Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Washington has no answer for Pascal Siakam in 129-120 loss

Six Wizards players scored in double-figures, led by All-Star Bradley Beal with 28 points, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome Pascal Siakam’s 44-point outburst as the Wizards fell to the Raptors 128-119 on Wednesday night.

This was Washington’s final tune-up before the All-Star break and early on, they looked like a team wishing they could just fast-forward through this game. The Wizards missed their first six shots of the game and didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 8:31 mark of the first quarter.

After their ice-cold start, things evened out as they connected on seven of their next 11 field goals to establish themselves. They trailed by just four, 30-26, after one quarter.

The Wizards hung around in this one thanks to Jeff Green’s start to the second quarter. He got into a rhythm midway through the period and went on a personal 7-0 run as the Wizards took their first lead of the game, 46-44. Washington ramped up their defense to close the quarter and outscored the Raptors 13-5 to close the half, punctuated by a Trevor Ariza three at the buzzer.

Washington stretched the lead to 12, 80-68 early in the third quarter, but that’s when everything fell apart for the Wizards. Toronto shot a smoking hot 76 percent from the field in the quarter to take back the lead and create some distance. They ended the quarter on an extended 35-13 run to take a 103-93 lead into the fourth quarter and all but kill Washington’s hopes.

But give the Wizards credit as they had one more punch in them. With the Wizards down two, 110-108, Washington had multiple opportunities to take the lead. Unfortunately, they went through another cold stretch at the wrong time and turned the ball over at inopportune times. Later, the Wizards clawed within one, but a Danny Green 3-pointer in transition gave the Raptors some breathing room, and Siakam took it home from there.

Washington will enter the All-Star break 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 24-34 record.

Takeaways

The third quarter dooms Washington

Trevor ArizaJeff Green, and Thomas Bryant knocked down 3-pointers to open the second half, but the wheels fell off after that initial spurt. Washington missed eight straight field goal attempts while the Raptors went on a 15-0 run to regain the lead. Toronto shot a blistering 16-of-21 from the field (76 percent) and outscored Washington 44-28 in the quarter that proved to be the difference.

Bradley Beal turns in a first half gem

What more is there to say? Beal has been outstanding this season and his entire repertoire was on display in the first half. He was calm and collected when the Wizards got off to a cold start, doing damage in the mid-range to score 9 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting in the first quarter.

With Chasson Randle in foul trouble and Tomas Satoransky missing his second straight game for personal reasons, Beal had to shift to be a facilitator in the second quarter. He dished out six assists in the first half including this nice pass to Jabari Parker.

He also found Thomas Bryant for a dunk in transition to help Washington take control in the second quarter.

The second half wasn’t as kind to Beal but he still ended the night with 28 points to go along with 11 assists.

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Wizards vs. Cavaliers final score: New contributors come up big in Washington’s 119-106 win

First impressions are everything.

Bobby Portis — yes, the Bobby Portis that the Wizards traded for on Wednesday — scored 30 points off the bench in his Washington debut as the Wizards took down the Cavs, 119-106 on Friday night. Bradley Beal turned in another outstanding performance with 25 points while the other newest Wizard, Jabari Parker got in on the fun with a near triple-double with 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Like we’ve seen many times this year, the Wizards had a ho-hum approach to start this game. They looked lifeless and didn’t get much energy from the crowd (can you blame them?), but the game got turned upside down when the newest Wizards, Portis, and Parker entered the game.

Parker hit his first shot as a Wizard, a corner three. Portis one-upped him by making his first 6 shots en route to a 16-point opening period. The spark from Portis and Parker carried over into the second quarter as the Wizards took a 66-52 lead into halftime. Then, Washington made three consecutive 3-pointers to open the second half on a 9-0 run. It looked like Washington might usher this game to a quick ending, but no lead is safe in Washington, regardless of who is donning a uniform for the team. Cleveland outscored Washington 29-15 the rest of the third quarter and cut the lead to four early in the fourth.

Then, after missing his first seven three-point attempts, Trevor Ariza finally connected from three-point range to give the Wizards some breathing room. The next time down the floor, Tomas Satoransky drove into the lane and kicked it to who else, Bobby Portis, who knocked down the 3-pointer to get to 30 points on the night and shut the door on Cleveland’s comeback bid.

Washington cruised the rest of the way to a 119-106 victory to end their two-game losing skid.

Takeaways

How about that for a first impression?

You know what they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. The former Bulls sent over in the Otto Porter trade had just about the best debut you could have hoped for against Cleveland.

