Nash Is Solid In Return, Wall Dominates As Wizards Win 117-107


John Wall came to town and showed Lakers fans at Staples  Center what they were missing with their own team. Wall scored 28 points andhanded out 14 assists as the Washington Wizards cruised to an easy win 117-107, in Los Angeles.

Wall put a chokehold on the game from the outset, handing out 9 assists in the first quarter and unleashing a hellacious dunk off a steal of Nick Young to boot. Budding star Bradley Beal also made his presence felt with 3 three pointers in the quarter, the last of which jumped the Wizards out to a 20-10 lead with 6:37 remaining in the 1st. The Lakers’ season long inability to defend was no different tonight as Washington scored on either layups or open three pointers. Nick Young made his first appearance in a month, scoring 4 points. The Wizards led 33-21 after 1.

In the second, Steve Nash entered the game after a 6 week absence and moved well. He dished out 5 assists in limited minutes and frequently found teammates in rhythm for good looks. Xavier Henry was aggressive, scoring 8 points on a variety of dribble drives. For the Wizards, Al Harrington scored 9 points playing off newly signed Andre Miller. The Lakers were better offensively in the quarter but weren’t able to make up any ground trailing 58-47 at the half. John Wall led with 11 points and 9 assists.

The third belonged to John Wall. He carved up the Lakers with 13 points and 4 assists, at one point stretching the Wizards lead to 82-63 with 2:37 remaining in the period. Steve Nash got Robert Sacre involved, assisting on all 4 of his field goals. Nash had 6 assists overall in the period, leading a 20-10 run that brought the Lakers to within 6 at the end of the third, 88-81.

The Wizards new, veteran bench peeled off a 15-7 run to open the 4th quarter, behind Drew Gooden’s 9 points. They led 103-88 with 8:02 remaining.The Lakers never seriously challenged the Wizards again, although Nick Young scored 9 points in the quarter and a flurry from Jodie Meeks once closed the lead back down to 7 points. The Wizards closed the game by going 8-8 from the free throw line.

The Lakers were sloppy offensively with 21 turnovers and only 61% from the free throw line. They shot 47% from the field. Nick Young and Jodie Meeks each had 21 points, Pau Gasol had 14 points,11 rebounds and 5 assists. Xavier Henry was solid with 12 points.

For the Wizards, Bradley Beal scored 18 points, Al Harrington pitched in 15 and the Wizards shot 48 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 80% from the line.They also had 19 turnovers.

The Lakers play Sunday against the Orlando Magic in Los Angeles.