Final Score: Wizards 104 Grizzlies 110
All good things must come to an end. Tonight, the Wizards' six-game win streak was snapped by another hot team.
After coming back from a 19 point deficit in the fourth quarter to make it a game, Washington could not overcome a solid Memphis team, falling 110-104.
Those who trudged through the snow to make it to the Verizon Center were treated to quite the final period. The Wizards were down 97-79 with 4:56 left, but clutch three pointers down the stretch by Trevor Ariza, John Wall, and Otto Porter made up the bulk of a 19-5 Wizards run that pulled Washington within four. Porter drained a three from the top of the key to cap the run with 1:17 left.
The Wizards and Grizzlies went shot for shot in the final minute, highlighted by a Wall-to-Beal three from the left corner to make it 106-104 with 8.9 seconds left. Conley, however, managed to make all four of their free throws following the Beal three pointer to seal the victory.
The Wiz still have positives to take from this game. Ariza continued his tear from three point range, going four of six from deep in the game. He has shot 67.5 percent from beyond the arc in the past seven games.
Tayshaun Prince led the Grizzlies with 21 points on 8-11 shooting to go along with six rebounds, and Mike Conley posted 20 points with seven assists.
Wall led the Wizards with 23 points and nine assists, and Beal scored 21. All five starters scored in double digits, but the bench did not contribute as much as hoped, finishing with only 14 points combined.
Wall's eighth assist tonight also marks the 2,000th of his career. He becomes the sixth player in franchise history to do so. The Wizards will look forward to finishing their short homestand with a win on Wednesday against Utah at the Verizon Center. Tipoff against the Jazz is set for 7:00. - Jack Persons
Tonight has been a game of streaks for each of the Wizards starters. And in the third, it was Bradley Beal and John Wall's turn. It has not been enough to keep up with Memphis, however. At the end of three, the Wizards trail the Grizzlies 79-64.
During a 5:10 span in the middle of the quarter, Beal and Wall accounted for all 15 Wizards points scored. Beal has 15 points, and Wall has posted 10 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
Tayshaun Prince has been the spark for the Grizzlies tonight with 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting, along with six rebounds. Zach Randolph has been a presence down low with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Wiz cannot keep feeding one or two guys if they are going to climb back into the game. The team needs to be a threat across the floor for the win streak to make it to seven. - Jack Persons
The snow day seems to have cooled off the Wizards a touch as they look to win their seventh game in a row. Memphis leads Washington 50-45 at the half.
Trevor Ariza continued to knock down shots from deep in the second quarter. He sparked an 8-0 Wizards run at the end of the half, cutting the Grizzlies lead to two before Tayshaun Prince made a three pointer to end the quarter. Prince leads Memphis with 14 points.
Trevor Booker heated up in the second, throwing down a dunk off of a John Wall assist and making consecutive well-contested mid-range jumpers. He has six points to go along with six rebounds. Marcin Gortat has 12 points so far in the contest.
The Wizards did a better job at holding on to the ball this quarter, giving up only two turnovers, but let the Grizzlies shoot 54.5 percent. This low-scoring game will come down to who plays better defense, so the Wiz have to step up in the second half and cover their assignments, especially the hot shooting Tayshaun Prince. - Jack Persons
It was a decidedly sluggish start for both teams tonight at Verizon Center, as the Wizards and Grizzlies ended tied at 20 after one quarter.
Marcin Gortat led all scorers with eight points, and Trevor Ariza added six points, all from three point range. Trevor Booker pulled down five rebounds in just under 10 minutes of play.
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with five points, while Tayshaun Prince had four.
The Wiz played solid defense in the first, holding Memphis to 38.1 percent shooting. Their weakness was handling the ball, as they turned the ball over five times in the first period. Keeping the miscues to a minimum tonight will be extremely important if the Wizards are to extend their winning streak to seven games. - Jack Persons
A few inches of snow won't shut us down, so we're back at Verizon Center in chilly DC for #WizGrizzlies tonight.
The Wizards enter tonight's game on a six-game winning streak, the second longest active win streak in the NBA (Miami - 7 games).
The last time the Wizards won seven straight games, I was a junior in high school. The year? 2005... So, a little over nine years later, the Wizards have a chance to continue their red-hot play and get redemption on a Grizzlies team that beat them three weeks ago in Memphis.
Tonight will likely be the most difficult game of the week, especially once we learned that Kevin Seraphin will miss his fourth straight game with a sore knee. The Wizards were able to get by without Seraphin and Nene against Philadelphia, Toronto, and Orlando, but those teams don't have two giants in the middle like Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
The Grizzlies will also have both Mike Conley and Tony Allen back in their lineup tonight. They both missed the last #WizGrizzlies meeting and both make this Memphis team a lot more dangerous. Conley is the Grizzlies most dynamic offensive player, while Allen is the defensive guru that represents the identity of what this Memphis team has become.
Randy Wittman spoke about the difficult matchup the Wizards have tonight:
The last time the Grizzlies entered the building, John Wall went off for a career-high 47 points, torching this top defensive team in every way imaginable.
Wall was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the week of February 24th, as he averaged 25 points and nearly 11 assists per contest, while leading the Wiz to a 3-0 record.
The Wizards may not get 47 from Wall tonight, but they'll need him to be at his best and more importantly turn this into a fast paced game, something the Grizzlies shy away from. They are a top tier defensive team, ranking third in the NBA and 1st in the Western Conference in points allowed (94.9). A big reason for this is they like to control the pace and play a half court game, so if Wall is able to "get it and go," the Wizards should be able to keep their offensive hot streak alive. The Wizards are averaging over 124 points per game over their last three games.
The action kicks off at 7pm from Verizon Center. We'll be live chatting throughout.