For the first time all season, the Washington Wizards are over .500, all because of an 11 game home winning streak. The win moves Washington into the 6th seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference while also improving their home record to 16-6. Only if all their games could be played at home.
After trailing by 9 points at the end of the first quarter, Washington won the final 3 quarters by a combined score of 25 points. The final box score may have only showed a 17-point difference, but it was truly an absolutely dominating performance by the Wizards.
Usually, a win over the Philadelphia 76ers would not be that impressive or important, but this was different considering how well Philly had been playing. They had won 4 of their last 5, mainly because of the outstanding play of Joel Embiid and a buzzer beater against the New York Knicks shot by T.J. McConnell. Philadelphia may not have the best record, but they compete each night and are not a team that can be slept on.
In the win, Washington was led by its outstanding backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, who scored 25 and 20 points respectively. Maybe being the hometown favorites help these two have some of their best games at the Verizon Center, as they have had some of the best games of their careers in front of the home fans this season.
Fortunately for the Wizards, Philadelphia was without Joel Embiid, the new face of their franchise, and widely considered to be one of the league’s best centers. Because of his injury history, he must sit some games out, and Washington was the one benefitting from those off days this time around.
Washington faces the Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow night at the Verizon Center as they look to earn yet another win in front of the home crowd. A win would propel the home winning streak to 12 games and would give the Wizards a lot of confidence knowing they are able to beat a team with that much talent.
If the Wizards can remain hot at home and improve their performance on the road, they could be a true threat in the playoffs.