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Wizards fall short in Memphis, 107-95
The Wizards concluded their five-game road trip with a 107-95 loss in Memphis on Tuesday night. After an exciting overtime win in Portland, the Wizards have now lost four games in a row.
John Wall led the Wizards with 22 points and seven assists, but had nine of the team’s 20 turnovers. Washington’s miscues plagued the team throughout the game, but the Grizzlies’ defense stepped up and gave the Wizards trouble offensively. The Wizards finished 43.2% from the field, but had 24 assists on 32 baskets and made 14 3-pointers.
Memphis led 46-45 at the half, with Wall pacing the Wizards with 14 points. Washington struggled with ball control in the first half, turning it over 13 times. Wall had six of those turnovers, as the Wizards had trouble picking apart the Grizzlies’ zone defense. Still, the Wizards only trailed by one point at the half with the Grizzlies only scoring four points on those 13 turnovers. The Wizards held the Grizzlies to 38.1% shooting in the first half.
The second half did not start well for the Wizards to say the least. Memphis went on an 18-1 run to begin the third quarter, opening up a 19-point lead. The Wizards would claw back, however, led by Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 10 third quarter points. Bradley Beal, who had 17 points, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Wizards within six at the end of the third.
The Wizards hung around in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Grizzlies were able to put them away by making 5-of-8 triples and 56.2% of their shots in the final frame. Washington, on the other hand, struggled to get anything going offensively and would trail by as many as 17 late in the game.
“We definitely turned the ball over more than we normally would," Scott Brooks said postgame. "That’s what the Grizzlies do, they create turnovers. They are one of the best for a lot of years in a row. They create turnovers and score off them. Our offense created a lot of good looks in the first half. It’s kind of a broken record, but it is what it is. Right now, we just got to fight through it, sticking together, and playing for one another. Tonight we did that, but it just didn’t go our way to start the second half at the three-point line.”
Overall, the Wizards showed fight and converted from beyond the arc, but their turnovers and inconsistent defense prevented them from having a chance to win. Even without Markieff Morris (concussion protocol) and Dwight Howard (gluteal soreness), the Wizards battled on the boards. Ultimately, the Grizzlies made big shots down the stretch and played tough defense to win the game.
“I think we played a great first half," Beal said postgame, "and I think the second half with the turnovers definitely early on, we dug ourselves in a hole, and we spent our whole game trying to crawl out the hole and sometimes you run out of gas. It’s a game of runs, we went on a run, they went on a run, and they ended up going on another run to end it.”
Next up, the Wizards (1-6) host the Thunder on Friday night at 8pm.