We knew Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Washington Wizards would play at least one more game after Wednesday. We just didn't know if that future matchup would be in the winners or losers bracket. Despite nearly blowing a 19-point lead, the Wizards advanced to the good side with an 86-78 rout over the Utah Jazz Wednesday night.
The game details in summer league are never as important as player development, especially in the case of Oubre, Washington' first round pick. We can note the Wizards (2-2) never trailed, led by at least 15 points after each of the first three quarters and 74-58 entering the final period.
However, the offense went dormant starting the fourth as Utah scored the first 13 points. Orlando Johnson's layup ended the drought with 5:06 remaining and the Wizards held off the Jazz from there.
Five players scored in double figures for the Wizards, led by Scott Machado's 17 points. Johnson added 16 points and 11 rebounds while Oubre had 12 on 3 of 11 shooting.
Bryce Cotton led the Jazz with 20 points.
- Oubre's overall performance included good spots while mixing in moments where he reminds watchers that patience is required. The long-armed wing twice picked pockets for steals leading to fast break opportunities. The lefty drove with his right hand for a layup and then later plowed into a defender out high for a charge. He calmly drained a 3-pointer early in the game - and then soon after missed everything from almost the same spot.
Most important, Oubre walks the walk. The 19-year-old oozes confidence off the court and isn't shy about performing on it. He also needs a GPS at times when he's driving to the rim. Both the ball handling and shot from deep remains a work in progress. That's cool. The Wizards set up their regular roster in such a way that Oubre can learn at his own pace.
- Having strong point guard play is crucial for any hope of summer league success with players quickly thrown together. Machado has largely provided that for the Wizards with both steady and spectacular moments. The former Iona star looks the part of an NBA player. The 6-foot-5 Johnson and big man Jarrid Famous also appear worthy of training camp invitations. However, there is no room right now on the Wizards roster. That's among the reasons why second-round pick Aaron White appears headed overseas for his first professional season. The 6-foot-8 forward had four points on 1 of 5 shooting with four rebounds.
- The Wizards are back in action Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. against the Pelicans. Seth Curry (25.0) is the summer league's leading scorer. Power forward Khem Birch, who impressed in Vegas with the Wizards last season, leads New Orleans with 7.7 rebounds.