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Wizards roll past Spurs, 116-106
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Fueled by a 33-11 run in the second quarter, the Wizards beat the Spurs on Tuesday night, 116-106. Seven players scored in double figures in the win, with Markieff Morris leading the scoring with 15 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting. Washington shot 54.8% overall in the game, dishing out 33 assists. The Spurs were held to just 44.8% shooting and only made 18-of-33 free throws in the game.
The Wizards started hot by making 9-of-13 field goals to start, with Otto Porter Jr. and Morris’ 11 points each in the first half leading the way. Morris would only play 12 minutes due to foul trouble, but both players made all five of their shots in the first half.
The Spurs opened up a 31-23 lead early in the second quarter. Washington responded on a 33-11 run over 10 minutes, making 12-of-23 field goals. More importantly, the Wizards held the Spurs to 3-of-16 from the field during that stretch. Oubre, who had eight points and seven rebounds in the opening 24 minutes, led a bench group that scored 29 first half points.
San Antonio was able to get to the line 16 times in the first half, but the team only made nine of their attempts. Washington would lead 59-45 at halftime, despite Bradley Beal only scoring three points in the half and seven overall in the game. The team’s 38 points were the most in a second quarter all season.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 13 points in the first half, but would not return after halftime due to a left knee contusion. Marcin Gortat took advantage, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds in 12 minutes in the third quarter. Gortat’s play and the Wizards’ 65.0% shooting in the third quarter would amount to a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The starters outside of Tomas Satoransky were able to get some much needed rest in the fourth quarter, as the Wizards slowly but surely but the Spurs away. Ramon Sessions scored eight of his 12 points and the team shot 50% from the field in the fourth. San Antonio would try to sneak back late, but the Wizards were able to break through the Spurs’ press and win by 10 points.
“Probably their communication," Beal said of the bench's success tonight. "Honestly, from both us starters and the bench it’s our defense. I think the bench was definitely active and very talkative tonight which is something that’s been kind of our downfall. When we’re active and talkative, and when they do that we’re really good. They trusted each other on offense to make the right simple plays, right reason, [unselfish] plays and it’s always better when everyone is making some shots. It just made it that much better.”
Overall, it was a classic team effort in the win with 10 guys scoring seven or more points in the game. The bench had 61 points in the victory, with four of those second unit players scoring in double figures. After letting the Spurs get a nine-point lead early, the Wizards responded with a 65-34 run.
“I thought the guys played extremely hard on both ends," Scott Brooks said postgame. "I like the fact that we didn't make shots in that first quarter but we kept competing, we kept moving the basketball, we kept sharing the ball. Sooner or later you're going to get rewarded with some good opportunities, and in that second quarter, we did. I thought we came out in the third quarter with a defensive mindset, which we did. It was a good win all the way around. A lot of guys chipped in. A lot of good shooting performances by our starting five.”
The win snapped the Wizards’ three-game losing streak and helped them stay at the No. 6 seed in the East. Washington can clinch a playoff berth on Thursday with a win in Detroit against the Pistons at 7:00pm.
“I wouldn’t say it was too nice," Morris said of the win. "I just feel like we should win. We don’t come into games looking to lose. We play the way we know we can play. With or without John [Wall], we can compete with the best teams in the league. We showed that tonight.”