After two consecutive subpar performances and losing five of his previous six games, Utah Jazz all-star center Al Jefferson was due for a monster game.
I guess whatever higher deity he prays to answered his call.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, the game in which Jefferson unloaded all his frustration fell on the night they were in town. Big Al immobilized the Wizards’ front court defense with 34 points and 12 boards, nailing 70% of his 23 shots.
The Jazz won 114-100.
At times during last night’s game, the Wizards’ demeanor on the court reminded me of how they played at the start of the season. But unlike the cause of those horrid outings, it wasn’t a lack of interest or direction that doomed the Wizards, but instead a lack of energy and focus.
The Wizards, playing in the fourth of a five game road trip, acted just like it. Outhustled and outmuscled, the Wizards had little response for the Jazz.
When the truncated NBA schedule was released this past offseason, many were fearful of times like last night. Unfortunately, many were also confidant the league’s fourth youngest legs would be able manage multiple road games condensed in one week.
That confidence was rattled by the Jazz, who stormed the Wizards on the fast break and dominated them in the paint.
Despite everything going wrong for the Wizards, John Wall remained sharp. Wall finished with a team high 24 points, shooting 8 for 12 from the field.
JaVale McGee was solid on offense if you’re not considering a post game, but was the main inheritor of abuse by the Jazz front court. While McGee finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds (5 offensive), the Wizards were minus 17 when he was on the floor.
The Wizards conclude their road trip at Phoenix on Monday night.