Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Who ever said basketball couldn’t be fun in different ways, never saw a night where Ish Smith played. Tonight was one of these games where the crafty Wizards guard just made shots.. and shots.. and shots that seemed to just perplex the Nuggets defense.
Smith who led the Wizards with a career high 32 points found ways to score on demand it seemed and kept the Nuggets from having a late fourth quarter run. He did nothing less than dominate the tempo of the game in the second half, where he scored 23 of his points in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter.
“You have to know your role as a player here. We know that players are out and stepping up every night is important for all of us. I came here with desire to win games and I am going to have fun while doing this and help us get to where we need to be every night,” said Smith after the game.
Another big difference in this game was the play of Troy Brown Jr. He added 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds coming off the bench, shooting 10-of-12 from the field. The problem for the Nuggets was that Brown did much of his damage in the first, scoring 18 points in the first 24 minutes of the game and with the scoring flurry by Smith in the second half, trading bucket for bucket wasn’t going to help them in a comeback effort.
For the Nuggets, they were led by Jamal Murray scored 39 points. Nikola Jokic who had been on a tear to start the season was held to 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also had several key turnovers in the fourth quarter losing the ball in the paint keying two Wizards runs in the final 2:00 that gave them a comfortable 10 point lead.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone was extremely displeased with his team after the game.
“That was embarrassing performance. We had a mindset that we can just show up and win a game because maybe some of their starters were out. What happened tonight was exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m embarrassed, I really am. We as a group, as a team, as a coaching staff, players, got our ass kicked tonight,” said Malone.
Washington returns home on Monday night to face the Celtics before heading to Orlando on Wednesday night for a short one game road trip.