Memphis Grizzlies vs. Washington Wizards Final Score: Washington Gets Second Straight Blowout Win, 107-87

The Washington Wizards were supposed to play against a struggling Memphis Grizzlies squad tonight. Before the game, though, it was announced that Memphis would rest Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Needless to say, tonight’s contest had the makings of a trap game for Washington.

To my surprise, the Wizards didn’t play down to their competition and cruised to their second straight blowout win.

Memphis Grizzlies
Washington Wizards

Nene missed tonight’s game due to personal reasons, but with Gasol and Randolph out, the Wizards still had a significant advantage down low. Marcin Gortat made his presence felt early, but the game was still relatively close until John Wall got it going. In the first few minutes, the Washington Wizards were playing at Memphis’ slow pace, but once Wall picked it up, it was basically game over.

Washington did a terrific job of scoring in transition against the Charlotte Hornets, and that seemed to carry to tonight. Wall pushed the ball up the court, while Otto Porter and the bigs were trailing. When they didn’t get clean looks in transition, Wall took the ball to the basket himself.

Randy Wittman also opted to play Paul Pierce at the power forward spot, and he helped give them a spark with his perimeter shooting.

Pierce scored 17 points on just 7 shot attempts, including 3-4 from three point range. While the Washington Wizards are obviously a better team when Nene is on the floor, playing Pierce at the four along side Gortat gives Wall a lot more space to create. Going forward, the Wizards should consider playing smaller lineups in spurts.

Wall has a tendency to play down to competition, but that wasn’t the case tonight.

He dominated Memphis’ backup guards and played with the aggressiveness we saw earlier in the season. He scored 18 points in the first half and went on to finish the game with 21 points on 8-11 shooting. There was a sequence in the game where Wall blocked a layup, sprinted to the three point line, and blocked Courtney Lee‘s three point attempt.

That’s the sort of hustle the Washington Wizards need from Wall as they close out the season.

The game became chippy at the end, but the Washington Wizards remained focused and closed the game out. Kevin Seraphin got ejected after a hard foul, and the Wizards were still able to overcome the loss despite a depleted front court.

The Washington Wizards played perfect basketball against the Grizzlies’ second unit. Of course, tonight’s victory isn’t as impressive as it would’ve been against Marc Gasol and Co., but at this point in the season a win is a win.

After tonight’s blowout win, the Wizards are just 1.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors in the standings. They’ll return to action on Saturday night against the struggling Sacramento Kings.