Home stand ends with a thud
With the way the Wizards have been playing at home lately, they may be glad to get away from Verizon Center.
Tuesday night's 115-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was Washington's fourth consecutive defeat in a season-long home stand that ended 2-4, culminating a run of games in which there was careless, uninspired play throughout the roster.
"I think we're going to take away from this home stand that we just have to play better as a team," said center Brendan Haywood, who had 11 points and eight rebounds against the Lakers. "I think we're 2-4, and we wanted to go maybe 4-2 or 5-1, something like that. But it didn't' happen. It's done. Now we know we just have to play better, learn from the things we did well and try to correct the things we didn't do well."
That's a long list, and who knows where to begin?
No one will fault the Wizards for losing to Los Angeles' main NBA attraction. The Wizards
in fact played the Lakers to a virtual draw, except for the second quarter. That's when they were outscored 30-15.
"We knew what we had, what we were in store for tonight," said Antawn Jamison, who had a game-high 27 points on 11-for-22 shooting along with nine rebounds. "But the thing about it, you've got to bring that same kind of energy, that same type of aggressiveness every night. And for some reason, as a team, we can't even find a way to do it.
But a 92-78 drubbing by the Clippers on Sunday was a lowlight in a season filled with unremarkable performances. Washington scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and shot 39.5 percent for the game. The Wizards also were just 9 of 17 from the foul line (53 percent) and committed 18 turnovers.
On game earlier, the Heat, coming off a 39-point loss to Charlotte, embarrassed the Wizards, 112-88. Dwyane Wade had a game-high 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting and added 10 assists. Miami shot 57 percent, including 13 of 22 from three-point range, and handily won the rebound battle, 46-35.
Those three games came on the heels of a draining 94-93 loss to Dallas on Jan. 20. The Wizards had a chance to win with the final shot, but Caron Butler's jumper was blocked with 1.9 seconds to play.
"It's frustrating because you show signs of being able to compete and bringing it, but you can't do it just against the great teams in the league," Jamison said.
Little did the Wizards know how poorly their home stand would end after two straight wins to begin it. First Washington beat Sacramento, 96-86, followed by a 97-92 victory over Portland in which the Wizards shot 52 percent.
So what's next?
"We just gotta play," Randy Foye said. "Just got to go out there and play with a purpose and let everything fall into place."
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