The Washington Wizards lived up to their status basketball gambling favorites on Thursday and beat the Los Angeles Lakers 116-108 at the Verizon Center. However, the Wizards failed to cover the NBA betting spread. Washington point guard John Wall had 33 points, including 16 in the last nine minutes of the game to lead the Wizards to their sixth straight win. the local fans were very vocal in their support of the visiting team, which the Wizards took out on the Lakers. “I felt like we were on the road today,” said guard Bradley Beal, who had 23 points, 19 in the first half.
Washington outscored LA 27-15 in the second quarter, and led by 14 points at halftime. “The second quarter was terrible,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said. Not so terrible, Magic Johnson – you may have heard of him – will return to the LA team as an adviser. The Lakers did manage to rally from a 19-point deficit, thanks to 20 points from Jordan Clarkson and 17 from D’Angelo Russell who also had 11 assists and seven rebounds. Unfortunately, LA had 20 TOs which the Wizards translated into 24 points, while the Lakers only scored six points off Washington’s 12 TOs.
The Wizards are not ones to take it easy on opposing teams’ mistakes; that’s part of the reason they have won 10 of their last 11 games. As a matter of fact, Washington is 10-1 against the basketball gambling spread in the last 11 games, and 14-2 against the NBA betting spread in the last 16 home games. In addition to being the game’s hi-scorer, Wall was a wall in defense as well, closing out on D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams three-point attempts late in the game. Moreover, Marcin Gortat had his 28th double-double of the season, including 11 points in the third quarter. Gortat is shooting 80.9% in the last five games, averaging 16.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
So the Wizards have won six in a row and the last 16 at home, and lead the Southeast division with a 29-20 record. Why were Washington fans rooting for the Lakers again? Not even Lakers fans root for the Lakers. Los Angeles is fourth in the Pacific division with a 17-35 record. Furthermore, the Lakers are 5-1 against the basketball gambling spread in the last six games but 2-9 straight-up in the last 11, and 3-6 against the NBA betting spread in the last nine road games, and 0-5 straight-up in the last five road games. The Lakers can only hope that Magic will work some of that magic on the team. The Hall of Famer will return in an adviser capacity to co-owner and president Jeanie Buss. Johnson won five NBA championships, three NBA Most Valuable Player trophies, and three NBA Finals MVP awards in his 13-season career with the Lakers. According to several outlets, Magic’s return does not bode well for part owner/executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, who has butted heads with the former All Star in the past.
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