December 16, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 51 Recap: Wiz fail to sweep the Bucks, head into the All-Star Break on low note

The Washington Wizards have been more volatile than the stock market this season. After giving up a 19-point lead to the Charlotte Hornets, the Wizards narrowly hung on to beat the New York Knicks. Clearly the first half of the season has not gone the way they intended; that goes for the Milwaukee Bucks as well. Milwaukee had dropped five straight games before just getting by the hot Boston Celtics.

Things were off to a promising start, but Washington had their required terrible quarter (this time in the second). The Wizards fought their way back in the third quarter but they were unable to execute down the stretch and fell 99-92.

John Wall has been playing at an elite level over the past four games and that continued into the early goings of tonight’s game. Wall had four assists, three to Marcin Gortat off the pick and roll, and a 3-pointer to be involved in all of Washington’s first 12 points. Jason Kidd called timeout to stop Washington’s 14-6 run to start the game. Randy Wittman was happy with the active defense early that forced the Bucks into 4 of 17 shooting to start the game. Washington had assists on each of their first 11 field goals in the first quarter which gave them a 27-18 lead after twelve minutes of play.

Otto Porter Jr. continued hitting his mid-range jump shot and started the game by making his first four shots from the field. Milwaukee made eight of their first nine shots to start the second quarter which eventually resulted in an 25-5 run. Washington went nearly eight minutes without a field goal during a stretch where they missed 12 straight field goal attempts. Jabari Parker’s 13 first half points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists paced the home team. Getting outrebounded 32-18 and allowing 13 points off eight first half turnovers did not help the situation as Washington trailed 55-46 at halftime.

Wittman has previously complained about always having to light a fire under his players at halftime. He might have done that again and it seemed to work. Washington got contributions from all parties offensively and forced Milwaukee into six turnovers in the quarter’s first six minutes in the midst of a 12-2 run. Both sides traded 12 points the rest of the way which meant Washington held the slight 70-69 advantage headed to the fourth quarter.

Middleton vs. Wizards

(Photo by: @NBA)

Wall, fighting through fatigue to play every second of the second half, was the Wizards lone source of 3-point shooting. The Wizards All-Star had 12 attempts from beyond the arc but had a couple of makes from nearly 30-feet away. Unfortunately Washington combined for 6 of 32 (18.8 percent) from beyond the arc and could not keep up with the Bucks. Wall missed 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions and Khris Middleton, 27 points, converted in a late game situation to secure the win. The Wizards will head into the all-star break five games under .500, 23-28, following a 99-92 loss.

Washington will rest up over the All-Star Break before getting ready for a brutal back-to-back stretch that starts with the makeup game against the Utah Jazz from Verizon Center in exactly one week.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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