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Wizards fall late to Grizzlies, 106-99
The Wizards (18-33) were defeated 106-99 by the Grizzlies (27-26) Sunday night at Capital One Arena. Bradley Beal scored 26 points to the Wizards, who led by as many as 12 but went cold in the fourth quarter. Ja Morant led the way for Memphis, totaling 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists – his first career triple-double. The loss snapped a five-game home winning streak against the Grizzlies.
“It's definitely one of those nights [where we just couldn't score],” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “Both teams played hard and both teams had some good looks and neither of us can get any rhythm on the three. I thought in the fourth quarter, we had some good looks. I think we missed three or four threes in a row or right around each other and in and out could have maybe even extended the lead. Those nights are going to happen, but I thought we still competed and we gave ourselves a chance.”
Washington looked good early with eight players scoring in a 30-point first quarter, including Shabazz Napier, who was playing in his second game with the Wizards. Napier scored six points – all of which came from the free throw line – in the opening frame. Jerome Robinson, who, like Napier, was acquired at the trade deadline on Thursday, made his first appearance with the Wizards Sunday night. Robinson scored his first points on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to put Washington up 30-18 at the end of the first. Robinson finished with five points, two rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes of action.
Memphis opened the second quarter on a 14-2 run, eliminating the Wizards’ lead. Beal checked with just under seven minutes to go in the half and scored seven points in a five-minute span and led the Wizards to an eight-point halftime lead.
With eight minutes left in the third quarter and the Wizards up eight, Beal blocked a Jaren Jackson Jr. layup attempt. Rui Hachimura grabbed the rebound and found Ish Smith, who missed a reverse layup in transition. Hachimura, however, was there to clean things up, converting on a put-back dunk that gave Washington its first double-digit lead since the first quarter.
Hachimura finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season and his third straight game scoring 10-plus points since returning from a groin injury. Mortiz Wagner, also playing in his third game since returning from injury, scored 19 points on 7-11 (.636) shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.
Davis Bertans hit his third 3-pointer of the night with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter, putting the Wizards up 91-84. From that point forward, however, Washington’s offensive production ceased. Memphis went on an 21-5 run over the next nine minutes, taking a 105-96 lead with under a minute to go. The Wizards shot 4-25 (.160) from the field and 2-12 (.167) from deep in the fourth quarter.
Up next, the Wizards host the Bulls (19-35) on Tuesday 7:00 P.M. in the first outing of a home-road back-to-back. Wednesday night, the Wizards take on the Knicks (17-37) in their last game before the All-Star break.