January 23, 2020

Washington Wizards Game 24 Review: Wiz start strong but Spurs prove too much


(Courtesy Monumental Network)

(Courtesy Monumental Network)

The Washington Wizards had a hard enough time of the first few visits of their four-game road trip, but the last was probably the most daunting — facing a San Antonio Spurs team that had won its previous 22 straight on its home court.

The Wizards started out fine, leading after 12 minutes. But the Spurs found their footing and overwhelmed the still undermanned Wizards, and cruised to a 114-95 win, setting a franchise mark for consecutive home wins.

Kahwi Leonard scored 27 points for San Antonio (22-5). LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points while Manu Ginobli and Patty Mills had 11 apiece for the Spurs.

The Wizards (10-14) were led by John Wall and Marcin Gortat with 20 points apiece. Wall had 11 assists and Gortat pulled down 10 boards.

Otto Porter Jr. was 1 of 6 from the floor and 0 of 2 from beyond the arc, without a trip to the foul line, and finished with just two points and two rebounds, his second straight with just two points. He left the game with 6:17 in the third, obviously struggling with his left thigh bruise.

“With Otto going out, another body down we just kept fighting,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman told reporters after the game. “We just didn’t have enough tonight.”

Washington shot 60 percent in the first quarter, and a 7-0 spurt — including a 3-pointer from Wall — lifted the Wizards to a 31-26 lead at the first intermission. Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s jumper on the first possession of the second quarter put the Wizards up seven.

Oubre went on to score a career-high 18 points off the bench, though much of that came when the Spurs built up a large lead late.

But that was the high point of the night for the Wiz.

San Antonio scored the next nine points to take the lead back, and then used a 10-2 run later — all by Tony Parker and Aldridge — to take the lead for good.

Gary Neal’s jumper right out of halftime made it a 3-point game again. But the Spurs went right back to it, scoring from the inside on two straight possessions, then going outside for a jumper and 3-pointer by Leonard that helped stretch the lead to double-digits.

Parker found David West for an ally-oop with 4:25 to go in the third to make it a 15-point game.

The Wizards were held to 19 points in the third.

As a testament to this being the last of a long road trip, and still without Bradley Beal, it got worse in the fourth quarter, with the Spurs putting on a free throw shooting clinic. Mills made three straight from the line to drive the Spurs advantage to 97-75 with still more than nine minutes to play.

NEXT GAME: The Wizards return to Verizon Center Saturday night to host the Charlotte Hornets.


About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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