Wizards 32-50 (0-6)

Blizzard 63-19 (6-0)

Score (click for boxscore) Game MVP Hi Points Hi Rebounds Hi Assists
1. Blizzard 130, Wizards 111 Karl Malone 42 Karl Malone 13 Mike Gminski 7 Lester Conner
2. Blizzard 132, Wizards 123 Clyde Drexler 31 Xavier McDaniel 18 Buck Williams 11 Mark Jackson
3. Blizzard 152, Wizards 125 Mark Aguirre 38 Mark Aguirre 10 Brickowski 11 Sedale Threatt
4. Blizzard 134, Wizards 109 Clyde Drexler 32 Karl Malone 12 F.Brickowski/T.Chambers 10 Lester Conner
Buffalo win series 4-0

Game 1 – Washington starts strong in opening quarter but Buffalo closes quarter strong and nevers look back. Karl Malone leads Buffalo with 42 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Gminski did his best to match Malone and ends up with 30 pts and 13 rebounds. Washington only shoots 42% from the field but defense took the night off, as Buffalo shoots 54% for the game. Bad defense and poor shooting kept Washington from making any second half runs in game one.

Game 2 – This game stays close until the game’s final 1:40. Buffalo leads after first period, but Washington keeps game close and leads by 4 at the half. Neither team can take control in the third as Washington heads into game’s final frame holding a 5-point lead. Buffalo takes lead with a little over 4 minutes to go. Game would go back and forth till final 1:40 as Buffalo would close out game on a 9-0 run and take a 2-0 series advantage. Xavier McDaniel led the Washington attack with 31 points. Clyde Drexler leads Buffalo with 29 points and misses triple double by one assist, going for 29-10-9.

Game 3 – Buffalo, in defending its west conference title, entered these playoffs with its best-ever record, notching 63 wins in the regular season. Still, the record didn’t come close to obtaining a bye and avoiding this opening matchup with the Washington Wizards: The Blizzard settled for a second-place regular season finish, behind a Condors squad that pulled off one-sided heists of Rolando Blackman and Kevin McHale to complement Isiah and Akeem for a 71-win campaign for the Chamberlain division. As these playoffs opened, the Wizards validated the Blizzard team’s concerns about having to play a first-round play in series: Buffalo narrowly avoided a 1-1 fate after two games played at home; it overcame a five-point deficit entering the fourth quarter of game-2 and needed to rely on a game-closing 9-0 run — the difference in a 132-123 win that gave it the 2-0 series lead. The Blizzard traveled to DC for Game 3 and the pesky, well-coached Wizards continued to give the visitors a run for their money and threaten to make this a series. After multiple lead changes in the first half, Buffalo emerged with the slightest of leads, 75-73, at intermission. The contest was quickly evened as the second half opened, thanks to an opening basket from Wizards point guard Mark Jackson. Washington could not find a lead from there however, and Buffalo’s Mark Aguirre singlehandedly embarked on an explosive one-man 12-2 run to fuel the Blizzard to a 101-88 cushion midway through the third quarter. The hot-shooting Aguirre scored all of Buffalo’s 12 points during the run, capped by his second third pointer with 5:26 left in the third that staked the Blizard out to the 13-point lead. Buffalo extended the margin by the end of the quarter, 116-98. The fourth quarter was more of the same, won by Buffalo 36-27 to complete its second half domination in a 152-125 win. Aguirre finished with 38 points and an eye-popping plus minus of +32. The performance helped offset foul trouble experienced by Blizzards shooting guard Clyde Drexler (he picked up five personals and scored just nine points in under 20 minutes). Karl Malone and Tom Chambers also shined in the Blizzards frontcourt along with Aguirre, with 35 and 24 points respectively. The Wizards were led by Thurl Bailey who scored 18 of his team-high 26 points in the first half when the game was neck and neck (the game ended with 17 lead changes, all in the first half, and 15 ties – it was that close for a long time). Jackson added 19 points and eight assists for Washington, which in the final analysis, could not overcome a 56-42 percent shooting disadvantage on its home court. The Blizzard seeks a sweep in Game 4 in the nation’s capital – a series victory would advance the squad to the second round but pit it against a Sun Valley Bobcats squad that won the head-to-head battle in dominating fashion during the regular season.

Game 4 – The Blizzard held a 3-0 lead entering the Maravich Center in DC for Game 4 of this first round of the West playoffs, but Washington had proven its playoff mettle every step of the way and the series could easily be flipped in favor of a Wizards team that has threatened to steal victories in each game. Washington sought to claw back in this series and the hosts once again showed competitive fight early. The teams exchanged baskets through much of the first quarter. A Sleepy Floyd three pointer gave the Wizards an 18-14 edge exactly five and a half minutes into the game, but a late Buffalo run in the opening quarter put the Blizzard ahead slightly 39-33. Mark Jackson poured in nine points during the first 12 minutes for the Wizards to lead the way while Tom Chambers scored 13 points in the opening stanza. Buffalo had extended the lead 63-54 late in the second and closed out the first half on an 8-0 run that shut out Washington during the final 2:38 of the second quarter. The spurt seemed to break an otherwise indomitable Wizards’ squad’s spirit: the teams returned from intermission with the Blizzard holding a comfortable 71-54 lead, but Washington could get no closer than 15 points on a couple of occasions in a back and forth third quarter won by Buffalo 35-33. The Blizzard entered the fourth quarter with the 106-87 lead and scored six of the first eight points in the first three and a half minutes of the final period to douse Washington hopes of a comeback. A relieved Buffalo squad coasted the rest of the way, securing the sweep with a 134-109 victory but thoroughly tested throughout this entire series. The Wizards won the rebounding battle in this final game 55-48, and their bench outscored Buffalo’s substantially 52-17, but as in game three, they struggled from the field on their home floor shooting just under 42 percent compared with the Blizzards’ 54 percent field goal percentage. Foul trouble also plagued the Wizards in forcing bench minutes: their starting front court of Xavier McDaniel, Buck Williams and Mike Gminski all picked up five personals and none of them logged 30 minutes. The Blizzard capitalized from the foul line (31 for 38) while the Wizards were limited to 14 free throws (converting 10). Buffalo’s Clyde Drexler was the game MVP, scoring 20 of his 24 points in the decisive second and third periods that essentially sealed the game and series. Karl Malone led the Blizzard with 32 points and Chambers closed with 23. The Wizards were led by McDaniel’s 20 but only Dennis Johnson off the bench reached 13 otherwise. Jackson at the point finished with 12. Congratulations to Wayne whose Wizards deservedly experienced a taste of the postseason; he has assembled an impressive and deep team that seems poised to contend in the West throughout the 90s. As for Buffalo, the journey only gets more difficult: next up is a Sun Valley team it was outclassed by during the regular season and is holding a home court edge for this second round. Should it happen to prevail, two 70-win teams in Costa Mesa and Fresno likely stand in the way of any championship hopes (barring any playoff upsets of course). This 63-win Buffalo team, which has now added four postseason wins, picked a bad year to peak.