The Washington Wizards handle the Brooklyn Nets with ease at home as the Wizards clinch a playoff spot.
Despite suffering from migraines before the Washington Wizards-Brooklyn Nets game, All-Star point guard John Wall got the start as the Wizards roll past the Nets in a blowout win.
However, with the win and losses from both the Chicago Bulls and Detriot Pistons Friday night, the Wizards clinched a playoff spot for the 2017 NBA playoffs. This comes after the Wizards failed to make the playoffs just a year ago under Randy Wittman and company.
The Wizards opened Friday night’s contest out-of-sync and detached, putting themselves in a nine-point deficit as the Nets held a 13-4 lead with 7:44 remaining in the first quarter.
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However, the Wizards quickly stormed back ending the first quarter on a 27-9 run with a 31-22 lead. The 27-9 Wizards run grew to a 36-13 run in the second quarter as the Wizards completely steamrolled the appalling Nets the rest of the way.
Despite a dreadful migraine, Wall scored 22 points, along with nine rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Beal played 24 minutes, scoring 19 points and shooting 53.8 percent from the field.
With the Wizards in cruise control, the starters received adequate rest and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Marcin Gortat took full advantage of the off-time as him, and the team prepares for the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night before heading out on a 4-game west coast swing.
As a result, the bench combined for 70 points including newly-acquired Brandon Jennings scoring 18 points and one assist shy of a earning his fourth double-double of the season. The former Net, Bojan Bogdanovic, added 17 points and seven rebounds.
Now, with a playoff spot secured, the Wizards shift their focus to seed positioning with 10 games remaining. At the moment, the Wizards own the third seed in the Eastern Conference and hold a one game lead over the fourth seed Toronto Raptors.
Maintaining the third seed or better won’t come easy for the Wizards as they play eight of their final 10 games on the road including a treacherous five-game road trip that starts tomorrow night. In fact, the Wizards have the toughest schedule out of any of the current eight Eastern Conference playoff teams.
A win tomorrow night against the Cavs would put the Wizards just two and a half games back from the top seed in the East.
Regardless of where the Wizards land in the East, working their way back after a 2-10 start to earn a playoff spot is an impressive feat.