Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
There have been a few nights when you wonder what happened to the Wizards, tonight was just one of those.
The Wizards started as if they would control the game out of the gate with 10-0 run in the first two minutes forcing the Pelicans to take a timeout with just 1:44 into the game.
New Orleans dagger for the Wizards tonight was C.J McCollum, who scored 12 straight points in a 2:36 span of the first quarter. He would finish the game with 34 points to lead the way for the Pelicans.
No one said it was going to be easy with Bradley Beal out of the line-up, but it should have been a bit easier with Zion Willamson out as well… but this game was just not close at any point in the second half.
New Orleans (25-16), which had lost four of five, took the lead early in the second quarter and put the game away when it scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter to take a 115-88 lead with 8:44 to play.
Washington struggled to find an offensive combination that actually worked. Kristaps Porzingis was able to battle of Jonas Valanciunas, who finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Porzingis was effective on Valanciunas, but when he went to the bench the Pelicans pushed the ball inside and forced Daniel Gafford to commit a foul or allow Valanciunas to pass the ball to the perimeter where he found Jose Alvarado, who finished with 22 points.
Kyle Kuzma scored 19 points before fouling out with 9:03 to play. In the second quarter, he was assessed a technical foul, and when Kuzma was called for his sixth foul, he marched off the court and walked into Washington’s locker room.
“We just didn’t have any defensive combinations that were able to work tonight,” said Wizards Head Coach Wes Unseld, Jr.
The Wizards will have to regroup quickly as they face the Bulls and Zach Levine on Wednesday night.