The Washington Wizards lost 123-98 to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, on a game where they were missing Kyle Kuzma due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Kuzma’s absence didn’t help of course, but it wasn’t like the Wizards were destined to win the game with him either. The Jazz had more star power than the Wizards do in their deepest positional area: the frontcourt. Rudy Gobert had 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting along with 11 rebounds tonight. Hassan Whiteside came off the bench and added 18 points in just 19 minutes. Their star guard Donovan Mitchell led the way with 28 points.
If you watched just the first half of the game, you may come out of it feeling confident. Washington led 51-50 and they held Utah to just 40.4 percent shooting.
But third quarters have been an Achilles heel this season, as the Jazz shot 56.5 percent from the field and held the Wizards to just 36.4 percent shooting themselves and without a single made three. Things got uglier in the fourth quarter as the Jazz outscored Washington 41-29 to get their seventh straight victory.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 21 points and Daniel Gafford had a strong night statistically with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting and 11 rebounds. But for both Beal and Gafford, Mitchell and Gobert, their Utah counterparts just did better tonight.
Washington’s next game is on Monday when they head on the road for a Western Conference road trip. They will face the Denver Nuggets at 9 p.m. ET.