Story By: Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
In a night where both Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal were not even active against the Spurs, the Wizards put up one of the best offensive performances of the season.
Corey Kispert led the way in scoring with 26 points and hitting on six 3-pointers. Deni Avdija added 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards pulled away for a 136-124 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
One could say that the Spurs really had a lack of star power on the court as well tonight, but it was the Wizards reserves that made all of the difference late in the game.
After trailing by as many as 13, San Antonio surged ahead to their first second-half lead during a 14-2, third-quarter run. Johnson’s driving layup while fouled put the Spurs in front, and he rebounded his own missed free throw to find Devonte’ Graham for a kick-out 3 to make it 84-80. This is about as close as the Spurs would come the remainder of the game.
The Spurs got 30 points from Keldon Johnson and again played without without 2022 ninth-overall draft pick Jeremy Sochan (sore right knee) for the third time in four games.
Keita Bates-Diop added 20 points and Doug McDermott had 18 for the Spurs, who have lost all three games entering the finale of a four-game road trip.
“We made some mistakes late in the game tonight after closing the gap and it was just not enough to recover from in the fourth quarter,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.
For the Wizards these next 5 to 6 games are really make or break for the playoff push. That 2 to 3 game magic window is closing on them and the odds say that they would need to win at least 5 to 6 games during the next two weeks to even have a shot at the playoff play in game. Can they do it without Beal and Kuz? Unseld gave his take on the Beal situation.
Unseld suggested pregame it’s unlikely Beal would be playing through his knee injury if Washington was more competitive in the playoff race. “I can’t say that for a fact,” Unseld said. “I think it’s something that would keep him out, hopefully just for a game or two.”