The Washington Wizards snapped a five game losing streak by going into Charlotte tonight and dismantling the Bobcats, the worst team in the NBA, 113-85. It is the 12th straight loss for the Bobcats. The key to the game was great ball distribution by John Wall, who got the team up to a big lead and then let the bench run up the route. Seven Wizards players scored in double figures, including four off the bench, which outscored the Bobcats' bench 67-41.
The Wizards got started early, creating turnovers and turning them into layups and easy points. Washington jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Bobcats called a timeout to regroup. It worked and Charlotte cut the lead to 10-8, but that two-point deficit was as close as the 'Cats could get. After that, it was all Wizards all the time. Washington led by 11 after the first quarter, by 20 at halftime and 27 after three quarters. Washington ran early and often and never let up, notching 26 fast break points and setting the tone for the entire game. Great passing and ball distribution by the Wizards led to 28 assists on 40 made baskets. John Wall led everyone with 12 assists and only one turnover. He shot only 1-6 and scored two points for the game, but it was Wall's passing and determination to push the ball up the floor that set the tone for the entire game.
Jordan Crawford led all Wizards with 20 points in less than 22 minutes -- he lit it up early and then sat down for most of the second half, allowing Roger Mason, Jr. to get going. Kevin Seraphin got the start at center [Nene and Trevor Booker were both DND due to plantar fascitis] and scored ten points. Rookie Jan Vesely, getting another start at power forward, had his first career double-double tonight with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
However, it was the bench that truly dominated tonight. Leading the way was former and current Wiz big man James Singleton, who contributed a double-double -- 18 points and 12 rebounds -- in only his third NBA game of the season. Singleton, who finally returned to the US from China, was active all night and led the Wizards with court time tonight with 37:31. Cartier Martin and Roger Mason added 19 points and 17 points and between them hit 9 of 17 3-pointers. Shelvin Mack added 11 points in almost 23 minutes on the floor, as Wall was able to rest some after leading the team to a big lead.
The Wizards led pretty much every statistical category, out-shooting the Bobcats 48% to 39%, 44% to 33% on 3-pointers. The Wiz out-rebounded the Bobcats 48-39 and had twelve more assists 28 to sixteen.
Facing the worst team in the NBA the Wizards needed to dominate this game and the did exactly that, controlling every facet of the game from start to finish. It is only one win and against a terrible team at that, but it is good to see Washington blow the doors off a team that had it coming. The complete performance also allowed the Wizards to rest their starters for most of the second half, so hopefully they will be fresh for tomorrow night's match against the Orlando Magic.
Video of Coach Randy Wittman talking about the win follows...
WIZARDS PLAYER OF THE GAME
John Wall -- 2 points, 12 assists, 1 turnover, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, +21 court ratio