Wizards at Bucks Final Score: Washington uses a balanced attack to drop Milwaukee, 99-88.

Bradley Beal continued his hot shooting leading the way with 23 points as the Wizards beat the Bucks 99-88. Kelly Oubre added 18 points off the bench on 6-8 shooting on a night where Washington had six players score in double figures.

The Wizards held Giannis Antetokounmpo in check for most of the evening as the Greek Freak did score 23 points but on 8-21 shooting.

This was a terrific all-around team effort for the Wizards as they win one on the second half of a back-to-back, something that was a rarity last season.

TAKEAWAYS

Kelly Oubre provided a huge spark off the bench

Kelly Oubre checked into the game knocking down his first three-pointer late in the first quarter and you knew it would be one of those evenings for the third-year wing. As mentioned Oubre was 6-8 from the field including 3-5 from three-point range.

The reserves scored the first 18 points to start the fourth quarter for Washington including a personal 5-0 from Oubre in there. Everything was clicking for him tonight. He was knocking down catch-and-shoot threes, attacking the weak side for putbacks, and even showing off his pull-up jumper.

Once again, when the Wizards get a spark from Oubre, they often come away with the win.

Bradley Beal continues his hot scoring streak

Bradley Beal had another great game with 23 points on just 10-16 shooting. Again, Beal started hot connecting on 4-5 first shots for nine first-quarter points.

Things really got cooking for Beal in the third quarter as he knocked down a three-pointer early in the period. That would be a record-breaking 700th three-pointer becoming the youngest player in the NBA to reach 700 made threes.

The sharpshooter ended the quarter on a personal 7-0 run as the Wizards began to pull away from Milwaukee.

Too many turnovers

Washington committed 18 turnovers resulting in 18 points for the Bucks. It didn’t come back to haunt them tonight, but that’s too many for this team to be giving up. Unfortunately for the Wizards, many of these were live ball turnovers giving the Bucks easy transition opportunities.

And although they won’t show up as a turnover in the stat sheet, Washington missed a bunch of bunnies at the rim that the Bucks turned into layups and dunks on the other end.

GAME NOTES

  • Marcin Gortat notched his 6th double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds
  • Outside of Oubre, the bench combined to score a measly 10 points.
  • Free-throw shooting was better but still not great as the Wizards were 12-17 (70 percent) from the charity stripe.

Up Next

Washington heads to Charlotte to finish off their mini eastern conference road trip.

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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 at Nuggets Final Score: Washington starts road trip with a win, beats Denver 109-104

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.

Takeaways

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.

Up Next

Washington heads to Los Angeles to take on Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Wednesday evening.

Marcin Gortat had an underappreciated, but uneven season with the Wizards

As the NBA evolves into a shooter’s league, traditional centers are quickly becoming extinct and Marcin Gortat is no exception. Once the Wizards traded for Markieff Morris during the 2015-2016 season, it was clear that the Wizards were shifting their focus away from muscle to spacing. And just this offseason, the Wizards made a run at Al Horford in hopes of putting four shooters around John Wall.

Even though traditional centers are fading away, Marcin Gortat managed to turn in his best season as a Wizard averaging a double-double for the year with 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds. On top of that, the 33-year-old was the only Wizards player who played and started all 82 games this season.

Gortat was rock solid for a majority of the season. However, he went through a bit of a slump in late February and March as his numbers dipped to 7.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest. This happened to coincide with the Wizards’ team struggles so like years past, Gortat became the punching bag for Wizards faithful.

Things didn’t get easier for Gortat when the Wizards entered the playoffs as he had arguably the hardest individual matchups in both rounds. First, he had to guard the bruising Dwight Howard and then he had to try to lock down the rangy Al Horford.

Gortat struggled to score in the Atlanta series but managed double-digit rebounding numbers in four of the six games (including 18 rebounds in Game 4). In the second round against theCeltics, he was able to move more freely on the offensive end. He notched three double-doubles in the series with double-digit rebounding efforts in six of the seven games.

There’s no denying it, Gortat is getting older, but he’s adjusted to the evolving NBA. He’s not a stat stuffer anymore but performs many little things that don’t show up in the box score. This season, Gortat led the NBA in screens leading to baskets. So although he doesn’t get an assist per se, he’s accounting for a minimum of 12 additional points on a nightly basis.

He continues to make the most of his touches around the rim, making 68.9 percent of his attempts there this season. The issue here is that his touches and shot attempts went down from previous years. He only attempted 8.2 shots per game, the fewest of his career since arriving in Washington.

As the Wizards switched their offensive scheme, Gortat received fewer and fewer touches in the post as most of his points either came on pick-and-rolls or putbacks. In the rare instance that Gortat would get the ball in the post, it often felt like he needed to take the shot as he wasn’t sure when he’d touch the ball next. He struggled on those opportunities, shooting 46.2 percent in the paint and 40.9 percent in the midrange area.

