Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Washington falters without John Wall in 100-91 loss

Two weeks ago to the day, Washington went into Toronto and beat the Raptors without John Wall. The sequel would not be as enjoyable as the Wizards fall to the Raptors Sunday night, 100-91.

DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 33 points as Toronto evened the season series with Washington.

John Wall sat this game out with swelling in his knee and the Wizards wouldn’t have the firepower late to keep up with the Raptors. The short-handed Wizards were competitive for most of the contest but ran out gas in the fourth quarter.

Bradley Beal scored 27 points (22 in the first half) while Marcin Gortat stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Takeaways

Bradley Beal continues to score at a high rate

With John Wall out, the Wizards needed a big game from Bradley Beal to stay competitive tonight and he delivered. Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 11-23 shooting including going 5-9 from three-point range.

Beal was the primary option for the Wizards early on. The sharp-shooter scored 12 points for Washington in the first quarter on 5-8 shooting and outside of a mini spark from Kelly Oubre, was Washington’s only scoring threat in the first half.

Bradley Beal cooled off in the second half as he scored just five points (and was held scoreless in the fourth quarter), totaling 27 for the night.

Points in the paint and offensive rebounding doomed Washington in the first half

These things tend to go hand-in-hand – when you give up offensive rebounds, that usually leads to easy baskets for the other squad. That was the case for the Raptors who destroyed Washington on the offensive glass this evening, especially in the first half.

In just the first half alone, Toronto grabbed eight offensive rebounds and made Washington pay. Jonas Valnciunas grabbed two offensive boards in the first half and flipped up the missed shots for easy baskets in the lane. Already a great scorer, the ball often found it’s way to DeMar DeRozan on these second-chance opportunities as he also had too many easy baskets around the hole.

As a result, the Raptors had nine more shots (51-42) than Washington in the first half.

Free-throw shooting plagues the Wizards

Was this the only reason Washington lost? No. However, it’s pretty concerning that this is something we have to talk about after nearly every game. Washington was 11-19 (57.9 percent) from the charity stripe this evening. Jodie Meeks knocked down 5-6 attempts and was the only Wizards player to have a respectable showing from the line.

Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Mike Scott, and Tim Frazier combined to shoot less than 50 percent from the line whereas neither Beal, Gortat, or Morris even attempted a free-throw tonight.

Game Notes

  • Washington shot better from three-point range (8-13) than they did from the free-throw line (5-11) in the first half.
  • Markieff Morris took a shot to the face diving for a loose ball in the first quarter. Morris looked to be shaken up but didn’t miss any time. Morris took yet another shot in the second half when he got sandwiched going up for a loose ball. Again, he played through it.
  • Kelly Oubre connected on 2-3 shots of the catch-and-shoot variety but was 0-4 from the field when trying to create his own shot.

Next up: The Wizards will be back in action on Monday as they head to Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

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Wizards vs. Kings final score: Washington picks up third straight win with 110-92 victory over Sacramento

John Wall had a near perfect game with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting as the Wizards blew out the Kings, 110-92 on Monday night. Marcin Gortat added 18 points while Otto Porter and Mike Scott chipped in with 15 points each as the Wizards won their third straight home game.

Washington’s energy mimicked the energy of the half-empty crowd to start the game as Sacramento raced out to an early 27-17 lead. It wasn’t until the bench was inserted late in the first quarter that the Wizards got the jolt they needed. The all-bench unit spurred a run to get Washington going and even up the score before the starters came back into the game and helped the Wizards take the lead going into halftime.

Washington blew things wide open in the third quarter. The Wizards started the period 5-6 from the field to stretch the lead to 14 and (almost) never looked back. Scott Brooks had to reinsert the starters for a few moments after the Kings cut the lead down to 13, but Washington handled their business down the stretch to close out their homestand with their third-straight win.

Takeaways

John Wall has a perfect first half

John Wall said that he wasn’t 100 percent himself as he was still battling illness. You couldn’t tell from his play in the first half. Wall confidently stepped into two three-pointers to start this game and was a perfect 4-4 from the field for 10 points before he got subbed out.

The Wallstar came back in the second quarter and picked up right where he left off knocking down another three-pointer in transition as the Wizards stretched the lead to seven. Wall ended the half a perfect 6-6 from the field including 3-3 from three-point range for 16 points.

In the second half, he put on a show as the Wizards pulled away:

The bench turns in another solid performance

Scott Brooks, who’s still toying with the rotations, went with an all-reserve lineup at the 1:49 mark of the first quarter. It’s cost them in the past, but tonight it was a strength for Washington as the reserves would go on a 15-2 run from the 1:49 mark in the first quarter to the 8:00 mark of the second quarter to regain the lead for Washington.

Kelly Oubre Jr. was the leader off the bench as he notched seven points and seven rebounds in the first half. He was very active on the defensive end with two ‘Pick-6’s’ resulting in easy layups on the other end. He also had had several deflections forcing the Kings to scramble for the ball and put up tough shots late in the shot clock. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of play. He capped it off by doing his dance and finishing with a nasty dunk.

Mike Scott continued his resurrection season as he was the first man off the Washington bench tonight scoring 15 points including going a perfect 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in the first half.

Game Notes

  • Marcin Gortat made his 95th consecutive start, the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
  • Our old friend Garrett Temple was one of the only bright spots for the Kings tonight scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting in his return to D.C.

Wizards vs. Lakers final score: Washington gets it done on both ends in 111-95 win

Washington used a balanced attack, led by John Wall with 23 points, as the Wizards got back in the win column with a 111-95 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night.

Bradley Beal added 22 points, including a season-high 6 assists, while Otto Porter scored 20 as Washington snapped a three-game losing streak at home.

The Wizards scored 69 points in the first half, tied for the most in a half this season for the team and never looked back. The Lakers looked like they might make things a little close for comfort as Julius Randle hit a layup to cut the lead to nine, 93-84 early in the fourth quarter, but Washington would cruise the rest of the way to an easy victory as the Lakers ran out of gas.

Takeaways

Washington’s big first half propels them to victory

In the preview for this game, I wrote that we’d know where this team’s head was at right from the tip. Washington played one of their best halves of the season scoring 69 points (season-high) on 60 percent shooting. Otto Porter set the tone in the first quarter as he started the game 5-8 from the field.

Beal took over in the second quarter, attacking the rim and even getting a four-point play the non-traditional way when he hit a three-pointer and Ian Mahinmi was fouled during the shot.

There were a few hiccups for the Wizards including eight turnovers as well as some poor transition defense, but in all, this was one of their best halves of the season.

You can always count on Ol’ Faithful Otto

In the only way Otto Porter knows, he put up a quiet 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds. He started the game cutting through the lane for his patented herky-jerky layups in transition and showed us what resembled a Dirk Nowitzki step-back jumper.

Otto Porter played the entire first quarter as well as the opening minutes of the second quarter as Brooks played him alongside four reserves. Scott Brooks went with this rotation to start the fourth quarter as well as Brooks moved away from his all-reserve lineups.

Markieff Morris has his best game of the season

Morris broke free from his early season struggles tonight. After a quiet first half where he scored just four points, Morris knocked down two straight three-pointers to start the second half and first five shots of the game overall.

Morris ended the night with 16 points and 5 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play.

Game Notes

  • I’m no doctor but John’s left shoulder looks OK to me.

  • John Wall put on a block party tonight, here were his two best swats of the evening.

  • Ian Mahinmi scored 2 points to go along with just 1 rebound as he fouled out in just 14 minutes of play.
  • Washington was a little loose with the ball committing 19 turnovers resulting in 27 Laker points.

Up Next: Washington hosts Atlanta on Saturday evening in their first game of the season against a Southeast Division foe.

Wizards at Raptors final score: Beal scores 38 as the Wizards get rare road win in Toronto

Washington has had trouble against Toronto in the regular season in years past. But that didn’t matter tonight as a shorthanded Wizards team goes into Toronto and comes away with the victory, 107-96.

Bradley Beal scored a game-high 38-points to cap off a week in which he averaged 38 per game. Otto Porter was his usual efficient self, scoring 19 points including a big three-pointer to put the Wizards up 103-88 late in the fourth quarter.

Marcin Gortat notched another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Kelly Oubre Jr. added 10 points off the Wizards bench.

On paper, this looked like a loss as the Wizards just lost a heart-breaker to the Cavs and were playing without All-Star John Wall, who sat out with a shoulder injury. But everyone chipped in just enough as the Wizards come away with the win.

Bradley Beal continues his hot shooting

Bradley Beal’s effort in the Cleveland game was overshadowed by LeBron’s 57 points. He won’t be forgotten after tonight. As mentioned, Beal scored 38 points on 16-26 shooting (62 percent) including going 4-6 (66 percent) from three-point range. The sharpshooter wasn’t just settling for jumpers though. Beal was getting to the rim on give-and-go’s with Gortat resulting in layups as well as creating his own shot off the dribble.

With the absence of Wall, Beal found the ball in his hands more often tonight. Not only was Beal getting his baskets, but he was good as a facilitator ending the night with four assists. His most important dime came late in the fourth quarter as he found a wide-open Oubre in the corner for three to give Washington a 100-87 lead.

Beal was absolutely terrific tonight capping off the best week of his career.

Washington was solid from three-point range

After a nice three-point shooting output against Phoenix, the Wizards shooting from range plummeted from distance against the Cavs. So it was nice to see Washington get back in a rhythm from three-point range. Porter, Beal, and Oubre were the sharpshooters tonight as the trio combined to go 9-15 from range this evening.

Washington was knocking down threes early on to build on their lead, while each of the three guys knocked down three-pointers late to seal the game.

Rotations are still a mystery

Even though the Wizards were short-handed, Scott Brooks opted to go with all-bench lineups in the second and fourth quarters. To no one’s surprise, that didn’t really work out. In the second quarter, both teams were playing very sloppily so it didn’t cost Washington. However, in the fourth quarter, the bench allowed the Raptors back in this one to trim the lead to three at one point. Brooks was then forced to play Porter and Beal the rest of the way.

Tip Ins

  • Kyle Lowry was ejected from the game with two quick technical fouls in the second quarter. Lowry thought he got fouled on a play then said the magic words to the officials which got him tossed.
  • Tim Frazier was just ok in his relief for Wall. Frazier wasn’t much of a scoring threat as he only scored four points but chipped in with eight assists.
  • Markieff Morris continued to knock the rust off with 18 minutes of playing time. Morris scored 10 points even though he was just 2-8 from the field. However, he did knock down 6-8 free throws.

Up Next

Washington heads home to take on the lowly Dallas Mavericks Tuesday evening.

LeBron James scores 57 as the Cavs drop the Wizards 130-122

Bradley Beal said earlier this morning that he thought Washington was ‘the best team in the east.’ This past postseason, Beal and Richard Jefferson got in a Twitter beef because he thought the Cavs were ducking them. Well, LeBron James set the record straight tonight.

James scored a season-high 57 points to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists as the Cavs beat the Wizards 130-122 and stop their four-game skid.

Bradley Beal was terrific tonight scoring 36 points on 12-19 shooting tonight however his performance was clearly overshadowed. John Wall had a very rough shooting night as he was just 4-13 from the field for 13 points but did dish out 15 assists.

Washington has struggled mightily on the defensive end this season. And tonight, James and the Cavs blew the lid off.

Washington’s defense was abysmal

The Wizards gave up 121 points to the lowly Suns the other night and you knew that if they didn’t clean things up and quickly, it would be an uphill battle. Well, they did absolutely nothing to make one think they care the slightest bit on the defensive end.

Cleveland was scorching hot from the field in the first quarter going 17-22 from the field as they scored 42 in the opening period. Washington wasn’t locked in, they weren’t rotating, weren’t boxing out, and well, weren’t really doing anything well defensively tonight.

Late in the game, John Wall was the primary defender on James. And although he did an ok job on him, the Wizards never opted to double-team him until after the game was already out of hand. Couple that with coach Scott Brooks’s decision to go with an all-reserve lineup really made you scratch your head at times.

When you give a defensive effort like this, of course, you’ll give up 130 points.

Something is not right with John Wall 

Don’t let Wall’s stat line fool you, he didn’t play that great of a game tonight. Wall’s struggles from the field continue as he was just 4-13 and missed all three of his three-point attempts.

There were a couple of occasions where Wall drove and didn’t get the call so he continued to try and force the issue. As a result, he missed guys for open shots as his head was down trying to barrel through the lane for a call.

Things got uglier when he got to the line. Wall was just 5-12 (42 percent) from the free-throw line tonight. That’s bad. Really, really bad.

Tip Ins

  • Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a career-high 21 points while also knocking down a career-high five three-pointers. Oubre was terrific off of the bench for the Wizards and added a much-needed scoring punch. However, it looks like Oubre might be a little lighter in the wallet after tonight.
  • Mike Scott continued to play well scoring 12 points off the bench. Scott’s hot streak started in Sacramento and has carried over into these past two games. Having an extra big man could be very valuable down the road.
  • Ian Mahinmi is a lost cause and he probably shouldn’t be seeing too much more action. Mahinmi played just 12 minutes tonight but committed two turnovers and racked up four fouls in his limited play. No need to beat a dead horse, you already know, there’s not a whole lot that Mahinmi can do well right now.

Up Next

The Wizards head north of the border to take on the Toronto Raptors Sunday night.

Now healthy, Ian Mahinmi still struggling to provide value for Wizards

Washington announced Tuesday afternoon that they will not pick up the fourth year option on Chris McCullough’s rookie deal. The move means only two of the ten players Washington acquired during the summer of 2016 or during the following season are guaranteed to be under contract in Washington for 2018-19. Yet, for all the misses Washington made on players last year, the biggest whiff may still be on the roster: Ian Mahinmi.

After an injury-plagued first season with Washington, this was supposed to be the year he would get his feet back under him and maybe, just maybe, challenge an aging Marcin Gortat for the starting center position. Unfortunately, he’s struggled out of the gate to start the 2017-2018 campaign.

Mahinmi was supposed to be the defensive anchor for the second unit, but he’s been anything but so far. The seven-footer has only turned away just three shots so far in 94 minutes of action this season. What’s also troubling is that he’s become a foul machine, averaging 7.3 personal fouls per 36 minutes. And although the sample size is minuscule, the Wizards’ defensive rating jumps from 100.5 to 109.8 when he’s on the floor, even though he’s mostly playing against reserves.

Not only has he failed to become the defensive anchor Washington hoped he would be, but his offensive game isn’t helping either. Since he gets next to no offensive plays run for him, it’s almost as if he feels that he has to shoot every time he touches the ball because there is no guarantee that he’ll see the ball again. Often this ends with Mahinmi trying to score out of the post; which hasn’t gone well this season.

On the season, he’s just 11-23 from the field (47.8 percent), he’s only attempted 6 free throws, and has more turnovers (7) than assists (5).

With Markieff Morris set to return soon, things could get more challenging for Mahinmi. Scott Brooks recently said that Morris will get some run at the center position when he returns, which will likely cut into Mahinmi’s minutes. That, coupled with Jason Smith being freer to play more at the 5 with Morris back, could put a serious squeeze on Mahinmi’s playing time.

On paper, his numbers don’t look terrible, however, you have to squint really hard to find a defensive stat that bodes in the big man’s favor. That’s not good for a guy who was brought specifically for his defensive prowess. As traditional centers like Mahinmi disappear from the NBA with each passing day, the Wizards’ front office could be facing a difficult decision with what to do about their fourth-highest paid player sooner rather than later.

Wizards vs. Suns final score: Washington blows 22 point lead, loses 122-116

T.J. Warren and the Phoenix Suns completed a 22-point comeback to drop the Wizards, 122-116 on Wednesday night. Bradley Beal scored 40 points for just the second time in his career, but it didn’t matter as the Wizards played defense-optional basketball after jumping out to big early lead and couldn’t stave off the Suns’ steady comeback.

Washington held a 32-15 lead after the first quarter and it looked like they’d coast to another win against an inferior Western Conference foe. But that’s when things started to fall apart for the Wizards. Washington gave up at least 35 points in every quarter after the first quarter and slowly let them back into the game.

Phoenix completed the comeback early in the fourth quarter behind hot shooting from Devin Booker and Warren, who scored a career-high 40 points on just 22 shots. Washington tried to kick it back into high gear, but it was too little, too late as Phoenix handed the Wizards their third loss in four games.

Takeaways

Bad habits continue to haunt Washington

The Wizards were wildly inconsistent on the defensive end this evening. Wall and the Wizards were engaged on defensive early on as they were able to lock down every Phoenix player not named Devin Booker. But after holding the Suns to just 15 first-quarter points, they were equally as bad in the second quarter giving up 37 points and allowing the Suns to trim their 22 point lead down to 11.

Things got worse in the second half. The Wizards found themselves in a ballgame as Phoenix took a 92-90 lead to complete the 22-point comeback early in the fourth quarter. However, Washington was unable to get stops and knock down their free throws down the stretch.

Complacency, lack of focus, playing down to their competition, whatever you want to call it, it was all on display for the Wizards tonight. And just like against the Los Angeles Lakers, it came back to bite them.

Playing help defense, boxing out, contesting shots; all of that stopped after the first quarter. Bradley Beal went on the record saying that the Wizards have to stop having defensive lapses. The team didn’t get the memo tonight.

Mike Scott provides a spark off the bench

Mike Scott had another good performance tonight. Scott set the tone early for the reserve unit with 12 first-half points as only he and Beal cracked double-figures in scoring for Washington in the first half. Scott received extra playing time as Jason Smith picked up three first-half fouls and took advantage of his opportunity.

Scott didn’t score in the second half, but the first half spark showed that he should be relied upon more as the season rolls along.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal knocked down six threes this evening, but outside of him, the rest of the team struggled from distance as they were 4-18 for the game.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. scored just eight points as foul trouble prevented him from getting into a rhythm.
  • The Wizards didn’t have the services of Otto Porter tonight as he was sidelined with the flu.

Next up: The Wizards host the 3-5 Cavaliers in a nationally televised game on Friday night at 7 p.m.