The Washington Wizards made a big statement in a playoff-type environment on Saturday night. The team took down the Brooklyn Nets 101-94 in front of a sellout crowd. With the win, Washington has reclaimed the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Led by John Wall and his 33 points, the Wizards were able to sweep the Nets in their regular season series, 3-0.
In their win, the Wizards demonstrated that the team has the ability to shine at home in crunch time. Washington was able to improve their home record to 17-16. The team was trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter and it was able to rally down the stretch with clutch performances from the starters and bench players. The Wizards’ defense was particularly strong going into the stretch, as they did not allow the Nets to make a single field goal in the last six minutes of the game.
Led by recent addition Drew Gooden, Washington’s bench is looking very strong right now. Gooden has been excelling in Washington since his arrival. On Saturday, he had his best performance yet; Gooden contributed 21 points and nine rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. He also made a three-pointer that gave the Wizards the lead late in the game. His three-pointer was arguably the biggest play of the game. This was also not the first time he has made big plays down the stretch for Washington . He has completely turned the bench’s production around. Gooden will also become a bigger asset when Nene Hilario returns from injury.
Washington made a big statement to other teams in the East with this win. The Wizards are looking more and more playoff ready as postseason nears. Everyone on the Wizards is looking thrilled to be in the playoff hunt and their recent performance has been a great sign of what is to come this postseason. It already looks like the Wizards will win a couple of playoff games.