Portis looked tentative on his first possession in a Wizards uniform when he turned the ball over, but that’s about the only thing he did wrong this evening. He hit a floater in the lane midway through the first quarter that opened the floodgates. He had a pick-and-pop rhythm with Beal which led to a pair of open 3-pointers for Portis in the early going.

He finally missed a shot in the second quarter but finished the half with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Parker also had an impressive debut and got things going by knocking down a corner three just seconds after entering the game. He looked more hesitant to shoot compared to what we’ve seen in Milwaukee and Chicago, but he made it a priority to get his teammates involved early and often. He had seven first half assists, including a behind-the-back pass to Trevor Ariza for the dunk and foul.

Bradley Beal turns in another gem

Beal started out the game slowly, as a scorer. He was a facilitator early on, getting six assists in the first quarter prior to attempting his first shot of the game late in the period. After putting up 12 points and nine assists in the first half, Beal went into scoring mode to start the second half. He connected on back-to-back three-pointers from the same spot as Washington started the period on a quick 9-0 run. He ended the evening with a near triple-double, racking up 25 points and 13 assists to go along with 6 rebounds.


Next up: Portis and Parker will get a chance to show off their new uniforms in Chicago as the Wizards face the Bulls on Saturday at 8 pm Eastern Time.

Wizards vs. Cavaliers final score: Washington’s late rally isn’t enough to avoid 116-113 loss to Cleveland

Let’s be real, no one thought the Wizards turned the corner when they went 7-3 after losing John Wall to a season-ending heel injury. But there was reason to think they turned corner after winning 8 of their last 13 games. If nothing else, it looked like they had enough to sneak back into a playoff spot.

On Tuesday, Washington looked just like the lottery-bound team they looked like for most of the first two months of the season in a 116-113 loss to the league’s worst team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although Washington only lost by three points, they spent most of the night down by double digits. They were in an 88-69 hole after three quarters of basketball which we are probably better off never speaking of again.

The game only got interesting after Washington waived the white flag. Scott Brooks emptied the bench with 7:50 left after the Cavaliers took a 25-point lead. Two-way player and former Cavalier Jordan McRae poured in 15 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and Gary Payton II added 11 as the Wizards went on a 33-14 run to put themselves in a position to force overtime.

Washington had the ball down 3 with 11 seconds left. Brooks stuck with the reserve unit that brought them back into the game rather bring the starters back in for the final possession. He put the ball in rookie Troy Brown Jr.’s hands to make a play, but Cedi Osman knocked the ball away to keep Washington from extending the game any further.

Takeaways

Washington was ice-cold from the field in the first half

The arctic blast making its way through the Midwest felt like an apt metaphor for Washington’s offense in the first half. The final numbers aren’t nauseating thanks to Washington’s late rally, but it was just an ugly offensive performance following one of their best outings of the season on Sunday against the Spurs.

The Wizards shot 39.5 percent (17-of-43) from the field in the first half and trailed 53-47 at halftime as a result. Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza combined for 27 of Washington’s 47 points in the half and outside of Jeff Green who had seven, no other Wizards player scored more than four points in the half.

On top of the poor shooting, the Wizards struggled to get to the rim. The Cavs outscored the Wizards 28-8 in the paint in the first half and had 11 layups or dunks, compared to just 3 for Washington.

Defense. Defense? Defense?!

Remember how the Wizards looked much improved over the last few weeks on the defensive end? Yeah, we can stop all of that chatter. The defense was bad tonight, really bad.

The Cavs came into this game averaging 102.4 points per game — and they cracked the 100-point mark just three minutes into the fourth quarter. This wasn’t about scheme, wasn’t about X’s and O’s, this was about effort — and the Wizards had none until it was too late.

Ante Zizic and Cedi Osman bullied Thomas Bryant and Jeff Green from the beginning and Washington’s front-court duo didn’t have a response. To make matters worse, the Wizards didn’t have an answer for Jordan Clarkson either who scored 28 points tonight in a quasi-revenge game.

This play sums it all up.

Next up: The Wizards will try to get back on track against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at 8 pm. Oddly enough, Washington is much better on the back end of back-to-backs (6-2) then they are on the front end (1-8).

Wizards vs. Warriors final score: Washington limits Golden State from deep, still loses 126-118

Can’t chalk this one up to lack of effort.

Steph Curry dropped 38 points on the Wizards Thursday evening as Golden State knocked off Washington, 126-118. All five Washington starters scored in double figures led by Trevor Ariza with 27 and Tomas Satoransky with 20, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Wizards just didn’t have the horses to keep up with Golden State.

