Wizards at Clippers final score: Lou Williams buries a three-pointer late as the Clippers beat the Wizards, 113-112.

Washington’s second-half comeback was all for naught as Lou Williams hits a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining as the Clippers win, 113-112. Lou Williams scored a game-high 35 points as the Wizards’ losing streak in Los Angeles against the Clippers is now stretched to nine games.

After a little bit of a rough patch, Otto Porter had a bounce-back game with 27 points on 10-16 shooting. Bradley Beal scored just two points in the first half but came alive in the second half with 23 points.

Ian Mahinmi and Mike Scott scored 14 and 22 points respectively, both season-highs.

This was definitely a tough one for Washington to lose, dropping them to 2-2 on the road trip.

Takeaways

Mike Scott has his best game of the season

Mike Scott turned in his best performance as a Wizard tonight with 22 points on 9-11 shooting. Scott came into the game with a streak of connecting on eight-straight field goals and was able to stretch that to 12 as he made his first four shots of the game

Not only was Scott hitting tough mid-range jumpers like he often does –

he was terrific from three-point range connecting on 3-4 attempts including one right in front of the Clippers bench as Washington regained the lead late in the fourth quarter.

This game solidified Scott’s role as the second-best player off the bench and with Markieff Morris struggling, it’ll be interesting to see what happens at the power forward position.

A bounce-back game for Otto Porter

After a mini rough patch, Otto Porter had a nice bounce-back game tonight with a team-high 27 points. Porter connected on his first three three-pointers tonight and sparked an early 13-2 lead for Washington.

Otto came up big for Washington down the stretch as he too, hit a three-pointer right in front of the Clippers bench to give Washington the lead only the follow that up with a sky-high floater over DeAndre Jordan as it looked like Washington might close this one out.

Let’s hope this game officially got Otto out of his scoring funk.

Free-throw shooting comes back to haunt the Wizards

Washington was awful from the line going 15-23 (65 percent) this afternoon. Ian Mahinmi was 6-6 from the charity stripe tonight while the rest of the team was just 9-17.

With the Wizards up, 109-105, Tomas Satoransky had a chance to ice the game as he was at the free-throw line with under a minute remaining; but he missed them both.

Washington lost this game by one and missed eight free throws. You do the math.

Tip Ins

  • Washington hasn’t beaten the Clippers in Los Angeles since 2008.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. was held scoreless in 20 minutes of action.
  • Satoransky, Scott, and Mahinmi outscored their counterparts in Frazier, Morris, and Gortat, 47-13.

Up Next

Washington heads to Brooklyn Tuesday evening hoping to end the road-trip with a winning record.

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Wizards vs. Jazz final score: Washington gets blown off the court in 116-69 loss

Well, that’s not an ideal way to start a five-game road trip.

There was a sequence in the third quarter where Marcin Gortat missed a layup on one end, the Jazz snagged the miss and countered on the other end with a Donovan Mitchell three-pointer. It was that kind of a night as the Wizards got blown out on Monday night, 116-69.

The no-longer-under-the-radar-rookie Donovan Mitchell jump-started the Jazz with 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting as the Jazz had this one wrapped up early in the second quarter.

Washington needs to bury the tape from this one and move on as quickly as possible to the next game.

Takeaways

Washington falls into the Jazz’s trap

When the Jazz force you to play their brand of basketball, it’s game over. They shorten the game, swing the ball, force you into taking midrange jumpers while they create opportunities in the paint and get open corner threes. That was all on display in the first half as the Jazz put their mark on this game early.

Utah got too many easy baskets close to the hole as they scored 34 points in the paint in the first half compared to Washington’s eight. After establishing their paint presence, the Jazz started swinging the ball around the horn resulting in seven first half three-pointers as the Wizards were left to chase them around the perimeter.

On the flip side, it wasn’t much prettier as Utah ran Washington off of the three-point line and funneled them into taking midrange jumpers all night. The Wizards narrowed the three-point attempt gap in garbage time, but the Jazz still wound up attempting 14 more threes than Washington and making a dozen more than the Wizards did.

Terrible first half plagues Washington

The first half was ugly.

The Wizards shot just 27 percent from the field in the first half and only managed to hit on 11 field goal attempts. No Washington player scored in double figures and Otto Porter was the only Wizards player to shoot at least 40 percent from the field.

