Everyone was sitting there thinking, we’ve seen it all before. Wizards up, foes come back, final charge by the Wizards, but … Tonight was different. Rather than fizzling yet again, the Wizards answered back with a 15-0 game-saving run to snap a six-game losing streak.
The key this time was Washington was able to get key stops. How about that big block of Nick Young’s on Chris Duhon with 1:42 left? And that fueled Young further, who came back down the court and made a key pull-up jumper. And New York, during that stretch, missed nine straight shots.
It wasn’t the career-high scoring performance tonight, but Ed Tapscott had cautioned Nick not to expect that tonight. “I told him, teams are now aware of you. There are good coaches on the other side of the wall in that other locker room, too,” Tapscott said. “So I told him, you’re not going to score 30 every game, but make a play.” Tapscott told Young it could be in the form of a pass or a steal, just make a play. It ended up being a big block that stonewalled the Knicks and kept the Wizards rolling.
Tonight’s win came despite a 49-42 rebounding disadvantage, but unlike the night before, the Wizards had 32 defensive rebounds and the Knicks had just 15 offensive rebounds, so that slashed New York’s second-chance scoring opportunities.
And the Wizards started the game off better as well. On Wednesday 13 of their first 14 shot attempts were jump shots. Tonight, their first six shots came on drives to the basket. Are the Wizards finally learning? Or was this one of the few bright spots in a dismal season? We’ll see …