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Recap: Wizards beat Blazers 118-111 for fourth win in a row
FINAL: Wizards 118 | Trail Blazers 111
Wizards: Bradley Beal (37), Russell Westbrook (27), Rui Hachimura (17)
Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard (35), Enes Kanter (19), Gary Trent Jr. (16)
The Wizards earned their fourth consecutive win, opening a four-game West Coast road trip with a 118-111 victory over the Blazers on Saturday night in Portland. A suffocating defensive performance in the second quarter and 64 combined points from Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook made the difference for Washington. With 37 points, Beal has now scored 30-plus in 14 of his last 17 games. Damian Lillard scored 35 points to lead the way for Portland.
The Wizards started the game 13-18 (.722) from the field and got a combined 19 points out of Beal and Westbrook in the first quarter, but high-volume 3-point shooting from the Blazers put them ahead through one quarter. Portland was 8-17 (.471) in the first from 3-point range, fueling a 30-12 run that turned a four-point deficit into a 14-point lead in the final minute of the first. Washington’s defense in the second quarter swung the momentum of the game. Down 45-31 with 11:39 left in the second quarter, the Wizards went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to two and eventually overtook the Blazers just minutes later on a pair of Beal free throws. Washington outscored Portland 30-12 in the second quarter, the fewest points they have allowed in a single quarter since March 31, 2019 at Denver (10).
Lillard led a Blazers’ resurgence in the third quarter, knocking down a three just 13 seconds out of halftime. The Wizards shot 10-13 (.769) from inside the arc in the third, but 1-9 (.111) from deep, allowing Portland to close the gap and take a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Davis Bertans struggled in the early going coming off a career night against the Nuggets, but came up big in the fourth quarter. After the Wizards trailed 93-89 early in the final frame, Bertans capped an 11-3 Washington run with his first of two fourth quarter 3-pointers to the team up 100-96. From that point, the Wizards’ defense took over. From 4:23 to 1:03, Washington held Portland without a field goal, pulling away and sealing the win. Rui Hachimura scored eight points in the final 2:46 of the game and has now scored 10-plus points seven straight games.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Westbrook tallies third triple-double in a row
Coming off two consecutive triple-doubles against Houston and Denver, Westbrook notched his third in a row and was an efficient 11-17 (.647) from the field on Saturday night in Portland. His 27 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists gave him eight total triple-doubles this season and his 16th three-game triple-double streak of his career, the most in the league since 1983-84 by 13. With 6:53 left in the third quarter, Westbrook converted on pull-up jumper that moved him into 45th on the league’s all-time scoring list, surpassing Hall of Famer David Robinson. Westbrook has now recorded triple-doubles in both games against the Blazers this season after totaling 17 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the teams’ meeting earlier this month.
“He has set the tone,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “Our guys are much more in-tune with how to prepare to win a game…He means business. This is not a hobby for him. A lot of times in this league, people look at it as a hobby. It’s fun. We get to do something love. I get that, but it’s still your job, your livelihood. It’s how you represent your organization, your city, your family, your coaches – and Russell does that at the highest level I have seen. I’ve been with him a long time in OKC and he was always been a player that wanted to get better, that gave everything he had and left everything on the practice court and the game court. He’s done that for us.”
Lopez makes the most of his minutes
Robin Lopez came off the bench for one of his best performances of the season, notching his second double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds, six of which were offensive – one short of his season high. Lopez made his presence known on both ends and finished with a plus-25 rating in 28 minutes of action. The big man also added two assists, two steals and a block.
“He’s a high-IQ basketball player,” Brooks said postgame. “He knows what he does. He’s not the quickest guy in the league, but he knows his angles. To me, that’s important to the bigs. You don’t have to be quick, you have to be smart.”
Lillard’s up and down night
The Wizards’ much-improved defense has been on fire in the month of February and made an early impact against Blazers star Damian Lillard. After he knocked down a deep 3-pointer less than a minute into the game, Lillard missed his next five attempts from three and scored just six points on 2-13 (.153) shooting in the first half. The third quarter was a different story. Lillard scored 23 points on 7-8 (.875) from the field and a perfect 5-5 from 3-point range, the most points a Washington opponent has scored in a single quarter this season. Lillard came back down to earth in the fourth quarter, scoring just six points on 1-9 (.111) from the field.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Lakers / Monday, February 22 / 10:00 P.M. / STAPLES Center
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT