It wasn't that Drew Gooden and Al Harrington were able to score. It was how they did it, even if it came vs. a team in the Utah Jazz that's not exactly adept at defending. And Andre Miller set them up. "We had the AARP group in there that was doing pretty good," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of his 30-somethings -- all in their first season wearing the red, white and blue.
The 104-91 victory was so solid -- the Wizards (32-29) were in control from start to finish -- that Wittman gave them Thursday off. They'll practice Friday before leaving to play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
Gooden and Harrington combined for 12 points in the second quarter. Miller did his part with five assists. Gooden converted his first field goal since April 2013 when Harrington found him on the baseline for a mid-range jumper. Then Gooden took a feed from Miller for a layup and a 34-26 lead. Harrington scored a layup on an assist from Bradley Beal, and Gooden had consecutive buckets, the first one through contact from Enes Kanter.
Just as the Jazz cut the deficit to 81-76 in the fourth quarter, Harrington blew by Jeremy Evans for a layup. Midway through, Harrington made a nifty behind-the-back dribble and assisted Gooden on another layup. Beal threw down a dunk on a pocket pass from Gooden in the paint. Then Gooden located Harrington in the corner, and he put the ball on the floor again to burn the defense for a thunderous dunk.
Unlike his first attempt at a dunk in a game last week vs. the Orlando Magic, Harrington didn't miss.
"The guys give me a hard time for doing all the pump-faking I was doing in the first half so I said if I got another opportunity in the second half I was going to jump, close my eyes and see what happened," Harrington said. "It felt good. ... Coach has been telling me to shy away from dunking. I was kind of screaming at him. It all worked out perfect. It was because I missed that one in my first game back. I've just been dealing with a lot of heat around here. I had a lot of emotion. I kind of tweaked my back in the first half too so I was surprised I was able to get up here. It felt good getting up there. I got the package. I just got old. It's crazy. Every once in a while you'll get flashes."