- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 14, 2017

The last time this happened was February of 1989. Jeff Malone and Bernard King were rolling through the NBA as the Washington Wizards‘ leading scorers. A mere 27 years later, the Wizards have again won 11 consecutive home games.

In 1989, they won 15 in a row. In 1965, they had a home winning streak of 11 consecutive games, which they have now matched after Saturday night’s 109-93 clobbering of the Philadelphia 76ers. The current home win streak is tied for the fifth-longest in organization history and the longest current such streak in the NBA. Three points from yet another successful night at home:

Another rough start. It feels like the words from the last time this came up can just be copied and pasted in this place. The Wizards again made things more difficult than necessary against a depleted team. Philadelphia had been playing better lately, winning four of five games coming into Saturday night, but was without Joel Embiid (for the second time this season against the Wizards). The 76ers led by nine at the end of the first quarter. The upshot for Washington was the turnaround was so brisk, they were finally able to rest starters. Washington shot 71.4 percent in the second quarter. It had tied the game by the half, led by 15 at the end of the third and won by 16. “The first half we weren’t defending at all, we weren’t physical, and we didn’t accept the challenge,” Bradley Beal said. “In the second half we just turned it around. We knew that if we just played defense that the game would turn around in our favor, and it did.”

Processing via The Process. Around 300 fans took a bus from Philadelphia to Washington to watch Saturday’s game. The 76ers are improving enough that Philadelphia fans are showing up at opposing arenas to chant, “Trust the process.” Embiid, who continues to sit out back-to-back games for precautionary reasons following his past foot injuries, has adopted the phrasing, too. But, the 76ers are still jammed at center with Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. They continue to experiment with how and when to play those three. Okafor and Embiid have played together on occasion, pushing Noel to a bench role. After not playing five of the last six games, Okafor started Saturday night. He played 35:28 and scored 26 points. “That’s what he does,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “Jahlil Okafor is a professional scorer.”

Wall is hurt, plays, this is normal. John Wall played with a distorted right pinkie finger Saturday night after an MRI showed no damage beyond the apparent swelling of the jammed finger. Wall wore a small splint to help the pinkie. Also, his left wrist is sprained. Neither stopped him from playing and approaching a triple-double in limited time Saturday night. Wall played just 31 minutes, his lowest total in almost two months. The last time Wall played less than 31 minutes was Nov. 16. That was the game the Wizards were blown out in Philadelphia and fell to 2-8. Otto Porter left the game early because his hip tightened on him once again. Porter explained in the past that when his hip becomes tight, it often locks his lower back. Porter said he took himself out of the game and would have remained out even if the game was close at the end. He does expect to play Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers in a rare afternoon start (2 p.m.) on the holiday.



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