Home is Where the Heart Is

The Washington Wizards have won 12 straight games at home after a 120-10 victory over the Portland Trailblazers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  They came out strong, leading by 16 after the first quarter and 25 at halftime, and never looked back.  Washington had a great all-around game, including hitting 13 out of 23 three-pointers and 36 points from their bench, led by Kelly Oubre, Jr. with 18.

The dynamic duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall led the way, combining for 49 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals.  Markieff Morris quietly had the biggest game for Washington, finishing the game with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.  Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 22 points and seven rebounds.

Washington has won five of their last six games. They’re quietly creeping up the ranks in the Eastern Conference with a 21-19, good for fifth in the East standings.  The team will really test their home court play against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, who are 25-18 on the season but have lost two of their last three games.

Looking Ahead

Despite their recent struggles, the Wizards can not take the Grizzlies lightly and have to come out strong like they did against the Blazers.  They will have to worry about Memphis three-headed monster in Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and sixth man Zach Randolph.  All three of these players can take over the game offensively anytime they want, and Conley and Gasol are very good defensively as well.  The Grizzlies are ranked third in the league in opponents points per game, opponents field percentage and opponents three-point percentage so the Wizards have a tough task on their hands.

The Wizards can pick up their 13th home win by good ball movement and attacking the basket instead of settling for outside jumpers.  They also need the bench to step up like they did today because players like Conley, Gasol, and Tony Allen are very aggressive on defense and can change the pace of the game.  Washington needs to push the ball off missed shots and keep Memphis on their toes the entire game.  Another note is that Washington will be going into this game on a back-to-back night and will have to play in New York against the Knicks the following night.

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