This one started out as a track meet. Both teams ran up and down jacking up three-point shot after three-point shot to open the game. It’s not always the smartest idea to try and run on a team who likes to run, but the Wizards took an early 14-11 lead. Washington slowly cooled off after that point while Golden State went 15-of-24 from the field in the opening period to take a 37-28 lead after one quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins, who was playing in his third game back from injury, made his mark in this one starting in the second quarter as he took advantage of Washington’s undersized frontline. They could have folded, but they fought back and chipped away at the lead by forcing turnovers and creating opportunities in transition. Washington went into the locker room trailing 67-59, but had to feel good about keeping the game within reach for the first 24 minutes.

The Warriors, being an excellent third quarter team, opened the second half up with a 17-10 run to take a 15-point lead. Curry, who scored 19 points in the first half, added another 14 in the third period. The Wizards cut the lead back down to single-digits briefly near the end of the quarter, but it felt that the Warriors had this one in hand with a 104-92 lead entering the fourth quarter.

And that’s when things got awfully interesting. Washington’s three-point shooting picked back up in the fourth. Timely three-pointers from Ariza, Satoransky, and Chasson Randle got the Wizards within two, 108-106.

After turning the Warriors over, Washington got out in transition where Randle found Sam Decker cutting to the rim for an open layup, but he missed it off the back of the iron. Golden State snagged the board and went on a 15-3 run after that missed layup to put the game out of reach.

Takeaways

Washington lets it fly from 3

It was clear from the opening tip what the game plan was for Washington tonight — if they wanted to be competitive in this one, they’d have to let it fly from three. The Warriors came into this game as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league and the Wizards tried to fight fire with fire.

Washington jacked up 12 three-point attempts in the first quarter and 21 for the half, which was one of the main reasons the Wizards stayed within striking distance early.

The Warriors would go on their inevitable third-quarter run to stretch the lead out to 15, 84-69. But once again, it was Washington’s three-point shooting that got them back in this one. Tomas SatoranskyTrevor Ariza, and Chasson Randle all hit three-pointers as Washington trimmed the lead to two in the fourth quarter, 108-106.

The Wizards shot 15-of-42 from distance tonight, but missed a few too many open looks to pull off the upset.

Tomas Satoransky turns in an outstanding performance

No, he didn’t put up a career-high and points and no; it wasn’t a triple-double, but Satoransky had a great game and one of the best performances of his career. As mentioned, Sato had 20 points to go along with 10 assists and 3 rebounds tonight.

Satorasnky oozed confidence and was Washington’s best player tonight. From the opening tip, Sato played like he belonged out on the court and the moment never got too big for him. He looked confident with his shooting stroke, made the right passes, and didn‘t get baited into the turnovers the Warriors kill other teams with most nights.

It was great to see Satoransky — a player criticized early in his NBA career for being too passive and tentative — take charge against the best team in the league. He played with a gusto and confidence in the national spotlight that will catch people’s attention as he gets ready for free agency this summer.

Washington doesn’t get enough help from their bench

Otto Porter has been terrific off the bench since coming back from injury but he had his first dud of a shooting performance against the Warriors. He missed his first six shots of the game and ended the night going 3-of-14 for seven points and missing all seven of his three-point attempts.

Chasson Randle was a pleasant surprise with 11 points in his reserve role tonight but you’re just not going to knock off the champs when your bench combines for just 20 points.


Next up: Washington will be back in action Friday night as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic at 7 pm Eastern Time.

Appreciating Bradley Beal’s underappreciated season

No one expected the Wizards’ season to go like this. Optimists thought this team was one puzzle piece away from catapulting themselves back into the top of the Eastern Conference. Pessimists thought even if things didn’t click, this team had too much talent and would be in playoff contention even if it was at a lower seed.

In a season that alternates between going off the rails and powering through the NBA’s best teams, the only consistent has been inconsistency. Even with all the turmoil in D.C. and uncertainty about if the Wizards will be sellers or buyers at the trade deadline, Bradley Beal is quietly turning in the best season of his career to date.

He got off to a slow start, like the rest of the team. He struggled on defense and only connected on 31.5 percent of this three-point attempts in November. It led to rumblings from the Wizards faithful about whether he had lost his shooting touch.

Things changed for Beal once the calendar flipped to December. As John Wall bounced in and out of the lineup, Beal‘s usage jumped from 23.9 percent to 28.6 percent. As his scoring increased, he also showed improvement as a facilitator, averaging nearly one full assist more in December than he did in November.

