Coming off of a 5-game losing streak, the Washington Wizards looked to right the ship against the surging Milwaukee Bucks.
The Wizards lost to the Bucks, 142-129.
Washington got out transition early in this one, with fast-break layups by Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija to open the action. Jordan Poole finally found his stroke, knocking down two of his first three looks, including a deep three over Damian Lillard. The Wizards got out to a 13-5 lead, forcing a timeout from Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin.
That lead was short lived though, with the Bucks responding with their own 11-2 run. The sides traded buckets for the duration of the quarter. Bucks led, 31-27, after twelve minutes of play.
Johnny Davis got the nod to start quarter two, a surprising move by Wes Unseld Jr. Davis defended well, but stood still in the corner on offense like usual, offering very little on that end. Davis would not re-enter the game. His backcourt mate Corey Kispert poured in a couple buckets, taking it to the rack with purpose.
Jordan Poole got hot in the first, and kept that fire going into Q2. At the halfway point, he had tallied 15 points on 6/13 shooting. His fellow guard, Landry Shamet, entered the game with a bang, slamming down a massive dunk followed by an impressive on-the-move three.
The Wizards crawled back from a 14-point deficit to cut the Bucks lead to five at the half. Poole led the Wizards with 15 points, followed by Jones who had 10.
Bobby Portis came out cooking, extending the Bucks lead to 10 just five minutes into the third quarter. The former Wizard hunted Kyle Kuzma on back-to-back possessions, knocked down a couple of mid-range jumpers, and forced a Wes Unseld Jr. timeout.
Tyus Jones’ floater kept the Wizards afloat all night, sinking another one in the face of Brook Lopez. Kuzma then stole Lillard’s outlet pass and slammed it home, cutting the deficit to four.
A pair of threes from Kyle Kuzma along with one from Kispert helped get fans on their feet, trimming the Bucks lead to just 2 entering the final frame.
Deni Avdija began to show his worth early in the 4th, locking down both Portis and Antetokounmpo on back-to-back possessions, cashing in on the other end with transition layups. Then, a Corey Kispert and-1 gave the Wizards their first lead of the game at 108-107.
Despite a terrific offensive effort from the Wizards, their lack of defense once again led to their demise. Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in 42 points and 13 rebounds en route to a high-scoring Bucks win in Washington, D.C.
Kuzma: 22 pts (10/15 FG) / 13 ast (career-high) / 3 reb
Poole: 30 pts (11/26 FG) / -26 +/-
Antetokounmpo: 42 pts / 13 reb / 8 ast