Both the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans shoot well from deep.
Washington’s superiority from beyond the 3-point arc helped pave the way to victory the last time these teams met.
The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal shot well from long range then and the Wizards have brought in a veteran guard to help complement their young stars, with Andre Miller expected to make his club debut in Saturday night’s matchup with the visiting Pelicans.
New Orleans (23-31) shoots 38.3 percent on 3-pointers while Washington (26-28) is at 38.2 to rank among the NBA’s best. The Pelicans entered play Friday leading the league at 40.3 percent on shots beyond 25 feet, with the Wizards second at 38.3.
Washington made 13 of 24 shots from beyond the arc in Wednesday’s 114-97 victory at Atlanta to snap a three-game losing streak.
Wall and Beal combined to make 6 of 10 3-point attempts Jan. 8 in a 102-96 win at New Orleans. The Wizards drained 10 of 21 while the Pelicans – who continue to play without sharpshooter Ryan Anderson – were 4 of 13.
Now Washington’s perimeter players will get a chance to play with Miller, acquired Thursday from Denver at the trade deadline in a deal that also included Philadelphia. Miller has not played since Dec. 30 because he was eventually banished from the Nuggets due to a confrontation with first-year coach Brian Shaw during a game on New Year’s Day.
The 15-year veteran has said that he has put the incident behind him as he reunites with Wizards coach Randy Wittman. Miller was a rookie in 1999-2000 when Wittman was a rookie head coach with Cleveland
Wall entered Friday second in the league with 97.9 touches per game along with a league-high 8.0 minutes of average possession, but Miller figures to take some of the load off the All-Star point guard.
"It’s kind of similar to what I was dealing with in Denver, Ty Lawson, a young player," Miller said. "I just went into practice and challenged him, pushed him in practice and just kind of led by example."
Another veteran, forward Al Harrington, could see his first action since Nov. 12. Harrington has returned to practice after being out with a sore right knee, and has said that he is ready to play.
Wittman wasn’t ready to say whether Harrington will play Saturday.
"He’s got to continue to work to get his conditioning back and stuff (and) that’s a process but it doesn’t have to be, I’m not going to have to wait until that’s fully (complete)," Wittman said.
The Pelicans come to town as losers of four of five after falling 90-87 at Charlotte on Friday, allowing the Bobcats to enjoy a 36-11 edge in foul shots.
"They got 36 free throws and we got 11," coach Monty Williams said. "So you figure that out.”
Anthony Davis recorded his 25th double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out for the first time in his career.
The first meeting was the last game Jrue Holiday played for the Pelicans before suffering a right ankle injury that still has him on the sideline. New Orleans has dropped four straight in this series, but had won three in a row at Washington before a 96-87 defeat in its last visit March 15.