With their injury-ridden roster, the Wizards have been forced to rely heavily on rookies the past few weeks. Coach Flip Saunders has started rookies Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford and John Wall the past two games and the trio of first-year players responded by scoring a combined 72 points on Friday in a 116-107 loss to the Toronto Raptors that proved to be both rare and historic in the franchise annals.
Booker scored a career-high 26 points and Crawford had 25 points, as they became the first pair of rookie teammates to score at least 25 points in the same game since Kevin Durant and Jeff Green had 42 points and 27 points, respectively, for Seattle in a 126-121 win at Golden State on April 16, 2008.
The last time it happened in franchise history, the team was called the Bullets and located in Baltimore as Hall of Famer Gus “Honeycomb” Johnson scored 40 points and Rod Thorn -- yes, the man who drafted Michael Jordan -- had 29 points in a 137-134 win over the New York Knicks on Feb. 4, 1964.
Wall added 21 points, giving the Wizards the first trio of 20-point scorers since Jan. 19, 2002, when Pau Gasol scored 26 points, Will Solomon had 23 points and Antonis Fotsis had 21 points in a 119-103 loss to the Orlando Magic.
The franchise wasn’t known as the Wizards or Bullets the last time three rookies scored at least 20. Back when the team was known as the Chicago Zephyrs, Charlie Hardnett (27 points), Terry Dischinger (25) and Bill McGill (20) accomplished the feat in a 126-117 loss to the Cincinnati Royals on March 16, 1963.
Now that’s taking it way back.