Raptors at Wizards Game 4: Washington turns in a gritty performance for a 106-98 victory over Toronto

Bradley Beal fouled out with just under four minutes to play with the game tied at 92 sucking all the life out of Capital One Arena. Even though the game was tied, the Wizards looked defeated. But the Wizards, the up-and-down Wizards, they don’t know what to expect next Wizards persevered and closed the game on a 14-4 run and beat the Raptors 106-98 evening the series at two games apiece.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 31 points and John Wall added 27 as the Washington backcourt one-ups the Toronto backcourt of Lowry and DeRozan outscoring them 58-54 tonight. Otto Porter was quiet in the first half but scored 11 in the second half for the Wizards who have now won eight straight home playoff games dating back to last season.

Things looked bleak for the home squad early on. With the refs calling the game tight, the Raptors, well mainly DeMar DeRozan were in ultra-attack mode. DeRozan went right at the Wizards and as a result, got 12 free throw attempts (made 9) in just the first quarter alone. The Wizards, on the other hand, couldn’t buy a bucket. Washington shot just 36 percent from the field in the first quarter and trailed 30-22 after one period.

That stagnant offense carried over to the second quarter where John Wall and Bradley Beal took turns going one-on-one against the Toronto defense. To no one’s surprise, that didn’t work either and the Wizards managed to shoot even worse (34 percent) in the second quarter trailing 51-40 at halftime.

Washington’s offense finally got going in the third quarter, once they were able to run. The Wizards got out in transition and Porter was the beneficiary knocking down two three-pointers in as many possessions to cut into the Raptors lead. Marcin Gortat, who scored 12 points tonight had two buckets from close is as Washington used a 13-2 run to tie the game at 58 in the third period.

Washington opened the period 13-20 from the field and matched their first-half point production with 40 in the third quarter, as we’d be all tied up at 80 after three.

All that excitement looked like it would be short-lived as the Raptors opened the period on an 8-0 run taking an 88-80 lead. But Bradley Beal would come alive knocking down a three in transition and two free throws to tie the game again at 90.

That’s when all hell broke loose. With just four minutes to play, DeMar DeRozan stumbled over Beal’s foot in what was a very questionable foul call, fouling Beal out of the game. With the game tied at 92, the Wizards would have to play the last three minutes and change without their best scorer.

But that’s when the Wizards locked in defensively. Washington was able to limit Lowry and DeRozan down the stretch who’d been killing them all night. DeRozan missed four of his last five shots to end the game and the Wizards knocked down their free throws to ice it.

We’ve got a brand new series as we’re all tied up at two games apiece now.

Wall and Beal outduel DeRozan and Lowry for a second straight game

John Wall and Bradley Beal got the best of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry as the duo combined for 58 points. Wall scored 27 of those to go along with 14 assists and six rebounds in the Wizards victory.

Bradley Beal continued his hot shooting out of the gate with nine points on 4-6 shooting in the first quarter. Wall and Beal were the only Wizards players who could do anything on the offensive end in the first half scoring 23 of the Wizards’ 40 points.

Beal got going yet again in the third quarter with five quick points to get the Wizards back within striking distance. John Wall’s jumper was falling too as he was knocking down his pull-up and elbow jumper with consistency. Wall was able to get to the line tonight but knocked down just 7 of his 10 attempts. But as Wall does best, he was getting others involved, dishing out most of his 14 assists after halftime.

DeMar DeRozan was unstoppable tonight scoring a game-high 35 points this evening. The Wizards had no answer for DeRozan early on as he got in the paint, knocked down long twos, and was able to get to the line evidenced by his 18 free throw attempts. The Wizards had no answer for the All-Star through three quarters but were able to put the clamps on him in the fourth quarter.

To no one’s surprise, another ‘House of Guards’ game results in another Washington victory.

Good Oubre Bad Oubre was on full display tonight

Kelly Oubre’s rollercoaster of a season continued tonight as the third-year player could not knock down a jump shot. However, that didn’t prevent him from attacking the hole and getting to the line. Once Oubre realized his shot wasn’t falling, he’d stick his head down and attack the hole – sometimes resulting in a layup, sometimes resulting in a foul, and other times, resulting in a turnover. Oubre’s 10 points off the bench were highest amongst Washington reserves tonight and the Wizards needed every one of them.

Oubre came up big for the Wizards on the defensive end with the role of stopping DeRozan in the second half. He did about as good as a job as one could in stopping the All-NBA scorer. With Beal fouled out, Oubre did a terrific job snagging loose balls and coming up with two steals in the final four minutes.

The Wizards need this type of effort from Oubre if they are going to win this series.

Tip Ins

  • Marcin Gortat had another very nice game with 12 points (6-8 shooting) to go along with 6 rebounds

  • Otto Porter, who scored just one point in the first half ended the game with 12 including many timely buckets as the Wizards were mounting their comeback
  • The Wizards had another nice game defensively coming up with 10 steals and 8 blocks for the evening
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Nets at Wizards final score: Washington blows 23-point lead, hangs on to beat Brooklyn in OT, 119-113

John Wall comes up big with two pull up jumpers in overtime as the Wizards hang on to beat the feisty Brooklyn Nets, 119-113. All five Wizards starters plus Kelly Oubre scored in double figures led by Bradley Beal with 24 while John Wall wasn’t far behind with 23 points.

