Bradley Beal made his return to the Wizards, who didn't miss a beat as they won for the third time in a row to move to a game from getting back to .500, with a 106-101 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at Verizon Center on Wednesday.
The Wizards had seven players score in double figures, led by John Wall (19 points, eight assists, five rebounds), Ramon Sessions (15 points, five assists), Jared Dudley (13 points, six rebounds), Nene (12 points), Garrett Temple (11 points, five assists, four rebounds, five steals), Beal (11 points) and Otto Porter (10 points).
It's their third win over Milwaukee (16-25) in as many meetings.
Washington (18-19) darted out of the gates by shooting 62% in the first quarter to take a 28-19 lead. They stretched the lead to as large as 19 points in the second quarter and showed superb ball movement.
But they lost it by shooting just 6 of 23 in the third quarter and entered the fourth down 74-71. A 20-5 run, however, to put an end to Milwaukee.
Khris Middleton (25 points), Jabari Parker (22 points) and Greg Monroe (21 points, 12 rebounds) led the Bucks.
- Milwaukee's spacing is terrible, and it allowed Temple to terrorize the passing lane. He had a career-high five steals in the first quarter alone, and in the second he had a chasedown block of O.J. Mayo that led to a transition layup for Dudley. When Dudley missed a three, Temple attacked the ball on the carom and challenged Giannis Antetokounmpo for it. The loose ball was picked up by Sessions for a layup.
- Inserting rookie Kelly Oubre changed the tone of the game. The Bucks have length and with a 7-2 wingspan he has lots of reach. Oubre had a three-point shot at the buzzer to end the third waved off from about 40 feet. He started the fourth and made a steal on the first possession that produced free throws that he made. Then calmly, Oubre buried a corner three-pointer as the Wizards went up 78-74. Oubre had another steal that resulted in two free throws for Wall. That's five points and two steals in nine minutes. This kid is for real and shouldn't be forgotten in Wittman's rotation because Beal is back. Aside from a three-point stroke that has been deadly accurate (12 of 22 since Dec. 19), he has those intangibles -- confidence, grit and ice in his veins -- that can't be gauged. But this is why the Wizards were so confident in trading up to get him in June. This is a game, however, where he should've played more. The Wizards had 15 deflections in the fourth quarter alone and turned over the Bucks 12 times. It's not by coincidence.
- Porter went to the locker room with 6:46 left in the third quarter limping because of a sore right hip, after he made a difficult clutch shot in transition in the lane. He did not return. Add him to the list of the wounded that already includes Marcin Gortat (left knee), Kris Humphries (right knee) and Alan Anderson (left ankle). Neal was a game-time decision because he'd come down with the flu and only played six minutes. He did make his only shot on a three.
- Beal only played 22 minutes but having him back changes how teams defend the Wizards. With him on the floor late in the fourth, the defense didn't think twice about allowing Dudley to shoot. Multiple defenders were too concerned about running Beal off the three-point line. The result was wide-open threes for Dudley, who even had time to reset his feet with no one running at him. The lead bumped up to 100-92.
- Nene, making his second start in the middle for Gortat, took over the game defensively in the fourth to lead the Wizards from a 74-71 deficit. His ball pressure produced a steal from John Henson that led to Sessions' dunk as the Wizards regained the lead 75-74. He switched on to Michael Carter-Williams and forced him to lose it out of bounds and then tied up Johnny O'Bryant to prevent an offensive rebound. Then he won the tap which led to Oubre's three. Nene had another steal that put Wall in transition that got him to the foul line, forced Henson into a miss at the rim by playing good position defense and gave up his body to take a charge from Antetokounmpo. Then a few plays later, Wall took a hard charge in a similar spot from Jabari Parker. That sort of effort is contagious.
[RELATED: Beal reacts to hometown Rams moving to L.A.]