Page last updated on Mon Apr 21 05:37:23 EDT 2014
12/28/2012 11:00 PM EST
Wizards end 8-game skid, top slumping Magic 105-97
WASHINGTON 105, ORLANDO 97
By JOSEPH WHITE
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fans chanted "R-G-3!" when Nene was at the
free throw line in the fourth quarter, sort of the new
equivalent of "M-V-P!" in a city obsessed with Washington
Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III.
If it helps the Washington Wizards win, they'll take it -
because it doesn't happen very often.
Jordan Crawford scored 27 points, Nene added season highs of 23
points and 11 rebounds, and the worst-in-the-NBA Wizards showed
they can still come out on top every once in a while, breaking
an eight-game skid Friday night with a 105-97 victory over the
Washington overcame another horrible start - trailing 25-8 in
the first quarter - and won by its largest margin of the season.
The game represented one-quarter of the win total for the 4-23
Wizards, who have been stymied in part by the knee injury that
has kept franchise player John Wall on the sidelines.
"Obviously, a lot of satisfaction in the win, but the way we won
it - with what this team's gone through at the start of the
year, to go down 25-8, ... for our guys to not put their heads
down and grind it out," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We
kept saying every timeout: `Long game. Long game. Next timeout
let's make it closer.' And they did."
Wittman was so excited he could hardly wait to get on the plane
for Saturday's road game against the Chicago Bulls, who haven't
played since Wednesday.
"They're going to be rusty. That's good for us," Wittman said.
"We've got to win. We're feeling good. We played well. Let's
play again. I don't worry about Chicago."
Crawford's point total tied the high for any Washington player
this season, but he was more ho-hum than his coach. He spoke
about the game as if it were a routine trip to the gym,
repeating the phrase "making shots" several times when asked how
the victory came about.
"I mean, we're supposed to win," Crawford said. "We've got good
Still, it was the first Wizards home win since Dec. 4, when
Griffin sat in the front row and cheered on an upset of the
Miami Heat while serenaded with the now-familiar "R-G-3!" No, he
wasn't at Friday's game, but the chant was.
"I guess we'll have `R-G-3' whenever we win," Wizards guard
Bradley Beal said.
Arron Afflalo scored 26 points and J.J. Redick added 23 for the
Magic, who have lost four straight since Glen Davis sprained his
left shoulder in the final minute of a win over these same
Wizards last week. The Magic ended an NBA-best 12-game streak of
holding opponents under 100 points, while Washington hit the
century mark for the first time in 12 games.
"Every team in the NBA is capable of scoring," Redick said, "if
you don't play D."
Early on, the sound of "Three points - Jameer Nelson" came from
the public address announcer as if on a continuous loop. Nelson
made a trio of 3-pointers in less than a minute, and the Magic
built a 17-point lead less than 7 minutes into the game.
"Fool's gold," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We relaxed a
Crawford and Garrett Temple, who was signed earlier this week,
came off the bench to dominate the second quarter. The Wizards
led 54-51 at halftime and never trailed again.
"Garrett (doesn't) know half of what we're doing," Wittman said.
"I'm throwing him out there to the wolves, and I couldn't be
more proud of him."
NOTES: Orlando G E'Twaun Moore sprained his left elbow in the
first quarter and did not return. ... Nelson went 1 for 9 over
the final three quarters and finished with 16 points. ... Magic
F Hedo Turkoglu, out since breaking his left hand in the season
opener, made the trip and took part in the morning shootaround
but did not suit up for the game. ... The Magic were called for
a rare six-men-on-the-court technical in the third quarter.
"It's Christmastime, and my wife spent a lot of money," Vaughn
said. "I'm going to refrain from what I really want to say about
that six-person foul. ... There should be 10 men on the floor,
and I sent two guys to the table to check in and one they did
not let in. I'll keep it that way."
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
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