Wizards feeling Jazzy in Utah

Wizards feeling Jazzy in Utah
January 23, 2013, 1:00 pm
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After compiling loss after loss earlier this season, the Wizards are suddenly winning game after game.  With a win Wednesday night in Utah, Washington will also pull off a rare successfully long road trip. 

Following it's buzzer-beating victory at Portland on Monday, the Wizards (9-30) have split the opening four games on their five-game road swing and now have a chance to claim its first winning road trip of at least five games since March 22-28, 2005, according to STATS inc.

Coverage of the the final meeting of the season between the Wizards and Jazz starts at 9 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.Washington certainly looks plenty different than when it met Utah back on Nov. 17,. The Wizards were without John Wall and Nene, who would make his season debut two games later at Atlanta. They were also without a win, having lost their first seven games of the season in what became a franchise-worst 0-12 start.

In what was the trend at the time, Washington stayed close before fading late, losing 83-76.The Jazz (22-19) have won four straight at home and five of six overall. Utah is 13-4 at home this season and have won 20 of 24 against Washington in Salt Lake City, typically by wide margins.

Even if they are unable to produce a little payback, Washington certainly is headed in the right direction thanks to its defensive prowess, Bradley Beal's high-scoring emergence, the return of John Wall and contributions from all involved.

The Wizards are 5-2 in their last seven games. During this stretch, the Wizards are averaging100.7 points per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. Defensively they are holding their opponents to 95.0 points per game and 43 percent shooting. Beal is averaging 19.5 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in his last seven games while shooting .625 from three-point range (20-32) in that stretch.

Since returning from a knee injury that kept him out for three months, Wall is averaging 14.0 points, 6.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game in his first six games of the season.In the 98-95 win over Portland, Nene and Martell Webster each scored 24 while combining for 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

In his new and ideal bench role, Jordan Crawford scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter including the game-winning three pointer. Emeka Okafor finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double this month. The Wizards are the only team in the NBA to have 11 different players record a double-double. 

Al Jefferson, paces the Jazz in scoring (17.3) and rebounding (9.8). In the previous win over Washington, the power forward scored 17 of his 21 points in the third quarter.