Wizards struggle offensively, drop regular season finale in Orlando
Box Score | Photos
On a night where the bottom half of Eastern Conference playoff picture was still up for grabs with one game to play, the Wizards faltered in their regular season finale and ended up staying put. Wednesday marked the second half of a back-to-back that included travel to Orlando, where Washington couldn’t muster enough offense to overcome the Magic, falling 101-92. With the loss, the Wizards finish the regular season in the No. 8 seed and will head to Toronto this weekend to start Round 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Raptors.
Already without Otto Porter Jr. (leg strain) and John Wall (rest), the Wizards were put on their heels early by hot shooting from the Magic from the jump. Veterans Arron Afflalo and Aaron Gordon led the charge in the first half as Orlando hit nine 3’s to hand Washington a 10-point deficit at the break.
The Wizards fought back to briefly take the lead with a 21-10 heading into the early fourth quarter, but the Magic’s backcourt battery of Rodney Purvis and Mario Hezonja combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points in the final frame to stave off a Washington comeback and rebuild the lead to as many as 10 points.
While Orlando showed plenty of grit at the end of what has been a long season, the bottom line was that shots simply weren’t falling for the Wizards on the night. Despite 30-plus minutes from the likes of Bradley Beal (13 points), Markieff Morris (team-high 15 points, eight rebounds) and Tomas Satoransky (13 points, nine rebounds), Washington shot just 34 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range. Jodie Meeks’ 18 points (5-10 3-point) off the bench led the Wizards on Wednesday.
Washington’s loss to close the regular season was certainly due in part to heavy legs at the end of an 82-game schedule and a home-road back-to-back, but it isn’t what the Wizards had in mind as they looked to set the tone for a Round 1 playoff series. Next, they’ll get the rest of the week to prepare for the top-seeded Raptors, with the series scheduled to begin on either Saturday or Sunday. Stay tuned to WashingtonWizards.com for full details on the upcoming playoff run.
Odds and Ends
- Wizards Two-Way player Devin Robinson made his NBA debut Wednesday, scoring two points to go with five rebounds and a steal in 13 minutes.
- Elsewhere in the East, a Milwaukee loss to Philadelphia and a Miami victory over Toronto rounded out the playoff picture. Along with the Wizards and Raptors, first round matchups include Celtics-Bucks, Sixers-Heat and Cavs-Pacers. Miami also captured the Southeast Division crown with its win and Washington’s loss.
- Despite the loss, Washington controlled the boards (50-42) and outscored the Magic in the paint, 42-26.