Wizards comeback not enough against Utah
The Washington Wizards lost to the Utah Jazz 128-124 on Friday night. Despite officially being eliminated from the playoffs, the Wizards continue to compete. The Utah Jazz is a very good team. Washington gave a very good team a serious scare on Friday, as they took this game to the wire before falling short in the final minute.
Bradley Beal led all Wizards in points with 34. 20 of those came in his first 17 minutes of action. He now has over 2,000 points on the season and is just the fourth player in franchise history to reach that milestone. The others are Walt Bellamy, Earl Monroe, and Gilbert Arenas. Bobby Portis also had a productive outing, scoring 28 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and a block. He tied a career-high with six threes.
On the other side of the ball, the Jazz received production from its young superstar, Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell led the Jazz in points, despite missing the later half of the first quarter with an eye injury. He later returned in the second quarter and closed out the game with 35 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. The bench for Utah also came through, as Jae Crowder picked up the slack when Mitchell was absent for part of the game, making his presence felt on both ends of the court. He ended the game with 18 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The game stayed competitive, as both teams kept fighting. The Wizards took a 116-114 lead on a dunk from Bradley Beal off of a Jazz turnover. Utah came back in front 120-116 with back-to-back baskets from Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio. Washington cut it to 126-124 on a 3-pointer from Jabari Parker with 9.2 seconds left, but Mitchell iced the win with a pair of free throws.
With a few games remaining, I am curious to see if the Wizards will give their younger players more playing time and rest some of their veterans, like Bradley Beal. Beal leads the league in minutes with 37.1.
The Wizards will visit Denver Sunday night.