Story By : Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After a couple of wild days for the Wizards of who’s on first when it comes to players, the had to face a Lakers team that had been surging and would have to do so with out Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers, who finally have made their way to Phoenix. So what happened? John Wall happened and in a big way.
Wall, who has clearly taken over as the leader of this team and shown why he is considered one of the best point guards in the league, as he owned the Lakers tonight, finishing with 40 points.
The Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak and they basically owned the LeBron and Lonzo Ball show.
The biggest talk prior to the game was the trade for Ariza, who has yet to join the team, but his teammates will know be good for them.
“We got to move forward,” Beal said when asked about the trade. “… It was good to see [Oubre’s] development and he’s like my little brother. From that aspect, I’m a little sad about it, hurt by it. But it is a business at the end of the day.”
But Beal also said Ariza is the “perfect fit” for what the Wizards need.
“I get my O.G. back — he’s my vet — in Trevor Ariza,” Beal said. “I embrace that, that’s a plus. It’s [the trade] kind of a two-fold situation. Trev has a spark about himself. He has a true desire to win. He doesn’t care what it looks like — he is going to go out there and do it.
The X factor in the game tonight for Wall and his crew was the emergence of Sam Dekker, who dropped 20 for the Wizards, in what is his best game so far after being traded to the team last week.
The Lakers showed that they were tired tonight and couldn’t get their game going right from the start. The early 20 point lead the Wizards built early in the game, stayed that way for most of the game with Lebron hitting the bench early in the fourth quarter and not returning.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the way for the Lakers with 25 points.