Spurs take perfect road record to Washington
WASHINGTON -- The Wizards won their first road game of the season Friday night. Now John Wall and crew must hand the San Antonio Spurs their first road setback in order to keep Washington's modest win streak going.
The Spurs (13-3) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the first quarter at Boston for a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on Friday. Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was a great win for us against the really active team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
San Antonio improved to 9-0 on the road and extended its overall winning streak to eight games.
The Wizards (5-9) can't dare to dream so extravagantly after a slow start, but perhaps they're turning the corner.
Wall scored 26 points, including the final seven for Washington in Friday's 94-91 win at the Orlando Magic. The point guard also had 10 assists and three steals while fueling a defensive effort that forced 19 turnovers.
"He's one of the best players in the league," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "His game and the way he attacks pick and rolls, the way he can guard, his length, his toughness. That's what he does. He's a two-way player. ... A couple extra more minutes than I would've liked, but we needed all the minutes out there for him."
All five starters for Washington played at least 32 minutes, topped by Wall's 39. Washington couldn't rely on its lackluster second unit as Orlando rallied from 17 points down in the first quarter to an 83-79 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Wall took over offensively for the Wizards, who quickly retook the lead by holding the Magic without a point over five possessions.
"I think in that time span (late fourth), we got five stops in a row to close out the game. That is very important for us to do to get ourselves back into the game. As long as we have that mindset that we are going to defend and that we are going to be tougher, we have to do a better job of rebounding and if we had rebounded I think it would have been a bigger margin than what it was."
While Washington receives little production from its second unit, San Antonio's reserves had 56 points and 17 rebounds against Boston. Patty Mills scored a season-best 19 points and rookie Davis Bertans had a career-best 15 points. Veteran David Lee also had 15 and 12 rebounds in under 18 minutes.
"He's been playing really well," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Lee, who he coached early last season. "You kind of saw that toward the end of last year when he was with Dallas and he's been a really good fit."