#WizBlazers Gameday Blog

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Jeremy Hyman

Final: Wizards 103 - Blazers 116

The Blazers ended the first half on an 8-0 run to erase a six point Wizards lead and took a 53-51 lead into the half. They would then open the second half on an 11-2 run to separate themselves from the Wizards and that was the difference in the game. The Wizards tried to make a fourth quarter run, but could never get enough stops as the hot-shooting Blazers were too much for them on this night.

The Blazers made 14 3-pointers and had 32 assists to just nine turnovers, a ratio that will win many games in this league.

John Wall was a bright spot for the Wizards, tying a career-high with 5 made 3-pointers and leading the team with 24 points and 14 assists. Drew Gooden put in another solid performance off the bench, scoring 18 points and pulling down nine boards. Bradley Beal added 18 points, Trevor Ariza had 15 points on 3/4 shooting from 3-point range, while Trevor Booker finished with 10 points.

Kevin Seraphin made his first start of the season after just 40 minutes prior to the game Marcin Gortat suffered a strained lower back and had to miss his first game of the year. Seraphin finished with four points in 19 minutes of action.

Up next, the Wizards take on the L.A. Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center (10:30 pm ET).



9:30 Update:

Marcin Gortat suffered a strained lower back during pregame warmups and will miss tonight's #WizBlazers game. This is a big blow for the Wiz, as Gortat has started every game at center since coming off the bench in the season opener. This will be the first game of the year they play without him.

No word yet on who starts in his place, would have to think it will be either Kevin Seraphin or Drew Gooden. Also no word on how long he'll be out. We'll update more via @WashWizards when we have more to report.

Pregame

We're now in 'Rip City' as they call it here or Portland, Oregon for the rest of us. It's #WizBlazers tonight from the newly named Moda Center, formerly the Rose Garden.

While much of the country is preoccupied with their brackets and the Madness, we should have a pretty good one here at the professional level.

For the Wizards, this game is all about bouncing back and showing resiliency from a tough overtime defeat on Tuesday night in Sacramento. It was a bad finish, plain and simple and a game the Wiz should have won. But, the sign of a good team is one that can move on from a tough loss like that, especially on the road in a hostile environment like Portland. That's what the Wizards have the opportunity to do tonight when they take on the Blazers.

The Blazers still hold one of the NBA's best records, but they have not been playing as well of late, especially now without their all-star PF LaMarcus Aldridge, who will miss tonight's game with a lower back injury. They snuck by the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime on Tuesday night and are just 4-6 in their last ten games. With that said, they are still a very dangerous team with a lot of weapons. Their young star point guard, Damian Lillard, may have to play a bigger role with LA out so watch for the matchup between he and John Wall. They are two of the bright stars of the future and had a good battle in the last #WizBlazers game in DC. Wall went for 22p-5r-5a, while Lillard finished with 25p-8a-6r, but it was the Wizards who came away with a 10 point win.

The hottest Blazer may be Nicolas Batum, who's averaging 19.8 points and 13.8 rebounds per game over their last four contests. He's long and athletic and can be a menace on both sides of the court. He and Trevor Ariza should have a good battle throughout the night.

Without Aldridge, the Blazers have been playing a lot smaller and will spread the floor with four perimeter shooters along with their center Robin Lopez. Randy Wittman talked about how they are different team now, but how the Wizards won't change what they do schematically:


This will be a homecoming of sorts for Martell Webster, who is a Washington native but was drafted by the Blazers and spent the first part of his career here in Portland. He'll look to play a big role off the Wizards bench tonight.

The Wiz have beaten the Blazers here in Portland in each of their last two visits, last year doing so on a dramatic game-winner from Jordan Crawford.

Beal on #WizBlazers


Will tonight be another classic? We will have to wait and find out, 10pm tip so stay up late and join the Live Chat from the arena.

Posted in: Sports
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