Washington raced out to an early lead and led by as many as 23, 57-34, midway through the second quarter in what looked like might be an easy victory. However, an easy victory for this team would be way too off-brand.

Overtime aside, the Nets outscored the Wizards 68-48 as Washington forgot that they play two halves in the game of basketball.

With just seconds remaining, Spencer Dinwiddie missed a three-pointer however the ball was tipped back to Quincy Acy who knocked down the three-pointer tying the game at 107 as we’d go to overtime.

John Wall took over in the overtime period assisting Gortat for a floater in the lane to get things started and finding Bradley Beal on consecutive possessions for open jumpers as the Wizards took a 114-109 lead.

Wall would later ice the game with two midrange jumpers as Washington hangs on in a nail-biter, 119-113.

Once again, Washington can’t put away from an inferior team

You hold your breath every time the Wizards play a sub .500 team because you’re not quite sure how they’re going to come out to play. However, Brooklyn is a different type of team. Their record wouldn’t indicate it but they have some nice young talent on their squad, make all of the hustle plays, and are never out of a game as they shoot a ton of three-pointers.

The Nets went 6-12 from three-point range in the fourth quarter to erase the deficit and probably would have come up with the win if not for a slow start and a couple of errant plays late in the game.

As mentioned, Washington held a 20-point lead for the majority of the first half but forgot to come out of the locker room tunnel in the second half. Lazy plays on defense, not boxing out, and nine second-half turnovers allowed Brooklyn to fight back in this one.

For the second time in as many nights, they barely beat a team that they were clearly better than. They have obviously not learned their lesson yet that playing down to your level of competition can come back to haunt you.

Marcin Gortat shows out on Polish Heritage Night

Marcin Gortat was terrific tonight scoring 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds on Polish Heritage Night. The Polish Hammer started the night 4-4 from the field and was grabbing every rebound in sight.

In the overtime period, he knocked down his first jumper in the lane and set many terrific screens to get Beal wide open on the wing for good looks.

Gortat’s hot start and consistent play down the stretch was one of the main reasons Washington was able to sneak out with a victory.

The House of Guards takes over in overtime

Wall and Beal combined to score nine of the Wizards 12 overtime points as they pulled away in the extra period. Wall found Beal on the wing who shook free for an open look that he buried. Next time down, Wall found Beal again, this time for three and he buried that too stretching the Wizards lead to five, 114-109.

After two Jarrett Allen free throws, John Wall got to his elbow and knocked down a nice jumper. The next time down, he crossed over, this time knocking down the jumper over Allen Crabbe to ice the game.

It would have been nice if this game never went into overtime, however; Washington’s two biggest stars came up big when it mattered most.

Next Up: Washington hosts Milwaukee on MLK Day Monday afternoon in their final game of this homestand.

Wizards vs. Knicks final score: Washington uses big second half to roll to 121-103 win over New York

With the Wizards leading by just one point at halftime; Bradley Beal said in a halftime interview: “The first team to play defense is going to win tonight.” The Wizards responded by opening the second half on a 19-5 run and never looked back as they coasted to a 121-103 victory over New York on Wednesday night.

The Knicks made a late run and were able to cut the Wizards lead to 10, 113-103 late in the fourth quarter but John Wall ended all hopes of a comeback with a monster left-handed slam in the closing minutes.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and John Wall chipped in with 25 points as the Wizards notched their seventh straight win against the Knicks.

Takeaways

Bradley Beal continues his All-Star campaign

Bradley Beal was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week and he did nothing tonight to discredit that accolade.

As mentioned, Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 11-14 shooting (79 percent) to go along with six assists as he continued his All-Star campaign. He was torching the nets to start the game connecting on 7-of-8 shots in the first half for 18 points.

The sharpshooter playmaker, Beal, was not only scoring at will but also was able to get others involved. He and Gortat had the pick-and-roll as well as the two-man game going in the first half which resulted in some easy baskets for Gortat.

Midway through the third quarter, John Wall found Beal on the fast break in transition and there would have been a meeting at the summit between him and Kristaps Porzingis but Porzingis opted to go with the #BusinessDecision

Ever wonder what would happen if a Panda and a Unicorn went 1 vs. 1? Now you know:

A little love for Marcin Gortat

Gortat has struggled the past few weeks. He’s spoken openly about how he’s upset that his role is diminishing, as he’s not playing down the stretch of games. But tonight, Gortat snapped out of his funk to the tune of 21 points (season-high) on 9-of-10 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds. He connected on his first six shots of the game and for one night, looked like a younger, more spry player.

Washington’s defense in the first half was bad, really bad

The Wizards defense was terrible right from the opening tip. The lack of intensity could be pointed back to the head of the snake, John Wall who wasn’t engaged in the first half, other than to hunt down a chase down block.

The Knicks were scoring at will against the Wizards early on as Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis were bullying their way in the paint while Courtney Lee was knocking down open three-pointers. Too many times, New York got wide open driving lanes or easy layups on backdoor cuts. They shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.

Fortunately for the Wizards, they were able to flip the script in the second half as their defense was much better and the main reason why Washington was able to pull away for a decisive win.

Game Notes

  • Random stat of the night: Both teams shot an identical 25-43 (58 percent) in the first half
  • The Wizards are currently riding a three-game winning streak, tying their longest win streak of the season
  • The Wizards are now 8-3 in the 11 games since Wall’s return from injury

Next up: The Wizards head to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on ESPN this Friday at 9:30 p.m.

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.

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.