The Washington Wizards dropped their Sunday afternoon tilt against the streaking Utah Jazz, falling to 13-26 on the season.
Despite what the 127-116 score would lead you to believe, Sunday afternoon’s game against Utah was a nail biter. The Wizards opened the game with an incredibly efficient first half, scoring 66 points on 62% shooting.
Both Beal and Bryant looked well rested, and provided a huge boost for Washington against a Utah team that was without it’s star player Donovan Mitchell.
It wouldn’t last for long.
The Wizards, after being up as many as 15, gave the game away behind a 38-point Utah Jazz third quarter. Rudy Gobert reminded the arena that he’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year by taking over the game on that end of the court, and stalling the Washington offense.
It was still a ball game with just five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, as Beal executed plays from both a scoring and passing perspective to keep the Wizards in it. But back-to-back dunks from Gobert put Washington out of reach to close the game.
Washington falls to 13-26 on the season, and 12th in the Eastern Conference.
The biggest takeaway from Sunday’s game is just how healthy the Wizards roster currently stands. From tip-off, Beal was attacking not only on defense, but offense as well. He finished with 25 points on of 11-26 shooting from the field.
Beal was everything Washington’s missed in their recent stretch: An All-Star caliber player with the IQ to match, and willingness to make plays when it mattered most. His return bodes well for the Wizards immediate future, and certainly provides optimism going forward.
Speaking of returns, Bertans looked well rested too. He finished with 18 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field, including a couple absurd three-point shots. As is custom with the Latvian Laser.
His continued three-point prowess will help to space the Washington offense, and garner interest on the trade market, with the trade deadline just weeks away.
Despite Bertans 4-of-7 night from deep, the Wizards team as a whole shot pretty poorly from three. You could almost entirely credit the loss to their poor shooting in the second half.
Only three other Wizards connected from downtown, and they weren’t necessarily the typical sharpshooters on this roster: Ian Mahinmi, Troy Brown Jr, and Ish Smith. Washington knocked down just seven three-pointers, down from their season average of 11.9 per game.
It was unfortunate to see Brown slow down, after having strung together some nice performances in recent weeks. He’s recorded three double-doubles over his last four games, but finished Sunday with just nine points, six rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Overall the Wizards, still somewhat shorthanded, fell to a promising Western Conference contender in a relatively close matchup. These kind of losses were to be expected this season, with John Wall out and the other plethora of injuries that have struck Washington.
The Wizards will look to rebound from this loss on Wednesday, as they travel to Chicago for a matchup with the Bulls. Tip-off is at 8:00 pm est.