Mon, 29 May 2023

Balanced Wizards power to win over Spurs

Field Level Media
25 Mar 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

Corey Kispert scored 26 points and Deni Avdija added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Washington Wizards, who were at their best in the fourth quarter while beating the visiting San Antonio Spurs 136-124 on Friday.

The Wizards, tied for 11th place in the Eastern Conference, still hold out hope of earning a spot in the play-in tournament, and they helped that cause by snapping a four-game losing streak.

Washington (33-41) led by a point after a back-and-forth third quarter but took charge for good with a 22-8 run over the first 5 1/2 minutes of the final period.

Delon Wright had nine points over that decisive stretch, after which the Spurs never got closer than 12 points while losing for the third straight game.

Wright scored 24 points while Kristaps Porzingis added 23, Jordan Goodwin had 17 and Monte Morris hit for 10 for the Wizards. Washington was missing Bradley Beal (left knee soreness) and Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain).

Keldon Johnson led all scorers with 30 points for San Antonio. Keita Bates-Diop added 20, Doug McDermott hit for 18, Malaki Branham had 15, Julian Champagnie scored 12 and Sandro Mamukelashvili and Tre Jones racked up 10 points each for the Spurs (19-55).

Jones dished out a game-high 12 assists.

San Antonio played without injured starters Zach Collins (biceps contusion), Jeremy Sochan (right knee soreness) and Devin Vassell (left knee management) and key reserve Romeo Langford (left adductor).

Washington skipped away from a 22-22 at the 4:15 mark of the first period tie by closing with an 11-4 run to assume a seven-point lead. The Wizards shot 52 percent while Porzingis had 10 points in the quarter.

The Wizards pushed their advantage to 58-45 after Avdija's banked jumper with 5:37 to play in the second period before San Antonio regained its footing scoring nine straight points, capped by a Bates-Diop layup with 2:44 remaining in the quarter.

The teams traded baskets the rest of the period, which ended with Washington taking a 66-62 lead into the break.

Avdija and Porzingis paced the Wizards with 14 points each before halftime while Kispert added 12. Johnson led all scorers in the half with 15 points with McDermott hitting for 11 points in just nine minutes of court action and Branham putting up 10.

--Field Level Media

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