Guard Kendrick Nunn made his Wizards debut in Wednesday’s road win over the Rockets, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench. Nunn arrived in the Rui Hachimura trade with the Lakers.
“I thought he was good,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. told reporters of Nunn. “It’s tough because we haven’t had a full practice. But he just played to his strengths. He’s a good player. He’s got the ability to fill it up.”
- The Wizards overcome a 19-point deficit and were down 10 to open the fourth quarter. Kyle Kuzma led the way with 33 points. “We’ve seen it from him,” Unseld said. “Once he gets going he’s shooting into a big bucket.”
- Washington (22-26) improved to 2-0 since the trade, with both wins coming on the road in Texas. They next visit the Pelicans on Saturday night.
Improving defense and sharing the ball on offense is behind the Magic’s hot streak at home, where they have won nine of 12 games, forward/center Wendell Carter Jr. told reporters.
“Defense is going to have to be our identity for us to get into the playoffs. That’s kind of our push right now, that’s what everybody’s mind set is,” Carter said. “Defending home court is going to be huge for us.”
- Shooting guard Gary Harris Jr. is clearly impressed with rookie big man Paolo Banchero. “I’ve never seen anybody come into the league like he’s come into the league, just how locked-in, focused, how mature he is,” Harris said. “I’ve never seen a rookie like him. It’s been fun to share the court with him.”
- Carter has been equally impressed. “He just gets the game of basketball,” he said of Banchero. “We’re at our best when he’s aggressive, and he understands that. He understands that there’s a lot of weight on him as the No. 1 pick, but he’s so calm and collected out there.”
Wednesday’s win over the Nets marked the first time 76ers guard James Harden faced his former team with Ben Simmons. The two were involved in a trade for each other nearly a year ago.
“I don’t care about all that stuff,” Harden told reporters about playing against his former team.
- The Sixers were 12-12 at about the quarter point of the season on Dec. 5. Since then, they’ve gone 19-4.
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