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Wizards' miscues costly in loss to Jazz, 107-104
John Wall's 35 points and 11 assists were not enough on Wednesday night
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John Wall scored a season-high 35 points and dished out 11 assists, but the Wizards turned the ball over 23 times in an 107-104 loss to the Jazz on Wednesday night. Bradley Beal added 23 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, but the Jazz took advantage of the Wizards’ mistakes to win late.
The Jazz jumped out to a quick 7-2 start, but the Wizards would make 12 of their first 15 shots in the first quarter. With Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors out for the Jazz, the Wizards attacked the rim at will, scoring 16 pots in the paint to start the game. Wall had nine points and six assists in the opening period, scoring or assisting on 24 of the team’s 32 first quarter points. Porter, who returned after missing last game with a right hip strain, had nine points in the first 12 minutes. Ricky Rubio made 5-of-6 shots for 12 points to keep the Jazz in striking distance early.
In the second quarter, the Jazz locked down the Wizards for only 18 points on 36.8% shooting. Still, Beal was able to score nine points to give him 16 points in the opening half. Jazz stud rookie Donovan Mitchell picked up his third foul with 10:14 left in the second quarter, but Utah still won the quarter. Washington had seven turnovers for six Jazz points and gave it away too much in the second quarter. The Wizards held a 50-46 lead heading into the locker room.
The Wizards turned it over nine times for 14 Jazz points in the third quarter, unable to control the ball well to open the second half. Wall had 10 points and three assists in the third, but the Wizards’ turnovers killed them in the third. The Jazz would lead by six heading into the fourth quarter, using an 11-3 run to close out the third.
After trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, Washington would come back to make it 91-89 on an 8-0 run with 6:18 to go. The Jazz would come back with a 7-2 run of their own, but the Wizards put together a second 8-0 run to retake the 99-98 lead after back-to-back Wall (14 points in the fourth) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (9 points) triples. Ricky Rubio followed with a three of his own, then Wall hit another, and Joe Ingles gave the Jazz a 104-102 lead they would not relinquish.
Joe Johnson made three of four free throws late, but gave the Wizards an opportunity to tie it down 107-104 late. With 7.6 seconds to go, the Wizards were unable to get a shot off. Beal, who would finish 1-of-7 in the fourth quarter, explained what happened on the final play after the game. “It was a set inbound play," he said. "I bumped it, pass got to me. I saw Mitchell [Donovan] stumble, so I tried to get it up as quick as possible, but he did a really good job of recovering. So, he would have blocked it. I just tried to… there was nobody to pass it to after that and I had already jumped. I couldn’t touch it, that would be a travel. That is that.”
Turnovers were the difference in the game as the Wizards shot 52.6% from the field. Utah scored 27 points off the Wizards’ 23 turnovers, the most points off turnovers the Wizards have given up to an opponent this season. The Jazz had more possessions than the Wizards with the turnovers and 11 offensive rebounds, taking 14 more shots than Washington. Wall did have a season-high 35 points with 11 assists, but his eight turnovers proved costly.
"We have not had that type of turnover game in a long time," head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. "They did a good job of putting their hands on us and we turned the ball over too many times. With that being said, we still had a chance to win the game."
The Wizards have now reached the halfway point of the season at 23-18, sitting at the No. 5 seed in the East and a game back of the Southeast Division lead. Washington will host Orlando on Friday at 7:00pm.