Dec 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks power forward Elton Brand (42) is defended by Washington Wizards shooting guard Glen Rice Jr. (14) and power forward Trevor Booker (35) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Game Recap: Al Horford hits game winner to boost Atlanta Hawks over the Washington Wizards in Overtime


Another Wizards loss, and another heartbreak.

After closing the gap in the fourth quarter, John Wall failed to execute on the final possession of regulation and we got to watch some free basketball once again. This time, Trevor Booker managed to convert a nifty reverse layup, but it was negated with Al Horford’s game winning fade away with just seconds remaining in overtime. Tonight was a real heart breaker, considering how well some of Washington’s reserves played. Trevor Booker was definitely the most impressive player of the night, at least from the Wizards side, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in 44 minutes of action.

I was worried that the Wizards would have trouble competing without Nene in the lineup, but Trevor Booker really stepped up his game tonight. He’s certainly the best big man the Wizards have coming off the bench, and I think he earned some extended minutes. He hasn’t played this well since his rookie season, so it’s definitely great to see him step up in Nene’s absence.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, Marcin Gortat wasn’t nearly as effective as Booker tonight. He did finish the game with a double-double, but his defense left much to be desired. Al Horford scored 34 points, most of which were hardly contested shots from Gortat inside the post. Horford willed his way into the basket, and Gortat just couldn’t recover. To make matters worse, Horford hit the buzzer beating shot that will make the Wizards and Gortat lose some sleep tonight.

As for the guards, John Wall probably played one of the worst game of his career tonight. Wall made just SIX of his TWENTY TWO shot attempts (!!!!!!). He settled for way too many jump shots, and he just didn’t look like himself at all. Instead of attacking the basket, John Wall took some horrific shots from the perimeter, and it obviously resulted in a terrible game. I’m not sure why he settled for such awful shots, but he needs to start being more aggressive. Good things happen for the Wizards when John Wall attacks the basket, and he needs to get a better understanding of that.

Aside for Trevor Booker, the brightest spot for the Wizards was probably their bench. Otto Porter scored his first points in the NBA, while Jan Vesely and Glen Rice Jr. chipped in with a combined 16 points. It’s nice to finally see Washington’s bench play well, so let’s hope it carries over.

The Wizards will have a chance at redemption tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Clippers, a game that Chris Paul called a “must win” for his team. Yikes.

 

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