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No matter how bad a loss has been, or how listless the Wizards were in a game like the one they lost Tuesday to the Orlando Magic, John Wall waits. In previous years, Garrett Temple, Paul Pierce and Ramon Sessions, to name a few, would join him if their time was requested by the media following a performance like this one — giving up 124 points in regulation to one of the NBA’s worst offensive teams. Now the last guy standing is Wall, who at $80 million on a five-year contract is one of the best contracts just three years after it was widely questioned if he deserved it or not.
Soon after, a close game at 53-48 grew into a 66-51 deficit for the Wizards at halftime. He returned with a vengeance in the third quarter when he had four steals and scored 12 of his 16 points. “He let the game bother him. You got to play with great passion and intensity. If calls go your way, great. If they don’t you have no control of that,” said coach Scott Brooks, who has seen his starting power forward ejected recently after perceived quick whistles on him from game officials. “You have control over your emotions. We have to make sure he’s locked in. We need him on the court. We can’t have him get thrown out.”