The Wizards were outscored 66-46 in the paint, 27-8 on fast break points, and their bench was outscored 42-28 en route to one of their worst losses of the season, a 123-96 beatdown at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Washington kept the game close throughout most of the first quarter thanks to good starts by John Wall and Otto Porter, but the cracks were already beginning to show on the other end, as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell all got off to hot starts of their own.
Late in the quarter, Milwaukee started to exert their will on the game. Greg Monroe and Jason Terry scored a pair of late buckets that got the Bucks started on a 24-7 run that made it pretty clear it wasn’t going to be the Wizards’ night. The Bucks finished the half with 73 points, 44 of them coming in the paint.
The Wizards minimized some of the bleeding in the third quarter, but weren’t able to make a run to make the game competitive either. By the midway point of the fourth quarter, it was pure garbage time as guys like Thon Maker and Miles Plumlee came into get some late buckets as the Wizards were dealt their most lopsided loss of the season.
All of the Bucks’ major offensive threats had big nights at Washington's expense. Antetokounmpo finished with a career-high 39 points on 19 shots. Jabari Parker had 21 points and 8 rebounds. Greg Monroe and Malcolm Brogdon combined to go 12-14 from the field for 29 points.
Here’s what else we noticed in the game:
Turnovers weren’t as big of a problem as they seemed
Washington had 15 turnovers tonight, which believe it or not, is just slightly above their average of 14.2 per game. The real issue tonight wasn’t how much they were turning the ball over, it’s that they weren’t doing a good job of getting back on defense to contest shots in transition. Sure, some of their turnovers came at the top of the key where it would have been almost impossible to get back to slow them down, but there were plenty of times where they just didn’t get back after turnovers and even on rebounds that gave the Bucks a lot of easy points.
Ochefu provides a beacon of hope
Daniel Ochefu had his best outing of the season, with 6 points on 3-4 shooting, 2 rebounds, and made some nice defensive plays in 10 minutes of action in the fourth quarter. He got the extended playing time after Jason Smith hurt his arm trying to block a shot near the start of the fourth quarter.
Considering how much he has struggled at points this season, this was a great step forward. If Smith does have to miss time because of the injury he suffered tonight, hopefully this game will give him the confidence he needs for whatever role he’ll need to fill for the next few games.