Wizards

Quick Links

Takeaways from the Wizards road win vs. Hornets

Takeaways from the Wizards road win vs. Hornets

For the first time this season the Wizards return from a road trip with a winning record after dominating the Charlotte Hornets throughout Monday night, 109-99.

John Wall (game-high 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds) got Washington out to a fast start as he knocked down jumper after jumper for a 60-48 halftime lead. Markieff Morris (23 points, seven rebounds) was followed by Bradley Beal (18 points, five rebounds, four assists), Otto Porter (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Kelly Oubre (10 points).

The Wizards (24-20) opened the three-game road trip with a win at the New York Knicks and lost on a buzzer-beater to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Charlotte (23-22) was on a three-game win streak that included a 35-point rout of the Toronto Raptors.

Kemba Walker (21 points) led them but shot just 7-for-24 from the field. Marco Belinelli (18 points) came off the bench to help close the gap but it wasn’t enough. Charlotte shot 35 of 90, or 38.9%.

The Wizards are 10-1 when holding opponents to less than 100 points.  In previous road trips of more than one game, they were 0-2 (three times) and 1-2 (twice).

They lead the season series 2-0 vs. Charlotte. With two more meetings left for the Southeast division rival, one more win gives Washington the season series and the playoff-seeding tiebreaker.

[RELATED: Wizards' Satoransky throws down crazy dunk in practice]

-- After the Hornets chopped what had been a 14-point deficit with 2:51 left in the third to 80-74 entering the fourth, the Wizards made 9 of 11 shots to keep their lead safe.

-- This may have been Trey Burke’s best game off the bench. He scored 27 for a season-high vs. Brooklyn, but he has never run the offense better, particularly in the pick-and-roll with Morris.  Ramon Sessions (nine points) appeared on the verge of bringing Charlotte back against his former team when his three-pointer cut the deficit to 35-31. But Burke (six points, four assists) had a behind-the-back assist to Morris in traffic for the finish, had a stepback jumper and then another on a pullup. It was a stretch for the Wizards when they made 6 of 7 shots. Burke was 3-for-3 but it's what he did to create for others, too, that set this performance apart from his others. 

--Beal went without a field goal or a point until his three-pointer late in the second quarter gave them a 55-4 lead. Beal heated up in the third quarter when he added three threes. It was Beal’s creation off the dribble, however, that aided his team in pulling away. Nicolas Batum (four points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (eight points) did their best to keep him in check. But Oubre popped open for clean looks from the arc where he shot 2-for-3. The second one put the Wizards up 91-77. Oubre had a steal as he denied the passing lane to Batum on Frank Kaminsky’s pass to earn a breakaway dunk

--Porter had his seventh double-double, which is two more than he had in his previous three NBA seasons.

--Hornets coach Steve Clifford pointed to the Wizards’ 41-33 rebounding advantage in the first meeting at Verizon Center on Dec. 14 as being the key to victory. The Wizards won in that area again, 47-43. 

[RELATED: DeMarcus Cousins threw a trashcan after Kings' loss]

Quick Links

Bradley Beal becomes first player to score 50 points on back-to-back nights since Kobe Bryant

Bradley Beal becomes first player to score 50 points on back-to-back nights since Kobe Bryant

Monday was a difficult day for the NBA.

Kobe Bryant's memorial service was held in Los Angeles nearly a month after the tragic passing of him and his daughter Gianna. A number of NBA players were in attendance, but Bradley Beal and the Wizards couldn't because they were hosting the Bucks that night. 

So on a day the basketball world celebrated Bryant's life, Bradley Beal achieved a milestone no player has since the Black Mamba. 

Beal poured in 55 points in an overtime loss to the Bucks, setting his career-high for points in a game for the second straight night after a 53-point outburst against the Bulls on Sunday.

Bryant was the last player to score 50 points on back-to-back nights. He did it with a 60-spot on the Grizzlies on March 22, 2007, and then put up 50 the next night against the Rockets. 

