This game wouldn’t come down to a game-winning shot like Bradley Beal had last season to beat the San Antonio Spurs at Verizon Center on Saturday.
Kawhi Leonard (19 points), LaMarcus Aldridge (22 points) and Tony Parker (18 points) got the Spurs out to a good start, and reserves such as Patty Mills (13 points) and Jonathan Simmons (15 points) slammed the door on any Wizards comeback attempts in front of 17,066.
Bradley Beal (25 points, 6 rebounds), John Wall (21 points, 5 assists) and Otto Porter (14 points, 8 rebounds) paced the Wizards (5-10) who had their two-game winning streak ended with the 112-100 loss.
--Beal got up 13 shots in the first half and was able to get a lot of open looks that missed. During a crucial stretch of the third quarter, however, he missed an open three as did Tomas Satornasky which led to a five-point burst – a three by Mills and a dunk from Simmons – to push the deficit to 83-69 with 2:14.
-- Markieff Morris (12 points) lost his cool in the third quarter as he was ejected at 7:30. Morris received two fouls in a short span just as he had in the first quarter to send him to the bench early. He had what appeared to be harsh works before Ken Mauer assessed him two technical that sent him to the locker room. Morris played just 18 minutes.
-- Trey Burke entered with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter but looked more comfortable in the offense playing off the ball with Wall. He made three of his first six shots finding soft spots in the defense.
-- Porter fell short of posting his fifth double-double of the season. In three seasons before this, Porter had a total of five. His other five, all coming in 2015-16, happened in a span of 186 games. He was put on Aldridge midway through the fourth quarter but the Spurs just attacked the matchup because Porter was undersized.
--Ian Mahinmi made his season season debut at 4:34 of the first quarter, entering for Gortat and playing eight minutes of the first half. Mahinmi didn’t take a shot but made his presence felt with a stifling (and legal) screen of Kyle Anderson that knocked him almost senseless. Mahinmi, who was set to play limited minutes in his first action since having left knee surgery Oct. 15 to clean out loose cartilage, played a total of 15 minutes with his only point coming on a made free throw. He said he’s hopeful he’ll be able to play without restrictions if he doesn’t have any swelling post-game. The Wizards will be off Sunday after this back-to-back.
-- The stark contrast between the benches, and why the Spurs have had the start they’ve had to the season compared to the Wizards, was clear after two quarters. Mills had eight points, Simmons had seven and David Lee was a spark with four. Their reserves had 21 points by halftime. The Wizards had just five as they trailed 54-44. After three quarters, the edge was 30-8.