Wizards Cruise to Win Over Hawks

Courtesy of the Washington Wizards via Twitter
Courtesy of the Washington Wizards via Twitter

The Washington Wizards protected home court at Capital One Arena and cruised to a 113-94 victory Saturday over Southeast Division rival Atlanta Hawks.

For the second straight game, the Wizards (7-5) held their opponent to fewer than 100 points.

The Haws shot only 41 percent from the floor and committed a season-worst 24 turnovers.

In a first this season, none of the Wizards starters played in the fourth quarter. The reserves, led by Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 18 points, outscored the Hawks 37-27 in the final frame.

“We played defense,” Oubre said. “The first unit came out intense. The second unit came out intense. I kind of lost focus. Defense is my strongest suit. Defense leads to offense.”

It did with the Wizards scoring on 21 fast break points. A few of them came off of 10 blocked shots, the most for the team this season.

The Wizards held Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder to only 2-for-16 shooting with seven points and four turnovers.

The Hawks had five players in double figures, led by Taurean Prince with 19 points and 4-for-6 in 3-point shooting.

Five Wizards also scored in double figures, led by Bradley Beal’s 19 points.

“I think we’ve pretty much got it figured out,” Beal said of his team’s defense. “It’s been something that’s preached to us the last couple of days is holding teams under 100. We are capable of doing it. We understand what it’s about. We [have] to continue to stay consistent with it.”

Head coach Scott Brooks has emphasized the importance of defense to make the offense run smoother. The Wizards rank seventh in the league in allowing opponents to score 108 points a contest, but that figure could decrease with performances like Saturday.

The Hawks did shoot 14-for-33, or 42 percent, from three-point range with several open looks, one of the few problems Washington incurred. Atlanta also out-rebounded the Wizards, 42-32, but Washington was largely in control throughout.

“It’s a great game. [A] great home win for us,” Brooks said. “We controlled the tempo on both ends. Guys were moving the ball, looking for each other and that’s progress. We’re going to hopefully continue to build off a game like tonight.”

The Wizards will end a four-game homestand Monday against the Sacramento Kings (3-9), which rank last in the NBA in 3-pointers attempted and second-to-last in scoring at 95 points a game. The Wizards, which rank second in scoring at 111 points per contest, defeated the Kings 110-83 on Oct. 29 on the West Coast.

Morris Feeling Better

Brooks said he wanted to play power forward Markieff Morris about 24 minutes. Because the Wizards controlled the entire second half, Morris played 20 minutes.

Morris still scored 18 points and grabbed four rebounds after he returned Nov. 2 from sports hernia surgery.

“It’s going better,” Morris said about his conditioning. “When I’m not playing in the fourth quarter, I’m just on the bike trying to get some miles in [and] trying to stay moving. Just getting my legs right.”

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About William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer 361 Articles
I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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