August 16, 2022

Washington Wizards Game 65 Recap: Wiz falling apart at the worst time with loss to Nuggets

The Washington Wizards blew an opportunity to upset the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers and then got embarrassed against a bad Utah Jazz team last night. Hoping to save face to end the West Coast road trip, the Wizards faced off against the Denver Nuggets on the second night of a back-to-back. Whether it was tired legs, a lack of defensive effort, questionable lineups, or all of the above, Washington imploded in the fourth quarter. John Wall admirably played the entire second half but the Wizards were beaten 41-17 in the final frame on their way to a 116-100 loss.

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

(Photo by: @BulletsForever)

It was deja vu to start the game as Marcin Gortat again had to exit the first quarter early with two personal fouls, tonight with 8:32 remaining. Today Nene brought a nice physical presence of the bench matching up with Nikola Jokic. Washington went on a 12-4 run thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Garrett Temple, still in the starting lineup with Bradley Beal out with a sprained pelvis. As if the DMV needed anymore reason to dislike the Michigan State Spartans, Gary Harris had 10 quarter points that led an 8-0 Denver run. As a result the Wizards trailed 27-23 thanks to three missed layups.

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Washington Wizards Game 44 Review: Wiz drop another close one at home


Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Denver Nuggets held off the Washington Wizards 117-113 on Thursday night at Verizon Center.

The Nuggets made 50 percent (9 of 18) from beyond the arc, handing the Wizards yet another close loss at home. Emmanuel Mudiay scored 20 points, Nikola Jokic had 15 points with 10 rebounds, and Will Barton added 15.

The Wizards (20-24) were led by Garrett Temple with 20 points. John Wall had 17 points with nine assists and seven rebounds, Bradley Beal had 17 points, and Nene added 15 points and seven boards. Marcin Gortat finished with had 12 points and 10 rebounds, his 22nd double-double of the season.

Denver started with a 10-2 run right off the opening tip and the Wizards were forced to play catch-up all night long.

The Wizards erased a 12-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t finish.

Down 91-79 to start the fourth quarter, Washington used an 8-2 run to close to within six at 93-87 with 10:45 left on Jared Dudley’s running layup. A six-point spurt, capped by Dudley’s jumper with 7:34 to go cut it to two, 97-95, and Ramon Sessions’ 3-point play with 5:41 left tied it at 99.

But Gallinari responded on the next possession with a 3-pointer, and a few moments later got loose for another one.

A 3 by Temple, and 1 of 2 at the line from Wall, made it a two-point game again with 1:53. But Gallinari hit a fadeaway and Mudiay hit a pair from the line to make it 111-105.

Beal’s free throws with 12.5 seconds to go cut it to four at 113-109, but Gallinari and Barton both made a pair from the line and the Wizards ran out of time.

Coach Randy Wittman asked and answered his own questions at the press conference afterward.

“What was it 10-2 a minute and a half in? Coming out of the locker room we lost it. We dig ourselves a hole before we come out and playing the way we’re capable of defensively. We are down 18 and come all the way back, or down 11 and come all the way back and we are waiting until the point of being embarrassed before we start playing hard from a defensive standpoint. We aren’t going to outscore anybody and until we take playing defense as first priority, were going to continue having nights like this.”

Beal lamented the wasted comeback.

“It’s always tough, we spend a great amount of energy coming back but it’s unfortunate because you just run out of gas and you spend all your time, energy, and focus on getting back from being down by 18 but we shouldn’t have been in that position from the get-go.”

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Houston at 8 p.m. Eastern

Washington Wizards Game 70 Recap: Wiz commit 24 turnovers in loss to Nuggets

As Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said following Sunday’s 105-102 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Wiz have given games away.

And, at some point before Washington’s 24th turnover, it became clear Sunday’s game was practically gift-wrapped for the 32-38 Nuggets.

Forward Kenneth Faried led Denver’s push with 20 points and eight rebounds and Randy Foye added another 17 points. To add salt to the wounds, former Wizard Jan Vesely tallied 10 points before leaving in the third quarter with a bruised rib cage.

