Wittman: Wiz need to keep the tempo higher
Turnovers are going to happen, but when they happen has been the bigger problem for the Wizards.
Point guard John Wall had his best showing at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night with season highs of 27 points and 14 assists, and seven rebounds.
But two of his four turnovers came in the fourth quarter, when the Wizards were battling back from a 10-point deficit, in the 95-90 loss.
“I think in the fourth quarter, you’re being a little too anxious. You've kind of got the game in your hands, and you’re trying to put it away so you go for the hero play,” Wall said earlier in the week when asked about the Wizards' inability to consistently close out games.
The problem hasn't been fixed, but they don't have a lot of time to think about it with the second game of a back-to-back Wednesday night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
The Wizards trailed 90-78 with 4:29 left in Cleveland. Then Nene made a layup, Martell Webster drilled a three-pointer and there were three made free throws. With 97 seconds remaining, the Wizards had cut the deficit to 91-86.
Wall forced Cavs point guard Shaun Livingston into a turnover and the Wizards were in prime position to make it a one-possession game. But Wall made a cross-court pass down the baseline to Webster, who lost the handle and lost a chance at an open three-point shot.
Webster had three turnovers for the game, with two of them coming in the fourth.
It’s a familiar theme for Washington. In an 87-82 loss at the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 6, there were seven fourth-quarter turnovers. The Wizards started the month by losing 96-88 to the New York Knicks, committing six turnovers in the final period.
“Teams that do a great job of turning turnovers into points -- that’s how we've lost a lot of games -- and that’s when we've got most of our turnovers, is in the fourth quarter,” Wall said. “We've got to do a better job of that, learn how to close out the game without turning the ball over.”