Key Legislature: Wizards 119 vs Nuggets 89: Washington Mines a Mother Lode | Wizards Blog Truth About

Key Legislature: Wizards 119 vs Nuggets 89: Washington Mines a Mother Lode

Updated: December 5, 2014

Truth About’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s) for Washington Wizards contest No. 18 versus the Denver Nuggets in the District of Columbia, via John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) from the Verizon Center.

DC Council Key Legislature

by John Converse Townsend.

Recent history would suggest that the Nuggets had the upper hand in D.C. They had won eight of the last 11 games in the Verizon Center—with an average margin of victory in double-digits. And while much of the talk this season has been about Washington’s superstar backcourt, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo have been in fine form, too. Lawson is one of just four players (Wall among them) to post three or more 20-point, 10-assist games, and Afflalo had scored 15 or more in nine of the last 11 games, averaging 17.8 points.

But in this House of Guards, John Wall and Bradley Beal were the ones who brought the noise. Wall connected with Beal for a set of 3s late in the first quarter, turning a four-point deficit into a three-point lead in just 47 seconds.

“They just kept leaving me open for some reason,” Beal said after the game. “Really, it was based off of our defense, we got a couple stops in a row, John was able to find me and I was able to knock them down.”

The turning point came three minutes into the second quarter. Nene got switched onto Nate Robinson, who opted for a step-back jump shot, but Nene closed ground like a park ranger after sunset. He blocked the shot, recovered the loose the ball, and raised it above his head in triumphant fashion—the way Lady Liberty carries her torch. It was as if he said, “You’re too small. Oh, and this game is over.”

That play sparked a 21-11 run. Spurred by a series of defensive stands (7 second-quarter blocks, 4 steals) and transition opportunities (11 fast break points), the Wizards found themselves up 57-41. And Wall, who had been mopping the floor with sky blue jerseys, hadn’t even begun to look for his offense yet. In fact, his first field goal attempt of the game came with less than two minutes left in the quarter, courtesy of Bradley Beal.

The halftime horn may as well have signaled the end of the game. The Wizards walked off the court up 65-46. The Nuggets this season have yet to come back when trailing at the break.

Outside the visiting locker room, Brian Shaw asked for a box score. He didn’t want to believe what he saw at the bottom of the page:

MEMO: WIZARDS – Season High Points in a Half (prev. 64) and Second Quarter (prev. 34)
MEMO: WIZARDS – Humphries, Season High Points (prev. 16)
MEMO: WIZARDS – Season High Points (prev. 111), Assists (prev. 33), Blocks (prev. 9)
MEMO: WIZARDS – Seraphin, Season High Points (prev. 15)

“We got whooped in every category,” Shaw said. “I think we got fast break points—that’s the only category we won.”

“We just weren’t sharp, at all. From walking on the court, knowing what we are supposed to run out of a timeout, and guys going to the wrong spots, we didn’t show any togetherness. Guys were bickering and arguing with each other. At this point all we can do is just flush it down the toilet.”

When I asked Shaw about the halftime adjustments, he said, “Whatever we tried to do, it didn’t work. … We just never got out of the mud.”


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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.