Without the services of Bradley Beal, the Washington Wizards ventured on a three-game road trip at a crux in their season. After already dropping two consecutive games in the prior week, the Wizards could ill afford to go winless another week with April’s playoffs looking around the corner. Unfortunately for Washington, they couldn’t find the urgency as they took a huge step backward in their postseason quest. The AFRO recaps the week that was for the Washington Wizards.
Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) gets a round a pick set by forward Markieff Morris (5) on Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
March 8: Lillard Dominates in Trailblazers’ 116-109 Defeat of Wizards
The Wizards opened their week with a road trip to Portland to face one of the hottest players in the league in Damian Lillard and the rest of the Trailblazers on March 8. Guards John Wall (20 points) and Ramon Sessions (21 points) traded punches with Lillard, but it was the Portland guard who had the last laugh as his 41 points and 11 assists pushed Portland to a 116-109 win. Wall’s three pointer gave the team a 104-102 lead late in the game with 15 seconds left, but Lillard would later tie it up before putting the Wizards away in overtime.
March 11: Wizards Fizzle on Defense, Giving Utah Jazz 114-93 Blow-out Win
Washington returned to action on March 11 when they visited the Utah Jazz, but a lack of energy resulted in a 114-93 loss. Utah led by as much as 22 points and shot 56 percent from the field on their way to a blow-out win. Wall led the way with 24 points, nine assists and four rebounds. Five players scored in double-figures for Utah as the Wizards seemingly took a night off on the defensive end. Utah scored 114 points but only had 15 assists. Most of their baskets were scored from one-on-one moves with Washington defenders simply playing matador defense.
Washington Wizards center Nene right, drives for a basket as Denver Nuggets center Joffrey Lauvergne defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
March 12: Washington Surrenders to Nuggets, 116-100
The Wizards concluded their week with a road game against the lowly Denver Nuggets on March 12 but they duplicated the same lackluster effort in a 116-100 defeat. The Wizards held the game close for much of the contest until Denver used a 41-17 fourth quarter to put the game away. Otto Porter scored a team-high 23 points and Wall delivered 19 points and 11 assists. It was Washington’s fifth straight loss which dropped them to 30-35. Washington sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Detroit Pistons currently hold the last place in the playoff chase with a 34-32 record.
Next: The Wizards will host that same Pistons team on March 14. followed by another home game against the Chicago Bulls on March 16. Washington then heads to Philly for a matchup against the 76ers on the March 17.