With no John Wall and the second unit unable to hold leads yet again, the Wizards lost a double-digit lead and couldn't recover in time to beat the Orlando Magic who won for the first time in the series in 13 tries, 88-86, on Saturday night at Amway Center.
After Nikola Vucevic missed two free throws, the Wizards had possession with 0.8 seconds left and Markieff Morris (18 points, eight rebounds, three assists) ended up with a wide-open look to win it at the buzzer from the three-point arc but missed. Bradley Beal (15 points), Otto Porter (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (eight points, 14 rebounds) to lead the starters.
Andrew Nicholson and Marcus Thornton (nine points, four rebounds each) led a bench that was a little better with production in terms of points (27) after just eight the previous night.
Jeff Green (18 points) led Orlando followed by Evan Fournier (13 points) who fouled out in the final six seconds to send Morris to the line for three free throws to set up the final sequence.
- The Wizards (1-4) led 50-40 at halftime, rebuilding a second-quarter lead after the reserves squandered most of it. They were up 70-61 going into the fourth but fell behind 79-73 because of a 16-0 run by Orlando. They went until 5:25 of the fourth with just one field goal until Beal's layup cut the deficit to 81-77.
- Without Wall they were only had three fast-break points courtesy of a three-pointer from Beal late in the fourth and had just 11 assists. Tomas Satoransky (eight points, three assists) was much better at running the half-court offense than Trey Burke. Satoransky made his first start. Burke played 15 minutes off the bench but wasn't very effective getting the others quality shots.
- Morris, Beal and Thornton didn't score in the third quarter when the Wizards had a chance to really extend the lead.
- Although Beal attacked the basket quite a bit and didn't settle he was just 6 of 17 shooting and only was awarded two free throws. The Magic had rim protection from Bismack Biyombo (nine points, 12 rebounds) wo alters shots to create misses. Beal and Gortat misfired on crucial layups late, though the latter had an uncontested one.
- After being porous defensively in the first three games, the Wizards did hold them to 39.7% overall shooting (31-for-78), kept their turnovers down to a season-low 10 and outrebounded the more athletic Magic 49-43 and were plus-four on the offensive end.
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