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Spurs overwhelm Wizards in D.C., 129-112
Every win down the final stretch matters for the Spurs as they fight to get out of the No. 8 playoff spot in the West, and they played like it on Friday night in D.C. The Wizards hung tough in the early stages, but were no match for the offensive onslaught led by LaMarcus Aldridge (24 points) and a balanced San Antonio attack. The Spurs led by as many as 24 on the night en route to a 129-112 victory.
After shooting 60% from both the field and 3-point range in the first quarter (and hitting all eight of their free throws), the Spurs managed to get even better as the game went on. Still, 13 points from Thomas Bryant (19 points, seven rebounds on the night) and eight from Beal (game-high 25 points) helped keep the Wizards’ deficit at just five after the first quarter.
In the second, Aldridge and Bryn Forbes (17 points) led the charge as the Spurs blew the game open. They shot a blistering 71% from the field and 60% from deep to tally 40 points in the period, lead by as many as 21 points, and take a 19-point lead into the halftime break.
“At the start of that second quarter, I thought they were scoring on us at will," said head coach Scott Brooks. "A couple of things that we couldn't stop the dribble drive and stop their bigs. San Antonio is good. They got a lot of high-motor, tough players [who] play hard. You can't mess up. Patty Mills comes in, you mess up, let him go left in the high pick-and-roll, it’s going to be an automatic three. He had two or three of those. You do that, it puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”
Beal scored 15 points in the third as Washington fought back and won the quarter by two, but the Wizards never seriously threatened in the second half. They cut the lead down to 14 points with 55 seconds remaining in the third, but couldn’t climb any closer for the remainder of the game.
In total, eight Spurs reached double-figures on the night, with Rudy Gay (18 points) and Patty Mills (17 points) delivering notable performances from the bench. DeMar DeRozan added 16. In usual San Antonio fashion, a whopping 34 assists on 51 made field goals helped the Spurs win with efficiency and make the Wizards play catch-up for most of the evening. With just a 28.1% mark from 3-point range, Washington struggled to close the gap.
Jabari Parker (left knee strain) did not play Friday, while two-way forward Devin Robinson logged 14 minutes (four points, five rebounds) in his first appearance with the Wizards since early January. Bobby Portis just missed a double-double on the night with 16 points and nine rebounds, while rookie Troy Brown Jr. scored 13 points.
Just two games remain on the schedule this season for Washington, with the next one in New York wrapping up the road slate. Tip-off on Sunday night against the Knicks is set for 7:30 P.M. ET.