Clippers at Wizards final score: Washington sneaks by short-handed Clippers for a 100-91 victory

They aren’t all pretty, but the Wizards will take any win they can get.

Mike Scott leads the way for Washington with 22 points as the Wizards sneak past the short-handed Clippers, 100-91. Bradley Beal added 20 points and John Wall scored 15 as the Wizards avenge their loss to Los Angeles just six days ago.

Washington led by as many as 18 in the first half but it was déjà vu all over again as they blew the lead in the fourth quarter as the Clippers tied the game at 82. The Wizards took control down the stretch of the game with a 15-3 run highlighted by a Kelly Oubre four-point play.

John Wall put the fork in this one with a tough jumper at the foul line and the foul, to surge the Wizards to victory.

Takeaways

The Wizards are playing with fire

If there’s one constant with this team, it’s that no lead is big enough. Once again, the Wizards found themselves up 18 points against an injury-riddled team only to implode and let the Clippers keep this one interesting. Washington’s poor habits continued to rear their ugly heads tonight. Too many turnovers, poor efforts on defense and poor shooting allowed the Clippers to get back in this one.

Just like against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, they didn’t get burned; although if they were playing a halfway decent team, there’s no way they win this game.

Mike Scott strengthens his argument

Mike Scott tied a season-high tonight leading the Wizards with 22 points in just 24 minutes of play. Scott saw more playing time tonight as Markieff Morris was in foul trouble most of the evening.

Scott continues to hit tough floaters in the lane, timely three-pointers and is active on the offensive glass. The veteran only missed one shot tonight (9-10 from the field) and connected on 2-3 three-point attempts.

It’s going to be very hard for Scott to maintain this pace, however, while he’s hot, the coaching staff needs to ride his hot hand over Markieff Morris.

John Wall has another up and down performance

John Wall wasn’t very good for most of the night. He took far too many tough jumpers and was loose with the ball evidenced by his five turnovers. He shot just 5-16 from the field and was 1-6 from range.

However, Wall came up big down the stretch with a nice assist to Gortat for an easy dunk and a tough jumper and the foul to ice the game.

As Wall continues to return from injury, it would be nice to see him focus more on setting teammates up rather than jack up a ton of shots because not many of them are falling right now.

Game Notes

  • Washington had two separate 12-0 runs in the first half.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. completed a four-point play in the midst of a key Washington run late as they pulled away.

  • Otto Porter suffered a right thigh bruise in the first quarter and never returned.

Up Next  

LeBron James and the red-hot Cavaliers come to Washington on Sunday night. The last time the Cavs were in town, James scored 57 against the Wizards.

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Wizards vs. Grizzlies final score: Washington holds on to win 93-87 in John Wall’s return

Bradley Beal scored 18 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as the Wizards hung on to beat the lowly Grizzlies, 93-87 on Wednesday night.

All five Washington starters and Kelly Oubre scored in double-figures tonight as the Wizards finally got in the win column after two tough losses.

The quarter-full Capital One Arena was about as roaring as a library to begin this one, and the play from both of these teams early on mirrored that as the two teams mustered up just 10 points through the first 5:37 of the opening period.

Everything changed in the second quarter as John Wall got his legs back under him and looked like the player we’ve grown accustomed to. He turned on the afterburners midway through the second period, finishing shots at the hole and hitting midrange jumpers as the Wizards took a 41-29 lead into halftime.

Washington was up by as many as 17 in the second half but as we know, no lead is safe with the Wizards. The Grizzlies hit a three-pointer at the beginning of the fourth quarter for their first lead of the game, 67-65. After that three, Washington went on a 13-0 run to take control of the game and secure the win.

Takeaways

John Wall makes his return

As expected, it took about a quarter for Wall to really put a mark on this game. It wasn’t so much that he needed to knock off the rust, but the aggression wasn’t there at first.

After scoring just one basket in the first quarter, Wall looked like his old self, taking Chandler Parsons off the dribble and finishing at the hole. His midrange jumper was falling too as he went on a personal 9-0 run to help the Wizards take a 14 point lead in the second quarter.

The second half wasn’t as kind for Wall. After scoring 11 points on 5-10 shooting in the first half, Wall only scored two points in the second half as he never really got going.

