Fun happens when the ball zips around on a record-setting pace and nearly every player who steps on the court gets to score. With unselfishness and deft shot-making, the Wizards romped through their best performance of the five-game road trip, amassing 40 assists, the most in a single game for the franchise since 1992. Also, Washington tied a season high with 18 made three-pointers.
The team effort came as all-star point guard John Wall sat out with left knee soreness. Satoransky and Frazier filled the point guard vacancy better than expected. Satoransky started the game and knocked down his trio of three-pointers, finishing with 11 points, seven assists and only one turnover. And Frazier became the first player off the bench in league history to record 14 assists and three blocks in a game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“I didn’t even realize till they just showed me I had three blocks,” Frazier joked. “I’m trying to figure out where they came from.”
There was no mystery to the origin of the team’s 57.6 percent shooting. Washington moved the ball as well as it had all season.
“We missed a lot of open shots last game,” said Markieff Morris who tied a season-high with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting. “We wanted to emphasize making open shots tonight and we did.”
Bad shooting nights had plagued the team during the road trip, especially the stop in Dallas and early in Oklahoma City, which led to lower assist numbers. However, on Saturday night, the ball consistently swung around as teammates worked to find open shots.
“One-on-one dribbling, it’s hard to score consistently when you do that,” Coach Scott Brooks said. “But the passing for 40 assists, I wasn’t expecting that. I like the way we were playing. Regardless if we made shots or not, we were playing with an extra pass in our mind.”
Players echoed their coach by stating how the Wizards must replicate this passing behavior in the future — particularly on Tuesday, when the Wizards host the Thunder, an opponent that gave them fits Thursday night with its length and athleticism. But a commitment to moving the ball and getting into sets quickly could combat the defensive pressure.
“We just went out and attacked,” Morris said, “and we just need this to roll over to next game.”
Besides, the game is more fun when it’s shared.
“Everyone’s happy when you play like that,” said Satoransky.
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