The Washington Wizards couldn’t keep up with the East’s top seed on Sunday, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in a 117-111 contest. With Kyle Kuzma missing due to a knee injury, the Wiz had to lean far too heavily on Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, with the pair putting up an eye-popping 61 shots between them.
Kristaps Porzingis near single-handedly kept the Wizards afloat in the first quarter. The Unicorn scored 18 of the team’s 28 points using a bevy of different moves in his arsenal. His play kept the game from getting out of hand early as the Wiz trailed, 34-28.
make that 18 points in Q1 for @kporzee pic.twitter.com/BNWcAhQEcj— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 6, 2023
KP cooled off in the second quarter, matching the rest of the Wizards offense. Washington’s deficit grew up to 16 as they couldn’t buy a bucket throughout most of the first half. They missed 14 of their 17 attempts from the three-point line and shot a putrid 37.5 percent.
Porzingis, who got shut out in the second after his hot start, led all scorers with 18. Milwaukee was able to spread the wealth with six different players scoring at least 7 points to take a 59-48 lead at the half.
The third quarter saw the offense flow much better, with a balanced scoring attack allowing the Wiz to creep back in it and cut the lead at the end of the third, 83-80.
Bradley Beal tried to take over in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 33 points on the night to lead the Wiz. It just wasn’t enough to overcome Milwaukee’s hot shooting.
Washington limited Giannis Antetokounmpo into taking just two shots in the final 12. Instead, the Bucks got timely buckets from Jevon Carter, Grayson Allen, and Joe Ingles that stymied any momentum the Wizards built to flip the script.
The loss keeps the team firmly entrenched in the 10th seed for the final play-in slot, 1.5 games behind Toronto and ahead of Indiana. The Wizards get a golden opportunity to gain ground against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.