After missing out on the postseason for the last five years, the Washington Wizards know what it is to be in the position of the Milwaukee Bucks, their opponent Saturday at Verizon Center — a team with nothing left to play for but pride and the hope of unhinging the playoff positioning of its opponent. After regaining their grasp of the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, however, the Wizards showed they had no intention of giving it back, putting forth a strong defensive effort for the second straight night in a 104-91 victory at Verizon Center. Bradley Beal tallied 26 points to lead six double-digit scorers for the Wizards, who built on Friday’s strong defensive outing against Orlando while rediscovering their shooting touch with eight three-pointers. Washington’s victory, coupled with Charlotte’s win against Philadelphia, not only kept the Wizards one game ahead of the Bobcats for the sixth seed but it also pulled them within 11 / 2 games of the Brooklyn Nets, who currently hold the fifth spot and have lost two in a row. “The guys’ focus is getting a lot better,” said Al Harrington, who had 12 points off the bench. “We are starting to pay a lot more attention to detail. In order to win in the playoffs, that’s what we have to do. Guys have to grow up fast.” Less than 24 hours removed from Friday’s comeback win at Orlando and facing the league’s worst team, the Wizards (42-38) made some adjustments to be ready for the playoffs. Nene took the game off to rest his knee and avoid the potential wear from back-to-back games. Trevor Ariza appeared to overcome his week-long bout with the flu, making his first three-pointer in four games en route to nine first-quarter points. And Trevor Booker continued to heed his teammates’ advice by remaining aggressive on offense.
Wizards beat Bucks to remain in No. 6 seed position
Washington Post | Apr 13