Jordan Crawford scored 23 points in the Wizards’ 108-89 win over the New Jersey Nets, forcing fans at Prudential Center to gasp as he hit difficult jumpers and threw down a dunk over Nets forward Gerald Wallace. But when he was given a breather with 88 seconds left in the third period, he never returned — and Coach Randy Wittman didn’t have to worry about putting him back in because Roger Mason Jr. was playing so well.
Mason connected on three three-pointers and scored 11 of his 16 points in the final period. When the Nets trimmed a 14-point lead down to eight with 6:19 remaining, Mason buried back-to-back shots from long distance to give the Wizards a 98-84 lead. He later hit another 21-foot jumper to extend the lead to 19.
“Mase got it going. I’m not going to pull him out when he’s making shots, like Mase was,” Wittman said, explaining why Crawford didn’t return. “I felt comfortable not going back to him.”
Kevin Seraphin has certainly benefited from the three-team trade that shipped out JaVale McGee and Nick Young, but Mason has also had a noticeable spike in production since the deal. Mason is averaging 13.3 points and shooting 52.6 percent from the floor. He has scored in double-figures in three of the past four games, after scoring at least 10 points in four of his first 32 games.
Mason has also made 12 three-pointers over that stretch, posting two games with at least four three-pointers. He had two four three-pointer games before Young was traded.
Wittman has started to lean on Mason more just before the all-star break, but the veteran shooting guard has elevated his play since the deal. On the first night after the trade, Mason scored a season-high 19 points, with 14 coming in the fourth quarter, as the Wizards pulled out a 99-89 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
“I feel good,” Mason said. “I’m getting more playing time, and I’m settling into a nice rhythm.”