Wizards vs. Jazz final score: Washington falls to shorthanded Utah squad 107-104

Just when you thought the Wizards might be turning the corner, they go out and got beat on their home court by a depleted Utah Jazz team 107-104 in their latest #SoWizards loss of the season on Wednesday night.

The Wizards trailed by nine points going into the fourth quarter but were able to claw their way back in this one. They even briefly took a 102-101 lead after back-to-back three-pointers but Utah responded with a Joe Ingles three, and clutch free throws by Joe Johnson.

The Wizards had one last opportunity with 7.6 seconds to play. After struggling to get the ball in, Bradley Beal got caught in the air looking to pass the ball on a desperation three as the Wizards couldn’t get up a final shot.

Takeaways

John Wall almost willed the Wizards to victory

The Wizards made their run in this game once John Wall decided he would play All-NBA caliber defense in the fourth quarter. He single-handedly tried to will the Wizards to victory starting on the defensive end. He held his own when switched onto bigger players in the post, was diving for loose balls, and logged two steals turning them into transition opportunities.

On the flip side, Wall was in constant attack mode on the offensive end as he scored 14 points in the final period. With Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors out, Wall looked to attack the rim and either finish with a layup or kick the ball out for an open shot.

Wall hit a three late in the game to give the Wizards a 102-101 lead, but it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the mishaps earlier in the contest.

Wall and Beal don’t get much scoring help

Beal started the game in attack mode looking to score from close in. He was decisive on his drives and looked to take his man off the dribble whenever he had the mismatch that got him several layups early on.

The offense stalled out early in the second quarter with the all-bench unit it so Scott Brooks inserted Beal, and it made all the difference. Washington stretched the lead out to 10, 43-33 over a period where Beal scored eight straight points for the Wizards ending the half with 16 points.

Wall carried the load in the second half scoring 24 of his 35 points. The issue for Washington was, they didn’t get much help from the other guys. Yes, Otto Porter ended the night with 14 points but nine of those came in the first quarter. Outside of Oubre, the bench was a non-factor that forced Brooks to play the starters very heavy minutes.

Too many turnovers

John Wall turned the ball over on the Wizards opening play of the game, and that was an omen for what would play out the rest of the night.

Washington tied their season-high with 23 turnovers tonight resulting in 27 points for the Jazz. As mentioned Wall was loose with the ball as he had eight of those, many of the live-ball variety and the Jazz made the Wizards pay.

You’re not going to win many games being that loose with the rock.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 31st time this season.
  • The loss drops Washington to 23-18 at the halfway mark of this up-and-down season.

Next up: The Wizards continue their homestand on Friday as they host the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. ET.

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Recap: Wizards at Jazz

In a game that was waaaaaaaaaay to close for comfort, the Wizards hang on to beat the red hot Jazz, 88-84. John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The Wizards have now won 40 games this year and keep pace with Chicago and Toronto who also won tonight.

Nene threw down a dunk for the Wizards’ first basket of the game and Marcin Gortat had a nice dunk in transition the next time down the court but aside from that, the Jazz bigs negated the Wizards bigs in the first half. Rudy Gobert finished with nine points and 14 rebounds for the Jazz and looks like the player Wizards fans hoped JaVale McGee would turn into. Gobert is long and lanky and disrupted Nene and Gortat from getting easy shots all night.

Nene picked up his second foul at the 8:17 mark and was forced to go to the bench. Drew Gooden stepped right in and hit his first three shots to score seven points in the quarter. Unfortunately, turnovers were a huge problem for the Wiz as they committed 21 for the game and five in the first quarter. Even so, the Wiz still led 26-21 after one quarter.

The turnovers continued to haunt this team as they turned the ball over twice to start the second quarter and allowed the Jazz to start the quarter on a 10-2 run to regain the lead.

Randy Wittman was forced to call timeout and the team settled down afterwards. Bradley Beal hit a couple of mid range jumpers as the Wizards were able to regain the lead and went into halftime up 42-40.

Once again, the Jazz started the third quarter hot on an 8-3 run to take the lead by five. After another quick timeout, John Wall started pushing the ball out in transition. John was able to get Daunte Exum back peddling and that’s bad news for any defender.

With the game tied at 50, Paul Pierce hit a corner three to put the Wiz up 53-50. Pierce then knocked down two more threes in the quarter to stretch the lead out to nine. The Wizards couldn’t pull away though. Trey Burke knocked down four threes in the second half to keep the Jazz in this one.

With the lead at eight early in the fourth quarter, former Wizard, Trevor Booker out hustled everyone for an impressive rebound and put back layup. He backed that up with another aggressive lay in at the rim to cut the Wizards lead to four.

The Wizards were able to push the lead to six but once again, Trey Burke had an answer from deep.

With under 30 seconds remaining and the Wizards inbounding the ball with a four point lead, Paul Pierce was called for a travel. The Jazz wasted no time in throwing an alley oop to Gordon Haywood to cut the lead to two with 12.9 second to play. The Wizards were able to inbound the ball to John Wall who knocked down two free throws to ice the game.

It’s nice for the Wizards to get back to their winning ways but this one was far from pretty. The team committed 21 turnovers and almost let a Jazz team that was dead in the water come back and win this one. Regardless, a win is a win. Up next, the ClipShow.