The Washington Wizards beat the San Antonio Spurs for the first time since 2005.
That means, of course, that John Wall beat the Spurs for the first time ever — within weeks of his first wins in head-to-head games against nemeses Chris Paul and Derrick Rose.
But dig a little deeper down the roster, and there is Kevin Seraphin. He’s been around just as long as Wall and had been just as fruitless against an NBA squad that includes French national teammates Tony Parker and Boris Diaw.
In the fourth quarter Tuesday night, Seraphin scored 11 of his season-high 17 points, grabbed five of his eight rebounds and had a momentum-swinging block in the 101-93 victory.
Needless to say, the postgame Francophile reunion would feel a bit different from those in the past. Seraphin could hardly contain his smile as he thought about meeting up with his buddies.
“It’s been a while. Definitely, kind of excited. I’m kind of happy,” he said. “I’m about to talk to Tony and Boris, so, yeah, that’s good.”
The Wizards had dropped 17 straight to the Spurs. Seraphin was 0-8 lifetime; Wall was 0-7. Wall has been bursting similar barriers all season: He had a 0-6 one-on-one history against Paul before last month’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, and last week’s victory over the Chicago Bulls ended a 0-5 mark of futility against Rose.
“It’s finally good to win a game like this, against a top team,” Wall said.
The Wizards needed it. They lost by 31 points to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Wall had 25 points and eight assists, but he didn’t score in a fourth quarter won by Washington’s defense. Seraphin and Bradley Beal had blocks on back-to-back possessions, and consecutive turnovers by the usually sure-handed Manu Ginobili essentially sealed the game.
Tim Duncan had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Parker scored 14 points for the Spurs, who are having a more inconsistent season than the San Antonio norm because of injuries. Ginobili returned after missing one game with back spasms, and Marco Belinelli missed his second consecutive game with a mildly strained left groin.
“We just haven’t been consistent,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “It would be easier if we had two guys that were out this whole time and you knew who was going to be out every night, but every two to three games it’s different people, so that’s made it a little bit tough on the guys.”
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.