Utah's top-ranked scoring defense snapped the Wizards' 23 game streak of scoring at least 100 points and handed them their second-straight loss, 102-92 on Sunday evening.
The Jazz struggled with protecting the ball early in the game, which gave the Wizards some easy points in transition. Washington used a 9-0 run to take an early lead until Bradley Beal picked up two quick fouls that forced Scott Brooks to sub him out. Utah responded with a 6-0 run to get back in the game as the teams played to a draw through the first quarter.
The Jazz then opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run as the Wizards failed to score in the first four minutes of the quarter. John Wall then came off the bench, igniting a 7-0 run in 40 seconds that cut Utah's lead to 1.
The momentum was short-lived, as Beal picked up his third foul with 5 minutes left to go in the half. Washington got anxious looking for shots and struggled to get any to fall the rest of the half as the Jazz opened the lead back up. Even though Utah turned the ball over 9 times in the second quarter, they attempted 17 more free throws than the Wizards, which allowed them to take a ten point lead to halftime.
Beal finally got going in the third quarter, scoring his first bucket with 8:56 left in the quarter. Washington continued to struggle from the field, however, as Utah ran out to a 70-46 lead midway through the third as Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward exerted their will on the game. Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic countered with a run of their own to get the game back down to a more manageable 13 point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, highlighted by Bogdanovic’s long three right before the buzzer.
Washington's defense stepped up as the Jazz continued to turn the ball over. Led by Beal, who scored 22 points and had 4 assists in the second half, they were able to make it close late. But as soon as the Wizards got it to within six, Gordon Hayward responded by scoring on back-to-back possessions to put the game away.
Wizards struggle on the glass again
For the second straight game, the Wizards struggled on the glass. After getting outrebounded on Friday against the 76ers, Washington got outrebounded by 25 against Utah. Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter were the only players who grabbed more than 3 rebounds in this one.
Bradley Beal’s foul trouble was a key part of the Wizards’ struggles for most of the night, but it wasn’t the only foul issue the team ran into. Markieff Morris picked up a technical foul after he fouled out, and John Wall picked up his 10th technical foul of the season. If he picks up six more between now and the end of the regular season, he’ll be suspended for a game.