There were next to no highlight plays in a mostly sleepy game tonight. However, late in the fourth quarter, he pinned Chandler Parsons’ layup attempt to seal the win.

Mike Scott wants the starting power forward position

Mike Scott continued his rock-solid play while filling in for Markieff Morris, who sat this one out with a sore hip. He scored 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting including a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to stretch the Wizards’ lead to six as Memphis tried to claw their way back into the game.

Scott didn’t do anything extraordinary, but the Wizards don’t need him to do anything crazy, especially with Wall back. They just need him to knock down shots when he’s open and play respectable defense.

It’s going to be hard for the coaching staff to play Morris over Scott as long he keeps turning in these solid performances.

Game Notes

  • Washington held the Grizzlies to 12 points in the first quarter and 29 points for the half; both season-lows for Wizards’ opponents. But it wasn’t because of good defense or anything, the Grizzlies just aren’t good.
  • The Wizards hit all five of their three-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
  • The Wizards didn’t do themselves any favors at the charity stripe as they were just 12 of 24 from the free throw line.
  • Scott Brooks’ rotations remain confusing as he opted to go with a five-man lineup with no true point guard on the floor (at an odd time too) through the first few minutes of the fourth quarter.

Next up: The Wizards will try to get revenge for this Saturday’s loss as they host the Clippers at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Ranking who needs to step up the most in John Wall’s absence

News surfaced this weekend that after receiving injections to reduce swelling in his knee, John Wall would be sidelined for two weeks. Unfortunately for Washington, these small nicks and bruises often tend to linger longer than the initial diagnosis. The Wizards have already had a bumpy start to the season and with a tough schedule looming, there couldn’t have been a more inopportune time for the injury bug to rear its ugly head.

Here’s a ranking of the Wizards who need to step up if Washington is going to come out of this stretch with minimal wounds.

1. Scott Brooks

As mentioned by Ben Mehic, the honeymoon is over for Brooks. And if he wants to recreate an optimistic buzz around this team and its fanbase, here’s his chance.

Many thought Brooks was a not-so-creative inside the box hiring during the Summer of 2016. We’re only at the quarter pole of the season but his rotations still make you scratch your head, sometimes doesn’t make in-game adjustments fast enough, the team easily loses focus, and it looks like it may have spread to the rest of the coaching staff.

If Wall truly only misses two weeks of play, that means he’ll miss games against Portland (Loss), at Minnesota (Win), at Philadelphia, Detroit, and another early season west coast road trip at Utah, Portland, Phoenix, and the Los Angeles Clippers. On paper, that looks like a 3-5 or a 2-6 stretch.

Hopefully, Brooks will be able to push the right buttons like he did in Tuesday’s win, going with some unusual lineups down the stretch that got the job done.

2. Bradley Beal

Bradley Beal has been the best player for the Wizards so far this season and if Washington is going right the ship while Wall is out, they are going to need Beal to continue playing like an All-Star. Bradley Beal is averaging 24.7 points in games where Wall has been sidelined this year while knocking down 46.4 percent of his shots in those contests.

The sharp-shooter, who adds a little more to his offensive arsenal every year, is currently posting a usage of 28.7 percent, putting him in the 96th percentile of the league, per cleaningtheglass.com. With John Wall out, and Beal finding the ball more in his hands more often, there’s no reason to think that that number will drop.

Scott Brooks has toyed with Beal being the primary ball handler on the court. Although it’s a very small sample size, it doesn’t feel (nor look) natural when Beal is bringing the ball up the floor to trigger the offense. However, he’s excelled as the secondary handler, specifically, when running the pick-and-roll with Gortat or the rapport they’ve built in the two-man game.

With Wall out, Beal will not be lacking scoring opportunities and will be able to showcase his ability to be ‘the guy’ for this team. It’s not so much that he needs to step up, but rather, continue playing at an All-Star level for the Wizards to stay afloat during this stretch.

3. Otto Porter

Like Beal, Porter is putting up the best numbers of his career and has a huge opportunity to showcase to the national media that he was worthy of that big deal this offseason and maybe, just maybe, work his way into All-Star talks.

