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Recap: Wizards fall to Grizzlies 125-111 on Tuesday night
FINAL: Wizards 111 | Grizzlies 125
Wizards: Bradley Beal (23), Russell Westbrook (23), Robin Lopez (14)
Grizzlies: Ja Morant (35), Dillon Brooks (20), De’Anthony Melton (20)
The Wizards were defeated 125-111 by the Grizzlies on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook each scored 23 points to lead the way for Washington. Westbrook tied his season high with 15 assists and has now recorded a double-double in his last 11 games, the longest active double-double streak in the league. Ja Morant scored a game-high 35 to lead Memphis.
Westbrook led the way for the Wizards in the first, scoring or assisting on the team’s first 18 points of the game. He assisted on the team’s first five field goals, scored the sixth on a transition dunk and on the following possession, knocked down a three to give Washington an 18-10 lead. As a team, the Wizards shot 11-22 (.500) from the field and 4-6 (.667) from 3-point range in the first, but trailed by two heading into the second after an 18-5 Memphis run brought the Grizzlies back into the game. In the second, Memphis maintained its first quarter production while the Wizards struggled. Memphis shot 15-26 (.577) from the field en route to 36 second quarter points, 14 of which came off Washington’s nine turnovers in the frame. A 9-0 run in the final minutes of the first half put Memphis up 71-56 at halftime.
The Wizards opened the second half on a quick 6-0 run, but couldn’t sustain the momentum. The Grizzlies countered with a 15-4 run of their own to go up 86-66 with 6:45 left in the third quarter. Washington trailed by 18 heading into the fourth. Westbrook-led runs in the fourth brought Washington within 10 points twice, but Washington was never able to get any closer in the game’s final minutes.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Beal hits historic scoring milestone
Compared to his league-leading scoring average, Beal had an off-night Tuesday against the Grizzlies, finishing with 23 points on 8-18 (.444) shooting. Nonetheless, he made history in the process. On a free throw late in the first quarter, Beal scored his third point of the night and his 1,000th this season. He became just the fourth player in the last 25 years to hit that mark in 31 games or fewer (James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson). Beal set a new franchise record for fewest games needed to score 1,000 points, beating the previous record of 33 games (Bernard King, 1990-91; Gilbert Arenas, 2006-07). In addition to the scoring milestone, Beal tallied six rebounds and five assists, the seventh time in the last 10 games he’s recorded at least five assists.
Turnover troubles bury Wizards
Washington struggled to take care of the ball all night, committing a season-high 22 turnovers – and it showed up on the scoreboard. Memphis finished with 32 points off turnovers, accounting for 25.6% of their points. Beal committed six while Westbrook registered eight, including seven in the first half alone. As a team, the Wizards committed nine turnovers in the pivotal second quarter, leading to 14 Memphis points and the run that put Washington behind for good.
Morant’s high-scoring performance leads Memphis
Morant, who was drafted with the second pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, set the pace for the Grizzlies all night. He finished with 35 points on 11-18 (.611) from the field, 2-3 (.667) from three and 11-14 (.785) from the free throw line. He added five rebounds and 10 assists and was plus-21 in 33 minutes. Morant did a little bit of everything in the first half, scoring 17 points on an efficient 6-8 (.750) overall, 1-1 (1.000) from three and 4-4 (1.000) from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds and six assists. Morant was key for Memphis in the second quarter, recording a plus-16 rating in just eight minutes, fueled by a run of eight points in less than three minutes.
NEXT UP: Clippers at Wizards / Thursday, March 4 / 7:00 P.M. / Capital One Arena
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT