The Wizards trailed for most of this game but used a 36 point explosion in the fourth quarter behind 14 from Bradley Beal to complete the comeback and beat the Bucks, 118-113.
Beal led the way for the Wizards with 26 points, 14 of which coming in the fourth quarter. Ramon Sessions wasn’t far behind scoring 23 off the bench with John Wall contributing 19, including 10-10 from the charity stripe.
The Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo made his season debut for the Bucks tonight and boy was a handful. The Greek Freak scored 23 points on 8-11 shooting in the first half and put Nene on a poster with this slam.
The only thing that slowed him down was foul trouble late in the game.
The Wizards hung around in the first half due to superb free throw shooting. The Wiz got to the line 20 times, converting on 17 of them to keep this game within reach. Even with some very poor defense and giving up 28 points in the paint, the Wizards were down just four, 65-61 at halftime.
The third quarter was one to forget for the Wizards as they turned the ball over 10 times. The Bucks stretched the lead to 11 late in the third quarter on a Chris Copeland three-pointer and it looked like the Wizards were dead in the water as they trailed 92-82.
That’s when everything changed. The small ball lineup of Wall, Beal, and Sessions combined for 30 points and completely dominated the fourth quarter. The Wizards shot 7-9 from three-point range in the quarter with Bradley Beal going 4-4 including this silky smooth step back three.
Beal would hit a corner 3 for the Wiz to take a 111-104 lead with 2 minutes left and that would be it as the Wizards complete the fourth quarter comeback and beat the Bucks, 118-113.
Free Throw Shooting: The Wizards were in constant attack mode all night and got to the line 20 times in the first half, converting on 17 of them. The Wizards shot 36-44 from the charity stripe for the game including 10-10 from John Wall. Gary Neal was also perfect from the line going 6-6.
Bench Play: The bench was outstanding for the Wizards, combining for 53 points. Ramon Sessions was huge scoring 23 points on 8-12 shooting and putting relentless pressure on the Bucks transition defense. Nene showed that he is still serviceable with 9 points (3-3 shooting), 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Not to mention, he got the bulk of the fourth quarter minutes over Gortat.
Defensive Lapses: The Wizards surrendered 92 points through three quarters in this one. Not a long-term recipe for winning. The Wizards had a tough time guarding The Greek Freak and toyed with throwing Kelly Oubre Jr. at him late in the first half. The Wizards surrendered 50 points in the paint, also not a recipe for winning.
The Knicks come to town for the Wizards home opener tomorrow night.