Bradley Beal scored 21 points including eight in the fourth quarter as the Wizards hang on for the road victory in Milwaukee, 107-104. Otto Porter added 17 points (all in the first half) and Markieff Morris scored 14 on 6-8 shooting as the Wizards tie the season series with the Bucks 2-2.
Washington came out guns blazing to start this one connecting on 8-9 field goals and building out a double-digit lead, right out of the gate. Everyone ate in the first quarter as the Wizards poured in a season-high 40 first-quarter points on 12 assists and led, 40-22 after one.
The next two quarters were a different story though. Washington played porous defense coupled with their inability to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo (23 points) as the Bucks were able to trim the Wizards lead to one on several occasions.
But it was the Wizards who executed down the stretch and sneak out of Milwaukee with the win, 107-104.
Washington executes down the stretch
After scoring just one basket in the third quarter, Bradley Beal came up biggest when it counted most. Milwaukee cut the Wizards lead to one on multiple occasions but it was Beal knocking down two step back jumpers in back-to-back possessions to extend Washington’s lead.
With just over a minute to play, Beal and Morris ran a pick-and-roll where Beal passed it to Morris who gave it right back to Beal knocking down the three-point shot to extend the Wizards lead to five, 106-101.
Markieff Morris was also clutch down the stretch. With the lead cut to one, 99-98, Scott Brooks ran a terrific ATO play getting Morris a wide-open baseline jumper as Washington kept their lead at three. Next time down, Beal found Morris cutting through the line for the easy dunk and again, extending the Wizards lead.
But most importantly, with the Wizards up 106-104, Markieff Morris played outstanding defense on Antetekounmpo who tried to post him up only to have his shot fall short and Satoransky grab the loose ball.
Wizards turn in their best first quarter of the season
Marcin Gortat missed a lefty hook shot to open the game. That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Wizards in the opening period. After that miss, Washington connected on their next eight field goals as they build a 21-5 lead in the blink of an eye.
Everyone was eating from the get-go as the ball found its way to open shooters or cutters through the lane for transition layups as the Wizards combined for 12 assists in the quarter led by Satoransky with five.
Washington shot 67 percent (16-24) in the quarter led by Bradley Beal with 11 points and Otto Porter with 9 (4-4 shooting) as the Wizards scored 40 in the opening period, their highest scoring output for a first quarter this season. Washington led by as many as 21 in the period.
Brooks’ rotations almost doom the Wizards
Scott Brooks’ rotations tonight were very questionable. Look no further than the start of the fourth quarter where Brooks opted to go with an all-bench lineup after they let Milwaukee climb back in this game. And to make matters worse, he chose to go with his infamous no point guard lineup for much of the fourth quarter and didn’t reinsert Satoransky until there were under four minutes of game time remaining.
Fortunately for Brooks and the Wizards, it didn’t cost them the win.
- Ian Mahinmi turned in another solid performance with eight points and rebounds off the bench
- Jodie Meeks continues to play well after the All-Star Break as he also scored eight points off the bench
- Don’t let Kelly Oubre running downhill get to his left-hand folks
Up Next: No time to rest as the Wizards take on the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night.