After a feel-good blowout against the Hawks three nights before, the Wizards came in to D.C. ready to take on one of the best power forwards in the league. Anthony Davis did what stars of his caliber do, but the Wizards prevailed and grabbed an inspired win against a scrappy Pelicans squad, 94-93.
Nene was the star of the game tonight, tying a career-high 30 points on 13-19 shooting along with 7 rebounds. He used a variety of moves in the low block to get some great dunks and did a great job receiving passes from John Wall, especially on the last possession where he won the game on a dunk with .03 seconds remaining in the game. He seemed to have an aggressive edge to him all game on offense, perhaps because of the status of his counterpart. He not only was terrific offensively, but he also played a good game defensively, fighting over cross screens and defending Davis on the perimeter, where he is usually able to drive by other bigs easily.
John Wall struggled a bit tonight shooting wise, and did not look very engaged early, but really picked it up in the fourth quarter after a nice rest. Wall only scored 10 points on 4/9 shooting, but had 12 assists and of course delivered the game winning assist to Nene. His pick and roll passing was on and off for a lot of the game but he threaded the needle more often than not. His help defense was also very good, as he bothered the Pelicans players all night by getting his hands into the passing lanes and grabbing some steals in the process.
Andre Miller made his debut in a Wizards uniform and did not disappoint. He scored 5 points, dished out 3 assists, and grabbed 3 rebounds in 16 minutes, and made some savvy veteran plays that he is known for. He was able to easily get to the rim and clearly made everyone else better, even though he didn’t take many shots himself. He will be a welcome addition to this team.
For the Pelicans, the star of the night had to be Anthony Davis. Despite Nene fighting his tail off against him, Davis was able to score 26 points and grab 11 rebounds, and did it showing his entire repertoire, including jumpers, short hooks, and dunks. Anthony Morrow scored 18 points on 7/8 shooting and really stabilized the Pelicans bench. New Orleans’ guards were easily able to get to the rim in this game, and put a considerable amount of pressure on the Wizards defense.
The Wizards play the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night in Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers are 6-1 since firing their general manager and will certainly be a tough out at home coming off a close loss to Toronto. Cleveland has given the Wizards fits this year, and it is up to them to avenge their loss earlier in the month.