Bradley Beal had 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Wizards’ win streak alive as they fell to the 76ers 115-102 on Tuesday night.
It was clear early on the Wizards didn’t have the same juice they’ve had the last few games. Philadelphia started the game on an 18-7 run, and led by 20 at one point in the first quarter.
Much like the first meeting, the Wizards could not stop the 76ers from making 3-pointers. Philadelphia made 14 of their 28 attempts from deep, as Robert Covington, Dario Saric, J.J. Redick, and Joel Embiid each hit at least two. The Wizards couldn’t keep up. Beal was 5-for-12 from deep, but the rest of the team combined to shoot 2-for-15, including an 0-for-6 night from Kelly Oubre Jr.
Despite their outside woes, Washington fought hard to cut the deficit to single-digits at several points throughout the game, but each time they got close, the 76ers responded with a run of their own to re-establish a buffer. Philadelphia finally put the game away with a 10-3 run in the closing minutes to seal the win and take a 2-1 advantage in the season series.
The Wizards have to ride it out with Tomas
Satoransky easily had his worst game as a starter this season. His numbers weren’t great, which isn’t unusual because his value shows up more in other areas, but the optics weren’t great either. He struggled against the 76ers’ pressure, made some early mistakes defensively, and was a big part of why the team got off to a bad start.
Still, it was a bit surprising to see Scott Brooks go with no-point guard lineup to close the game, rather than give Satoransky a chance to redeem himself late. Considering Satoransky played less than three fourth quarter minutes on Monday against the Pacers, it seems clear there’s still something keeping Brooks from fully trusting Satoransky in these spots.
Washington still has several more weeks left before John Wall returns to the lineup, and relying on Beal to be the team’s best shooter and only ballhandler in late-game situations is not a recipe for success. Satoransky is far from perfect, but Brooks has to give him chances to make a play late in games if Washington is going to keep things up.
Ian Mahinmi continues to grab more playing time
Mahinmi’s playing time has been on the rise during the last week. He played 24 minutes in Monday’s win over Indiana and 23 in this one, for good reason. He didn’t miss a shot in either game and was 9-for-10 from the foul line over this back-to-back.
He’s played more minutes than Marcin Gortat in each of the last two games, which is certainly an interesting development coupled with the recent report that the Wizards have been exploring a Gortat trade before Thursday’s deadline. We’ll see how that plays into Washington’s decisions at the deadline.
- The Wizards briefly had the third-best record in the Eastern Conference after the Cavaliers lost on the road to the Magic earlier in the evening. However, with the loss Washington fell back to fourth because Cleveland has the tiebreaker by virtue of winning both of their head-to-head meetings this season.
- Jodie Meeks’ last chance to woo teams before the trade deadline didn’t go well. He played less than five minutes and was 0-for-3 from the field, including this airball:
Not a good look for a 3PT specialist who just requested a trade. #WizSixers pic.twitter.com/nBxHy0PKuU— Ledell's Place (@LedellsPlace) February 7, 2018
- Bradley Beal is just a splendid basketball player. After a rough first quarter, he kept what seemed destined to be a schedule loss blowout a respectable game. Over the last six games, he’s averaging 22.5 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from deep. He’s a keeper.
Next up: The Wizards host the Celtics on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET as they play their first game after the trade deadline.