Washington Wizards v San Antonio Spurs
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 24: Devin Vassell #24 of the San Antonio Spurs plays defense during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 24, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Logan Riely

Recap: Wizards fall to Spurs 121-101 Sunday in San Antonio

FINAL: Wizards 101 | Spurs 121

BOX SCORE | HIGHLIGHTS

SCORING LEADERS

Wizards: Bradley Beal (31), Jerome Robinson (16), Alex Len (11)

Spurs: Patty Mills (21), Lonnie Walker IV (16), LaMarcus Aldridge (15)

SUMMARY

The Wizards were defeated 121-101 by the Spurs on Sunday night in San Antonio. Bradley Beal, who entered the game averaging an NBA-best 34.9 points per game, scored a game-high 31. The Wizards had not played since January 11 as their last six games were postponed in accordance with the NBA’s health and safety protocols. They were missing six players, who are still in protocol.

The Wizards jumped out to an early 8-2 lead when Jerome Robinson and Isaac Bonga hit nearly identical corner threes in the first 90 seconds of the game. With just over four minutes left in the first, Cassius Winston knocked down the first bucket of his career to give Washington a 10-point lead. Robinson carried the scoring load in the first quarter, finishing with eight points as the Wizards took a 26-23 lead into the second. After missing all three of their 3-point attempts in the first, the Spurs found their touch in the second. San Antonio shot 42.9% from deep in the second quarter, overtook the Wizards and led by one at halftime.

Beal dominated the third quarter, scoring 15 of his 31 points, but the Spurs got hot from beyond the arc. San Antonio shot 7-11 (.636) from 3-point range, five of which came from either Patty Mills or rookie Devin Vassell – and took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Wizards began to show signs of fatigue in the fourth and struggled to knock down shots. For San Antonio, Mills knocked down another pair of threes in the fourth as the Spurs offense took off, shooting 63.6% from the field and extending their lead to 22 points in the final minutes of the game.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

Beal picks up where he left off

With 31 points Sunday night against the Spurs, Beal is now averaging 41.5 points over his last four games, including a 60-point game against the Sixers on January 6. Beal started the night slow, shooting just 1-5 (.200) in the first quarter. He scored nine points in the second quarter, but really found his stride in the third, scoring 15 points on 6-10 (.600) from the field and 2-4 (.500) from deep. Beal has now scored 25-plus points in all 11 games this season, becoming just the third player since 1976 to accomplish the feat. The only others: Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. Dating back to last season, Beal has scored at least 20 points in 34 consecutive games, the longest streak in the league by 19 games.

New faces make contributions for shorthanded Wizards

Washington took on San Antonio without Deni Avdija, Davis Bertans, Troy Brown Jr., Rui Hachimura, Ish Smith and Moe Wagner due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, as well as Thomas Bryant and Raul Neto due to injury. Prior to the Spurs pulling away in the fourth quarter, the Wizards were within reach for nearly the entire game. From start to finish, Washington depended on a number of players who had yet to see significant action this season or, in the case of newly signed Alex Len, were playing in their first game with the team. Len finished with 11 points and five rebounds in just over 20 minutes of action. In just his second start of the season, Jerome Robinson set season highs in minutes (35) and points (16) – including eight points in the first quarter alone. Cassius Winston, the Wizards second-round pick in November’s draft, played 22 minutes and scored the first points of his NBA career.

“We got some new guys integrated,” Brooks said postgame. “This is our new team right now until the other guys come back…in the meantime, guys are going to have to step up and keep competing. The effort was great. We didn’t lose this game because our give-a-heck level was low.”

Balanced Spurs attack

While Mills led the way with 21 for San Antonio, nearly everyone in the Spurs’ rotation got involved. All 13 active players saw the court, 11 scored and seven scored in double figures. Dejounte Murray, who was listed as questionable prior to the game after turning his left ankle Friday night against Dallas, recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The Wizards managed to hold All-Star DeMar DeRozan to just nine points, but struggled to contain LaMarcus Aldridge. After scoring just two points on 1-6 (.166) shooting in the first half, Aldridge scored 11 points on 5-6 (.833) shooting in the third quarter, propelling the Spurs’ offense to a strong second-half performance.

NEXT UP: Wizards at Rockets / Tuesday, January 26 / 8:00 P.M. / Toyota Center

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT

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