WASHINGTON — Glen Davis' return was supposed to help the Orlando Magic's defense.
On Monday night it didn't.
His return didn't even give them an emotional boost — or at least not enough of one to overcome the grueling effects of a lengthy cross-country road trip.
Although Davis looked sharp in his return from a shoulder injury, the Magic played as if their sneakers had been cemented to the Verizon Center floor. The Washington Wizards seemed a half-step faster almost all night long and cruised to a 120-91 blowout win.
"We just didn't accept the challenge on defense," Davis said. "They got too many layups. They had [almost] 60 points in the first half. We didn't come to play today."
True. The Wizards produced 29 fastbreak points and shot 56 percent from the field.
"We got completely outplayed tonight in every aspect of the game," J.J. Redick said. "We just didn't have it tonight."
And with the loss, the Magic ended their road trip with a 1-3 record. They nearly beat the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets and did beat the Los Angeles Clippers — teams far superior to the Wizards — but concluded with a stinker.
The Magic drew only two positives from Monday: the returns of Davis and combo guard E'Twaun Moore.
Moore came back after a sprained left elbow forced him to miss seven games. Wearing a brace on his arm, he scored five points in almost 16 minutes.
Davis provided a more productive stat line. In almost 18 minutes, he scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, collected four rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
The questions surrounding Davis' return revolved around how his shoulder would respond to contact and whether he would alter his rugged playing style.
He started to answer those questions shortly after he swished his first short of the night. On Washington's ensuing possession, Martell Webster drove into the lane, but Davis stepped in front of him, took the contact and drew a charge.
"It's always good to get confidence, especially when you come off an injury," Davis said. "I told myself, 'When I'm out there, I'm out there.' There's no need to hold your shoulder or nurture it a little bit out there. I'm out there to play. I'm not out here to play with one hand."
Davis proved something to his coach, Jacque Vaughn.
"I thought the big fella looked good," Vaughn said.
"You know me," Vaughn continued. "I'm going to be cautious with him. But, at the same time, he kind of showed me that he's ready to maybe take on some more minutes. We'll see how he feels after the game and how he feels tomorrow."
The Wizards (7-28) dominated the Magic (13-24) almost the entire game.
The lone exception was a two-minute stretch at the end of the second quarter.
Trailing 59-40, the Magic closed the period on a 13-0 run.
After a 3-pointer by Redick, Jameer Nelson scored eight consecutive points: a 3 from the right wing, a runner high off the glass and a 3 over John Wall with 4.9 seconds left.
Emeka Okafor made the ensuing inbounds pass, but he rolled the ball along the floor to give Wall time to engineer one more shot attempt before halftime. But Nelson called their bluff. Nelson dove for the rolling basketball, collected it, looked at the clock and dished to Josh McRoberts. He dunked with 0.2 seconds left to cut Washington's lead to 59-53.
That was as close as the Magic got.
"I just thought we were a little sluggish, a little lethargic, especially at the beginning of the game," Nelson said.
Not even Davis' return could overcome that.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun