All hands on deck as Wiz beat short-handed Pelicans (11-24-18)

By:Ryan Fowler

Headline Photo Credit: DMV Sports Network

WASHINGTON- Defensively this season the Washington Wizards have been lethargic to say the least. Roles were switched on Saturday as they took advantage of another team’s guarding woes. Otto Porter Jr. scored a season-high 29 points and John Wall had 22 points and eight assists in Washington’s 124-114 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Austin Rivers had a huge 4th quarter, scoring 12 of his 18 in the final frame to boost a Wizards offense who needs their bench to step up.

Both teams shot 62 percent in the first half, but the Wizards held the Pelicans to 17 of 48 from the floor (35.4 percent) after the break.

”We just did what we needed to do, and that was all on the defensive end,” said Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Beal contributed had 18 points in 44 minutes of play, one of six Wizards to score in double figures on a night the Pelicans were without injured All-Star forward Anthony Davis.

Starting in place of Davis was offseason addition Julius Randle who tied a season high with 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic added 22 points and E’Twaun Moore had 19 as the Pelicans finished a three-game road trip winless, sinking to 2-9 on the road overall and 0-4 without Davis this season.

Porter tipped in a miss, then slammed in Wall’s alley-oop feed to put Washington up 9with 5:15 left, the largest lead in the game to that point.

Rivers added a pair of floaters to close the run, giving Washington a 119-107 lead with 2:06 to play, sealing a win that came despite the Wizards continued struggles from behind the arc. Washington shot 10 for 29 (34.5%) from 3-point range. 

”We had a lot of 3s that wasn’t falling,” Wall said. ”But guys did a better job of just attacking on their (defensive) switches in the second half.”

New look lineup:

The Wizards used a unique “small-ball” four-guard lineup for part of the fourth quarter, featuring Wall, Beal, Rivers, Tomas Satoransky and forward Markieff Morris.

”I think they just had trouble keeping us out of the paint,” Rivers said of the lineup. ”It’s a tough lineup to guard. We had four guys who can attack the basket, and then our fifth guy is Kieff, who can spread the floor. There’s really no stopping us. It’s really on us to make shots at that point.”

From beyond the Arc:

Pelicans: Used their eighth different starting lineup of the season because of Davis’ absence. In those absences they have allowed an average of 126 points in their four games without their All-Star forward.

Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. had 16 points over the first 7 minutes of the ball game, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts and 6-of-7 shots overall.


Pelicans: Host Boston on Monday, November 26.

Wizards: Host Houston on Monday, November 26.