All five Wizards starters score in double figures as Washington uses a balanced attack to beat Denver, 109-104. Bradley Beal led the way with 20 points including a layup to ice the game late in the fourth quarter while John Wall chipped in with 19 points and 12 assists.
It wasn’t pretty as the Wizards committed 15 turnovers tonight and played down to their competition however they were able to eke out a win on the road.
Washington starts their road trip with a win and starts the season 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
The Wiz let it fly from 3
Uncharacteristically, Washington attempted just 22 and 17 three-pointers respectively in their first two games. Kind of odd for a team who was top-10 in hoisting up three-pointers last season. Well, that was not the case tonight as the Wizards let it fly, attempting 30 three-pointers on the evening.
Otto Porter got things going for Washington as he connected on his first two of the game. Kelly Oubre Jr., who has been hot and cold so far this season, connected on two three-pointers including one during a key stretch in the fourth quarter in which Marcin Gortat was fouled while Oubre was shooting resulting in a four-point play.
Washington wasn’t prolific in shooting the long ball tonight but that’s OK. Their aggressiveness and ability to find open looks from range was nice to see and they weren’t doing that in their first two games.
Jodie Meeks, Tim Frazier, and Tomas Satoransky all hit their first three-pointers of the season tonight.
Washington gets to the line
John Wall has always been critical stating that he doesn’t think he gets to the line enough. Well tonight, he got there 15 times on a night when his jump shot wasn’t falling. Wall was just 3-13 from the field but connected on 13 of his 15 free-throw attempts.
The rest of the Wizards players were also very aggressive in attacking the hole, resulting in free-throws, and combined to knock down 13-13 from the charity stripe. In years past, free throw shooting has come back to haunt this team. Not tonight as they used it when the offense wasn’t clicking at times.
Gortat is rock solid again
Gortat has had arguably the toughest one-on-one matchups to start this season. Tonight, he was up against up the rising star in Nikola Jokic and Gortat more than held his own. Gortat fouled out but ended the night with 13 points (6-7 shooting) and five rebounds.
He was often tasked with guarding Jokic near the three-point line and although Jokic hit a few threes; Gortat was successful in slowing him down. At the beginning of the season, some thought there might not be enough minutes for Gortat and Mahinmi to split. That hasn’t been the case so far as Gortat is winning that battle.
Washington heads to Los Angeles to take on Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Wednesday evening.