This game kicked off with the Washington Wizards in control for much of the 1st half. The Wizards would go up by as much as 9 points thanks in part to due to the play of Thomas Bryant, Troy Brown Jr. and the re-emergence of Rui Hachimura.
Despite the Wizards maintaining the lead early on, they could not really figure out how to stop the New Orleans Pelicans on this night. Pelicans shot 47 percent including 34 percent from three-point.
Pelicans started the second half slowly building a lead going to the basket early and often. The Pelicans finished with a total of 52 points in the paint. Ouch! The Wizards struggled to stop dribble penetration throughout the night and it lead to a lot of easy baskets for the Pels. The Pelicans lead ballooned to 16 points early in the 4th and that was all she wrote for this one folks.
Wizards made a nice little run towards the end of the fourth quarter to cut it to seven but they simply could not get the stops that they needed resulting in them losing their fifth straight in the bubble, 118-107.
Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown Jr. Continues To Perform Well
Thomas Bryant added 14 points in the first half, 22 points total to go with eight rebounds. He has been really incredible in this season’s re-start and tonight was no exception. Bryant has really taken advantage of big men cheating off of him around the perimeter and has made them pay with efficient outside shooting.
Troy Brown Jr. has also been a consistent contributor in the bubble. He pulled together a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds). His play along with Bryant’s has been one of the biggest bright spots in the Bubble.
Rui’s Play was Encouraging
Rui kicked things off with 15 points in the first half after struggling for much of the past few games. He did all of this on 7 of 8 shooting. He looked a lot more decisive, making quick moves to the basket and even hit an early three-pointer as his first field goal.
Rui finished the game with a team-high 23 points.
Wizards are officially eliminated from playoff contention
With this loss, the Wizards are officially eliminated from the playoffs. It will be interesting to see who plays and how rotations are handled for these last 3 games in the Bubble.