WASHINGTON (AP)Bradley Beal scored 17 points, one of seven Washington players in double figures, and the Wizards routed the Memphis Grizzlies 115-87 on Friday night.
The Wizards held Memphis to 35% shooting from the field. Washington led 60-47 at halftime and went on a 23-6 run during the third quarter that broke the game open.
Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 13 points and Ja Morant was held to 11.
”We played a pretty good defensive game tonight. Did a decent job on their best player,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. ”Some of that is, when our offense is clicking, they’re taking the ball out of the net. Gives us a chance to set our defense.”
Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and eight rebounds for Washington. Daniel Gafford and Raul Neto contributed 15 points apiece.
The Wizards shot 71% from the field in the first quarter, and eventually Memphis couldn’t keep up. Washington led 56-44 after Kyle Kuzma’s 3-pointer in the second, and the lead was back in single digits only briefly after that.
”We got it going early, made shots,” Unseld said. ”I think 70% of our made field goals were assisted, which is a tremendous number.”
Washington finished with 34 assists on 49 field goals – right around the 70% mark Unseld mentioned.
”We were just making sure we get the right guy the ball and move the ball around,” Gafford said.
It was 66-57 before the Wizards went on their big third-quarter run. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 3 made it 75-59. A dunk by Harrell made it 87-63, and then Aaron Holiday added a layup.
”Give them a lot of credit,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. ”They came out the more hungry team.”
Washington led 35-31 after one quarter, but although the game was still close, the Grizzlies were having problems stopping the Wizards already.
”It just comes back to effort and just playing one-on-one defense,” Memphis’ Ziaire Williams said.
Grizzlies: Memphis had won its previous four games against Washington. … The Grizzlies were on the road for just this game after three straight at home. Their next three are at home as well. … This was the most lopsided loss of the season for Memphis, although two of the team’s other three defeats have also been by at least 20 points. … The Grizzlies went 6 of 31 from 3-point range.
Wizards: This was Washington’s most lopsided victory of the season. The Wizards hadn’t beaten anyone else by more than 15. … Washington had 19 turnovers to the Grizzlies’ nine. … Kuzma scored 13 points, and Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie added 12 each. … Beal provided one highlight when he bounced the ball off the backboard to himself for a layup after picking up his dribble near the elbow.
PERFECT NO MORE
Steven Adams of the Grizzlies and Beal entered the day as the only players in the NBA who had attempted at least 15 free throws this season without missing any. Adams is now 16 of 17 after missing one Friday.
Beal made all three of his and is now 35 of 35.
Grizzlies: Host Minnesota on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Milwaukee on Sunday night.
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