Beal has rounded out his game to where he’s a legitimate threat on all points of the court — and he’s showing it nightly. Beal has scored at least 20 points in all but two games since the start of December. He‘s had seven 30-point games and two 40-point games in that span. Defenses have zeroed in on Beal even more in the last eight games after Wall went down for good, but he has responded by averaging 27.8 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game while guiding Washington to a 5-3 record.

Brad is putting up the best numbers of his career and is logging a boatload of minutes, but his outstanding season is going unrecognized on a national level since the Wizards aren’t in the playoff hunt. As we know, the NBA All-Star Game is a popularity contest and that couldn’t be any more clear as guys like Dwyane WadeZach LaVineJeremy Lin, and Goran Dragic have more votes than Beal after the second round of the fan balloting.

As it stands, the Wizards are in the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the eighth seed. It’s anyone’s guess whether the front office will make another desperation trade for a playoff push, or if Washington will be sellers come the trade deadline. But through all the noise and chaos in a season that has felt more like four seasons, Bradley Beal is turning in the best year of his career and is making a case for why he’s the best shooting guard in the league.

It’s time to grasp how special this season has been for Beal as otherwise, it will probably go unnoticed amidst the rest of the chaos around surrounding the franchise.

Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Bradley Beal’s 43-point triple-double not enough in 140-138 double-overtime loss to Toronto

The Toronto Raptors overcame Bradley Beal’s stellar play on Sunday afternoon to take down the Wizards, 140-138 in a double-overtime thriller. Beal logged his second triple-double of his career with 43 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds and Trevor Ariza nearly had a triple-double of his own with 23 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds but the Wizards just had no answer for Kawhi Leonard (41 points and 11 rebounds) or Pascal Siakam (24 points and 19 rebounds).

The Raptors are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and the Wizards found that out quickly as they missed their first five shots and trailed by double-digits before the National Anthem was finished. Toronto held the Wizards to just 34 percent shooting in the first quarter and led 36-21 after one as it looked like this one was heading towards a blowout.

That Toronto lead ballooned to 23, 51-28 early in the second quarter and you could feel the bleak and somber mood of the stadium ooze through the television screen. The Wizards did find their footing late in the half on the heels of a 12-2 run and somehow were in striking distance but trailed 61-50 at halftime.

The Wizards took their best jab at the Raptors but Toronto always answered and was able to keep the lead at double-digits throughout the third quarter.

And that’s when the fun began.

After playing some pretty poor defense for most of the game, Washington clamped down defensively and started getting some stops early in the fourth quarter. The Wizards turned those stops into transition baskets which trimmed the deficit to single digits.

After a slow start, Bradley Beal got hot enough to melt most of the snow around Capital One Arena in the fourth quarter. He hit back to back three-pointers to trim the deficit to four, 116-112 late in the period.

His biggest basket of the night came in the final moments as Porter missed a three-pointer but Satoransky was there to kick the ball out to Beal for three and tie the game at 124.

The Wizards had a shot to win this one in regulation but Jeff Green’s attempt on the final possession clanked off the back of the rim.

The teams went back and forth in the overtime periods as both teams clamped down and made every shot difficult. With the Wizards trailing by two and just seconds to play in the first overtime period, Beal curled off a screen and hit a floater through contact in the lane to tie the game at 131 and force a second overtime.

Tomas Satoransky broke the scoring seal at the 3:20 mark with a floater in the lane to give Washington their first lead of the day, 133-131. After two free-throws from Lowry, Beal and Bryant ran the two-man game to perfection resulting in a short jumper for Bryant to put Washington back out in front.

But every time the Wizards punched, Toronto punched back. Leonard drove to the lane and got stripped only to recover the loose ball and find Serge Ibaka for a three-pointer to put the Raptors back up 139-138. Washington had one final chance to win this one. Bradley Beal took the inbounds pass and drove baseline finding Jeff Green who looked like he was open for a split second. Green pump-faked and found Porter on the wing for a good look at a three but it too, clanked off the back iron.

That would be it as Toronto gathered the loose ball and iced the game at the free throw line to snap Washington’s win streak and negate one of Bradley Beal’s best performances of the season.

Bradley Beal’s All-Star campaign keeps humming along

Bradley Beal struggled mightily to start this one. Beal scored just 10 points in the first half and was just 4-of-17 from the field into the third quarter. But everything flipped for Brad in the fourth quarter.

After a baseline layup to start the period, Beal knocked down back-to-back three-pointers in as many possessions trimming the Raptors lead to four, 116-112. After that forgettable start, Beal made nine of his next ten shots to give the Wizards a fighting chance. Then, with the Wizards down three and under one minute to play, Otto Porter air-balled a three-pointer but Sato was there for the rebound and kicked it to Brad for a three-pointer that tied the game and got Beal up to 40 points.

Not only was Beal scoring the basketball, but he was also getting others involved. He has developed a nice chemistry with Thomas Bryant over the past few games and you could tell as the Wizards went to the pick-and-roll and two-man game for several key baskets in the closing minutes.

His work on the boards was the cherry on top for Beal who notched the second triple-double of his career with 43 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds.

At this point, it would be borderline criminal if Brad doesn’t get an invite to Charlotte for the All-Star Game.

Otto Porter provides a spark off the Wizards bench in the first half

Chalk it up to the early start, the snow, the swarming defense from Toronto or all of the above because the Wizards came out lifeless in this one. Washington fell down double digits in this one and trailed 29-10 midway through the first quarter.

But when Otto Porter checked in, things changed for the Wizards. He started off hot, connecting on his first two baskets of the game and 3-of-4 overall sparking a 9-2 run as it was a major struggle for every Washington basket in the first quarter to that point.

In the second period, Porter got things started with a three from the wing in transition but more importantly, was making all of the hustle plays defensively. He had very active hands in the second period forcing Toronto into a couple of turnovers which provided a jolt on that end of the floor as Washington was able to slowly cut away at the lead.

Porter’s play in the first half was extremely important and came at a crucial time as this one was on the verge of getting out of hand.

A look back and a look ahead

The Wizards finished off this brutal six-game stretch with a 3-3 record. That’s good news if you’re hoping the Wizards make a playoff push as they showed that they can compete with some of the NBA’s best but bad news if you want the Wizards to start tanking for a better pick.

Washington now heads to London for a ‘home game’ against the New York Knicks on Thursday afternoon.

Wizards get blown out in Philly again, fall to Sixers 132-115

Last time the Wizards played in Philadelphia, they got blown out by 25 points. It was deja vu all over again as the Wizards were run off the court again, this time by 17 points in a 132-115 loss on Tuesday evening.

Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid scored 20 points each, with most of their damage coming in the first half but it was rookie Landry Shamet who stole the show with a game-high 29 points and knocked down 8 of his 14 three-point attempts. Bradley Beal continued his hot shooting as he led Washington with 28 points but didn’t get much help from his teammates as no one else cracked double figures until well into garbage time.

Funny enough, the Wizards were letting it fly from three-point range and were connecting on their shots starting 7-of-11 from the field to start this one for an early 20-12 lead. But at the 5:51 mark of the first quarter, Tomas Satoransky would pick up his second foul and things took a turn for the worse.

Philadelphia found it’s footing behind some hot shooting from Jimmy Butler and easy transition baskets from Ben Simmons for a 32-29 lead after the first quarter. Washington then shot a putrid 1-of-8 from the field to start the second quarter and the Sixers took full advantage with a 16-0 run later in the quarter to open an insurmountable lead.

The Wizards were outscored 36-16 in the second period and found themselves in a 68-45 hole as this one was over by halftime.

Yes, the two teams play again on Wednesday night, but to get a feeling for how bad this one was, both teams began emptying their benches before the end of the third period.

Takeaways

Everything fell apart in the second quarter

Even though the Wizards trailed after one quarter, there was still reason for optimism. The team was connecting on their three-point attempts and if they just could have knocked down a few more open looks, they would have had the lead.

A second-quarter onslaught from the 76ers put any optimism to bed. Philly’s bench caught fire and specifically, Landry Shamet who scored 12 points in the period on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range.

To make matters worse, the Sixers went on another extended 16-0 run later in the quarter to take a commanding 64-38 lead.

Bradley Beal gets no scoring help

Tonight was a prime example of Beal’s under-appreciated season. Beal single-handily kept the Wizards afloat in the first quarter. He was slicing through the lane for easy layups, got his man on skates to shake free for a few mid-range jumpers, and connected on a three-pointer for 11 first quarter points.

The rest of the guys sure didn’t help in the second quarter either as Beal scored seven in the period but the rest of the Wizards roster mustered up just nine points. Come halftime, Beal was the only Washington player in double figures with 18 points and the next highest scorers were Thomas Bryant, Tomas Satoransky, and Jeff Green who each scored just five.

Beal would shoot 61 percent from the field and knocked down four three-pointers for a team-high 28 points in 31 minutes of action tonight.

No time to fret for Washington

The Wizards must forget about this game and do so quickly as they’ll play this same Philadelphia squad in D.C. in less than 24 hours.