In a more complete effort than they've shown at anytime this season, the Wizards ripped the Milwaukee Bucks, beating them for the second time in as many meetings, 115-86 on Tuesday at Verizon Center in front of 15,485.
The Wizards (5-4) had six players in double figures, led by Otto Porter's 19 points, four assists and three steals and John Wall with 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Jared Dudley made 3 of 4 three-point shots for a season-high 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat had 12 points and nine rebounds and Garrett Temple and Gary Neal had 10 points each.
Milwaukee (5-6) led 29-27 after the first quarter but were dominated on both ends after that. Khris Middleton led them with 14 points and Jerryd Bayless' 13. Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points and no assists.
What had been a 66-46 lead was cut to 72-66 on a dunk by Carter-Williams at 5:50 of the third quarter but a 13-0 run from Washington going into the fourth ended the threat.
When these teams met on Oct. 30, the Wizards had to come back to win 118-113 in Milwaukee.
The Wizards' bench had 46 points. In just 16 minutes, Nene contributed eight points, six rebounds and two assists. rookie Kelly Oubre had seven points and three rebounds in eight minutes and Ramon Sessions seven points. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to nine points on 3-for-13 shooting and Greg Monroe just four points on 1-for-6 and five rebounds.
They don't play again until Saturday when they travel to face the Detroit Pistons.
- The way Temple is playing defensively, and hitting the occasional three to keep the defense honest, they can get away in the short-term while Bradley Beal (left shoulder bruise) heals. The ball movement hasn't suffered at all, they're better defensively with him and because he doesn't need that many shots the distribution probably is more equitable. Going into the third quarter, no one had more than 10 shots (Porter). Three other starters for the Wizards (Wall, Temple and Gortat) had nine.
- The second unit lost the edge that the first unit had defensively to start the game. Greivis Vasquez came off the bench for Milwaukee to get nine points in 11 minutes of the first half. He's a big part of why they led 38-36 at 8:09. But when Wall and Temple returned with the first unit -- and Dudley joined them at the stretch four spot instead of Kris Humphries -- they pressured them into mistake after mistake and closed with a 28-8 run. Pending the matchups, the Wizards don't necessarily have to go with Dudley or Humphries. It can be both.
- The hustle plays, an area where the Wizards have been terrible all season, improved. Sessions missed a jumper and Johnny O'Bryant secured the rebound. Dudley, however, slipped in and stripped him and knocked the loose ball off of Bayless for an extra possession. Temple missed a transition layup but got his own rebound and saved it inbounds for another possession. Plays like this is why they had a 13-7 edge in second-chance points.
- The size and length of the Bucks are real, but their lack of reliable outside shooting except for Middleton will be their downfall and why they won't be a top four seed in the East. Middleton, who has traditionally torched the Wizards with his shooting, began 4-for-4 from the field but he picked up his fourth foul with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
- Gortat went strong to the basket and Wall's pinpoint passes found him. He had 12 points and six rebounds by halftime as the smaller lineups by the Wizards created more room for him to operate. The highlight was a one-handed bullet that split multiple defenders and found Gortat slashing towards the rim for a dunk. But more important than any of that is the job he did defensively on Monroe, Milwaukee's max player. He was physical with him at every turn and kept him off his sweet spot.