Even though Porter is posting career-highs in points, rebounds, steals, two-point shooting percentage, and three-point shooting percentage (let me catch my breath), his usage rate is just 16.1 percent; putting him in just the 53rd percentile in the league. That’s unacceptable for a player as efficient as Porter.

Scott Brooks is often criticized for running next to no plays for Porter but if the Wizards don’t want to fall behind in the surprisingly improved Eastern Conference, that has to change. Specifically, Porter has to be more assertive and aggressive when his number is called. The only criticism of Porter so far this year is that he still sometimes disappears during games. That can’t happen for one of the Wizards’ most efficient players.

As one of the best and most efficient players on this team, it’s time for Porter to start being a bit more selfish and take matters into his own hands, as we saw late in Tuesday’s win over the Timberwolves.

4. Tim Frazier

Frazier has been fairly underwhelming through the first quarter of the season. However, with the increased playing time about to come his way, he can change all that.

So far, Frazier seems content in trying to get others involved but is very reluctant to shoot the ball. Frazier is averaging just 7.5 points per 36 minutes on a putrid 38.2 percent shooting.

Should Frazier start jacking up shots to make the defense respect him more? Not at all. However, he does need to look for his shot just a little bit more as teams are lagging off, begging him to shoot. On a positive, Frazier is shooting a career-high 92.3 percent from the foul line. The only issue is, he doesn’t get there that often evidenced by his 0.7 attempts per game or 1.4 attempts per 36 minutes.

If Frazier could watch the tape on Ramon Sessions while he was here in Washington, and mimic his aggressiveness, that would pay dividends for the backup point guard. He’s very solid at setting his teammates up, he now just has to take advantage of these extended minutes to make himself more of a threat and open up things for his teammates.

It’s not going to be easy to replace the All-Star production of John Wall, however, if the Wizards are going to stay competitive during this tough upcoming stretch, it all comes back to these guys stepping up.

Wizards at Sixers Final: Wizards’ Hack-A-Simmons strategy erases deficit, but Wiz fall to Sixers, 118-113.

The Wizards were this close to completing one of the most bizarre comebacks.

With over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Wizards went to the hack-a-Simmons strategy on 12 straight possessions. Washington, once down 24 was able to the trim the lead to three, 100-97 as Simmons missed many of those free throws. And every time it looked like the Sixers had a comfortable lead, the Wizards managed to stay within striking distance.

The strategy worked as it gave Washington a fighting chance, but the comeback would fall short as they’d lose, 118-113.

TAKEAWAYS

No Wall, no Beal, no chance.

Midway through the first quarter, Jerryd Bayless went up for a layup swinging his off arm, knocking Bradley Beal in the face. Beal exited the game and was out for the rest of the first half (he did return in the second half) but that killed any chance the Wizards had of winning this game.

Washington, who only mustered up 91 points just one night prior had tons of issues scoring once Beal went down. Chalk it up to tired legs and the rest of the starters having another off night, the Wizards officially had no offense with their best scorer down.

The Wizards looked to push the pace and tried to get some easy baskets in transition but that didn’t do the trick. The lid was on the cup early in this game as once again, the team started 4-16 from the field.

Beal came back to play in the second half and ended the night with 21 points, but it was too little too late.

Wizards get crushed on the glass

Yes, Philadelphia is the best rebounding team in the NBA, however, the Wizards showed no life on the glass this evening. Washington was crushed on both ends as they were outrebounded 35-14 in the first half and 64-35 for the game. No starter grabbed more than four rebounds tonight and it was Tomas Satoransky who led the team with eight boards.

Philly crashed the glass, to the tune of 21 offensive rebounds that often ended up in easy put backs right at the rim.

It’s already tough to keep Philly of the glass, and the Wizards did themselves no favors tonight.

Washington can’t keep Philly out of the paint

This and rebounding often go hand in hand. When you give up 16 offensive rebounds, you often tend to give up many easy baskets in the lane. Joel Embiid and Dario Saric did most of their damage in the midrange but it was Ben Simmons who had no problems getting to the rim tonight.

Morris started off the game guarding Simmons and was no match for the rookie. Morris often went under screens in hopes of forcing Simmons to shoot but Simmons was still able to navigate his way to the hole.

