DimeMag

John Wall Had 29 Points In His Return To Washington But The Wizards Beat The Rockets

John Wall was synonymous with Washington D.C. in his time in the nation’s capital, not just because of his exploits on the basketball court for the Wizards, but because of the way he fully embraced the city off of it. Wall gave back to the city in an immense way, always putting in work in the community and became a beloved figure.

So when he was traded this past offseason for Russell Westbrook, just as he was set to make his return from an Achilles injury, there was plenty of backlash from the fanbase. Westbrook and the Wizards’ struggles and Wall’s resurgence in Houston has not helped those feelings of contempt, and so on Monday when Wall returned to Washington for the first time since the trade (and his second and final game against the Wizards this season) there were plenty with torn allegiances and it didn’t feel like a proper homecoming in the empty arena.

Wall got off to a hot start, slicing through the porous Washington defense for a thunderous dunk, showing some emotion after as he clearly enjoyed taking it to his old team.

The Wizards played a tribute video to Wall during the first timeout, balancing his on-court highlights with those off of it, a reminder of everything he did in the community as well as for the team.

Wall would finish the night with 29 points and 11 assists, a strong outing for the shorthanded Rockets, but not enough to take down Bradley Beal and his former squad. Beal, the NBA’s leading scorer, had 37 points on the night as he continues to be the best scorer in the league this season, and Washington pulled away with a 131-119 win.

After the game, Wall and Beal had a handshake and embrace as the two former teammates saw each other for the final time this season.

Whenever the Rockets go back to Washington next season, when fans are back, it will feel like a much more appropriate welcome for Wall, but for now, both sides can move on for the remainder of this season now that their brief season series is done.

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