Here's a roundup of reaction to the Wizards' 96-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Be sure to check out our StoryStream and these postgame interviews with John Wall, Chris Singleton, Martell Webster and Randy Wittman.
The Wizards (11-35) have now lost 13 consecutive games in San Antonio, a string of defeats that dates back to Dec. 11, 1999 - before any player on the current roster entered the league. They didn't help their cause in the first half, scoring a season-low 26 points and shooting 26.2 percent from the field. They also set a season-low with nine points in the second quarter, creating a deficit so large that they scored 60 points in the second half and still lost by double digits.
Washington came out extremely flat; often raising the question about whether the team knew the object was to score as frequently as possibly. On the other end of the court, the Spurs moved the ball with ease, showing off with effortless cuts, precise passing and accurate shooting. Not much analysis has to be done about why a team that is 11-34 would struggle so much against the one with the NBA's best record (37-11), but even by those standards it was quite painful to watch what took place in the first half. The Spurs opened up a 51-26 lead, with Washington scoring NINE points in an abysmal 2nd quarter.
Chris Singleton. Randy Wittman finally let the young wing out of the doghouse, and he played like a man possessed. Singleton helped the Wizards (who trailed by as many as 27 points) get within six points of the Spurs midway through the fourth quarter. He finished with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting, to go with four rebounds, three steals, one assist, and a team-high plus/minus of plus-16.
Washington's best players on the evening came off the bench in Tervor Ariza, Kevin Seraphin and Chris Singleton. All three of them were in double-digits on the plus side of the plus/minus scale and both Ariza and Singleton scored in the double-figures. Too many players were minuses though and the team didn't convert enough of the Spurs' turnovers into points.
Singleton's opportunity finally came in San Antonio, where the Spurs were whipping the Wizards and Wittman was desperately in need of lift for his lifeless team, especially with high-energy but often-injured forward Trevor Booker out again with a sore left wrist. With Tim Duncan out with a sprained left knee and sprained right ankle and the Spurs going to a smaller lineup, Singleton entered the game with 77 seconds left in the first half and rthe Wizards already trailing 48-24. He finished out the half and was called on again with the Wizards trailing 64-37.
The first half was one to forget for the Wizards as they shot 26% from the field and scored just 26 points. As John Wall said in his postgame media session, it seemed as if the basket had a lid on it for much of the half. The Wizards could not find any rhythm to their offense and could not get anything to fall.
During the second half of the loss to the Spurs, the Wizards looked more like the team that went on a run of seven wins in ten games last month. The movement off the ball was better. The play was unselfish and the Wizards only allowed the Spurs two points off 7 second half turnovers.
The San Antonio Spurs nearly blew a 51-26 halftime lead to the Washington Wizards, hanging on for the 96-86 victory at the AT&T Center on Saturday night. It was their tenth consecutive victory, their eighteenth in a row at home. But the narrative of the game itself ends there and picks up around the four-minute mark of the second quarter, when Martell Webster crashed into Tim Duncan's left knee and sent the 36-year-old crashing to the floor around the free-throw line of his own basket.
The details of the Spurs 10th straight victory - dominant first half, flat second half - seemed inconsequential in light of the sprained right ankle and left knee Tim Duncan suffered late in the second quarter. Duncan apparently walked out of the AT&T Center under his own power, but the full extent of the injury has yet to be announced. Until then, the Spurs (38-11) will be keeping their fingers crossed as they prepare to embark on their annual Rodeo Road trip.
Yet despite losing their All-Star, the Spurs maintained composure for the win. San Antonio held Washington to nine points in the second quarter and 26 points for a half both opponent season lows.