The Wizards played a dominant third quarter and took what was once a close ballgame with the Bucks and turned it into a blowout, getting the victory at Verizon Center 104-91. It was just a three point game at the half, but Washington came out of the break a different team, outscoring the Bucks by 10 in the third quarter to put the game to bed. The Bucks never got the game into single digits in the fourth quarter. Beal led the charge tonight, pacing all scorers with 26 points. The Wizards had really struggled from long distance over the last two games and tonight they had a little more success, going 8/22 after hitting just three combined over the previous two games. The Wizards shot 47.6% overall in the contest. The Bucks shot the ball at 47.1% but shot themselves in the foot by turning it over 20 times compared to just nine for the Wizards.
Beal was the star of the show tonight, scoring 26 points on 12/22 shooting, with nine of those points coming in the third quarter when the Wizards pulled away. Marcin Gortat recorded yet another double-double, going for 13 and 13. Wall just missed his double-double, finishing with 15 points and eight assists. Ariza, Booker and Harrington also all got into double figures.
Sessions and Middleton both scored 20 to lead Milwaukee in the loss.
With the win, the Wizards remained in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, though the Bobcats won as well to remain a game behind. The Heat come into town on Monday for the Wizards second to last game of the campaign. - Jacob Raim
Welcome back to Verizon Center, where we get ready for what could be the last back-to-back set of the season. There's always a chance that we may get one in the playoffs, but it's not common.
Last night, we beat Orlando thanks to a great defensive effort that limited the Magic to just 86 points. It was needed, because the Magic had built up an early 14 point lead in the first half, but the Wizards got a great effort from the second unit who helped fuel the comeback effort in the second quarter. Things were tight until about midway through the fourth quarter, when the Wizards used their defensive intensity to shut down the Magic offense. They hit big shots when they needed them and made all the plays needed down the stretch.
The other good news from last night was that Boston beat Charlotte, which means that the Wizards are back in the six seed in the East and control their own destiny the rest of the way.
As Randy Wittman noted, they just need to take care of their own business now and certainly can't overlook a Bucks team that has given them trouble in the three previous meetings.
In fact, the last time the Bucks came to Verizon Center they took down the Wizards in overtime, a loss that still stings. Then, the Wizards went to their place days later and needed overtime to beat them the first time. The third game looked like a blowout for the Wiz after the first half, when the Wiz shot nearly 70% from the floor, but the Bucks stormed back in the fourth and nearly stole one from our hands, but the Wiz made the plays needed down the stretch and came away with the win. So, the Wiz lead the season series, 2-1, and know this will be no gimmme at home:
A lot of the talk after last night's game was about Otto Porter, who probably put out his best game of his young career, tying a career-high with nine points and pulling down a career-high nine boards. It was not just his stats that stood out, but his activity level, as he was all over the place on both ends of the floor. For a rookie who's spent much of the season on the sidelines, this was an encouraging sign and maybe Porter could be a bit of an x-factor in this final week and then in the playoffs.
We'll be live chatting from a social media suite at Verizon Center. See you in the chat!