Well, this match-up on the fifth of March had no shortage of ups and downs. Somehow, the Washington Wizards were able to overcome a 17 point deficit to grind out a victory against the Orlando Magic. The Magic, who have been playing a little better of late, looked very competent in the first half. It looked as if this game would be a statement win for Frank Vogel and the Magic; instead it was a statement win for the thriving Wizards.
One thing that must be noted right away is Bojan Bogdanovic and his career night. He caught fire late in the first quarter and drilled a total of eight three-pointers over the course of the game. He is now one of five Wizards’ players to make eight or more three-pointers in a game, and the only bench player to do so. Oh, and this is just his sixth game with Washington since being traded just before the All-Star break. Impressive, to say the least.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 6, 2017
Orlando’s scoring was distributed well amongst all players of the team. Seven players scored in double digits, and Terrence Ross led the team with twenty points. Besides Ross, the other six players to score in double figures for the Magic were Aaron Gordon, Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja, and Jeff Green.
Bismack Biyombo knew that he would have to play a lot of minutes with backup center Nikola Vucevic sitting out because of a sore right achilles. He capitalized in his 34 minutes, playing extremely good defense, scoring 14 points, and having an astounding 15 rebounds. He was the biggest reason the Magic played so well. Second chance points were key for Orlando.
Mario Hezonja, who may be considered a bust in a couple of years if he doesn’t start playing better basketball, chipped in 12 points. In one small stretch of the game, he made three shots behind the arc to maintain the lead. Orlando will certainly be looking for more production out of him in the future; he averages only 4 points per game this season.
This game had to be extremely exciting and nerve-racking for fans of both teams. For the Magic, taking such a large lead over a playoff team must’ve felt great. For the Wizards, fighting back, and somehow keeping up with the onslaught of offense that was unstoppable in the first half was a good sign that the small slump they are in will just be temporary.
The last minute was probably the most exhilarating minute of the entire game. Bojan Bogdanovic made a three to take a one point lead, and the lead switched hands until the end. In the final seconds, John Wall missed a jump shot, and Aaron Gordon grabbed the rebound. He went coast-to-coast, and shot what would’ve been a game winning floater, but just barely missed.
— The Fuzz (@TheFuzzNBA) March 6, 2017
All in all, it was a well played game for both teams. Washington really had to push hard to grind out this win, and for the Magic, life goes on.