Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Hachimura leads with 19 points as Wizards drop final scrimmage to Lakers, 123-116
FINAL: Wizards 116 | Lakers 123
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (19), Jerome Robinson (18), Shabazz Napier (16)
Lakers: JR Smith (20), Dion Waiters (18), Alex Caruso (17)
In their last of three exhibition games leading to the start of seeding games this weekend, the Wizards were defeated by the Lakers, 123-116, Monday afternoon in Orlando. From the jump, the offenses dominated. Both teams shot over 50.0% from the field and 65.0% from 3-point range in the first quarter, combining for 73 points. Despite seven turnovers and 11 fouls in the opening frame, Washington trailed by only three heading to the second quarter. Ish Smith scored six points on 3-3 (1.000) shooting in the second quarter to help the Wizards keep pace and trail by just four at halftime.
After a Thomas Bryant and-one layup and made free throw cut the lead to three with 6:54 left in the third, the Lakers went on 16-5 run to go up 14. Alex Caruso accounted for eight of those 16 points, including a pair of threes. In the fourth quarter, neither team was able to generate much offense. Washington and Los Angeles combined for just 38 points on 14-47 (.297) from the field in the final frame. A Jerome Robinson free throw, part of his 12-point fourth quarter, cut the lead to three with 57 seconds to go, but the Wizards were unable to get any closer. A reverse layup by Dion Waiters and a pair of free throws from DMV native Quinn Cook sealed the Lakers’ win.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Hachimura leads in scoring again
Rui Hachimura led the way for the Wizards with 19 points on 7-13 (.538) from the field, 1-1 (1.000) from three and 4-4 (1.000) from 3-point range. After 18-point and 15-point performances against the Nuggets and Clippers, Hachimura’s 19-point showing solidified him as the team’s leading scorer in all three exhibition games, a promising sign as he steps into a more prominent role in the offense. After scoring 11 points in the first half, Hachimura scored eight points in the third quarter, shooting 3-4 (.750) from the field and 2-2 (1.00) from the free throw line. Hachimura continues to pose a threat for defenses from all over the court. Against the Lakers, he scored six points at the rim, six on mid-range jumpers and knocked down one 3-pointer.
Best shooting performance of the exhibition period
While the Lakers were playing without three of their best defenders – LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard – the Wizards put on a shooting performance worthy of recognition given their struggles in their first two scrimmages. After failing to shoot 40.0% from the field against either the Nuggets or Clippers, the Wizards shot 41-89 (.461) from the field against the Lakers. Through three quarters, Washington shot 53.5% from the field, but saw that number drop in the fourth as most of their shots moved beyond the 3-point arc to try and cut into the Los Angeles lead. The Wizards will need to improve their 3-point shooting heading into the seeding games, but a solid shooting performance on Monday was a positive sign.
Sharing the playmaking responsibilities
Washington recorded assists on 27 of their 41 made field goals on Monday afternoon, the most assists they have recorded in any of their three exhibition games. As has been the case throughout their time in Orlando, the playmaking duties have been shared by all – and the numbers show it. Against the Lakers, nine Wizards players recorded an assist and six recorded at least three. Ish Smith, who also scored 12 points on an efficient 6-8 (.750) shooting, led the team with six dimes. Hachimura, Isaac Bonga and Troy Brown Jr., all of whom have stepped into larger roles with Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans out, each recorded three assists.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT
PUT IT BACK, RUI! pic.twitter.com/VzMeEaBMIG— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 27, 2020