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Wizards at Spurs recap: Washington earns first winning streak of the season

The Wizards hadn’t won consecutive games in 333 days

The Washington Wizards entered San Antonio on a high note, defeating the Detroit Pistons a few days prior. Brian Keefe and company seeked their first win streak of the season.

The Spurs were surging coming into this matchup, defeating beating the Trailblazers and Timberwolves on consecutive nights. Greg Popovic’s squad won in comeback fashion last week in Washington and hoped for a similar result on Monday.

Wizards interim head coach Brian Keefe, who was a video coordinator in San Antonio during the 2006-07 season, returned to his old stomping grounds in search of his second win as a head coach.

The Wizards won the contest, 118-113, improving to 9-37 on the season.

First Quarter

Monday’s tilt began quite slow, with each side missing its first couple of shots. None other than Victor Wembanyama started the scoring with a two-handed dunk. The Wiz answered quickly though with a Tyus Jones floater to even things up.

Daniel Gafford did his best to contain Wemby on the defensive end but gave the rookie fits offensively. Gaff used his strength to corral rebounds and dunk home some second-chance points.

After a back-and-forth nine minutes, the Spurs turned up the defensive intensity and forced several turnovers. Those unforced errors were parlayed into points for San Antonio, who ended the quarter on a 16-6 run to lead by ten.

Second Quarter

The Wizards needed a hot start to ensure this one didn’t slip away, and they got just that. The bench unit, led by Marvin Bagley III and Corey Kispert, inherited a 14-point deficit and cut it to just five before a Spurs timeout. Bagley’s presence down low has been a revelation ever since joining the Wizards, averaging double-digit rebounds over his last couple of games.

The run didn’t stop when the starters returned, forcing turnovers and making San Antonio pay in transition. The deficit was trimmed to just one before back-to-back threes from Devin Vassell and Cedi Osman.

A Kyle Kuzma buzzer-beater put the Wizards down 58-54 entering the break.

Third Quarter

After shooting 1-5 in the first half, Jordan poole began the second stanza making a pair of field goals. Gafford and Wembanyama traded buckets and blocks as the bigs took center stage.

Washington’s deficit hovered around the 3-6 point range before San Antonio started cashing in from deep. Cedi Osman sunk another three to grow the lead to nine with two minutes remaining in the quarter, forcing a Brian Keefe timeout.

The Wizards responded late, with Bilal Coulibaly draining a three to cut the deficit to four. Washington entered the final frame with some ground to make up, trailing 93-87.

Fourth Quarter

Washington entered the fourth down by six points and struggled to get over that hump. Every time the Wizards felt like they climbed back, San Antonio had an answer, keeping them at arms length.

A Kyle Kuzma 4-0 run with 4:53 remaining trimmed Washington’s deficit to just 3, trailing 107-104. After a slow start, Kuz came alive late as he’s done all season, attempting to put the Wizards on his back.

The Wizards offense came alive late, scoring on four-straight offensive possessions. Tyus Jones knocked down two clutch jumpers, Jordan Poole plucked away a steal and Bilal Coulibaly drained a clutch three.

With time winding down in a 3-point game, Daniel Gafford corralled a missed shot and slammed it home, putting the exclamation point on a Wizards win.

Stats

Kuzma: 18 PTS, 11 REB

Gafford: 16 PTS, 13 REB

Jones: 15 PTS, 9 AST

Wembanyama: 22 PTS, 11 REB

Vassell: 24 PTS, 5 REB