Washington Wizards’ guard John Wall says he must pace himself in Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors


WASHINGTON — Facing a do-or-die Game 6, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall said he feels he can take over a playoff game but also admits he will have to pace himself after saying he ran out of gas at the end of Game 5.

Wall said he started to feel fatigued down the stretch on Wednesday as the Toronto Raptors pulled away for a 108-98 win on Wednesday to take a 3-2 series lead. Wall had 26 points, nine assists and nine rebounds but did not score a point as he missed his last three shots and had two turnovers in the final nine minutes of the game.

“I definitely do, I feel like that,” Wall said when asked if he feels he can take over a playoff game at any point after the Wizards’ shootaround today. “But at the same time, I think last game I kinda like ran out of gas a little bit the last five minutes and I gotta do a better job of — not taking time off — but letting other guys create or create for other guys and let those guys make plays at times.

“So [during] those last five minutes, kind of like Game 4 here, I can have the energy to make plays for myself but also for my teammates. I think that kind of hurt us in the last game.”

Game 6 will be Wall’s 10th game since returning from left knee surgery at the end of March. He is averaging 38.8 minutes and has played 43 and 44 minutes each in the last two games. Wall is averaging 26.6 points, 12.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals in the series.

The last time these two teams met in Washington, Wall took over Game 4 and evened the series at 2-2 by scoring eight of his 27 points in the last 3:50. Wall made or assisted on the final seven Wizards field goals and scored or assisted on 18 of Washington’s final 23 points, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Defensively, Wall also helped hold DeMar DeRozan to 1-for-5 shooting in those final six minutes, most of them without All-Star Bradley Beal, who had fouled out in that game.

During Game 5, Wall hit 4-of-6 sbots and scored 10 of his points in the third quarter. He hit two more baskets early in the fourth before failing to score again in the last 9:41.

Wall and Beal were held to a total of 3-for-12 shooting and a combined seven points in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. Their only points in the last nine minutes came when Beal made a 3-pointer with 16.2 seconds left after the game was out of reach.

The Wizards have won eight straight playoff games at home and Wall said they love their chances of forcing a Game 7. He just has to save his energy for the fourth quarter and get his teammates involved.

Wall said he may be able to stay fresh by letting other teammates run pick-and-rolls. The Wizards, though, will be without Otto Porter Jr., who is out indefinitely after undergoing a procedure on his leg Friday.

“When Ty [Lawson] is in the game, when Ty runs the pick-and-roll sometimes, nine times out of 10, the ball is going to end up in my hands at the end of the shot clock anyways or when Brad is in there, try to let Brad run pick-and-roll like I did in Games 3 and 4,” Wall said. “Ir find situations if [Markieff Morris] is in the game, we definitely have to get him going to find him post touches.

“It is not really taking plays off but it is like giving guys opportunities to be creative and if the ball ends up back in my hands now, I don’t have to initiate everything for the whole 24-seconds.”

Source : ESPN