Wizards Vs. Magic: Orlando Hands Washington 101-76 Loss Despite John Wall's Best Efforts

John Wall played great, but he was just about the only Wizard contributing against Orlando. Dwight Howard dominated as the Magic finished off a sweep of the season series.

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Wizards Vs. Magic: Orlando Sends Washington Into All-Star Break With 101-76 loss

Not unlike other Wizards games this season, this one was done long before the final horn. The Magic sent Washington into the All-Star with a 101-76 that should remind the Wizards where they stand after the brief Era of Good Feelings that followed the teams' first road win of the season against Cleveland.

John Wall was brilliant for the Wizards, scoring 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Wall was aggressive looking for his shot and going to the basket -- he shot 10 free throws, the most he's had since a Jan. 11 win against the Kings, which went to overtime.

Unfortunately for the Wizards, Andray Blatche was the only other semi-viable offensive threat. He had 15 points, but he needed 17 shots to get there -- and he was missed eight of 10 shots in the first half.

The Wizards were without Rashard Lewis and Nick Young. Cartier Martin stepped into the starting lineup but had a nightmarish day shooting just 2 for 13 from the field including six misses in seven three point attempts.

Once again Dwight Howard dominated the Wizards, this time going for 32 points and 10 rebounds. Gilbert Arenas only had two points against his former team, adding six assists but also four turnovers.

The Wizards are off now through the All-Star break. They are sending two players -- JaVale McGee and John Wall -- to the festivities. McGee is a contestant in the Dunk Contest on Saturday and John Wall will play in the Rookie Challenge against the sophomores.

Next game action for the Wizards is Feb. 22 against the Pacers.

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Wizards Vs. Magic: Orlando Leads 48-39 At Half

A pleasant start gave way to a more predicable performance for the Wizards in Orlando. Washington led 18-17 after the first quarter, but enters the half trailing by a score of 48-39.

The Magic finished on a 20-7 run to push their lead before the break. Dwight Howard already has 17 points and five rebounds, once again bullying the Wizards down low.

The bright spot for the Wizards is of course John Wall, who has 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Wall is attacking the basketball for points in the paint, and has already shot six free throws. Wall (one assist) is looking for his own shot with Nick Young resting and the rest of his team not hitting. The rest of the Wizards are shooting 22 percent from the field. Oy.

Cartier Martin and Josh Howard are having particularly rough nights -- shooting a combined 0 for 14 from the field. Andray Blatche checks in a comparatively efficient 2 for 10.

Gilbert Arenas has also been relatively quiet. He has five assists, but zero points on just one shot.

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Wizards Vs. Magic: Cartier Martin Starts As Washington Leads 18-17 After First Quarter

The Wizards are a little banged up, and are sitting Rashard Lewis and Nick Young against the Magic. The move gets those guys some extra rest when you factor in the upcoming All-Star break, which unofficially starts for Washington after tonight's contest. Cartier Martin got the start in place of Young. The Wizards lead by a score of 18-17 after the first quarter.

Fans of the Wizards know Cartier Martin, but if you're a casual observer or you like reading and learning, here's the Cartier Martin excerpt from my feature today on Hopes and Dreams for the Wizards.

Cartier Martin can shoot the basketball. Need proof? Then you don’t remember his five three-pointers against Milwaukee. As a D-League call-up last season, Martin told me he needed to improve his handle and ability to shoot off the dribble in order to stick in the league. If he continues to improve those aspects of his game, he could be stretch the floor for the Wizards as a shooter off the bench. His true shooting percentage is much higher than it’s ever been in the NBA during the largest sample size of his career.

Of course, I might have jinxed Martin, who could not buy a bucket in the first quarter, however, missing all five of his field goal attempts.

John Wall has been getting to the cup at will, and has 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

If you're REALLY interested in Cartier Martin, you could check out a post I wrote on his journey from the D-League to NBA last season for NBA FanHouse.

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Wizards Vs. Magic: Washington Sees Gilbert Arenas For Last Time This Season

Wednesday night is the fourth edition of Wizards vs. Magic this season, with the teams finishing their season series before the All-Star break. The Wizards have lost the first three meetings between the teams, most recently by a score of 110-92 in Gilbert Arenas' return to Washington.

Tonight it's Rashard Lewis' turn to step back into the building he called home before the teams swapped former All-Stars. Lewis is out tonigt, but he can likely expect a warm welcome nonetheless. As Michael Lee dutifully noted, the Magic didn't exactly purge his likeness from the organization as the Wizards did with Arenas. Here's the evidence:

Wizardsvsmagic_medium

In addition to Rashard Lewis sitting out, Nick Young is doubtful and JaVale McGee has a sore back, which  he of course needs to protect for the Dunk Contest this weekend (info per Lee). Advantage Orlando, as if that wasn't already the case.

Last time out, Dwight Howard torched the Wizards, hitting his first 10 shots en route to 22 points and 15 rebound effort. The Wizards post defense was poor in general, as forward Ryan Anderson tagged Washington for an additional 19 points and eight rebounds.

But this is a new Washington Wizards team, today! This is a team with a road win under its belt!

OK ... it's the same Wizards team. And even if they come out with the same energy and confidence in Orlando that they displayed in Cleveland, it isn't likely to be enough tonight. But then again -- two road wins heading into the break would be a good kick start to the second half of the season. And that would give fans another reason to look forward to the second half of the season.

For more Wizards reading check out our SB Nation Wizards blog Bullets Forever.

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