- Associated Press - Saturday, February 7, 2015

John Wall scored 17 points, Rasual Butler added 15 and the Washington Wizards broke a five-game skid, coasting to a 114-77 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.

Playing without starting guard Bradley Beal, who sat out with an injured right big toe, Washington led the entire game. The 37-point margin of victory was its largest of the season.

Brook Lopez scored 19 points for the Nets, who had won their last three games.

Washington forced the Nets to call a timeout less than 2 ½ minutes into the game. The Wizards led by 12 points five minutes in and by 20 at halftime.

Halfway through the third quarter, they increased their advantage to 30. By then, the starters were all watching. The quick opening was important to Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who implored his team to start aggressively.

“You’ve got to be in attack mode right from the start,” Wittman said. “I told them: Force me to call a timeout, and say, ‘Hey, you guys are way too aggressive,’ rather than call a timeout and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to pick it up

The Wizards coasted through the first two months of the season. They won 22 of their first 30 games, but had lost 12 of 21 since.

“I didn’t care how much our starters got rest. We needed a win,” Wittman said.

“It’s not so much you’re in a rut and not playing the way that we’re capable of. That’s going to happen. It’s reacting and how you get out of it. Throughout a couple of games in this stretch, we were kind of hoping we’d go out and win a game. We need to win a game instead of going out and taking it and being aggressive.”

Wittman encouraged his team to be aggressive, and they listened, especially Otto Porter, who started in Beal’s place.

“Everybody was being aggressive in the right spot at the right time and playing for each other,” Porter said.

Marcin Gortat, who had a rough time during the losing streak was a true presence early on. Washington scored 64 points in the paint.

“I was that physical guy, but I was the decoy today. I had four early fouls. It was fun. I had the best tickets in the building,” Gortat said.

Wittman said that he didn’t think Beal’s injury was a long-term issue. Beal missed the season’s first nine games with a broken right wrist, and Washington had a 7-2 record during his absence.

“It’s just going to take some time,” Wittman sad. “There’s nothing there that’s a concern. He’s got some inflammation there. It’s a day-by-day situation. He felt better today than he did the day before, so that’s a positive sign.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide