In a must win game against a team eliminated from playoff contention, the Wizards came up short and fell to the Kings 120-111. The Wizards are still mathematically in the playoff hunt but will need a miracle to get into the playoffs after this loss.
Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards with 24 points tonight but it took him 21 shots to get there. Otto Porter had a very good game tonight scoring 20 points on 8-11 shooting including 13 of those points coming in the third quarter.
The Wizards had no answer in the paint early as DeMarcus Cousins bullied Gortat and Nene around to the tune of 11 points on 4-5 shooting in the first quarter.
This game turned into a track meet midway through the second quarter as the teams ran up and down on made or missed shots looking like they’d get penalized if they shot the ball with fewer than 16 seconds remaining on the shot clock. It felt like the Wizards should have been down by more but trailed by just five, 60-55 at halftime.
The Wizards got a bulk of their scoring from Otto Porter in the third quarter who scored 13 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting. Otto’s scoring kept the Wizards within striking distance.
However, the Wizards didn’t feel like playing defense tonight with the season on the line and the game well within reach.
After two floaters from Kosta Koufos and an elbow jumper from Darren Collison, the Kings founds themselves up 108-95 late in the fourth quarter and would ride this one out all but ending the Wizards’ postseason aspirations.
Lack of focus: Here are the Wizards, three games out of the final playoff spot with just eight games to play. You’d think that the team would come out inspired on both ends of the floor in a must win game against a beatable opponent. The Wizards did shoot the ball well but made all of the mental mistakes that have plagued them all season. I’m talking turnovers and defensive effort. The Wizards committed 20 turnovers tonight and surrendered 58 points in the paint.
Wizards have no answer for DeMarcus Cousins: Boogie Cousins made it known that he’d be a force to reckon with tonight. Gortat had no answer and Nene had no answer as Cousins outmuscled both of the Wizards big men for 21 points in the first half and 29 for the game. He was simply a man amongst boys tonight.
Third Quarter Otto Porter shows up: Otto played very well tonight scoring 20 points on 8-11 shooting. Like many games this season, Otto exploded in the third quarter, this time to the tune of 13 points on 5-5 shooting (3-3 from three-point range). Otto scored 13 of the Wizards’ 28 third quarter points and was one of the main reasons the Wizards were within striking distance entering the fourth quarter.