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Wizards lose late to Blazers, 108-105
Washington led by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter, but Portland came back to win in the last minute
In a game of runs on Saturday night at Capital One Arena, it was the Blazers who came back to win, 108-105. The Wizards led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, but Portland went on a 31-11 run in the final 7:56 of the game to win. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26 points, while Otto Porter Jr. recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 55 points to lead the Blazers to victory.Photos | Box Score
The Wizards had a strong first half in their return home from a three-game road trip. With a 17-4 run midway through the first quarter, the Wizards won the first quarter, 30-27. Tim Frazier started for John Wall, who will miss approximately two weeks after receiving PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and viscosupplementation injections to reduce the inflammation in his left knee. Frazier and Beal combined for 19 points in the first quarter, pacing the Wizards. Lillard and McCollum were held to only five points in the opening period.
In the second quarter, Washington dominated defensively. Portland only made 6-of-22 shots and turned it over three times, as the Wizards' bench lineup of Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jason Smith, and Ian Mahinmi was able to stifle the Blazers. The second unit had 13 points in the quarter, but it was all about defense. McCollum picked up his third foul with 8:05 left in the second quarter, and would not return until the second half. The Wizards held Lillard and McCollum in check in the first half, but that would quickly in the second half.
Washington went into the locker room up 52-41 at the half. Washington would open up a 15-point lead early in the third, but Portland went on a 14-2 run to get back within two points. Porter led the Wizards with 13 points in the third quarter on 5-of-7 shooting. Porter finished the game 9-of-15 from the floor with those 10 rebounds, including three offensive, and three steals. The Wizards made all five of their shots in the paint in the third, but would only go 7-of-23 the rest of the game. Even with Portland coming back with that big run, the Wizards edged out the Blazers 13-7 in the final 3:45 of the third, and led by 10 heading into the fourth.
The Wizards kept it going in the beginning of the fourth quarter, with Porter running with the second unit. Washington led by 17 points with 8:28 remaining in the game, but Portland would come charging back. The Blazers brought the game within four points with 3:29 to go, but Markieff Morris and Beal hit big shots to bring the lead back to seven with 2:30 left. From there on, the Wizards would not score again.
A pivotal flagrant foul was called on Morris with 1:32 left, which gave Jusuf Nurkic two free throws and the Blazers possession. Nurkic hit one of two free throws, and then McCollum hit a triple to bring the game within three. Beal had a chance to take the lead on a wide open 16-footer with 6.5 seconds left, but the shot bounced out. After hitting two free throws, the Blazers stopped Beal's 28-foot 3-point attempt as time expired and came away with the win. Portland closed the game on a 10-0 run, including seven points in the final two minutes from McCollum.
"We have to find ways to just be solid, especially with four minutes to go," Porter said after losing Saturday's game late. "We just really have to find ways to lock in and play for each other."
The Wizards will head to Minnesota next for the first of a road back-to-back with the Timberwolves on Tuesday.