(SportsNetwork.com) – NBA basketball is back in the nation’s capital and the
Washington Wizards will celebrate their home opener Saturday versus the
Milwaukee Bucks at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards split their tour through the Sunshine State, dropping a 107-95
decision at Miami in the post-LeBron James era and recording a 105-98 triumph
against Orlando on Thursday in the second night of a back-to-back.
John Wall propelled the Wizards with 30 points on 10-of-21 shooting and handed
out 12 assists against the Magic. Marcin Gortat powered his way to 20 points
and 12 rebounds, while Paul Pierce netted 16 points in his second game with
The Wizards shot 48.8 percent and hit 7-of-13 3-pointers.
“We created more offense from our defense than our eight preseason games and
the one last night,” Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said.
Nene added 12 points, five assists and three steals in his season debut after
serving a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during a scuffle with
Chicago in the preseason.
Washington was 22-19 at home last season and is still without guard Bradley
Beal (left wrist surgery).
The Bucks collected their first victory of the season on Friday night with a
93-81 win in their home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a battle
of the NBA’s two worst teams last season and one team played like it at the
The Sixers failed to score a single point over the final 8:21, missing all 13
of their shots and turning the ball over four times.
“We closed the game out and it came from the defensive end,” said rookie
forward Jabari Parker. “We just came together and pulled through.”
O.J. Mayo led the way for the Bucks with 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting from
the field and 5-for-7 from long range.
Parker had 11 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Knight tallied 13 points, eight
assists and seven boards while Larry Sanders added 15 rebounds for Milwaukee,
which fell at Charlotte in overtime in its season opener on Wednesday night.
The Milwaukee bench scored 45 points, highlighted, obviously, by Mayo’s big
night. The Bucks held the Sixers to 37.2 percent shooting from the floor and
21.7 percent shooting from the 3-point line.
Milwaukee lost three of four games against Washington in 2013-14. The Wizards
have won six of the previous eight matchups in this series.