Jan 11, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets power forward Greg Smith (4) defends in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Recap: Washington Wizards comeback delayed against the Houston Rockets


I’m not even sure there’s a way to describe the events that occurred at the Verizon Center tonight.

We had two indoor rain delays, little kids playing one-on-one with Dwight Howard during the stoppage, and an epic comeback that wasn’t quite the comeback in the final moments of the game. Washington came out strong right out of the gate, but a roof leakage just seconds into the second quarter completely derailed the momentum. After a 30+ minute delay, the Wizards and Rockets begun play but it was all Houston from that point on. They went on a double-digit run, and eventually gained a 20+ lead. What happened after that? Well, another roof leakage of course. After stopping play for another 20+ minutes (the total delay lasted over 50 minutes), the Wizards found themselves on a run of their own.

John Wall finished the game with 23 points and 10 assists, while spearheading Washington’s comeback in the second half. He attacked the basket every chance he got and it became pretty clear that Jeremy Lin would have trouble staying in front of him. Wall has struggled a bit in the past few games, so it’s nice to see him pick it up against a Western Conference contender. I would’ve liked to have seen him attack the basket late in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were all tied up with the Rockets instead of settling for a mid range jumper, though. It’s all about growth and I think we’ve seen Wall take dramatic steps late in games.

Unfortunately for John Wall, he got virtually no help from his backcourt teammate Bradley Beal. He scored 13 points on 4 for 16 shooting and finished the game with an horrific +/- of -26. That’s bad, folks. Beal is having a hard time finishing around the basket, which forces him to take jump shots even though he’s struggling with his shooting. Randy Wittman checked Beal back into the game late in the fourth quarter, which turned out to be a bad idea. Like with Wall, it’s all about growth and I have no doubt that Beal will pick it up sooner rather than later.

Aside from John Wall, Kevin Seraphin was terrific tonight. Randy Wittman put him in the game when the lead looked insurmountable, but Kevin Seraphin unexpectedly led the Wizards on a ridiculous run in the fourth quarter. He scored 18 points in just 23 minutes of action, and I think it’s safe to say he’ll be getting some playing time on Monday night against the Chicago Bulls.

Tonight’s game was really, really weird. I’ve never seen an NBA game get delayed by rain, but the unexpected late comeback was even weirder. Even though James Harden and Co. came through late in the game, the Wizards showed some real resilience tonight. Washington had a chance to seal the game after gaining a 4-point lead, but some bad execution ultimately led to the loss. Houston is obviously planning on contending for the championship this season, but it’s still disappointing to see the Wizards collapse so late in the game. It’s almost like I would’ve preferred to see the team get blown out, rather than to fail so badly down the stretch.

The great thing about the NBA is that the Wizards will have to forget about tonight’s wacky game and focus on Monday’s game in Chicago against the Bulls.

 

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