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After wild 48 hours, Wizards lose big to Bucks with historically bad defense

After wild 48 hours, Wizards lose big to Bucks with historically bad defense

The Washington Wizards lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 148-129 on Wednesday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. The NBA schedule must go on, even if a team is still processing the news that their star point guard ruptured his Achilles in an accident at his home and even if within an hour of tip-off, their highest-paid player was sent out the door in a trade. The timing for the Wizards’ game against the Bucks on Wednesday could not have been weirder.

But they played the game and the result was expected. The Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the NBA’s best record, pulverized the Wizards, showing no sympathy for their current state.

The loss was the Wizards’ fifth in their last seven games. They dropped to 10 games under .500 as they look ahead to Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

The Wizards were already down John Wall, Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard. The trade of Otto Porter Jr. technically left them without two more, with Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker not yet officially on the team.

It is hard to put up a fight against a juggernaut like the Bucks missing five key players. Though the Wizards lost by 15 and trailed by as many as 25, they cut the deficit to eight with 10 minutes left in the fourth.

That was about the best they could have expected on a night like this.

2. As wild as the past two days have been for the Wizards, there was no excuse for how terrible their defense was in Milwaukee. They came out and allowed a whopping 50 points in the first quarter.

Fifty points! That’s a half, not a quarter. In fact, it was just one off the NBA record for points in the opening frame. And it was one off the record for most points ever scored against a Wizards/Bullets team in any quarter.

The Bucks scored 35 more in the second quarter, giving them 85 at halftime. Only twice in franchise history has Washington given up more in a half and both times were in 1968.

We’re not done. The Bucks scored 148 points total in the game. That was the most allowed by a Wizards/Bullets team in a non-overtime game since 1990.

Amazingly, it could have been so much worse. The Bucks had 141 points with 6:03 to go in the fourth. But things slowed down soon after once they took out Giannis Anetokounmpo (43 points) and their starters.

3. There were some positives in this game for the Wizards on the offensive end. Bradley Beal, who had 30 points and shot 54.5 percent, made his 1,000th career three. He became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 triples, passing Klay Thompson.

The next milestone to watch for Beal should be reached on Friday against the Cavs. Beal is now only four points from passing Gilbert Arenas on the Wizards/Bullets all-time scoring list.

4. Speaking of threes, both teams hit a ton of them. The Wizards went 17-for-37 (45.9%) from long range, coming within two of the franchise record they set earlier this season.

The Bucks, though, were even better. They went 19-for-30 (63.%) from the perimeter. It was the fifth time in the past six games the Wizards have allowed 15 threes or more.

5. The Wizards have had major problems rebounding the ball this season, in part because Howard has been hurt. But through it all, one crazy stat had emerged. Before this game, they were a perfect 12-0 in games where they out-rebounded their opponents.

It was a stat head coach Scott Brooks and others in the organization were well-aware off. But now it is no more. The Wizards lost this game despite outdoing the Bucks on the glass, 39-35. The streak may be over, but clearly rebounding is important and the Wizards’ inability to grab boards has hurt them.

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Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited return of Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is getting closer, as he participated in a full practice on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury back on Dec. 16.

Hachimura, 21, had no limitations, per head coach Scott Brooks. He went through all of their drills and full-contact scrimmages.

"He did well. He went through everything. That's another good day," Brooks said.

The final hurdle for Hachimura at this point involves getting into game shape. His conditioning is not close to midseason form after missing seven weeks of games.

Brooks said Hachimura definitely will not return before the end of the team's current road trip, which ends on Tuesday in Milwaukee. After that, however, it could be a matter of days.

 

The Wizards will return to Washington after playing the Bucks for a six-game homestand. It seems likely he is back by the time it's over.

The ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hachimura has had a strong rookie season so far, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. The Wizards have gone 7-12 since he's been out.

Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga. He required a minor procedure and was away from the team for weeks before slowly working his way back to basketball activities and then participating in practices.

Saturday was a big step in his recovery and it now puts the finish line into focus.

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.

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Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

When the Maryland Terps faced Indiana for the first time in Big Ten play this season in early January, one famous former Hoosiers player sat in the stands cheering his team on. Wizards center Thomas Bryant allowed NBC Sports Washington to follow him throughout the game, where he showed his trademark enthusiasm for his former team. 

"It feels great," he said when asked by NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes how it feels to be watching his alma mater. "It seems like yesterday I was just playing against Maryland myself."

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Unfortunately for Bryant, the Hoosiers lost that game. But they'll get another shot at the Terps on Sunday. 

But Bryant, who will have his own game to suit up for when the Wizards take on the Hawks, won't be there to cheer. But when he did have the chance - he was vocal. After all, he told Hughes, that's just the type of fan and teammate he is.

"No matter if I'm out there or not, I'm going to be on my brother's side," he said.

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.

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