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Wizards top Spurs at home, 138-132
Bradley Beal’s seventh 30-point game of the season and a pair of 20-point performances off the bench propelled the Wizards (4-8) to a 138-132 win over the San Antonio Spurs (5-10) Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. Beal, who made 10 consecutive shots in the second half, scored 21 of his 33 points in the third quarter. With the win, Washington splits the two-game season series with San Antonio.
“I thought we competed,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “[We] moved the ball; 37 assists. Brad [Beal] took over, and he's hard to stop. He's hard to stop…But he just has to keep attacking and he controlled the game when we needed buckets and put us on his back and made plays and passes.”
Ish Smith and former Spur Davis Bertans each scored 21 points off the bench, shooting a combined 16-23 (.695) from the field and 7-11 (.636) from 3-point range. Bertans has scored 20-plus points three times this season, twice against his former team. The Wizards bench, which ranks second in the league in scoring, totaled 63 points in the win.
“Through the 82 games, you have to keep pushing, keep pressing,” Smith said. “Our second unit, we try to play with pace, try to get the ball from the first side to the second side and possibly the third side. Tonight, I got my number called and made some shots.”
“It’s ridiculous,” Moritz Wagner said of the bench performance. “It’s obviously a lot of fun, and when you play the game with that type of joy, good things happen to you. You’re locked in defensively and you’re able to make runs.”
After the Spurs jumped out to 29-19 lead in the first quarter, Smith, Bertans and Moritz Wagner checked into the game put an end to the Wizards’ slide. Washington went on a 24-11 run, capped by Smith’s first 3-pointer of the night, giving the Wizards a 43-40 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the second quarter. In the first quarter alone, the Wizards bench scored 20 points, shooting 9-12 (.750) from the field. The bench run was enough to get Washington back in the game, but the Spurs maintained a 69-63 halftime lead.
Spurs guard Patty Mills sparked an early third quarter run for San Antonio, scoring seven points in the first three minutes of the frame to take an 82-72 lead over Washington. Beal owned the rest of the quarter, hitting all nine of his shot attempts, including three from beyond the arc, and leading the Wizards on a 24-5 run to take a 96-87 lead with 3:23 left in the quarter.
The Wizards bench carried the scoring load in the fourth quarter, totaling 27 points and giving Washington a 12-point lead with just over two minutes left in the game. A 12-2 San Antonio run, led by DeMar DeRozan and Bryn Forbes, cut the Wizards’ lead to two with 16.1 seconds left, but the Wizards made their free throws and held on for the victory.
The Wizards are back in action on Friday night, hosting the Charlotte Hornets (6-9) in the second game of a three-game homestand. The game will tip off at 7:00 P.M. at Capital One Arena and be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington and 1500 AM. This will be the first meeting of the season between the Wizards and Hornets.