The Wizards won the third quarter. But they lost just about every other aspect of the game, falling to the Nuggets by the final score of 114-94. The Wizards are now 17-54 on the season.
Washington outscored Denver in the third quarter, closing the gap to as little as little as 13 points at one point. Jordan Crawford had another strong night with 19 points. JaVale McGee had 13 points and 13 rebounds, but he shot just 5-for-13 from the field. Mo Evans had 16 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
But the Nuggets were too strong and too deep and the game never really seemed in doubt. J.R. Smith, Al Harrington and Chris Andersen all had big nights off the bench for Denver, who did never really allowed the Wizards more than a token comeback and kept their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter, when they outscored Washington 32-27. As has largely been the case since dealing star Carmelo Anthony, it was a team effort for Denver. The Nuggets had 29 assists despite no player having more than eight themselves.
Washington returns to action on Sunday against at Golden State at 10 p.m. ET. The five-game trip ends on Monday night in Utah against the Jazz. Of course, it won't get any easier back in D.C. as the Wizards will be greeted at home by the Miami Heat.
There's that post-double overtime loss hangover. Or maybe the Nuggets are just better than the Clippers, which is true. Whatever it is, the Wizards trail Denver by a score of 64-45 at halftime on Friday night. This game feels over already. It has for some time, actually.
John Wall has been aggressive offensively, and has 13 points. His 9-for-9 foray from the free throw line made up for his 2-for-7 mark from the field.
Nick Young has struggled to find his stroke in his return, missing six of his first eight shots in 17 minutes. He might just be a little too eager, drawing back iron on his early attempts. JaVale McGee has also struggled, continuing to puzzle with his desire to lead the fast break when he should be finding John Wall or even Jordan Crawford in transition once he gets possession.
Al Harrington continues his mini-rampage for Denver since George Karl handed him a DNP-CD in Miamia three games ago. He has 11 points off the bench. Chris Andersen has been at his Birdman best with five points, six rebounds and five blocks. McGee might be jealous of those five blocks. That's a lot of blocks.
A second half comeback seems unlikely at this point. But not impossible! We shall see.
The Wizards started their five-game swing out West with two losses. Of course, that makes 33 road losses in 34 tries. No surprises here. Washington almost topped the Clippers in double-overtime on Wednesday. Friday's Wizards vs. Nuggets matchup is another chance for a win, but it's going to be tougher.
Denver hasn't lost at home since dealing Carmelo Anthony. The Wizards don't win on the road. Can you see the writing on the Pepsi Center wall?