Washington was swept 4-0 by Orlando in their regular season matches last season and it doesn’t appear to be much different this year.
The big stats of the day? Free throws and the fourth quarter.
The Wizards went 15-of-28 from the line while Orlando was 23-of-29. While those margins weren’t enough to change the game outcome, it still played a major part nevertheless. In addition, the Wizards had a bad fourth quarter, letting the Magic win, 39-28 in that period. Yes, the Wizards started the fourth quarter with a lead!
As you might have expected, the Wizards’ starting backcourt of Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook continued to put up big numbers. Beal scored 39 points on 14-of-24 shooting and looked like he was in midseason form.
As for Westbrook, he had his second triple double of the season, scoring 15 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and dishing 12 assists. However, he also shot 6-of-19 from the field and missed all four of his three-point attempts. Not good.
Here's Westbrook's shot plot tonight.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 27, 2020
I think there were some bright spots despite the loss. Raul Neto scored 11 points in just nine minutes in the first half which helped keep Washington in it or this game may have been a straight up blow out. And yet ... he didn’t play in the third quarter and Head Coach Scott Brooks had some interesting responses as to why....
No Raul Neto minutes in the third quarter after he had a perfect first half is criminal.— Troy Haliburton (+/-) (@TroyHalibur) December 27, 2020
This is absurd but par for the course for Brooks. He always wastes a month figuring out the obvious and costs them wins as a result.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) December 27, 2020
Far cry from Eddie Jordan once saying “harvest those nuts”. https://t.co/jhYPVi9FhB
Thomas Bryant scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. But, he dunked on the wrong hoop.......
Thomas Bryant really dunked on the wrong basket pic.twitter.com/b5AojbpZjZ— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 27, 2020
And Deni Avdija has quietly kept his shooting percentage at 100 percent (2-of-2 for 5 points) while also not trying to do too much. Oh wait, he got in early foul trouble. But at least he kept his shooting percentage up!
As for the Magic, Nikola Vucevic led their scorers with 22 points, 17 rebounds and 3 assists. Markelle Fultz added 21 more.
It’s frustrating to see the Wizards lose again where there are some positives, but their losses are happening in very similar ways. They blew fourth quarter leads and let the opposition do whatever they want....
The Wizards will be back in action tomorrow night for another match. against Orlando at 7 p.m. ET. The Wizards’ chances of winning tomorrow? Not good.
See you tomorrow.