Washington lacked anything resembling tenacity as the Jazz more than doubled the Wizards up in the half, 64-30. In fact, the Jazz had more points in the paint (34) than the Wizards had in the half (30).

You had to look very hard to find a stat that favored Washington in the first half of play.

Bradley Beal struggles again

For the third time in four games, Bradley Beal had a tough night. After starting the evening just 1-5 from the field, he got rid of his protective goggles as they looked to be bothering him once again. Beal finished the night with 11 points on 4-15 shooting and missing all of his three-point attempts.

It’s not time to push the panic button yet, but Beal has been in a bit of a funk over these past four games and the Wizards need him desperately to snap out of it.

Game Notes

  • Washington scored just 69 points tonight, a season-low.
  • Tomas Satoransky’s streak of three straight games with no turnovers ended tonight.
  • The Wizards had as many assists (4) as they did turnovers (4) in the first half (OK, I’ll stop with these kinds of stats.)
  • Jason Smith got playing time tonight (!!!)

Next up: The Wizards are back in action on Tuesday night as they face the Blazers in Portland at 10 p.m.

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 vs. Timberwolves final score: Late heroics by Otto Porter lift Washington to 92-89 win

There must have been a full moon in Minnesota Tuesday night.

At several points in the game, Washington looked dead in the water. But they continued to claw back behind the extraordinary play from Otto Porter to beat the Timberwolves, 92-89.

Otto Porter scored a game-high 22 points for Washington followed by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 16 off the bench. Mike Scott and Jodie Meeks added 12 points a piece as Washington’s bench combined for a season-high 49 points to help the team snap their two-game losing skid.

Takeaways

Otto Porter comes through in the clutch

Scott Brooks has caught heat for the lack of plays run for Otto Porter. Well, tonight, he went to Otto not once, but twice in crunch time and Porter came through for the Wizards.

First, Brooks ran a play to get Porter isolated on the block and he converted a tough layup with 55 seconds to play. The next time down the court, Otto found the ball in his hands near the right elbow to bury the jump shot and give Washington a 91-89 lead.

As a fan base, we’ve been screaming for Brooks to call Otto’s number down the stretch of games. He did so tonight, twice; and it paid off.

It’s time for Kelly Oubre to replace Markieff Morris in the starting lineup

This has been looming for a while but the stench was all too obvious tonight. From the get-go, Washington looked slower and inferior athletically, specifically at the power forward and center positions. And this is becoming a common theme night after night.

Markieff Morris is no longer on a minutes restriction so one can assume that he’s healthy. It’s unclear as to why he’s starting over Kelly Oubre as Oubre has proven to be the better player so far this season.

Oubre came in and was instant offense off the bench this evening with 16 points. Morris, on the other hand, was missing open shots, committed silly turnovers, and was no match for Taj Gibson or worse, Karl-Anthony Towns when switched onto either of them.

It’s hard to be competitive in today’s NBA if you don’t have athletic and interchangeable players in the 1-4 positions, and tonight was a prime example.

The bench provides a huge spark in the first half

In what was probably their best collective effort for a half, the bench outscored the starters 25-18 at the midway point of this game (yes, you read that correctly).

After starting the game 4 of 16 from the field, the bench sparked a run for the Wizards connecting on 10 of their next 16 field goals to regain the lead 34-32 early in the second quarter. Scott Brooks opted to go with the much-criticized all-bench lineup in the first half and it paid off as they outplayed the starters (and it wasn’t really close if we’re going to be honest).

Kelly Oubre was the first player off the Washington sideline and was in attack mode early on as he was able to navigate through the paint for some easy baskets.

Jodie Meeks, who has been less than stellar so far this year, maybe, just maybe, broke through as he scored nine points in the first half knocking down his first three three-pointers (4 of 6 overall). Meeks has had open looks this season but they hadn’t been falling, that wasn’t the case in the first half.

Meeks’ hot streak was key to Washington’s 16-2 extended run from the first quarter into the second quarter to keep the Wizards in this one.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal was held under 20 points for the first time in seven games.
  • Don’t look now but the #FreeSato movement is catching momentum. Sato actually received six more minutes of playing time than Frazier.
  • Three of Washington’s starters – Frazier, Morris, and Gortat did not play in the fourth quarter.
  • Ian Mahinmi played well tonight. Seriously.

Next up: The Wizards are back in action Wednesday as they take on the 76ers in a rematch of the season opener, but this time, they’ll be in Philadelphia.

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. 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.