was able to get into a rhythm on his dribble and pull up.

--The defense slacked off to begin the third quarter when Holiday was allowed to step into three-pointers without anyone running at him in transition. They got the lead down to 66-58 with a 7-0 run but the Wizards aided them in the comeback. They turned the ball over in four of their first six possessions out of the locker room, allowing New Orleans to briefly take the lead 73-72 with 49.6 seconds left. It Washington’s first time trailing in a game since 6-5 to the Charlotte Hornets on Jan. 23.

--Davis only scored 27 total points in two meetings with the Wizards last season, but he keyed the run in the third when he made 7 of 10 shots. Davis has played at center since the season began, when Omer Asik had the starting job until falling out of coach Alvin Gentry’s rotation. While Davis can be pushed around by traditional bigs, he’s difficult for them to cover away from the rim. He only had eight points in the first half when the Pelicans were isolation heavy. But they got more motion into their sets and into transition.

[RELATED: Wall beats buzzer again, this time to end 1st half vs. Pelicans]

Quick Links

Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Bradley Beal still feels 'disrespected' by referees

Back in December following a tough loss to the Clippers, Bradley Beal's frustration with the referees boiled over. 

"Honestly, [my frustration] is out the roof," Beal said that night. "It really is. It's really unfair and unacceptable that they allow a lot of stuff to go on with me out there and I do not calls. Period. It's just unacceptable."

Everything for the Wizards' offense this season starts and ends with Beal, and while he's averaging career-best scoring numbers, he remains frustrated at how he doesn't get to the foul line enough. 

In a 134-129 loss to the Heat Wednesday night, Beal went off for 38 points on 16-24 shooting to go with nine rebounds and four assists. He only had four free throw attempts, resulting in another postgame riff about how he and his team aren't officiated the same as others. 

“It’s kind of sad the way we get disrespected," he said. "Especially myself getting disrespected like I do because I attack the basket.”

Among 32 players who average at least 20 points, Beal ranks ninth in free throw attempts per game. The Wizards themselves are 14th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. 

What had Beal particularly upset was not getting the whistle when he aggressively attacked the basket in the game's final moments.

"You can look at my last three drives and I got fouled on all three of them," he said. 

The NBA doesn't typically tolerate players and coaches openly criticizing referees after games. Beal knows he could be fined for his comments, so it shows just how frustrated the two-time All-Star is with how he's being called this season. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

alana-beard-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Former Washington Mystics All-Star Alana Beard retires after 14 seasons

One of the Washington Mystics' first stars is hanging up her shoes.

Alana Beard, who spent the first seven seasons of her professional career with the Mystics after Washington drafted her No. 2 overall in 2004, announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

During her time in Washington, Beard made the All-Star team four times. Her best season with the Mystics was in 2006, where she averaged a career-high 19.1 points per game and won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

After missing nearly two years with multiple injuries, Beard signed with the Los Angeles Sparks during free agency in 2012, and spent the rest of her career out west. She won her first WNBA championship in 2016 with the Sparks, highlighted by her game-winning three-pointer in Game 1 of the Finals.

Congratulations on a great career, Alana!

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: