Wizards

Wizards

The Washington Wizards beat the L.A. Clippers 125-118 on Tuesday night.

Here are five observations from the game...

What a comeback: Against the Clippers on Tuesday, they appeared headed towards another epic beatdown. They allowed 40 points in the first quarter, 73 by halftime and trailed by as many as 24.

But they rallied and somehow stole a victory away from the scorching-hot Clippers to stop a two-game skid and momentarily end all the jokes and proclamations that the John Wall era is over.

It was only one game, but head coach Scott Brooks has to be happy with how his team responded to a tough few days.

Lineup changes: After two-plus seasons of rolling out chalk lineups, Brooks made some adjustments for Tuesday's game that went further than anything he's done since taking the job in Washington.

With Dwight Howard out due to injury, he promoted Thomas Bryant and not Ian Mahinmi to the starting lineup. Brooks also moved Kelly Oubre Jr. in to replace Morris. The idea was to add some youthful bounce to the starting lineup, and it sort of worked.

Bryant gave them a boost early. He threw down an alley-oop for Wizards' first basket. Soon after that, he blocked Marcin Gortat and finished with a layup on the other end.

 

Bryant was solid with seven points, three rebounds and a block. Morris didn't necessarily respond to getting demoted, as he shot 3-for-11, but he made some nice plays at the end.

Oubre got into early foul trouble and was held to three points in 12 minutes.

Brooks' changes can't be judged by one game, but the fact he made them speaks volumes about where this team is at right now.

Satoransky making some noise: Brooks fluctuating his lineups is going to create opportunities for others to take advantage. So far, in recent games, Tomas Satoransky has stepped up to fill the void.

He helped key the near comeback on Sunday against the Blazers and he was on the floor for the Wizards' best stretches against the Clippers. 

Satoransky is usually good for several things that the Wizards need right now. They need effort on defense, which he provides. And they need guys to pass and move without the ball on offense, which he does.

Satoransky ended up with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The numbers may not pop in the box score, but his impact was clearly felt in this one. The guy deserves more playing time at this point.

Green was also good: The Wizards wouldn't have made this a game without Jeff Green, who continues to outperform his role and his contract.

The veteran forward got hot in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 20 points in the frame. He hit back-to-back threes in the fourth that put the Wizards within striking distance.

The Wizards' front office has made some missteps with their bench free agent signings. But when it comes to backup power forwards, they are batting 1.000 the past two years. They found Mike Scott last season and Green for this season, both on bargain, one-year deals. Scott, ironically, now plays for the Clippers.

Howard out again: As mentioned above, Howard missed this game. He had a setback with his piriformis injury and it's not clear when he will return. Brooks said he is considered day-to-day, but that's what the Wizards said for weeks, all through training camp and into the regular season.

Surely, there could have been some intentional misdirection along the way. But the injury seems entirely unpredictable. It would not be a surprise of Howard missed more games. And the longer he's shut down, the longer it will take to get him back up to speed to return.

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