"No matter how old Steve Nash is, he's still efficient running
the pick and roll," Wall said after scoring 28 points and adding 14
assists to lead the Wizards to a 117-107 victory over the Los
Angeles Lakers and the 40-year-old Nash, who was playing his first
game since Feb. 11. "It doesn't look like he missed a beat to me."
With Nash on a minutes restriction, getting a season-high 11 assists
and five points in just 18 minutes, the Lakers made it close down
the stretch, cutting their deficit to seven with 2:14 left before
the Wizards prevailed.
"When we get in trouble, we dribble too much," Washington coach
Randy Wittman said. "When we're moving the ball, like we did early
tonight, and we don't over-dribble, we're a good team."
Wall, who had nine assists in the first quarter en route to his 26th
double-double this season, said: "We've got to do a better job — especially me — of keeping the ball moving. I know we've got to get
back on the right track, pushing the ball and moving the ball."
The Wizards did that early with a handful of three-pointers, backed
up by transition baskets, in the first and second quarters.
"It was great tonight," Wall said, "coming back and getting on the
winning track" after opening the trip with losses at Sacramento and
"I think we got back in the rhythm of making shots. What our team
has to do a better job at, including me also, is that we're not
making shots, we still have to compete and do it on the defensive
Guard Bradley Beal added 18 points as Washington (36-33) snapped its
two-game losing streak. Despite getting 21 points by swingman Nick
Young, in his first game since Feb. 23, Los Angeles (22-46) has lost
four in its current streak, and its past three against the Wizards
over two seasons. Guard Jodie Meeks also scored 21 for the Lakers.
A scuffle broke out with 2:14 left between Young and Wizards forward
Drew Gooden, as they locked arms going for a rebound and violently
tried to break apart. When Gooden fell to the floor, Young ran over
and shoved him.
"I felt like he was trying to go WWE on me," Young said. "It got my
Gooden was ejected on a flagrant foul, and Lakers forward Jordan
Hill was ejected for his second technical foul of the night after he
charged Wizards center Marcin Gortat.
"I think we dug ourselves a hole pretty much early in the game and
had to fight back into it," Nash said of the Lakers, who trailed by
21 at one point, and by 16 with 6:33 remaining.
Nash, at one point considered done for the season after playing in
just 10 games, was a surprise replacement for injured back-up point
guard Jordan Farmar. Nash did not start for the first time since
March 9, 2000 — when Wall was 9 years old.
[to top of second column]
"I don't care (about not starting), I was just happy to play," Nash
said. "I really enjoy playing."
He was the architect of a Lakers' late third-quarter run with four
assists to center Robert Sacre in a 20-10 spurt.
Washington built a 58-47 halftime lead, with Beal and Wall scoring
11 points apiece, and forward Al Harrington coming off the bench to
score 11. Center Marcin Gortat, returning from a game lost to back
spasms, had nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the first
Lakers reserve swingman Xavier Henry led his team with 10 points on
5-of-7 shooting in the first half.
NOTES: Lakers PG Steve Nash (left leg nerve irritation) played in
his first game since Feb. 11. Nash, 40, came off the bench for the
first time since March 9, 2000, when he was with Dallas. He has
played in just 11 games this season. Nash has one year left on his
contract and says he intends to play next season. ... Los Angeles
also got PF Jordan Hill (right knee) and SG/SF Nick Young (left
knee) back, but SF Wesley Johnson (upper-respiratory infection) was
not available. ... Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Washington SF
Trevor Ariza, a former Laker (2007-09), is "playing as well as he's
ever played." The 10-year NBA veteran is shooting a career-best 42.2
percent from 3-point range. "It's all about hard work and putting
the time in," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Ariza, who is
averaging 14.9 points and shooting 45.9 percent from the field, his
best since his last season as a Laker. ... Washington C Marcin
Gortat (back spasms) returned after missing Thursday's loss at
Portland. He resumed his starting role, replacing C Kevin Seraphin.
... Wizards C-PF Nene (left knee) missed his 13th consecutive game.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.