After three dismal losses on their home court at Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards needed a road win to right the ship. Washington snapped its losing skid with a 97-83 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats Jan. 7 to improve to 15-17.
Washington had a season-low seven turnovers, and center Marcin Gortat, who was benched during the fourth quarter of the Wizards' Jan. 5 loss to Golden State, had one of his best outings of the season.
Gortat scored 18 points, pulled down 13 rebounds, and held Bobcats center Al Jefferson to six points and nine rebounds. Gortat and Jefferson are familiar with one another, having faced each other four times per year during Gortat's days in Phoenix and Jefferson's time in Utah.
"He's a very good player, a very bright guy, very smart," Gortat said of Jefferson. "I was really focused from the get-go, so I was able to help the team today."
It's the kind of performance the Wizards will need from Gortat, along with Nene, his partner in the paint, to get into the win column. Washington coach Randy Wittman called the win a really good effort.
"We didn't start the game making shots," Wittman said. "I don't know what we started, [but] it wasn't good. But we never lost that bounce, fire. When you give yourself that chance, you can turn a game around."
Washington had a balanced scoring attack, with five players in double figures, led by guard Bradley Beal with 21.
"We had different guys give us big boosts," Wittman said. "I thought Book (forward Trevor Booker) gave us some solid play on both ends of the floor. Bradley got it going, and I told March (Gortat) that's as good as you can play Al Jefferson."
The Wizards will get back to action against the Pelicans in New Orleans (15-18) Jan. 8.