On a night when Lakers’ purple and gold flooded the Verizon Center and on a night when the Wizards once again found themselves down double-digits for the majority of the game, the Wizards found a way to complete a massive comeback win over the “visiting” Los Angeles Lakers.
I don’t want to waste any time, so on to the Bullets Points we go!
- As I said in the opening, the Lakers “fans” were out in mass tonight at the Verizon Center. Some estimated that about 75 or 80 percent of the fans were donned in Lakers gear, and it was obvious for most of the game — until the Wizards began storming back late in the third quarter that is. Andray Blatche wasn’t booed at a home game for the first time in a very long time and Kobe Bryant even got “MVP” chants at the free throw line.
- Rashard Lewis was once again a scratch with a sore left knee and Jan Vesely did not play due to a coach’s decision.
- This fool sadly got airtime on Comcast SportsNet’s game coverage.
- Tonight marked the fifth time in as many games after the All-Star Break that the Wizards have fallen behind by double-digits in the first half.
- While I said Andray Blatche wasn’t booed, it was also aided by the fact that he only played 10 minutes. But that was due to the effectiveness of Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, which I’ll get to in a moment.
- The starting backcourt of John Wall and Jordan Crawford struggled tonight. Wall came out of apprehensive and sluggish and Jordan Crawford struggled shooting — just as he did on Monday night vs. Golden State. They combined for 18 points (only four by Wall) on 7 of 27 (25.9%) shooting. While John only had those 4 points and only made one shot from the floor, he did hand out 9 assists to combat his five turnovers. But it was Nick Young who helped save the day for the Wizards’ backcourt.
- Nick Young came off the bench again and finished with a team-high 19 points and had a career-high 6 assists. Take a good look at that number of assists because it may take him another month before he gets six total assists. All jokes aside, Nick was really good tonight and especially good with his defense on Kobe Bryant in the second half. Kobe ended up getting his 30 points, but only shot 9 of 31 from the floor.
- I can’t go without praising hometown hero, Roger Mason Jr, either. He drained four 3-pointers — three in the fourth quarter — and had 14 pointers. “Money Mase” was huge for the Wizards early in the fourth quarter, as it was his corner three-pointer that gave the Wizards their first lead since the first quarter.
- Nick Young midway through the second quarter provided the latest “Wizards moment” when he lost the ball out of bounds with no one around him on a dunk attempt.
- I really liked how Shelvin Mack played tonight in his 18 minutes. His stat-line is deceiving with 4 points (1/4 shooting), two assists, two rebounds, two steals, and a block but he was in control and steady all night long with John Wall struggling.
- But the players of the game were second year players Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin. Booker led the team with 38 minutes played tonight and added 18 points and a career-high seventeen rebounds. There’s no way around it, “Cook Book” was sensational and it’s not hard to see why he’s a fan favorite early in his career. His toughness, ability to follow up missed shots with big put-back dunks, athleticism, strength, and his improved offensive game makes him so beloved — and they were all on display tonight in a big way.
- Kevin Seraphin saw Nick Young post a career-high in assists and Trevor Booker do the same in rebounds, and he decided to do the same in points. Seraphin dropped 14 points on the Lakers in just 25 minutes. In the first half it was his physical defense on Andrew Bynum that was praised. Then in the second half, Kevin started showing off his hook shot and post game. Before you knew it he was in double-figures and also chipped in with nine rebounds. The 1st overall pick in the 2010 Wizards’ draft class had a rough night, but the two other first round picks — Seraphin and Booker — showed up in a big way to pick up the slack.
- The Lakers have two All-Star caliber 7-footers, and the Wizards outscored them in the paint to the tune of 52 to 36.
- The Lakers had a total of nine offensive rebounds. Compared to Trevor Booker who had eight by himself.
- Tonight’s box score
Next up for the Wizards (9-29) are the Portland Trail Blazers (19-20). The last time these two teams met was on Valentines Day when the Wizards scorched the Blazers with an offensive barrage.
I’ll be at the game covering it with a media credential as well. See you all there.