Wall leads Wizards past Magic
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall tallied 16 points and 13 assists as the Washington Wizards cruised past the Orlando Magic, 98-80, to reach .500 for the first time this season.
Trevor Ariza scored a game-high 24 points for Washington, which has won seven of nine after dropping four straight tilts in mid-November. Ariza shot 8-of-9 from the floor and drained all four triples he attempted.
"We want to continue this winning thing and make it a tradition around here," Ariza said.
Nene added 14 points in the victory and Marcin Gortat had 13.
Arron Afflalo's 21 points paced the Magic as they fell by 18 points for the second straight game. Maurice Harkless came off the bench and contributed 16 points in the setback, while Nikola Vucevic went for 10 points and eight rebounds.
"Nene was a force in the inside, Gortat was a force in the inside, and we had to react a little bit, and Ariza made 3s, and there you have it," Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn said.
Afflalo scored the game's first basket before Washington ran off 15 straight for an early 13-point advantage. Orlando came storming back and scored the last eight points of the period to tie the score at 22-22.
The Magic led by as many as five early in the second on an Afflalo layup, but it was all Washington after that.
The Wizards finished the first half on a 17-6 run -- capped by Wall's stepback trey in the final seconds -- and led 52-41 at intermission.
Orlando made a final charge midway through the third. The visitors pulled to within seven at 62-55 on a pair of Victor Oladipo free throws before Washington regained control. Gortat scored four straight and Wall followed with a transition layup and a deep three.
The lead remained in double figures for the duration of the contest.
Washington guard Bradley Beal missed his fifth straight game with a stress injury in his right leg ... Wall had just one fewer assist than the entire Magic team ... Chris Singleton scored a season-high 11 points off the bench for the Wizards ... Orlando shot just 3-of-15 from 3-point range.
12/03 01:44:55 ET