The Washington Wizards were without PG John Wall [sprained left ankle] and Yi Jianlian [right knee] tonight, but it didn't matter, as hot shooting and dominance on the glass propelled the Wizards to a 109-94 victory at the Phone Booth tonight. The win improves Washington's record to 3-6.
The Wizards shot a season-best 56% from the court tonight, led by Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Kirk Hinrich and Gilbert Arenas, making his first start since January 5, 2010. The Wizards also dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Raptors 47-36, led by C Javale McGee, who grabbed all 9 of his boards in the front court. Blatche led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 9 of 13 from the court and adding 7 rebounds in under 32 minutes of work. Hinrich played a team-high 39 minutes, hit 5 of 8 shots, dished 12 assists and scored 13 points. His starting backcourt mate, Gilbert Arenas, scored 20 points, including 10 in the 3rd quarter when the Wizards took control and blew this game open. Gilbert added 7 boards, 6 dimes and his +24 court ratio was the best of the night. Hinrich had a +20 court ratio, as the Wizards starting guards completely dominated their Toronto opponents.
Nick Young came off the bench and gave the Wiz 30 quality minutes, scoring 20 points on 8 of 15 shooting and grabbing 6 rebounds. C Hilton Armstrong played 16 minutes, scoring 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting and pulling down 4 boards. Rookie Trevor Booker, playing in place of Yi, shot 4 of 6 and scored 8 points in 20 minutes off the bench. Starter Al Thornton was strangely quiet on the offensive front, scoring only 6 points on 3 of 6 shooting. However, he was all over the court, chasing Raptors, trying for steals and grabbing 7 rebounds. It was a real effort performance from Thornton tonight, as he seemed to look to do lots of little things instead of just shooting every time he got the ball.
I liked Washington's hustle tonight and it was McGee who got it going early by running the court, skying for rebounds and blocking 3 shots. It was a complete domination, allowing head coach Flip Saunders to clear his bench, giving some PT to Hamady N'diaye, Kevin Seraphin and Lester Hudson. The Wizards scored 52 points in the paint, to 44 for the Raptors and built a lead of 24 points in the second half. Washington has 28 assists, part of a recent trend of at least 25 dimes in a game.
The Wizards [2-6] lead the visiting Toronto Raptors [2-8] 54-47 at halftime, buoyed by strong performances from C Javale McGee, PF Andray Blatche and SG Nick Young off the bench. With PG John Wall [sprained left ankle] on the bench in street clothes and G Gilbert Arenas inserted into the starting lineup in his place, the Wizards have used hot shooting and dominance of the glass to build their halftime lead.
The Wizards are shooting 55% from the field, led by Andray Blatche [6-8 for 13 points] and Nick Young [6-10 for 14 points]. Meanwhile, the Wiz are out-rebounding the Raptors 28-15, with Javale McGee and his 9 boards leading the way. McGee also has 3 blocks and has altered several more.
Kirk Hinrich and Arenas are splitting the point guard duties, with Hinrich dishing 6 dimes and Arenas 4. Gil isn't shooting well, hitting only 2 of 7 shots for 7 points. Blatche's +8 is the best court ratio for either team. C Hilton Armstrong also played well, hitting both his shots for 4 points, grabbing two rebounds and posting a +4 court ratio in only 5.5 minutes of burn. With backup forward/center Yi Jianlian out with a hyper-extension and bone bruise on his right knee, rookie forward Trevor Booker played over 6.5 minutes in the first half, but didn't fare so well, not scoring, grabbing only 1 board and putting up a team-worst -6 court ratio.