Gortat isn’t in an ideal situation as he’s on the wrong side of 30 playing a position that is slowly dissolving. He mentioned in his exit interviews that he’ll talk with his agent this offseason to see if Washington is the best place for him as it’s clear that the Wizards are looking to get younger and more athletic at the center position.

His season didn’t end on a high note as he became less and less involved in the offense as the season wore on. However, his durability, rebounding, and ability to do the dirty work can’t be questioned.

Wizards vs. Hawks Game 2 final score: Washington scrapes past Atlanta 109-101, takes 2-0 series lead

John Wall and Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quarter as the Wizards overcame a second half deficit and beat the Hawks, 109-101 to take a 2-0 series lead on Wednesday. The House of Guards combined for 63 points, led by Wall with 32 and Beal with 31. Marcin Gortat also notched another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Wizards protected home court.

Just like in Game 1, Washington was able to get out to an early lead in this one, using a 14-0 run to take a 16-6 lead midway through the first quarter. However, the refs were very loose with the whistle throughout the game and it hurt Washington as Markieff Morris and Otto Porter were sidelined with two early fouls.

The bench had a much better showing in the first half this time as Brandon Jennings hit a layup on a blocked Kelly Oubre dunk while Bogdanovic knocked down his first three of the series on the very next play as the Wizards built a cushion with their bench. But like the first quarter, the refs took over this quarter as they continued to blow the whistles.

Atlanta opted to go small to end the second quarter with Mike Muscala at center and Gortat made them pay. Gortat scored eight points in the period as the Wizards stretched the lead out to eight and led, 51-43 at halftime.

The stop and start play carried over into the second half as the refs continued to enjoy hearing themselves blow the whistle. The Wizards were in the penalty just 3:15 in the third quarter and Morris, Porter, and Oubre all picked up their fourth personal fouls during that time frame. The Hawks adjusted as they kept going with Millsap on the offensive end and the Wizards couldn’t do anything about it defensively fearing they’d get called for a foul. Millsap scored 14 in the period as the Wizards lost their eight-point lead and trailed 78-74 entering the fourth quarter.

Brandon Jennings picked the most opportune time as a Wizard to get hot. With the Wizards trailing by six, Jennings connected on three straight field goals followed by a drive and dish to Smith for the dunk to tie the game at 84.

The lead seesawed back and forth but Bradley Beal rose to the occasion and knocked down some big shots en route to 16 fourth quarter points to help Washington take the lead.

With the Wizards up three, John Wall poked the ball behind from Kent Bazemore and Otto Porter threw him a touchdown pass for a dunk as the Wizards took a 103-98 lead. On the next possession, John Wall found Bradley Beal who curled off a screen for a three-pointer for the dagger.

Wizards come up big when it counts most

For a majority of this one, it looked like the refs were getting in the Wizards’ heads, and you couldn’t blame them. The game had zero flow to it and Washington was looking for calls every time down the court. In the fourth quarter, that all changed as they took matters into their own hands. Bradley Beal came alive with 16 points in the money quarter including a three-pointer with under a minute to play to all but ice the game. John Wall was hitting jump shots, getting to the free-throw line, and came up with big defensive plays down the stretch.

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s very nice to see a game like this where there’s no flow and Washington was out of sync yet still found a way to win the game.

Jennings picks his best time of the year to get hot

With the Wizards down 84-78, Brandon Jennings picked the best time of his short career as a Wizard to get hot. Jennings knocked down three straight jumpers in as many possessions to pull the Wizards within two points. The next time down, Jennings would drive into the lane and find Jason Smith for an easy dunk as Washington tied the game at 84 in the fourth quarter to erase the deficit.

Zero flow to this game

It all started in the first half in what was a borderline unwatchable game at times. The Hawks spoke about the Wizards being physical after game one and that they’d have to match their physicality but it was the refs that took notice. The officials took all of the flow out of the game as 29 fouls were committed in the first half (16 by Washington, 13 by Atlanta). The Wizards wanted to get out in transition but were unable to due to all of the quick whistles.

The teams combined for 55 fouls tonight.

Wizards vs. Nuggets final score: Washington sweeps back-to-back with 123-113 win in Denver

All five Wizards starters scored in double figures led by John Wall with 26 and Bradley Beal with 23 as the Wizards beat a short-handed Nuggets squad, 123-113 on Wednesday night. Otto Porter was able to knock off the rust, scoring 22 points and Marcin Gortat returned to his old ways, notching a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds to help the Wizards improve to 2-0 on their road trip.

The Wizards sure didn’t look like a team on the second half of a back-to-back from the start of this one. Washington started the game 6-10 from the field as Wall and Beal combined for 18 points in the first period. Wall got out in transition and had many opportunities in the first quarter thanks to long rebounds off Denver’s missed threes. Wall scored layups on back-to-back fast break possessions including this one as he put just the right English on the ball to finish with the foul.

Wall finished the quarter with 10 points and four assists as the Wizards led, 35-28 after one.

There was a lot to like from Washington in the second quarter, particularly from the recently, very effective bench. The reserves came in and combined for 18 points in the first half behind eight points from Bojan Bogdanovic and four assists from Brandon Jennings. The reserves did their job in maintaining the lead for when the starters checked back in.

When Wall and Beal were re-inserted, the Wizards kicked it up a gear. Washington went on a 12-2 run sparked by two three-pointers from Bradley Beal and some short shots in the lane from Gortat as the Wizards were able to go into halftime up 67-50.

The Wizards were coasting and it looked like Washington would cruise as they led by 24 at one point in the third quarter. But Denver had other plans. The Nuggets shot a red-hot 78 percent in the third quarter as they trimmed the Washington lead in half entering the fourth quarter.

Once again, the Wizards were able to stretch the lead out to 14 but the pesky Nuggets wouldn’t go away. Things got more complicated after Markieff Morris was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Mason Plumlee. The teams traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter and the Nuggets were able to cut the lead to single digits with just under a minute to play. But on the next possession with the shot clock winding down, Gortat found Bogdanovic who swung it around the horn for a wide open Porter who’d knock down the dagger three to put the game out of reach.

Gortat breaks out of his slump

After struggling over the past couple of games, Gortat turned his best performance since the All-Star break. Gortat got back to his double-double ways with 11 points and 15 rebounds and nearly accomplished that feat by halftime (eight points, 11 rebounds).

It looked like the game plan was to feed Gortat early and often on the block to try and get the big man going as the Nuggets were short-handed in the frontcourt with Nikola Jokic missing this one. Gortat also chipped in with three offensive rebounds that resulted in second chance points for the Wizards.

Otto Porter re-emerges

Like Gortat, Porter has also been struggling a bit since the All-Star break. Porter was able to break out of his funk with 22 points on 10-15 shooting to go along with four steals. Porter hasn’t been taking threes at a rate we saw prior to the All-Star break but tonight, did most of his damage around the rim. Otto had two key buckets late in the game, a long two and a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down as Denver was making a last effort run.

Jennings has his best game as a Wizard

After his early exit from last night’s game, a well rested Jennings turned in his best performance as a Wizard with four points, six assists, and two steals in just over 17 minutes of play. Like Wall, Jennings was looking to get out in transition to set his teammates up. Jennings’ highlight of the night was capped off when he went behind the back to Mahinmi for an easy finish at the rim.

Wall, Wizards pull away from Pacers win, 112-107.

Three Wizards players log double-doubles led by John Wall and Markieff Morris with 26 points a piece as the Wizards pull away from the Pacers and win 112-107. Marcin Gortat added 14 points and 16 rebounds while Beal scored 20 as the Wizards knock down an eastern conference foe hunting them down in the standings.

It looked like Otto Porter was going to be in for a big game. Porter scored eight points in the first period and knocked down his first three-pointer of the night. Unfortunately for Porter, he was shutout the rest of the game. For the first time in a long time, Scott Brooks went with all five reserves on the floor to end the first quarter. The Wizards led 33-27 after one.

The Wizards were a cold 2-7 from the floor to begin the second quarter. The starters came back in and countered with an 8-0 run with all points coming courtesy of Morris. The Pacers lead was stretched to as much as nine but the Wizards came back and tied the game at 59 at halftime.

The teams traded buckets for most of the third quarter. Once again, Brooks reinserted all five reserves to end the quarter and they were able to regain the lead as they capitalized on swift cuts and were able to get easy buckets.

The Pacers wouldn’t go away. Tough shots from Paul George down the stretch kept Indiana within striking distance. With under a minute remaining, Wall looped around the court and found Morris for a wide-open three as the Wizards would take a 108-102 lead and never look back.

Wizards win 112-107.

Frontcourt comes up big

Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat both notched double-doubles and combined for 40 points and 26 rebounds (10 OREB). Morris scored a season-high 26 points on 11-18 shooting while knocking down three three-pointers. Gortat came up big with eight offensive rebounds often resulting in second chance points. Gortat’s biggest offensive rebound of the game came with 40 seconds remaining as Beal missed both free-throws but Gortat was there to knock it out and give Washington an extra possession.

Brooks plays all five reserves at once

Scott Brooks has been shuffling lineups for almost the entire season and continued to do so tonight. Before, Brooks always kept a starter on the floor. Tonight, he went with all five reserves for five-minute stretches at two points in the game. The bench relinquished the lead in the first half but built out the lead in the second half. Clearly, Brooks seems to have more and more confidence in his bench as of late. That, or he’s trying to keep the starters’ minutes down as much as possible.

Wizards get back to business

After a heartbreaker against the Cavs and an uninspiring win against the Nets, the Wizards looked like themselves tonight. John Wall was doing John Wall things while Beal was knocking down three-pointers as he usually does. Nice all around win against a team a few games behind them in the standings.