The Washington Wizards are playing basketball games again after a nearly two-week absence due to a coronavirus outbreak on the team. Unfortunately, they were shorthanded in a 121-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night.
The game was actually more even than the final score indicated. For much of the first three and a half quarters or so, neither team led by more than 10 points and Washington’s deficit was as little as five points early in the fourth quarter. But the Spurs made a late run with some killer threes by Patty Mills and Washington just didn’t have the depth or energy to keep this close. After all the Wizards were still missing many key players who are still getting well, presumably from COVID-19.
Bradley Beal led Washington with 31 points and Russell Westbrook came back in this game where he scored 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. This was also Beal’s 34th consecutive game where he scored at least 20 points.
While Beal was more-or-less his usual scoring self, Westbrook shot 3-of-11 from the field and still isn’t in top form after missing nearly three weeks due to a quad injury. Alex Len also made his Washington debut, scoring 11 points in 20 minutes off the bench and had a nice dunk too.
I was impressed by the Spurs’ even distribution of scoring in this contest. Mills led their scorers with 21 points and seven players scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Keldon Johnson caught my eye the most of San Antonio’s starters. He scored 13 points and had 4 rebounds in the contest and looks like the next draft steal to come from their franchise.
Washington is now 3-9 this season and things don’t look good at all. If they didn’t start the season so poorly, I could have called this game a “moral victory.” And in many ways, it was. However, with such a poor start this season and many close losses, this game wasn’t one they could afford to lose, unless they are already planning for the 2021 Draft Lottery. But I digress.
The Wizards’ next game is on Tuesday, Jan. 26 against the Houston Rockets. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET.