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Wizards vs. Nuggets final score: Washington can’t overcome early struggles in 108-100 loss to Denver

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NBA: Denver Nuggets at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards couldn’t score early and they didn’t score late in their 108-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

For the second straight game, Washington stumbled out of the gates. They only scored 16 points in the first quarter while shooting 33 percent from the field. They found their offensive rhythm in the second quarter, but didn’t do anything to slow down the Nuggets on the other end. Denver progressively added to their lead and took a 14-point lead early in the third quarter.

Bradley Beal and Markieff Morris got hot to get the Wizards back in the game, and even helped Washington take the lead for a short time late in the third, but it didn’t last.

Jamal Murray and Will Barton, who combined to score 48 points on the night, hit big threes in the closing minutes as Washington’s offense sputtered. Denver finished the game on a 16-8 run to hand Washington their second-straight loss and drop Washington to 1.5 games behind the fifth-place Pacers.

Takeaways

Everybody is giving the ball away

The Wizards and Nuggets were pretty similar in terms of shooting percentages, getting to the free throw line, and rebounding. The big difference came in ball protection. The Wizards committed 17 turnovers while the Nuggets only turned it over 10 times. Eight different Wizards had at least one turnover.

The Nuggets didn’t put much pressure on the guys bringing it up the court, but they swarmed the guys trying to make something off that initial action, which led to some feast-or-famine situations for Bradley Beal and Ian Mahinmi. They both had some clean looks scoring the ball but also turned the ball over four times apiece.

Denver’s size created some of the issues. The Wizards couldn’t go small because of Nikola Jokic’s presence in the paint and that led Scott Brooks to go with the dreaded Zero PG lineups at points late in the game.

Washington has now committed at least 14 turnovers in each of the last four games nine of the last eleven

Game Notes

  • Markieff Morris started the game wearing a headband and it did not work out for him. He started the game 0-for-4 from the field and committed a turnover during his first stint. He took it off after the first stint and went 6-for-11 from the field the rest of the way.
  • Kelly Oubre put together another solid scoring performance, with 15 points on 11 shots. However, he finished a team-worst -12 in plus/minus thanks to several defensive miscues throughout the game, including five personal fouls in just 27 minutes. His defense is trending downward at a less than ideal time.
  • It’s a shame the Wizards couldn’t pick up a win on the night the team retired Phil Chenier’s jersey. His jersey highlight ceremony was easily the highlight of the night.

Next up: The Wizards host the Knicks on Sunday night at 6 p.m.