Game On: Wizards find strength in numbers

Game On: Wizards find strength in numbers
March 18, 2014, 4:00 pm
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(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

Trevor Ariza hasn't been able to buy a three-point shot. He's 6-for-26 in his last four games. Marcin Gortat is 12-for-34 shooting in the last three. Trevor Booker has averaged just five points in the last six. 

Through the slumps by these three starters, the Wizards have managed to keep it together through contributions from various players. They're 4-2 in this span.

"That's how the game goes a lot. Sometimes you have it. Some nights you don't," Ariza said. "When one player is not doing what he normally does then somebody steps up. That's big."

Before trading for Andre Miller, signing Drew Gooden as a free agent and getting Al Harrington back from a right knee injury last month, that rarely happened. Coach Randy Wittman had to rely heavily on his starters, even when they weren't playing their best, to log heavy minutes. It led to sloppy play, particularly down the stretch of close games.  

The Wizards were able to reach 100 in their last game with those three starters shooting 7-for-23 from the field and contributing just 17 points because of the reserves adding 36 -- twice what their average had been earlier in the season. 

RELATED: [Wake-up call: This road trip 'defines our season']

TV: There isn't a pregame or postgame show because of the late start. Tipoff from Sleep Train Arena is  10 p.m. ET on the overflow channel, CSN+. Radio: 1500 AM. 

Last game: Wizards (35-31) beat Brooklyn Nets 101-94 on Saturday; Kings (23-44) lost at Minnesota Timberwolves 104-102 on Sunday.

Last meeting: Wizards won 93-84 on Feb. 9 by holding C DeMarcus Cousins to 3-for-16 shooting. Season series: Wizards lead 1-0. 

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Kings –- PG Isaiah Thomas, SG Ben McLemore, SF Rudy Gay, PF Reggie Evans, C Aaron Gray.

X-factors: Cousins (right knee tendinitis) was held out of the game vs. Minnesota. ... Beal is playing on a sore right ankle and Harrington still is on a minutes restriction.

Around the bend: Wizards practice Wednesday and play at the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday (CSN, 10 p.m. ET). 

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