After a nice game from Ian Mahinmi last night, he wasn’t able to provide any rim protection either. The Sixers scored 54 points in the paint tonight and already notched 32 by halftime. You’re not going to win many games when your opponent puts up that kind of numbers.

GAME NOTES

  • For the second straight night, Tomas Satoransky outplayed Tim Frazier. It’ll be interesting to see if Satoransky gets more and more of Frazier’s minutes as the season rolls along.
  • Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 21 points but it was too little too late as most of those came with the game already out of hand.

Wizards vs. Raptors final score: Washington falters without John Wall in 100-91 loss

Two weeks ago to the day, Washington went into Toronto and beat the Raptors without John Wall. The sequel would not be as enjoyable as the Wizards fall to the Raptors Sunday night, 100-91.

DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 33 points as Toronto evened the season series with Washington.

John Wall sat this game out with swelling in his knee and the Wizards wouldn’t have the firepower late to keep up with the Raptors. The short-handed Wizards were competitive for most of the contest but ran out gas in the fourth quarter.

Bradley Beal scored 27 points (22 in the first half) while Marcin Gortat stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Takeaways

Bradley Beal continues to score at a high rate

With John Wall out, the Wizards needed a big game from Bradley Beal to stay competitive tonight and he delivered. Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 11-23 shooting including going 5-9 from three-point range.

Beal was the primary option for the Wizards early on. The sharp-shooter scored 12 points for Washington in the first quarter on 5-8 shooting and outside of a mini spark from Kelly Oubre, was Washington’s only scoring threat in the first half.

Bradley Beal cooled off in the second half as he scored just five points (and was held scoreless in the fourth quarter), totaling 27 for the night.

Points in the paint and offensive rebounding doomed Washington in the first half

These things tend to go hand-in-hand – when you give up offensive rebounds, that usually leads to easy baskets for the other squad. That was the case for the Raptors who destroyed Washington on the offensive glass this evening, especially in the first half.

In just the first half alone, Toronto grabbed eight offensive rebounds and made Washington pay. Jonas Valnciunas grabbed two offensive boards in the first half and flipped up the missed shots for easy baskets in the lane. Already a great scorer, the ball often found it’s way to DeMar DeRozan on these second-chance opportunities as he also had too many easy baskets around the hole.

As a result, the Raptors had nine more shots (51-42) than Washington in the first half.

Free-throw shooting plagues the Wizards

Was this the only reason Washington lost? No. However, it’s pretty concerning that this is something we have to talk about after nearly every game. Washington was 11-19 (57.9 percent) from the charity stripe this evening. Jodie Meeks knocked down 5-6 attempts and was the only Wizards player to have a respectable showing from the line.

Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Mike Scott, and Tim Frazier combined to shoot less than 50 percent from the line whereas neither Beal, Gortat, or Morris even attempted a free-throw tonight.

Game Notes

  • Washington shot better from three-point range (8-13) than they did from the free-throw line (5-11) in the first half.
  • Markieff Morris took a shot to the face diving for a loose ball in the first quarter. Morris looked to be shaken up but didn’t miss any time. Morris took yet another shot in the second half when he got sandwiched going up for a loose ball. Again, he played through it.
  • Kelly Oubre connected on 2-3 shots of the catch-and-shoot variety but was 0-4 from the field when trying to create his own shot.

Next up: The Wizards will be back in action on Monday as they head to Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

Wizards vs. Kings final score: Washington picks up third straight win with 110-92 victory over Sacramento

John Wall had a near perfect game with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting as the Wizards blew out the Kings, 110-92 on Monday night. Marcin Gortat added 18 points while Otto Porter and Mike Scott chipped in with 15 points each as the Wizards won their third straight home game.

Washington’s energy mimicked the energy of the half-empty crowd to start the game as Sacramento raced out to an early 27-17 lead. It wasn’t until the bench was inserted late in the first quarter that the Wizards got the jolt they needed. The all-bench unit spurred a run to get Washington going and even up the score before the starters came back into the game and helped the Wizards take the lead going into halftime.

