The Wizards shot an impressive 60 percent from the field in the first quarter and led 31-26. That optimistic start quickly faded as the Spurs deep bench exploited the Wizards banged up bench.
Randy Wittman decided to shake things up starting Kris Humphries and Gary Neal in favor of Jared Dudley and Garrett Temple. It didn’t matter as Neal got in foul trouble early and was forced to the bench.
The Spurs led 55-52 at halftime and hope was still in the air. As the Spurs do most teams, they methodically pulled away from the Wizards. The three-pointers that weren’t falling in the first half started dropping in the third quarter for the Spurs. They didn’t do anything fancy or flashy, they just executed their plays and swung the ball from side to side whereas the Wizards didn’t do either. The Wizards went cold only scoring 19 points in the third period.
Manu Ginobili hit a transition three pointer with .5 seconds remaining left in the third quarter. That stretched the lead out to 15, 86-71 as the Spurs would coast through the fourth quarter to a 114-95 victory.
Takeaways from tonight’s game:
The Wizards played well… for a half: The Spurs gave up a season-high 31 points to the Wizards in the first quarter who shot 60 percent from the field. The Wizards scored 28 points in the paint first half coming off of John Wall drives, backdoor cuts from Oubre, and Wall and Gortat running the pick and roll to perfection.
The second half? No so much. The Wizards scored just 43 points in the second half as the Spurs pulled away. The pick and roll game was no longer working and John Wall was unable to get out in transition. The law of averages came into play as the Wizards shot 41 percent from the field for the game after knocking down 60 percent of their shots in the first quarter.
Kawhi Leonard is the latest wing player to go off against the Wizards: LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony; now you can add Kawhi Leonard to the list of wings to go off against the Wizards this year. Leonard scored 27 points on 9-15 shooting including 4-7 from three-point range. In addition, he locked down Otto Porter on the defensive end who was essentially invisible tonight.
Aside from Kelly Oubre, the Wizards didn’t get much from the bench: Oubre scored a career high 18 points highlighted by this dunk midway through the fourth quarter.
Oubre showed flashes of why the Wizards drafted him. The rookie hit a three in transition, showed his ability as a finisher when slashing to the hole, and went 4-4 from the free throw line. Is he going to snag a starting spot anytime soon? Probably not. But his minutes are only going to increase with nights like tonight.