Defense inspires 'colossal' comeback

Defense inspires 'colossal' comeback
March 23, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Wizards-Lakers highlights

Martell Webster can be accused of overstatement when he calls the Wizards win at the Los Angeles Lakers late Friday night “colossal.”

It was just their seventh road win of the season, however, and second in a row on a four-game road trip. And they won at Staples Center -- when Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol returned to the lineup from injuries -- for the first time since 2006.

The Wizards play at the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night (CSN, 10:30 p.m. ET) and return to Verizon Center for a game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday (CSN, 7).

"It was a colossal win. It's awesome, pure joy," said Webster, who had 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting as they stormed from an 18-point deficit to beat Los Angeles 103-100. "We were down in that first half mainly because we were getting great looks, we just weren't making shots and the resilience on defense was immaculate."

The Wizards didn't have center Emeka Okafor (flu) for the second consecutive game and lost shooting guard Bradley Beal (left ankle sprain) after he re-injured himself at the Phoenix Suns earlier in the week. The backup for John Wall, A.J. Price (groin), sat out again, too.

Wall had 24 points and a career-high 16 assists in Los Angeles, and Trevor Ariza came off the bench to score a game-high 25 points and make a career-high seven three-pointers.

In the pivotal third quarter when the Wizards outscored the Lakers 31-17, they didn't commit any turnovers. The defense forced the Lakers to commit seven giveaways.

Coach Randy Wittman emphasized the need for his team to play with that type of discipline on the road to be successful. It hasn't been easy as their 7-26 record indicates.

We just knew what our team was,” said Wall, who only had one turnover for the entire game despite playing 44 minutes. “We're one of the top defensive teams and when we play defense and play the right way, we have a chance. We just have a lot of heart and character."