Johnson: Wizards 'bear' another road loss

Johnson: Wizards 'bear' another road loss
January 30, 2011, 3:28 am
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Saturday, January 29, 2011 10:27 pm


By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comMemphis----It really was O.J. Mayo bobblehead night. In an unfortunate twist of timing for the Memphis Grizzlies Mayo was serving an NBA suspension, but Zach Randolph turned in a typical night for him and Darrell Arthur had a career game in a 107-93 win over the Washington Wizards.The Wizards hopes for their first road win faded early. Back-to-back slam dunks by Al Thornton and Andray Blatche gave the Wizards a 15-13 lead in the first quarter. It turned out to be their only lead of the game as Arthur came off the bench and scored 7 points in a quick 9-0 Grizzlies run. The chase was on from there, but the Wizards never caught the Grizzlies. With an arsenal of jaw-dropping dunks Arthur finished with a career-high 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field and helped make up for Rudy Gays off night. Limited by foul trouble Gay only had 4 points on 2 of 11 shooting from the field. From the start of the game, we didnt have the same intensity, said Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with an elbow injury. We were getting hurt in transition. We just werent sharp, especially on the defensive end. It was pretty much a layup drill for most of the game.The Grizzlies dominated the inside with 68 of their points in the paint. Randolph extended his franchise-record double-double streak to 14 games with 24 points and 12 rebounds. It was the fifth time this season and ninth time in his career that Randolph has had over 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Randolph is in elite company with the Magics Dwight Howard and the Timberwolves Kevin Love as the only players with multiple games with 20 points and 20 rebounds this season. The Wizards, like the Grizzlies, played on Friday night and the wear and tear of their double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City took its toll. Andray Blatche tried to play through the flu and was held to 10 points and 9 rebounds. Nick Young only had 8 points on 2 of 9 shooting from the field before his night came to an early end with a right calf injury.With JaVale McGee still back home recovering from the flu, Trevor Booker made his second consecutive start. Booker again made a strong argument for being a consistent part of the Wizards rotation with 12 points and 12 rebounds. We felt good about last night (at Oklahoma City) and we just didnt carry it over, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. We had some guys who did, but when you are missing guys and you are not at full strength, you cant have a couple guys play. We are not talented enough to do that. We need everybody playing at a high level.A night after contending with the Thunders Russell Westbrook, John Wall had to deal with the Grizzlies Mike Conley. The match-up went to Conley as he turned in 15 points and 12 assists. Wall led the Wizards with 14 points and 8 assists, but was also tripped up by 5 turnovers.The Grizzlies lead the NBA in steals and points off turnovers and their ability to disrupt the passing lanes helped prevent the Wizards from establishing any kind of offensive rhythm. In the second quarter the Grizzlies scored 8 points off 6 Wizards turnovers to build a 59-50 half-time lead.Bad third quarters have been a story line in several of the Wizards 23 road losses this season and it was an issue against the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol scored 8 of his 14 points and had 3 of his career high 5 blocked shots in the third as the Grizzlies outscored the Wizards 27-17. Gasol delivered the Grizzlies biggest lead of the night on a 22 foot jump shot to make it 86-65.The Wizards quest for a win away from Verzion Center now shifts to a Monday night game in Dallas against the Mavericks. With Blatche and McGee bothered by the flu and Young nursing a sore calf, the Wizards need the break from game action,