Washington blew things wide open in the third quarter. The Wizards started the period 5-6 from the field to stretch the lead to 14 and (almost) never looked back. Scott Brooks had to reinsert the starters for a few moments after the Kings cut the lead down to 13, but Washington handled their business down the stretch to close out their homestand with their third-straight win.

Takeaways

John Wall has a perfect first half

John Wall said that he wasn’t 100 percent himself as he was still battling illness. You couldn’t tell from his play in the first half. Wall confidently stepped into two three-pointers to start this game and was a perfect 4-4 from the field for 10 points before he got subbed out.

The Wallstar came back in the second quarter and picked up right where he left off knocking down another three-pointer in transition as the Wizards stretched the lead to seven. Wall ended the half a perfect 6-6 from the field including 3-3 from three-point range for 16 points.

In the second half, he put on a show as the Wizards pulled away:

The bench turns in another solid performance

Scott Brooks, who’s still toying with the rotations, went with an all-reserve lineup at the 1:49 mark of the first quarter. It’s cost them in the past, but tonight it was a strength for Washington as the reserves would go on a 15-2 run from the 1:49 mark in the first quarter to the 8:00 mark of the second quarter to regain the lead for Washington.

Kelly Oubre Jr. was the leader off the bench as he notched seven points and seven rebounds in the first half. He was very active on the defensive end with two ‘Pick-6’s’ resulting in easy layups on the other end. He also had had several deflections forcing the Kings to scramble for the ball and put up tough shots late in the shot clock. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes of play. He capped it off by doing his dance and finishing with a nasty dunk.

Mike Scott continued his resurrection season as he was the first man off the Washington bench tonight scoring 15 points including going a perfect 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in the first half.

Game Notes

  • Marcin Gortat made his 95th consecutive start, the fourth-longest active streak in the league.
  • Our old friend Garrett Temple was one of the only bright spots for the Kings tonight scoring 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting in his return to D.C.

Wizards vs. Lakers final score: Washington gets it done on both ends in 111-95 win

Washington used a balanced attack, led by John Wall with 23 points, as the Wizards got back in the win column with a 111-95 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night.

Bradley Beal added 22 points, including a season-high 6 assists, while Otto Porter scored 20 as Washington snapped a three-game losing streak at home.

The Wizards scored 69 points in the first half, tied for the most in a half this season for the team and never looked back. The Lakers looked like they might make things a little close for comfort as Julius Randle hit a layup to cut the lead to nine, 93-84 early in the fourth quarter, but Washington would cruise the rest of the way to an easy victory as the Lakers ran out of gas.

Takeaways

Washington’s big first half propels them to victory

In the preview for this game, I wrote that we’d know where this team’s head was at right from the tip. Washington played one of their best halves of the season scoring 69 points (season-high) on 60 percent shooting. Otto Porter set the tone in the first quarter as he started the game 5-8 from the field.

Beal took over in the second quarter, attacking the rim and even getting a four-point play the non-traditional way when he hit a three-pointer and Ian Mahinmi was fouled during the shot.

There were a few hiccups for the Wizards including eight turnovers as well as some poor transition defense, but in all, this was one of their best halves of the season.

You can always count on Ol’ Faithful Otto

In the only way Otto Porter knows, he put up a quiet 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds. He started the game cutting through the lane for his patented herky-jerky layups in transition and showed us what resembled a Dirk Nowitzki step-back jumper.

Otto Porter played the entire first quarter as well as the opening minutes of the second quarter as Brooks played him alongside four reserves. Scott Brooks went with this rotation to start the fourth quarter as well as Brooks moved away from his all-reserve lineups.

Markieff Morris has his best game of the season

Morris broke free from his early season struggles tonight. After a quiet first half where he scored just four points, Morris knocked down two straight three-pointers to start the second half and first five shots of the game overall.

Morris ended the night with 16 points and 5 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play.

Game Notes

  • I’m no doctor but John’s left shoulder looks OK to me.

  • John Wall put on a block party tonight, here were his two best swats of the evening.

  • Ian Mahinmi scored 2 points to go along with just 1 rebound as he fouled out in just 14 minutes of play.
  • Washington was a little loose with the ball committing 19 turnovers resulting in 27 Laker points.

Up Next: Washington hosts Atlanta on Saturday evening in their first game of the season against a Southeast Division foe.