Final: Wizards Defeat Sixers 116-115 In Overtime

Cartier Martin hit an improbable three to force overtime, and John Wall came through with 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals in his home debut. For more, visit Bullets Forever.

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Video: Cartier Martin's Three Pointer To Force Overtime

Going into tonight's game, I don't think anyone thought Cartier Martin would be one of the Wizards we would all be talking about on Wednesday morning, but off-balance three pointers to force overtime have a way thrusting your name into discussions around town.


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Free Basketball!: Wall And Blatche Close The Deal As Wizards Defeat Sixers 116-115

  • It takes almost two full minutes for either team to get a score as they briefly resume playing basketball without fouls on every possession. John Wall almost kept the scoreless drought going with an impressive block from behind on Andre Iguodala. He drew enough body to draw the foul, but it was still mighty impressive.
  • On the other end, some fancy dribbling allows Wall to get inside and kick out to Al Thornton for an easy jumper to make the lead 110-107 with under two minutes to go.
  • With the Wizards only up by one with just over a minute to go, John Wall buries a mid-range jumper to put the lead back up to three. Huge bucket.
  • After Elton Brand makes it one point game again on the other end, Blatche coughs up the ball and gives the Sixers a chance to take back the lead with 35 seconds to go. Elton Brand makes the most of it hitting a silly shot off the glass with 14 seconds to go. It's not an $80 million shot, but it gives the Sixers a 115-114 lead.
  • Blatche gets isolated on Elton Brand and drives to the hoop, drawing a foul from Brand, his sixth. It hasn't been Blatche's best game, but he saved a good move for late, and hit both free throws, putting the Wizards back on top with 7.1 seconds to go.
  • The Sixers get the ball into the paint, but they can't get the ball in the bucket, and the Wizards hold on for the win 116-115.
  • I said in my feature last week that Wall would need a "a triple-double, a game-winning shot and a highlight dunk to even have a shot at creating the same buzz Strasburg did in his debut." 29 points, 13 assists, 9 steals, a huge bucket late, several clutch free throws and some impressive highlights later, I must say he came pretty doggone close in his first home game in Washington.
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Fourth Quarter: Cartier Martin Forces Overtime With A Clutch Three Pointer

Hey, look who's at the game tonight guys!

Cooleywiz_medium 

(via Michael Tunison)

  • After a long stint on the bench, Nick Young hasn't able to rekindle the fire in the fourth quarter, and as such, John Wall makes an early re-entrance into the game.
  • Hilton Armstrong's turnaround jumper increases the lead to 82-73. Not going to lie, I didn't think I would by typing that sentence tonight.
  • With each fast break, it's gets harder and harder for anyone to make the already flimsy case that Gilbert Arenas will be able to re-claim this team.
  • The Wizards and Sixers have been trading buckets back and forth throughout the fourth. In crunch time, John Wall's fast break opportunities are quickly disappearing. Now we'll get to see how he handles executing the half court offense in crunch time.
  • Early reviews aren't encouraging. Wall's lack of confidence in his jumper causes him to pass up an open shot and force the ball back inside, where Elton Brand made the easy steal. It's a lot easier to hide that weak jumper on the fast break.
  • Evan Turner and John Wall trade impressive buckets in the paint, but Wall's came with a foul shot that cut the lead to three, 100-97, with under a minute to go.
  • After getting a stop on defense, Al Thornton drives and draws the foul with 17.3 seconds to go and hits both free throws to make it a one point game. Presuming the Sixers make both free throws on the other end, who takes the three for the Wizards if they go for the tie right away? I'll guess Hinrich.
  • Lou Williams does indeed hit both free throws, and now the Wizards have 16.7 seconds to either go for one shot or get a quick basket and hope the Sixers miss a free throw on the other end.
  • After only giving up 18 points in the third quarter, the Wizards allowed the Sixers to score 36 in the fourth.
  • They opt for the quick bucket, which was made beautifully by Wall. Kirk Hinrich nearly gets the steal but stepped out of bounds.
  • A well drawn inbounds play nearly gave Lou Williams a free basket, but he gets fouled before he can convert the basket. Again, he makes both free throws. Now the Wizards face the same dilemma with 9.5 seconds to go.
  • Wall draws a foul with 6.2 seconds to go and drills both free throws, bringing the score to 104-103. Trevor Booker again nearly forces a steal but didn't quite get it. On the inbound, Nick Young fouls Williams with 3.1 seconds to go, and again, Williams makes it three point game by hitting both free throws.
  • Cartier Martin proceeds to bury a leaning three-pointer over Andre Iguodala to force overtime. He wasn't the first option, but he made it work. Not bad for a guy in the D-League last season.
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Third Quarter: Wizards And Sixers Both Capitalize On Turnovers

  • Andre Iguodala sparks an early second half run with a three pointer and a nice pass to Spencer Hawes. I know Kirk Hinrich can guard some small forwards, but I think you need someone a little bigger to deal with Iggy.
  • The referees are forced to go to the replay to see if Andres Nocioni had a clear path violation on John Wall, which would have given the Wizards two shots and the ball. The Wizards didn't get the call, but it shows just another way Wall's speed creates opportunities, even it it didn't work on that fast break.
  • After starting the game with a basket, Andray Blatche has really struggled, only making 3 of his last 11, missing some quite badly. I know the conditioning is still a work in progress and there isn't a much better option to start right now, but Blatche has to understand how to play within in his capabilities while he gets his wind back.
  • John Wall found a good way to create the fast break opportunities he didn't have in the first half: Steal the ball. Wall had six pickpockets in the third quarter as the Wizards opened up the lead midway through the third, as they opened up a double digit lead. But as we all know, the turnover gods giveth and taketh away. Some turnovers late in the quarter let the Sixers get back with in six, 72-66, at the end of the quarter.
  • Through three quarters, Wall has 16 points, 9 assists and 7 steals. Evan Turner has no points.
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Second Quarter: Nick Young Steals The Show

  • Washington carried their late first quarter momentum into the second, jumping out to a 35-30 lead, thanks in big part to Nick Young, who is feeling it early. Hinrich's early fouls may have been a blessing in disguise, letting Young get into an early rhythm.
  • Fear the (mini)Fro! Young continues to feel it, nailing a long two, while being fouled. He's got 15 points in 11 minutes as the Wizards extend their lead.
  • Obviously Young's career has always been peaks and valleys, but when he's hot, he's hard not to root for.
  • Young's shooting let's Wall get a solid five and a half minutes of rest, before checking back in.
  • Philadelphia does a good job of settling down and using their depth inside to get back in the game once Wall gets back in the game. The good news is the Wizards are still winning the rebound battle 20-15, late in the second quarter.
  • Wall picks up points seven and eight with a Dwyane Wade-like splitting of the double team. The Sixers had no chance to recover before he put in the easy layup.
  • After leaving the door far too open, the Sixers adjust their defense, throwing some traps his direction and forcing Wall into some tough passes, throwing off the rhythm of the offense. 
  • Yi Jianlian held on to the ball just a hair too long at the end of the quarter and missed an opportunity for a little extra confidence heading into the half. Instead, they'll enter the locker room with a 50-48 lead.
  • Wall's line: 8 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 3 turnovers in 18 minutes.

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First Quarter: Wall Dances, Picks Up Five Assists

Most people were wondering if he would bust out the John Wall dance in his debut at the Verizon Center, instead he opted for...the Dougie?

 

(via @talkhoops)

Ladies and gentlemen, the face of the franchise! Now on to the notes from the first quarter:

  • As expected, JaVale McGee wins the tip. No reason he shouldn't go undefeated on those. Who can jump higher than he does? Seriously?
  • John Wall's first pass on the fast break, just a bit too far in front of Kirk Hinrich, so the first stat he collect at the Verizon Center is a turnover.
  • No one told Andray Blatche this is supposed to be John Wall's coming out party. He takes three shots in the first two and a half minutes.
  • After missing his first jumper, Wall draws contact and makes 1 of 2 in his first trip from the line.
  • So much for riding that home crowd advantage in Wall's first game at the Verizon Center...the Wizards start the game down 12-3.
  • Also, so much for a home crowd advantage, according to Gene Wang, who says there are plenty of seats still available at the phone booth tonight. How the Wizards can't sell out Verizon Center in Wall's debut after the Nationals sold out Strasmas at a venue with nearly twice the capacity is beyond me.
  • The TV broadcast shows Irene Pollin sitting courtside, wearing the same outfit she wore in May when the Wizards landed the first overall pick in the NBA draft. Hopefully it brings some more good luck.
  • Also sitting courtside: Ted Leonsis. Always nice to see owners mingling with the fans, even if they're the ones who paid the most for their seats.
  • John Wall's first assist comes as he finds Al Thornton cutting to the basket for an easy slam after drawing a double-team.
  • Philadelphia's speed is making it very difficult for Wall to push the tempo on the break. As soon as he starts to push the ball, the whole team is back to make sure he isn't getting cheap points.
  • That said, he's still utilizing his quickness in the half court, drawing three fouls in the first nine minutes.
  • Evan Turner finally enters the game with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter. Wall promptly reminds him who was drafted first as he hits sets up Al Thornton for a layup on the fast break.
  • John's first highlight play of the season comes on a beautiful And-1 play where he catches the Sixers' defense off guard and finishes after drawing contact with Thaddeus Young.
  • That play was the highlight of a strong run to end the first quarter. After falling into an early double-digit deficit, the Wizards finish the quarter down 28-27.
  • Wall's line: 6 points (1-3 FG, 4-7 FT) 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 rebound and 1 steal.
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Sixers Vs. Wizards: John Wall, Evan Turner Square Off In Washington's Home Opener

The Washington Wizards will become the last team to have their home opener when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at the Verizon Center. The matchup should be worth the wait. John Wall, the dynamic No. 1 pick, will square off against No. 2 pick Evan Turner tonight. 

In that sense, this will be among the best matchups between two winless teams that you could conceive. The Wizards, of course, are 0-2, with losses on the road to the Magic and Hawks. But the Sixers are even worse. They have an 0-3 record, having fallen to Miami, Atlanta and Indiana. Turner has been pretty solid, but the pieces don't appear to fit particularly well. New coach Doug Collins has already informed his players that the roster does not have a single guy with a winning record in the NBA. I'm not sure why he did this, but the fact alone is damming. 

Gilbert Arenas will not play for the Wizards with an ankle injury. Wall will go, despite his own ankle issues. We will have more on the game all night here in this StoryStream.

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