Wizards drop road trip finale to Blazers, 125-104
The Wizards (22-39) were defeated 125-104 by the Blazers (28-35) Wednesday night in the second game of a back-to-back and the last of a four-game road trip. Bradley Beal scored a team-high 29 points, his 20th consecutive game with at least 25 points, adding to the longest streak in franchise history.
“We competed, last night we didn’t have a good start, we came back and battled,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “With this team, I thought we played hard, we couldn’t get any shots to fall. We put them on the free throw line too many times. We got them in the bonus too early too with silly fouls and those are the ones you can’t complain about…That’s the veteran-savvy, craftiness, the gamesmanship that one day we will have.”
Washington was without Thomas Bryant (right foot injury management) and, for the first time all season, Ish Smith (left hamstring tightness). Mortiz Wagner started in place of Bryant while Jerome Robinson started in the three spot, his first start since joining the Wizards last month.
Davis Bertans, who entered Wednesday’s game combining for 14 threes in his last two games, scored 21 points on 8-16 (.500) from the field and 4-12 (.333) from 3-point range and added four rebounds and three assists. Bertans now has at least four 3-pointers in five of his last six games.
For the second time in the last three games, Beal made his first four 3-pointers of the night, but it was Carmelo Anthony that stole the spotlight in the early going. With Portland up two, Anthony hit four of his next five shots to extend the Blazers’ lead to 37-27 in the final minute of the first quarter. After starting the game 1-7 (.142) from the field, the Wizards found their touch and shot 11-18 (.611) over the remainder of the first quarter to keep within reach of the Blazers.
CJ McCollum opened the second quarter with back-to-back buckets to put Portland up 11 before Troy Brown Jr. scored three of the team’s next four field goals in response. Beal checked back into the game with 7:32 left and the Wizards down nine and quickly converted on a 3-pointer. Minutes later, with the lead down to five, Portland went on an 8-0 run to go up 13 in the final few minutes of the opening half. Beal finished the first half with 21 points on 7-11 (.636) from the field and 4-5 (.800) from 3-point range.
In the third, the Wizards shot just 7-29 (.241) from the field and fell behind by as many as 24 mid-way through the quarter. With 3:14 on the clock, Beal scored on a driving layup, giving him 25 points to extend his franchise record. The Wizards made a push in the fourth quarter, unleashing a 14-2 run capped by a Bertans three to cut the lead to 11 with 7:37 left. The Blazers, however, countered with a 13-1 run of their own to go up 23 and seal the win.
The Wizards are back in D.C. on Friday, hosting the Hawks (19-44) at 7:00 P.M. at Capital One Arena.