Similar to Beal, both games ended in losses in a year where Bryant had to shoulder most of the offensive load for his team. It was Bryant's second full season without Shaquille O'Neal by his side. 

The only thing left for Beal to do to mirror Bryant's '06-07 season would be making the playoffs. While unlikely at this junction, I wouldn't put anything past this Wizards team. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Another career night for Bradley Beal is not enough for the Wizards in an OT loss to the Bucks

Another career night for Bradley Beal is not enough for the Wizards in an OT loss to the Bucks

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 137-134 in overtime on Monday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. There were technically two All-Stars on the floor at Capital One Arena on Monday night and Bradley Beal was not one of them, yet down the stretch when the Bucks and Wizards traded blows possession after possession, it was Beal who raised his game the highest to force overtime.

The Wizards ultimately lost, even though reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out with 1:36 in regulation, but it shouldn't take away from what was a masterful performance by Beal, the best game of his decorated career. Beal dropped a career-high 55 points, one night after setting a career-high of 53 against the Bulls. Amazingly, the Wizards lost both games.

Beal is just the third player in NBA history to score 53 points or more in consecutive games. The other two are Wilt Chamberlain and James Harden.

Just getting the Wizards to overtime in this game was a remarkable feat. Beal scored 22 of the Wizards' final 24 points to force the extra period, which ended on a Troy Brown Jr. missed three.

Maybe the Wizards can bounce back on Wednesday when they are playing the Nets and not a team that is on pace to be one of the best in NBA history. But the net result was a third straight loss, as the Wizards continue to trend in the wrong direction coming out of the All-Star break.

2. Any time the Bucks are the opponent, the biggest question is who will guard Antetokounmpo. Not only is he the MVP, he also presents an extremely unique match-up from a size and speed perspective.

Rookie Rui Hachimura drew that assignment on Monday and didn't do all that bad, considering. He didn't stop Antetokounmpo often, but he was able to slow him on a few occasions and even force some misses and turnovers.

Antetokounmpo ended up with 22 points and 14 rebounds, which is below his usual output. Foul trouble contributed, but he also had to work a little harder for his points.

Antetokounmpo still mixed in some truly incredible plays, of course. Like, in the first quarter when he drove left past Hachimura and finished with a double-clutch reverse layup in traffic, an absurdly athletic play for a guy his size.

But just getting that match-up says something about what the Wizards think of Hachimura's defensive ceiling. They showed some trust in him that he could at least have some level of success in the NBA's best player.

It is always interesting to watch those types of duels when a rookie guards someone of Antetokounmpo's caliber. It's interesting because you know they are facing the most difficult defensive assignment of their lives and there is really only so much preparation that can be done by watching film and reading the scouting report.

3. Hachimura acquitted himself well on defense, considering the match-up. But he had some trouble on the offensive end while guarded by Antetokounmpo, a perennial defensive player of the year candidate. 

We are used to seeing Hachimura get off to hot scoring starts, but he never really got going against the Bucks. It was a rare occasion where he had little impact on the Wizards' offense.

Hachimura finished with 12 points, going 4-for-12 from the field.

4. This game nearly got out of hand in the second half as Milwaukee built a 20-point lead, but Shabazz Napier kept the Wizards in it almost all by himself. He went off for 27 points in the game, 18 of which came in the second half.

Napier had nine points in the third quarter, then 11 in the fourth. He shot 10-for-17 overall for the game and 3-for-7 from three.

Brooks said before the game the coaching staff has discussed putting Napier in the starting lineup over Ish Smith, in part because they like Smith's role in the second unit. Napier's performance against the Bucks further helped his cause.

5. The Wizards had to play the Bucks without two of their best players, including their second-leading scorer, Davis Bertans. He sat out due to right knee soreness, a new injury for him that wasn't revealed until early Monday by a tweet from the team. He is considered day-to-day.

Center Thomas Bryant was also sidelined due to rest in a back-to-back. Since he just came back from rehabbing his right foot, and is still on a minutes restriction, the Wizards decided to hold him out in the second of their two games.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: