If it wasn’t the Wizards’ best night of the season offensively, it was darn near close.
In a 115-87 win over the Grizzlies on Friday at Capital One Arena, the Wizards shot 58.3 percent from the field (a season-high). Seven different players reached double figures. They shot 40 percent from 3-point territory, their second-best mark of the season.
But more than that, the ball was never stagnant — they totaled a season-best 34 assists on 49 made baskets. They were able to roll players in and out of the lineup as they delivered a sound beating of the Grizzlies to move to 6-3 on the season.
“We were aggressive,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “We got going early, made shots, I think we had 15 assists at half and 34 for the game. That’s a terrific number. If my math is correct, I think 70 percent of our made field goals were assisted, which is a tremendous number. When we continue to play that style of ball, we’re tough to guard.”
Montrezl Harrell led the team with 18 points, but it’d be unfair to say any one player led the team Friday. Bradley Beal followed with 17 points, Raul Neto and Daniel Gafford had 15, Kyle Kuzma had 13 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie added 12.
The scoring was even, as all but one player (Harrell, the team’s leading scorer), registered an assist on the night. In fact, every other player had at least three assists.
“Our pace was a lot better from any other game that we’ve played, by far the best pace that we’ve had in the first couple of games that we’ve played,” Gafford said. “Really just making sure that we get the right guys the ball and move the ball around. We had 34 assists, that’s what we want night in and night out.”
The Wizards had scored more points this season, three times in fact, including one previous game with 115 too, but the level of efficiency the Wizards had was hard to slow down.
“This is how we want to play,” Beal said. “The ball’s moving, confident, bodies are flying around, everybody’s getting touches and everybody’s being aggressive. Granted, it was predicated on us getting stops. We get stops, we can get out in transition and be really tough to beat.”
Of course, the Wizards were excellent on the defensive end as well and allowed just 87 points (a season-low) to the Grizzlies and just 11 points to star Ja Morant (also a season-low). The Grizzlies made just 35.4 percent of their field goal attempts and were just 6-of-31 from deep.
That allowed the Wizards to control the flow of the game from everywhere on the floor, and the end result was an outstanding offensive showing.
“The ball was moving tonight,” Gafford said. “We were making the defense move and we were getting early transition points as well. We were really getting at it with defense, getting easy buckets on the other end.”