The Washington Wizards continued their west coast road trip tonight at Salt Lake City. They had a strong second quarter to take a 66-60 lead to halftime on a Kispert half-court buzzer-beater three, but came back lackluster from the locker-room to take a 24-33 semi-beating in the third quarter.
A couple interesting moments:
- Jordan Goodwin went for a poster dunk in the first half, but missed the rim. He then stayed in the opponent’s half-court and luckily got an uncontested dunk in the next possession after a Jazz turnover.
- Wizards’ favorite nemesis Kelly Olynyk together with Colin Sexton cheered hard from the bench together with the Jazz fans in attendance as Anthony Gill missed his first free throw with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. Unfortunately, he made the second, so the fans didn’t get a Christmas gift.
- Deni Avdija, who didn’t suit up, exchanged some friendly words after the game with Eurobasket opponent Lauri Markannen.
- Kyle Kuzma spoke to Jazz coach, Will Hardy, in confidence, also after the game was over. What were they saying?
- Beal had a very quiet first quarter, scoring only 2 points, avoiding the ball, and letting his “Big 3” partner Kyle Kuzma take over (not very successfully). In the second quarter, Beal rightfully took over and scored 14 more points. He finished the game with 30 with 20 shots, quite good, especially from mid-range (although he was 0-from-3 from deep). The Wizards were actually +4 with Beal on the floor.
- Hachimura continued on his return from ankle injury to display his tunnel vision.
- Taj Gibson played another NBA game.
- Will Barton played (for some reason) another NBA game. He was -20 in just 14 minutes. His agent must be fielding calls to Euroleague and Eurocup teams as you read this.
The Wizards are now 12-21 and have improved (yes) to the 5th worst record in the league (tied with the Magic). With a little more effort they can squeeze to the bottom 4. As any Wizards fan will tell you, Wemby is perhaps our only chance to relevance in the next 10 years.
Here are the highlights: