|Washington, DC–Home is supposed to be where the comfort is found, but the Wizards after suffering a whooping in Boston on Friday night did not find coming home to the Verizon Center for the home opener much better as they fell to the Orlando Magic 94-82.
All around, the Wizards continued to struggle and they have struggled to their worst start since 1992, when they were called the Bullets. Oh yea, they also had a record of 22-60 that season… a repeat, we hope not.
The Wizards were led by Caron Butler’s 23 points and Brendan Haywood helped out with another double figure effort with 10 points and also matching a career high with 16 rebounds. But Washington shot 34.8 percent, committed 15 turnovers and failed to score on six straight possessions late in the fourth quarter.
Gilbert Arenas who has yet to find his game had just 10 points and shot a dismal 5 for 15 from the field. Most of the players seem the sense of urgency to get something going, but they are not worried as of yet.
“I think we need to get into the gym and just go at each other,” said guard DeShawn Stevenson, who has been a non-factor offensively. “We need to get one of those tough practices where everybody doesn’t like each other, get that trash-talking going and make each other uncomfortable. I think right now, everyone is too relaxed and we don’t play like that. Normally, we play with a chip on our shoulder. We have to get that attitude back.”
The Wizards trailed 76-75 with just under 6 minutes left, but then went the next 3 minutes without a point, allowing Orlando to take control and handle the game for the remainder of the fourth quarter.
Orlando was led by Hedo Turkoglu’s 25 points 8 rebounds and 7 assists, 13 of those 25 points came in the fourth quarter as the Magic pulled away in the final minutes.
Jameer Nelson scored 17 points and spoke very highly of Arenas even though he has had his worst three game stretch since he became a Wizard.
“It looked like he was a little gimpy,” said Nelson. “He’s still Gilbert. You’ve got to respect him, no matter what.”