MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Washington Wizards considered their win over the Memphis Grizzlies - on the road - one of their best triumphs of the season.
And while the smiling Wizards were relishing their third straight win, the Grizzlies continued to wonder about their team heading down the regular season stretch.
Bradley Beal scored 20, John Wall had 18 points and 14 assists to lead the Wizards past the Grizzlies 92-83 on Saturday night, capping a stretch where Washington also defeated Philadelphia and New York.
''This is how we were playing early in the year, and the way we need to play moving into the playoffs,'' Beal said. ''We're definitely happy, but we're not complacent.''
Drew Gooden added 16 for Washington, connecting on 6 of 10 shots, including 3 of 5 from outside the arc. Rasual Butler added 10 for the Wizards.
The game was much more at the Wizards pace as they held a 26-5 advantage in fastbreak points. Washington also connected on 8 of 22 from outside the arc, much better than Memphis, which managed only one of its 15 shots from 3-point range.
''We're a team that if we're getting out there in the open court, that's big for us,'' Wall said. ''We're a team that wants to get out on fastbreaks and push the pace. I think that was the key to the game - we kept the pace of the game when they wanted to slow it down.''
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 18 points, while Mike Conley scored 14. The loss dropped Memphis into the third spot in the Western Conference playoff standings - a half-game behind idle Houston.
''You can probably go down the list,'' Memphis guard Courtney Lee said. ''You're not making shots, and you're not taking care of the ball. It takes away from your opportunities to score.''
Both teams were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, but Memphis seemed to suffer from the effects more than Washington, which traveled after a home win over the New York Knicks on Friday.
''We were tired. They were tired. Everybody is tired this time of the year,'' Beal said. ''.We both came out on back-to-backs, and we were fortunate to be on the better end.''
Washington used 12 points from Wall to take a 49-38 lead at the half, then held off several runs by the Grizzlies in the second half. With Memphis facing double-digit deficits in the final two quarters, none of the rallies brought them closer than seven points after the break.
And while Memphis is trying to rediscover its identity, the Wizards feel as good about their play as they have in awhile, which is a good sign as they move toward the postseason.
''I think we're playing the right way,'' Wall said. ''We want to play with a lot of momentum going into the playoffs. That's key.''
Wizards: The victory snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Wizards in Memphis. Washington had not earned a road victory in the series since Nov. 3, 2004, the first regular season game in FedExForum. .The Wizards rested forwards Nene and Paul Pierce, leading to an adjustment in the starting lineup -- Gooden starting his fifth game of the season and Otto Porter starting his 12th.
Grizzlies: Memphis F Jeff Green left the game in the second half with back spasms and did not return. .Memphis is now 29-10 at home this season.
DOWN IN FRONT PLEASE - As Wall dressed, he asked media members to clear a line of sight to a television where his Kentucky Wildcats were playing Wisconsin in a Final Four game. Wall, who played one season for the Wildcats, was providing advice to players on the screen just like any fan. The Wizards had left the building by the time Wisconsin defeated the Wildcats, 71-64, ruining their perfect season.
Wizards: Visit Sixers on Wednesday
Grizzlies: Host Pelicans on Wednesday