WASHINGTON — On a night that the Washington Wizards scored their fewest points of the season, Marcin Gortat made sure his points counted. Gortat had a season-high 24 points and 13 rebounds in the Wizards’ 83-80 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night.
Washington had lost its last two games, and Gortat scored 12 points in each half.
While the Wizards won despite scoring their season low, the Pelicans were also held to their fewest points — and have their first three-game losing streak of the season.
Washington coach Randy Wittman was appreciative of Gortat.
“That was big for us, considering we didn’t have a lot going on offensively,” Wittman said. “He had a complete game for us.”
The Wizards trailed only once — when Anthony Davis, who led New Orleans with 30 points, dunked with 3:48 remaining to give the Pelicans a 78-77 lead.
Gortat guarded Davis most of the night, and felt he did a good job despite the 30 points.
“He can score in so many different ways. We have to make sure we have to stop him inside and outside,” Gortat said.
“It’s fun when you’re scoring and scoring against one of the best defenders in the league. It’s a lot of fun. I believe I should do this every day.”
Paul Pierce hit a layup and a 3-pointer, and Washington led 81-77 with 2:13 to play.
Tyreke Evans missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied the score with 1.7 seconds to play. Evans, who is New Orleans’ second leading scorer, missed 13 of his 15 field goal attempts.
Gortat was 5 for 7 from the field in the third quarter, as the Wizards, who never trailed, built a 65-57 lead after three.
Davis had 13 rebounds, but the NBA blocked shot leader, had none for the first time in 15 games this season.
“We’re definitely frustrated. We gave away a couple of games we could have won. We have to find a way to get up out of it. We’re playing our hearts out,” Davis said.
The Pelicans had a season-low 12 assists and lost on consecutive nights. In their first three back-to-backs this season they had lost the first and won the second game.
Pelicans: G Eric Gordon missed his third game with a left shoulder injury. . G Austin Rivers, who was 0 for 8 in his first start of the season on Friday, missed his first three field goals before finally hitting one with 1:32 left in the third quarter. . Rivers won the hearts of the Verizon Center crowd by missing two fourth quarter free throws, earning the fans free chicken sandwiches.
Wizards: F Nene missed his third game with plantar fasciitis. “Nene’s a big part of our team. There’s no question about that,” coach Randy Wittman said. Wittman said that adding front court depth in the off season helps make up for Nene’s loss. “Opportunities presented themselves with the guys we brought in.”
Pelicans: Host Thunder on Tuesday
Wizards: Host Heat on Monday
Besides Davis, New Orleans scored just 50 points.
“They’re frustrated. They just lost a tough game. Anyone would be frustrated,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “The thing that bothers me is that we lost because we hurt ourselves.”
DEPEND ON PIERCE:
Wittman finds Pierce’s presence a comfort. The 16-year NBA veteran, who declined to address the media, had those key five late points.
“He doesn’t get excited in times when they came back,” Wittman said. “That’s what Paul kind of gives us, a little calming influence in those situations.”
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