Wizards 120, Magic 91By Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Jan 14, 2013 9:50 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards defeated the Orlando Magic 120-91 Monday night for their third straight win. Coming off the bench in his second game of the season, guard John Wall scored 12 points in 20 minutes, dished out six assists, made all six of his free-throw attempts and helped direct Washington's 37-point third quarter. The Wizards (7-28) set season highs for total points, field-goal percentage (56.1 percent) and largest margin of victory en route to their first three-game winning streak since closing last season with six consecutive victories. Kevin Seraphin and A.J. Price, two of six Wizards in double figures, each scored 18 points. Bradley Beal had 17 points and Jan Vesely 10 for the Wizards, who made 21 of 25 free throws. Jameer Nelson led the Magic (13-24) with 19 points and 12 assists. Despite a win on Saturday over the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando has lost 11 of 12 games. Washington, owner of the NBA's worst record, led by 19 points in the first half, but Orlando rallied with a 15-2 run over the final 2:16 of the second quarter to pull within 59-53 at halftime. Unlike earlier games this season, the Wizards stayed poised, and behind nine third-quarter points from Beal, they opened a 96-77 lead heading to the final period. Garrett Temple's 3-pointer in the final minute of the third gave Washington a 31-point lead, its largest of the game and the season. Wall returned to the lineup Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks after missing the team's first 33 games with a knee injury. Even before Wall's return, the Wizards starting showing signs of improvement, perhaps simply buoyed by the point guard's return to practice. On Jan. 4, Washington lost to the Brooklyn Nets in double overtime, and the Wizards stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 7, the first game of the current winning streak. Riding their newfound momentum, the Wizards dominated much of the first half while shooting 54 percent. Washington led 57-38 following Wall's free throws with 2:16 remaining. Nelson almost singlehandedly orchestrated the Magic's late second-quarter spurt with 10 points. He hit two 3-pointers and set up the final basket at the buzzer with a backcourt steal. Okafor's third double-double in as many games started with 13 points and nine rebounds in the first half before the crowd of 14,648. Washington made all 15 of its first-half free throws. Orlando's Glen Davis, in his first action since spraining his left shoulder against Washington on Dec. 19, scored 13 points. After scoring a season-high 30 against the Clippers, Magic guard Arron Afflalo missed his first eight shots, finished 1-for-11 and scored two points. NOTES: The Wizards were without leading scorer Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) and Cartier Martin (hyperextended left knee) for a third straight game. Trevor Booker, who missed 24 straight games with a strained knee before returning on Saturday, sat with a sprained left ankle. ... Without Davis in the lineup, the Magic went 1-10. ... Orlando guard E'Twaun Moore was active for the first time in seven games after missing time due to a sprained left elbow. He scored five points in 16 minutes. ... In its first game against Orlando, Washington took only eight free throws in the loss. ... The Wizards play at Sacramento on Wednesday, the start of a nine-day, five-game Western road swing. Orlando returns home for three straight games, beginning with a Wednesday visit by the Indiana Pacers.
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