Wizards Snap Four-Game Losing Streak with Overtime Win

by: Stephen D. Riley Special to AFRO
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Ramon Sessions, Shaun Livingston
Washington Wizards guard Ramon Sessions (7) shoots against Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Monday, March 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Washington Wizards extended a late season four-game road trip into the week but it didn’t end well for the weary traveling team. With only a handful of weeks remaining in the season, the Wizards picked a bad time to lose four consecutive games. But a 30-plus point loss to the Golden State Warriors on March 23 capped perhaps the Wizards’ worst performance of the year. The Wizards (41-32) appear deadlocked for a series with the Toronto Raptors (43-30) or the Chicago Bulls (44-29) in what could be an interesting matchup between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the Eastern Conference. It’s a far cry from when Washington peaked to second in the conference earlier this year but at least they’re headed to the playoffs for a second consecutive season. It was a tough week, and so the AFRO recaps the week that wasn’t for the Washington Wizards.

March 23: Wizards Roundly Defeated by Golden State Warriors, 107-76
A road game against the Golden State Warriors was a good test for the traveling Wizards against the league’s best team and Washington failed miserably. Washington played the fast breaking Warriors closely for the first half, but a pathetic eight-point quarter did them in in a 107-76 loss. Washington missed its first 15 shots after halftime and shot 1-for-18 in a pivotal third session while shooting just 60 percent from the charity stripe. Washington entered the half trailing just 52-49 but exited the third quarter deflated and down 81-57. Reserves Ramon Sessions and Kevin Séraphin were two of three players to tie for the team lead with 12 points apiece. John Wall added 11 points, five rebounds and five assists but shot just 4-of-16 from the field. The loss was Washington’s fourth straight and finished a four-game road streak.

Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives with the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

March 25: Indiana Outpaces Wizards in Narrow 103-101 Victory
Washington returned home after a long trip to take on the Indiana Pacers, a team making a last-second push for the playoffs. The Wizards lost Bradley Beal early in the first quarter with a sprained ankle and couldn’t control Indiana’s opposing backcourt in a narrow 103-101 defeat. The Pacers guard duo of George Hill and C.J. Miles combined for 45 points to help collapse a 13-point Washington lead. Wall added 34 points and six assists but he just couldn’t offer much help when the Wizards needed it the most. Wall scored 17 points in the final period and even tied the game late with a three-pointer to make it 101-101 with 11 seconds to go. But a defensive lapse allowed Hill to score an easy layup on the other end with just two seconds remaining. Washington still had a chance at a miracle as Rasual Butler launched a half court heave but his shot bounced off the top of the shot clock. Replays showed a frustrated Randy Wittman exiting the court before Butler’s shot went airborne, sparking rumors that Wittman may have lost the team with his early exit.

John Wall, center Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker
Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) drives to the basket past Charlotte Hornets center Al Jefferson (25) and guard Kemba Walker (15) in the second overtime of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 27, 2015, in Washington. The Wizards won 110-107. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

March 27: Wizards Defeat Hornets in Double Overtime Win
It was a seesaw battle against the Charlotte Hornets, a team that has routinely given the Wizards trouble recently, but Washington got it together late and held on for a 110-107 double overtime home victory on March 27. Wall led the team with 32 points, but the support was different this time around. Beal returned to action and added 16 points, and reserve forward Drew Gooden added 15 points, shooting 3-of-4 from long range while playing a season-high 39 minutes. Marcin Gortat scored just eight points but added 16 rebounds. The win snapped Washington’s four-game losing streak and evened the season series with Charlotte at 2-2.

Next – Washington will host the Houston Rockets at the Verizon Center on March 29 and the Philadelphia 76ers on April 1. The Wizards then host the New York Knicks on April 3, followed by a road game on April 4 against the Grizzlies in Memphis.

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