John Wall scores 33 to lead Wizards over Lakers 116-108
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) With the score tied at 91 with 9:10 to play, John Wall took over for the Washington Wizards.
He heard lots of cheers for the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, and it bothered him.
”They kind of just made me mad,” Wall said. ”I did what I had to do to get a win for us.”
Wall kept his word, scoring 16 of his game-high 33 points in the final nine minutes as the Wizards won their sixth straight, 116-108 over the Lakers on Thursday night.
The All-Star point guard wasn’t the only one to notice the cheers for Los Angeles, which lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Bradley Beal, who scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half, didn’t like the pro-Lakers fans, either. It didn’t matter that Washington, whose last six-game run came from Dec. 8-19, 2014, won its 16th straight game at home – second-longest in franchise history.
”I’m sick of that,” Beal said. ”That’s terrible. I felt like we were on the road today.”
Jordan Clarkson led Los Angeles with 20 points.
The Wizards outscored the Lakers 27-15 in the second quarter, and had a 14-point halftime lead.
”The second quarter was terrible,” Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said. ”We actually came out and played a little better than I thought we would. It’s tough when you fly across the country like that and you kind of expect some early sloppiness and then you expect the guys to clean it up.
”I think it took a little too long to clean it up, but I was proud the way we came back in the second half.”
Lakers: Walton was happy to hear that Magic Johnson was returning to the team as an adviser. ”I’m excited, obviously. He’s Magic Johnson. Not only one of the all-time great Lakers, but one of the great all-time NBA players. He’s a champion. It’s a nice piece to have on your side,” Walton said. … F Julius Randle returned after missing two games with pneumonia and finished with two points and two rebounds in less than six minutes.
Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks said C Ian Mahinmi, who has missed all but one game this season with a knee injury, participated in drills the last two days and is getting closer to a return. … Wall was selected as a participant in the Skills Competition on Feb. 18.
WALL STAR: Brooks wasn’t pleased with many facets of his team’s game, but raved about Wall taking the game over in the final minutes.
”Rightfully so, he’s an All-Star. He’s one of the best point guards in the league,” Brooks said. ”I don’t know if he’s ever had All-NBA, but he’s an All-NBA player.”
3-POINT MAN: Los Angeles G Nick Young will participate in the 3-point contest on Feb. 18 during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
The announcement was made during the game, and Young found out about it in an unusual way.
”I just found out so, it was a good moment. During the game, one of the fans told me,” Young said.
He entered the game shooting 42.4 percent on 3-point shots, but missed seven of eight.
GORTAT HOT: Marcin Gortat equaled his season high with 21 points, shooting 10 for 13. He had 14 rebounds.
During the six-game winning streak, Gortat has shot 42 for 52, 80.7 percent.
He’s allowing the other starters: Wall, Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris to get the shots.
”I’m just running up and down. I guess they’re disrespecting me the most of the five,” Gortat joked.
Lakers: At the Boston Celtics on Friday for the second game of a five-game road trip.
Wizards: Play the second of a season-high four-game homestand against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.