On a night when the Wizards set a season-high for points in a quarter, they still couldn’t find a way to change history. The Wizards fell to the Spurs for the 19th straight time in San Antonio in a 132-119 defeat on Sunday night.
Washington opened the game with an emphatic dunk for the second straight game, prompting a swift timeout from Gregg Popovich. After they regrouped, they settled down and established LaMarcus Aldridge on the low block to get the Wizards’ shorthanded front line in early foul trouble. Bryant and Jeff Green wisely avoided the early whistles, but couldn’t stop him from connecting on 5 of his 8 shots in the first quarter.
It was a slow game for most of the first quarter until the Spurs spread things out when they brought in the reserves. Patty Mills his back-to-back threes in transition, then Marco Belinelli added a three of his own to put the Spurs up by double-digits at the end of the first quarter.
Scott Brooks responded with a three-guard lineup of Chasson Randle, Troy Brown Jr., and Tomas Satoransky to open the second quarter. The playmaking-heavy lineup ran circles around the Spurs as they went on a 14-4 run to open the quarter. The Spurs adjusted to get their own offense going, but the Wizards kept humming as well. Washington scored a season-high 43 points in the quarter.
Highlights from our season-high 43-point 2nd quarter! #WizSpurs | #DCFamily pic.twitter.com/KvdxzxFCMD— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 28, 2019
The only thing that could stop the Wizards was the halftime break, and it did a great job. Washington only scored 4 points in the first six minutes of the second half while the Spurs jumped back out to a 10-point lead. Tomas Satoransky, who finished 1 rebound and 2 assists short of a triple-double, led a charge to get the Wizards back within 4, but Washington got no closer the rest of the way.
The Wizards’ offense found a rhythm again in the fourth quarter, but their defense couldn’t string together enough stops for it to matter. They never got the deficit back to single digits and wound up waving the white flag with four minutes left. San Antonio finished the game shooting 57 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep as five Spurs scored at least 15 points.
The Wizards’ defense fell back to earth
The Wizards’ defense has been pretty good this month. They’ve got the sixth-best defensive rating in the league in January, but it wasn’t there in this one. Washington was a little more shorthanded than usual with Sam Dekker and Ian Mahinmi out, but it’s not like they’re the defensive linchpins.
This was the 13th game this season where they’ve allowed a team to shoot over 50 percent from the field, the tenth game they’ve allowed a team to shoot over 45 percent from deep, and the sixth time they’ve let a team score over 130 points in regulation.
Satoransky gives the Spurs a dose of their own medicine
Tomas Satoransky idolized Manu Ginobili growing up, so it’s no surprise he wanted to put on a good show in front of his old team. Remarkably, the Wizards were a +1 in the 36:45 he was on the floor, and a -14 in the 11:15 he wasn’t. He dazzled all night with 21 points, 8 assists, and 9 rebounds. You could tell this game meant something extra with the extra sauce he was putting on everything tonight.
Tomas Satoransky put Davis Bertans on the floor pic.twitter.com/zzBbMkmMJt— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) January 28, 2019
Next up: The Wizards will kick off a back-to-back on Tuesday in Cleveland against the Cavaliers at 7 pm.