Wall hopes win in Chicago gives Wizards momentum
Garrett Temple may have produced the most efficient 13 minutes of play in his brief NBA career. He had season-high 10 points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in the Wizards' win at the Chicago Bulls on Monday. Less than a week ago, he compiled a season-high six assists in just 15 minutes in a road victory vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.
Temple has described his relationship with backup point guard Eric Maynor as best friends because of their similarly laid-back demeanors. Because of Temple, a 6-6 combo guard who grew adept at running the point when injuries hit Washington hard last season, Maynor hasn't gotten off the bench since Dec. 28. Maynor was supposed to be a key free-agent acquisition with championship experience from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Temple, who has toiled in the D-League, is playing on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of less than $1 million.
Coach Randy Wittman kept his rotation to three players in Chicago. Temple, Martell Webster and Trevor Booker contributed 28 points. Production matters more than reputation.
RELATED: [Nene's trickle-down effect]
As soon as Temple subbed for John Wall with 1:35 left in the first quarter, he stole the ball from D.J. Augustin for a layup. His 30-foot bank shot at the buzzer to end the third quarter put the Wizards ahead 78-68. And he kept it going to start the fourth when Temple drew a foul from Augustin on a three-point attempt. It led to three free throws and he made them all.
Augustin, the backup point guard to Kirk Hinrich, had a miserable game for Chicago, shooting 2-for-11.
"Temp does a great job with us, adding defensive pressure right when he gets into the game," Wall said. "That's one thing he excels in. He's being more aggressive on offense and it's helping us out, attacking the basket. He does a great job of pressuring the other teams and doesn't let their backups get going."