The camaraderie and upbeat attitude that has developed during the Washington Wizards' longest trip of the season was evident in pregame warmups, as players lined up and mimicked Jordan Crawford's game-winning shot in Portland two nights earlier. After Martell Webster's deep three-pointer dropped, Webster let out his tongue, leaned over and ran down the court as Crawford and other teammates laughed.
But shortly after the Wizards actually tipped off against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, they appeared as if they were simply ready to go back home. They were listless, defenseless and plodding and found themselves down 21 points with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Then John Wall decided he would make things a little interesting. With a few mad dashes to the basket and a few more dishes to shooters who could actually convert, Wall engineered a run that brought the Wizards close before they eventually lost, 92-88, at EnergySolutions Arena.
"It's a lot of basketball game left," Wall said after scoring 14 points with eight assists in just 26 minutes. "We gave ourselves a chance to get back in the game, but we fought so hard to get back, I don't think we had enough legs to close it out."
The Wizards (9-31) have moved beyond the moral victory portion of the season and were hoping to come home with a winning trip for the first time in six seasons. They finished the five-game trip 2-3, losing those to Utah, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers by a combined 12 points.
"Consensus is everybody is ready to go home. There's no secret about that," A.J. Price said after scoring 10 points. "Would've been feeling much better about yourself if you come and end the road trip with a 'W,' as opposed to how we did."
Washington can't summon energy in road trip finale, falling to Utah, 92-88
Washington Post | Jan 24