For the first 15 minutes of Monday night’s game, the Washington Wizards hung with the San Antonio Spurs. They closed the first quarter trailing by just four to a team that has started the season 11-3. That’s where the moral victory in this contest ended though, as the Spurs dominated play the rest of the way out, sending the Wizards to their 12th straight loss to open the season, 118-92, before an announced 13,879 at Verizon Center.
Many of those actually in attendance streamed out of the arena well before the final horn sounded.
The Wizards lost their previous two games in overtime, with veteran Nene leading the charge in both. But the oft-injured big man sat this one out with a sore left foot. With Nene out of the lineup, the Wizards looked lost most of the affair.
The Spurs had seven players reach double-figures in points, including Tony Parker’s 15 and Tim Duncan’s 14. Backup forward Boris Diaw led the Spurs with 16 points off the bench. Tiago Splitter had 15 points and 12 rebounds in extensive playing time in the second half.
The Wizards were paced by Jordan Crawford’s 19 points off the bench (on 9-of-16 shooting). Kevin Seraphin chipped in with 18 points, but veterans Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza — both of whom started for head coach Randy Wittman — combined for nine points and seven rebounds in the contest. As a team, the Wizards shot 41.1 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from behind the three-point line.
Rookie Bradley Beal had a rough night, scoring 11 points but shooting just 4-for-13 from the floor. he missed his only three-point attempt.
The Wizards are the 12th team in NBA history to start the season 0-12 and are six losses away from equaling the New Jersey Nets’ record of 0-18 at the start of the ’09-’10 season.
The Spurs toyed with the Wizards much of the game, moving the ball around the perimeter until the ball eventually found its way into the hands on an open man for an uncontested shot. Their precision passing offensive game was a stark contrast to the Wizards, who seemed without a semblance of premeditated attack.
In addition to Nene, Trevor Booker missed his third straight game with a strained right knee. Shaun Livingston did not play either, but was in uniform and on the bench.
The Wizards next opportunity to erase the zero at the beginning of their record comes Wednesday night at Verizon Center against the Portland Trailblazers, who entered play Monday night 6-7.