NBA: Wizards squander big lead but hang on
Bradley Beal scored 21 points, hitting a clutch three-pointer and a free throw down the stretch, to help the Washington Wizards hang on for a 107-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points and Markieff Morris 14 for Washington which stayed hot after snapping the Philadelphia 76ers’ seven-game winning streak Sunday with a 109-94 victory.
The Bucks lost a chance at clinching the season series with the Wizards who hold the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington improved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the sixth-place Bucks. The road team won both games of the series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jabbari Parker had a season-high 19 points for Milwaukee.
In the fourth, Morris hit a clutch jump shot and added a dunk before passing up an open look and finding Beal open for a three and a 106-101 lead with 59.7 seconds left.
Khris Middleton, who had 17 points, converted a three-point play and after a Wizards turnover, Tomas Satoranský came up with a rebound in a scramble under the Bucks’ basket. Washington got the ball on the ensuing play. Beal made one free throw for the final point.
After a Bucks’ timeout, Antetokounmpo inbounded the ball to Eric Bledsoe who lost control of the ball and Washington escaped with the victory.
The Wizards saw their lead cut to one five times in the fourth, the last time when Thon Maker hit a three-pointer and John Henson slammed home a pass from Antetokounmpo to pull to 99-98 with 3:37 left to play.
Looking lost on offense and trailing 64-50 at the half, Bledsoe, who had 17 points, sparked the resurgence in the third with eight points during an 18-6 run, including his second three that pulled Milwaukee to 70-68. The Wizards immediately called time out to regroup. They pushed the lead back to seven. Jason Terry hit a wide-open three with 13 seconds left in the third that cut the lead to 84-81.
The Wizards grabbed the opening tip and raced out to 21-point lead.
Morris hit a three that started a 14-0 run before Giannis Antetokounmpo drove the lane with four minutes gone for the Bucks’ first points in seven trips. Beal pushed the lead to 26-5 with a running layup off a pass from Tomás Satoranský. Kelly Oubre Jr.’s layup made it 40-20 just before the end of the quarter.
at Cleveland 129, Brooklyn 123: LeBron James had 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Cavaliers, and finished a month averaging a triple-double for the first time in his career. It was his 67th triple-double, and the 12th this season. He reached 8,000 to become the first player to reach that milestone, along with 30,000 points and 8,000 rebounds.
at Charlotte 118, Chicago 103: Kemba Walker scored 31 points and Dwight Howard had 24 after returning from a first-quarter back injury to help the Hornets win their season-best fifth game in a row. Zach LaVine had 21 points for the Bulls, who have lost five consecutive games.
at Miami 102, Philadelphia 101: Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 27 points, the last two on a jump shot with 5.9 seconds to play that gave the Heat their only lead of the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic scored 21 points for the Heat. Joel Embiid scored 23 points for the 76ers and Dario Saric had 21.
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