The Washington Wizards (33-41) beat the San Antonio Spurs (19-55), 136-124.
With the Spurs in hot pursuit of French center Victor Wembanyama and the Wizards not disinterested in the idea of drafting him themselves, the game felt incredibly lethargic and low-stakes.
The Spurs surprisingly hung with the Wizards for the first three quarters, a fact that’s pretty damning for a team that seems to want to make the play-in so bad.
The confusing part for the Wizards was that if they weren’t particularly interested in winning the game, why did they choose not to put in guys like Johnny Davis, Quenton Jackson and Xavier Cooks for more reps? The team played like they cared little about winning the game, yet head coach Wes Unseld Jr. kept guys like Delon Wright and Daniel Gafford in for most of the game.
Davis did log 15 minutes, the fourth-highest mark of his young career, but Unseld did not even put him in when the Wizards were winning by double digits late in the fourth quarter. Jackson and Cooks, meanwhile, both did not enter the game at any point.
Davis may have had a rough offensive showing, but he played tenacious defense throughout the game. Though Davis found himself in foul trouble fairly quickly, it’s hard to understand how keeping a top-10 pick on the bench during a double-digit win over a tanking team serves any benefit.
The Wizards inched closer to the play-in with the win tonight, but with just eight games left to play, making up ground on the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls seems like a steep ask.