Wall received a standing ovation as he stepped onto the court for the first time this season — the first time since last April — because of a left-knee injury and commenced his third season with the organization he was drafted to lead back to respectability.
After using the first three quarters to get his "jiggly" legs under him, Wall gave the Wizards and the fans a reminder of the speed, excitement and flash they've been missing in a 93-83 victory over the
"I hadn't played in so long, four months, so it felt like we were miserable, but I kept fighting for my team," Wall said after scoring 14 points with a team-high four assists and two rebounds. "Just excited to get back out there with my teammates, play in front of the D.C. crowd and help our team get a win."
Using that break-neck speed to break down the defense and unleashing several months of pent-up passion, Wall didn't appear to miss a step in the fourth quarter, when he took the suspense out of close game with back-to-back layups. Then, after forward
"Obviously, it's a long time sitting there," Wizards coach
Wall was the difference in helping the Wizards (6-28) finally knock off a Hawks team that had won the previous six meetings, including two overtime games this season. He closed out the game with a nifty, behind-the-back pass to
Wall picked a good time to return, with several of his teammates starting to round into shape. He was in position to close out the game because point guard
"That's what I expected. From the jump, he was enthusiastic. He was hyped," Beal said.
Pcts: FG .385, FT .640. 3-pointers: 7-24, .292 (L.Williams 2-6, J.Jenkins 1-1, D.Harris 1-3, J.Teague 1-3, J.Smith 1-4, Korver 1-4, Stevenson 0-1, I.Johnson 0-2). Team rebs: 13. Team turnovers: 16. Blocks: 4 (Horford, J.Smith, J.Teague, Korver). Turnovers: 16 (J.Smith 4, Horford 3, J.Teague 3, D.Harris 2, I.Johnson, Korver, L.Williams, Pachulia). Steals: 8 (J.Teague 2, D.Harris, I.Johnson, J.Smith, Korver, L.Williams, Stevenson). Technical fouls: L.Williams, J.Teague, J.Smith.
Pcts: FG .456, FT .704. 3-pointers: 2-11, .182 (Beal 1-3, Webster 1-3, Temple 0-1, A.Price 0-4). Team rebs: 6. Team turnovers: 17. Blocks: 4 (Booker 2, Seraphin, Temple). Turnovers: 17 (Nene 3, Seraphin 3, Wall 3, Beal 2, Booker 2, A.Price, Ariza, Okafor, Webster). Steals: 9 (Beal 3, A.Price 2, Webster 2, Booker, Seraphin). Technical fouls: Seraphin.