On Washington’s side, Bradley Beal posted 21 points, but he could do little to offset John Wall’s eight turnovers.

After leading by as many as 14 points with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter, the Wizards began their skid.

Denver out-shot Washington 26-20 in the second quarter, which allowed the Nuggets to creep in front.

Beal and Marcin Gortat combined for 11 points in the first three minutes of the third quarter to regain a temporary lead, but the Nuggets were too quick to the bucket.

The Nuggets trailed by a point with 8:40 remaining in the game before embarking on a 9-1 run.

And, though the Wizards outscored the Nuggets in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late. To seal the deal, the Nuggets hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute of play.

With the loss, the Wizards rounded out their four-game road trip with a 1-3 record.

Washington Wizards Game 53 Wrap: Seven Wizards reach double-digit points in 119-113 win over Denver

The Washington Wizards (16-37) unraveled the Denver Nuggets (34-22) 119-113 to tally their second win against a team looking to gain ground in the Western Conference.

For the first time this season, seven Wizards reached double-digit points, including Bradley Beal and Emeka Okafor, who each earned double-doubles and 17 points apiece.

“I think we got back to where we wanted to be before the [All Star] break started,” John Wall said after the game. “I think in Detroit and the game before this – when we played Toronto – we didn’t play like we had before the break started. We didn’t play as a team, we didn’t trust each other. Over the last two days of practice we got back to trusting each other and we came back to playing as a team tonight. Like I said, on any given night, you never know who’s going to be our leading scorer and that’s what’s good about this team.” [Read more…]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 37: Wizards Hold Off Late Nuggets Charge in Win

Friday was a pretty magical night for the Washington Wizards, with six players scoring double-digit points to help the team to its fourth win in five games by downing the Denver Nuggets 112-108.

Imagine if this Wizards team had been healthy all year just how good they might have been. Since Trevor Ariza, John Wall, Nene and A.J. Price have all returned to the regular lineup,  the team has won four of their last five. It is a pretty amazing run for a team that was the last NBA franchise to earn a regular season win this year. Now that they have a little bit of confidence, they were able to notch their second road win of the year.

While Wall had the double-double with 12 assists and 14 points, rookie Bradley Beal was the story of the game. Coming off of a 26 point effort against the Sacramento Kings, Beal sunk eight buckets for a team high 23 points. More impressive than this surge in points though, is how Beal has made 10 of his 14 shots from downtown in the last two games. For any player that is impressive, especially for a rookie in his first season.

Wall should not be forgotten though and probably had the play of the game. With time winding down in the fourth quarter and the Wizards clinging to a two point lead, Denver’s Ty Lawson drove the right side of the basket in an attempt to tie the game at 110 all. Washington’s Wall had other plans though and laid the rejection down, blocking Lawson’s shot and allowing the Wizards to grow the lead to four points after he sunk his free throws.

Friday was probably the first night where Washington had more than one or two dominant shooters all season. Beal, Wall, Martell Webster, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Ariza were all in double figures. While on top of those six outstanding efforts, Jordan Crawford, who returned from an ankle injury, and Nene were only one bucket away from they too being in double figures.

Defense was really optional for both teams though, with Denver also having five players with double-digit points. Lawson had a game high in points with 29. His effort, combined with Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller, wasn’t enough to down a Wizards team that is now looking like one of the best in the Eastern Conference, despite their terrible record.

Just about the only downside for the Wizards was an aspect of the game that has plagued them all year long, free throws. It almost cost them at the end of the game too, as Crawford and Beal both missed one of their free passes and allowed the Nuggets to hang around. If both of those players sink their shots, the game is over many seconds before it eventually was. As a team, they shot 19-of-28. The good news for Washington was that Denver was worse, only hitting 19 of their 31 free throws.

The Wizards now improve to 8-29 and turn around to play the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow at the Staples Center. Friday’s game marked the halfway point of this long West Coast road trip. They have three more games on the road before returning back to Verizon next Friday.

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