Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images
Recap: Wizards fall 135-134 to Bucks despite Beal's 42 points
FINAL: Wizards 134 | Bucks 135
Wizards: Bradley Beal (42), Russell Westbrook (29), Davis Bertans (13)
Bucks: Jrue Holiday (29), Giannis Antetokounmpo (23), Donte DiVincenzo (19)
The Wizards were defeated by the Bucks 135-134 on Wednesday night in Milwaukee in the first game of a road back-to-back. Washington has won 13 of its last 17 games, but is just 3-3 in its last six. Those three losses, however, have come by just five points combined.
Bradley Beal scored a game-high 42 points, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader in 40-point games (29) while Jrue Holiday scored 29 points to lead Milwaukee. Russell Westbrook totaled 29 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists, the 179th triple-double of his career. Washington was playing without Rui Hachimura (non-COVID illness), who led the team in scoring in their last outing against Indiana.
Coming off of a 154-point performance two nights ago against the Pacers, the Wizards managed to keep the offensive momentum alive. Their 288 points over the last two games are the most they’ve scored in a two-game span in team history. Washington scored 37 points in the first quarter on 15-25 (.600) from the field and 2-4 (.500) from 3-point range. After falling behind by five in the opening minutes, Washington went on a 15-2 run and scored on eight consecutive possessions to take a nine-point lead. Seven Wizards scored in the first quarter, led by 12 points from Beal. While Washington managed to tack on another 34 points in the second, the defense couldn’t slow down the Bucks. Milwaukee shot 13-18 (.722) overall, 7-8 (.875) from three and got to the free throw line 12 times in the second quarter alone. The Wizards led by as many as 10, but saw that lead slowly evaporate over the final eight minutes of the first half. The Bucks took their first lead since the 8:38 mark in the first quarter when Jrue Holiday hit a floater to put Milwaukee up two just before halftime.
The Wizards went cold in the third, hitting just eight field goals and shooting 1-6 (.167) from three. Beal added another nine points, but 18 combined from Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo gave the Bucks an eight-point lead heading into a back-and-forth final quarter. Washington started the final frame on an 11-0 run, eight of which came from Westbrook, to take a 106-103 lead with 9:26 left in the game. Milwaukee answered with a 14-3 run. The Wizards then ripped off an 8-0 run to tie the game at 119, capped by free throws that followed Donte DiVincenzo’s sixth and final foul of the night. DiVincenzo, one of the Bucks’ best shooters, was 5-7 (.714) from deep when he fouled out. Daniel Gafford put back a Raul Neto missed three to the game at 124, teeing up a chaotic final three minutes of action. Milwaukee hit three 3-pointers in a 1:19 span to go up by five with 1:04 left, but had to do it without Antetokounmpo, who was called for a charge against Westbrook with 1:54 left. Beal knocked down a pair of threes in the final minute to pull Washington back within one. The Bucks turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds, giving the Wizards one last go with seconds remaining, but a half-court heave from Garrison Mathews bounced off the rim.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Westbrook now two triple-doubles from tying Oscar
With six games left in the regular season, Westbrook’s 179 triple-doubles put him two shy of tying Oscar Robertson’s record for most in NBA history. Westbrook now has 34 triple-doubles on the season, matching his total from the 2018-19 season for third-most in a season in NBA history.
After totaling 24 assists on Monday night against Indiana, tying career and franchise highs, Westbrook’s passing set the tone for the Wizards on Wednesday against the Bucks. He tallied five dimes in a span of just over three minutes mid-way through the first quarter, leading Washington out of an early deficit. He scored his 10th point of the night on a bank shot with 6:53 left in the second quarter and notched his 10th assist on the following possession, setting up a Daniel Gafford dunk. In the second half, Westbrook kept his foot on the gas, adding another 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, sealing his fifth triple-double in the last six games. With 17 assists against the Bucks, Westbrook’s 41 assists in a two-game span are the second-most in franchise history, trailing only Kevin Porter’s 43 in 1975. In three games against the Bucks this season, Westbrook averaged 31.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 15.3 assists per game.
Beal scores 42 to lead Washington
Coming off four games in a row in which he scored fewer than 30 points and entering tonight’s game just 0.58 points behind Stephen Curry in the race for the scoring title, Beal scored big against the Bucks on Wednesday night. He finished the night with 42 points on 14-24 (.583) from the field, 3-6 (.500) from three and 11-14 (.785) from the free throw line. He did most of his damage at the rim, scoring 29 of his 42 points at the paint or at the free throw line – and didn’t knock down his first 3-pointer of the night until just over three minutes into the second half. Beal has now scored 30-plus points in his last five games against the Bucks and is averaging 45.3 points per game in his last four meetings with Milwaukee.
Bucks’ stars take care of business for Milwaukee
With two-time All-Star Khris Middleton out of the lineup on Wednesday, the Bucks relied even more on Holiday and Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP. The Wizards kept Antetokounmpo in check in the first half. He scored just eight points on 2-3 (.667) shooting before halftime, but the Bucks’ backcourt made up for his slow start. Holiday and DiVincenzo combined for 33 points on 7-9 (.777) from deep in the first half. Antetokounmpo came alive after halftime, totaling 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the third and fourth quarters before fouling out in the final minutes. He and Holiday finished the night with a combined 52 points on 18-35 (.514) shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and 14 assists.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Raptors / Thursday, May 6 / 7:30 P.M. / Amalie Arena
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT