Washington Wizards showed no mercy to the Los Angeles Lakers

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers came to Capital One Arena with the best defense in the NBA. Even when Lebron James is sidelined like he was vs. the Wizards, the Lakers have a feared defense featuring a frontcourt with Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, and Montrezl Harrell. That’s a tough crew to clang an and bang with down low. But the Washington Wizards weren’t afraid of anything.

Daniel Gafford got things started halfway through the first quarter when he eviscerated Kyle Kuzma. The next time these two teams meet, I hope, for his own sake, that Kuzma thinks twice before stepping in front of Gafford. Then again, I wouldn’t mind seeing this again.


Gafford has been great since joining the Wizards at the trade deadline, and this spark set off an explosion against the Lakers.

When the Washington Wizards hosted the Los Angeles Lakers, everybody was getting dunked on.

Chandler Hutchison kept the party going in the second quarter when he thundered one home over Talen Horton-Tucker. Despite a solid Wizards debut, we haven’t seen nearly as much from Hutchison as we have from Gafford since they both came over from the Chicago Bulls at the deadline. If Hutchison makes more plays like this, though, he could have a home in DC.


The Wizards weren’t done printing out posters at halftime. Rui Hachimura had the best one of the night in the third quarter — a real Van Gogh if you will. As the Wizards started to pull away, Hachimura made a statement, soaring over Anthony Davis and eventually leaving him in a heap under the basket.


Of course, Bradley Beal did his usual thing as the NBA’s leading scorer. He finished with a game-high 27 points. And Russell Westbrook recorded the 176th triple-double of his career (18 points, 18 rebounds, 14 assists), pulling him to within five of Oscar Robertson’s record of 181.

Coming off a tough overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Wizards came out aggressive vs. the Lakers, and they never let up. On a night when the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls — two teams also jockeying for play-in positioning — both lost, the Wizards picked up a decisive 116-107 win over the Lakers. They’ve now won 11 of their last 13 games, and they continue to shine vs. the West. This season, the Wizards are 8-2 vs. the top five teams in the West and 11-8 vs. the top ten teams.

During their only nationally televised game of the season, the Wizards put the league on notice. It may have taken them 40-50 games to finally arrive, but they’re here, and they aren’t afraid of anybody.

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