The Wizards win streak ends at eight with a 146-143 overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs. This was a wildly entertaining game replete with offensive pyrotechnics, but few threes, clutch plays and clutch bungles, weird calls from the refs, and the requisite baffling lineup decisions from Scott Brooks.
The game was close from start to finish. Washington’s biggest lead was 9 (early in the fourth quarter); San Antonio’s was 7 (in the 2nd quarter). The longest scoring run from either team was 11 points. The game was tied 20 times and there were 31 lead changes. And it was way more fun to watch than those numbers convey.
The ineffective defense from both teams was not from lack of effort. They tried, and they failed. In many ways, this reminded me of a 1980s game. Both teams attacked off the dribble and hit midrange jumpers. In an overtime game with 103 field goal attempts, the Spurs were just 6-17 from three-point range. With 120 field goal attempts, the Wizards were 6-20 from deep.
The teams produced outrageous offensive efficiency by avoiding turnovers (8 for the Wizards and 6 for the Spurs), making their two-point shots, and grabbing offensive rebounds (18 for the Wizards, 13 for the Spurs).
The biggest thing that kept it from feeling like a true throwback game: no postups for seven-footers.
Beal had a terrific scoring night — 45 points without a made three and just 5 free throws. It was impressive despite his .541 effective field goal percentage being below what the Wizards and Spurs shot for the game (.560 and .563). Beal’s zero turnovers made this an efficient night — just 13 zero-point possessions.
He got some help from Alex Len (17 points, 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes), and Rui Hachimura (13 points on 7 shots in 32 minutes) and some timely threes from Davis Bertans.
The Spurs had a good game plan for Bertans, which seemed primarily to be instructions for his defender not to help.
The story of the first half was Anthony Gill. Pressed into action because of foul trouble for Len and Daniel Gafford, Gill went 6-7 from the floor (including a 3) for 13 points, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block in just 14 minutes. Naturally, after playing so well, Brooks started him in the second half and gave him lots of minutes to build on...umm...no, of course not. Gill inexplicably did not take the floor again.
No, I don’t know why either.
Westbrook had another triple-double but in truth, it was a crappy game. He tallied 22 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists, but he also shot just 9-26 from the floor and committed 6 turnovers. In a game where both teams had efgs above 56%, Westbrook shot 34.6%. The Spurs had 6 turnovers for the game. So did Westbrook.
He’s been on a tear of quality play for the past several weeks, but the past few games have been subpar. Tonight, Westbrook’s offensive inefficiency likely cost the Wizards their 9th straight win.
Washington has a chance to start a new winning streak Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).
I’ve simplified them a bit. While the factors are usually presented as percentages, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.
PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.
Four Factors: Spurs at Wizards
Player Production Average
Below are Player Production Average (PPA) results from last night’s game. PPA is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, play-making, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls). PPA is a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense and role. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.
The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.
POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.
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