The Washington Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls 102-82 on Sunday afternoon. Here are five takeaways from what went down...
Two in a row
After charging into the All-Star break winners of 10 of 14, the Wizards find themselves losers of two straight coming out of it. They fell to the Knicks on Friday night and then the Bulls on the road Sunday afternoon.
Washington played without two starters, as Kristaps Porzingis and Monte Morris were sidelined due to injury. While health has been a key determinant of success for the Wizards this season, they were 6-2 without Porzingis before Sunday's defeat. They badly missed his scoring, as their 82 points were a season-low.
These two consecutive losses, both to teams in their range in the playoff picture, have left the Wizards at 28-32 on the season.
Porzingis, Morris out
The Wizards announced Porzingis would miss this game the day before, as he is dealing with some soreness in his left knee. That may explain why he went cold against the Knicks on Friday following a 19-point first quarter. He spent some time in the locker room early in the second half and returned, but must have been playing through some discomfort.
Morris, meanwhile, was not on the injury report until earlier in the day on Sunday. He has a sore lower back, which is something he's dealt with on and off this season. Morris also left the court to get treatment during Friday's loss. He left the locker room with padding on his lower back and seemed to be favoring it when moving around on the court.
Turnovers a problem
The Bulls have underperformed overall this season, but they still boast one of the league's best defenses. They were ranked seventh in defensive rating entering this game and they recently added the pesky Patrick Beverley to their perimeter front.
The Wizards struggled to protect the ball and it played a major factor in the result of this game. Washington had six turnovers in the first quarter alone and nine by halftime. They had 16 giveaways for the game, which is far too many. Deni Avdija (4), Bradley Beal (3) and Kyle Kuzma (3) were the main contributors, but it was an issue throughout the rotation.
Cold from three
Sometimes things happen that run completely counter to what the numbers would suggest. That's why they play the games, as the saying goes. In this one, the Wizards really struggled from three-point range despite coming into the day hot from the perimeter and despite playing a team in the Bulls that's given up the fourth-most threes in the NBA this year.
And that's where the absence of Porzingis likely came into play. Porzingis is one of the WIzards' best outside shooters, so good that he made five threes in the first quarter on Friday. Not having him certainly didn't help, but it was a rough night overall, as the Wizards shot 6-for-28 (21.4%) from deep.
Wright good again
Though it came in a losing effort, Delon Wright was excellent on the offensive end on Friday against New York, tying a career-high with five threes. He carried that over in this one, once again filling the void for Morris, though this time in the starting lineup and for the full game.
Wright had 14 points and knocked down two threes. It was the fourth time in five games Wright has reached double-figure scoring. The only problem was he had zero assists. That's not ideal for your starting point guard.