Coming into the NBA bubble in Orlando, the Washington Wizards(24-42) had an outside shot of making the playoffs, but after losing to the Brooklyn Nets(31-35) 118-110 on Sunday, it’s going to be an uphill climb for the Wizards.
Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert led the way with 34 points, Joe Harris added 27 points, and Jarrett Allen added 22 points and 15 rebounds. Washington’s Thomas Bryant finished with a season and team-high 30 points and 13 rebounds, including a career-high four three-pointers.
This was a must-win game for the Wizards, and at this point, Washington is seven games behind the Nets for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs. With six games left, the Wizards must get within four games of the eighth-seed to force a play-in game.
“We needed this game badly,” Rui Hachimura said after the game. “And all of us are frustrated with the loss, but we have another game coming up tomorrow. So, we just have to switch gears.”
Hachumura struggled on Sunday and finished with 9 points. Brooklyn swarmed the rookie any time he touched the ball. Hachimura finished the game with only six field goal attempts.
“They made life difficult for me,” Hachumura said. “At times, they swarmed me with double-teams, triple-teams. I feel like there weren’t many opportunities for me to shoot the ball today.”
The first two seeding games against the Suns and Nets were very winnable games for Washington. The next two games will be tough, as they have Indiana on Monday and Philadelphia on Wednesday. After another tough loss, it should be interesting to see what Wizards team shows up on Monday. Don’t be surprised if this team has a big-time effort against the Pacers.
Troy Brown Jr. nearly had a triple-double on Sunday. Brown finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.
Thomas Bryant registered season highs in points (30), rebounds (13) and made field goals (12) Sunday against Brooklyn. Bryant’s 30 points were one shy of tying a career-high. Bryant made a career-high four 3-pointers, all of which came in the first half.
“I just took what the defense gave me,” Bryant said after the game. “My teammates had the confidence in me to knock down those shots. They kept telling me to take them, and I took them.”