Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Wizards upped their already ugly turnover numbers by giving the ball away 19 and 21 times respectively in weekend losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Cartier Martin was the team's best player, averaging 19.5 points on strong three-point shooting.
Despite the team's lowly record, both games seemed winnable: the Los Angeles Lakers' struggles have made national headlines as they fail to piece together wins despite having Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, and the Miami Heat already lost to Washington earlier in the year. But neither game panned out.
The Wizards held a lead by as much as nine early against Los Angeles, but the Lakers quickly got their act together. Despite combined 1-for-14 shooting from three by Bryant and Metta World Peace, the Lakers won thanks to 19 Washington turnovers and 30 points by Bryant, who added seven assists and seven rebounds. Cartier Martin's five threes and 21 points kept it competitive, but two 10-0 runs by Los Angeles in the third quarter allowed them to hold on despite a 27-point fourth quarter for Washington.
Miami was not amused by Washington's 105-101 win earlier in the year, and made that clear quickly. The Wizards were down double digits early, and the Heat eventually won by 30 points thanks to 23 from LeBron James. Sloppiness offensively was again the Wizards' downfall: they turned the ball over 21 times, only making 27 field goals. They're sixth in the league in turnovers with 15 a game, but even so, their average of 20 per outing on Friday and Saturday was rough. Martin was again a bright spot, this time drilling four threes to end up with 18.
Here's the final scores of the team's two matchups:
Friday, Dec. 14: Los Angeles Lakers, 102, Washington Wizards, 96
Saturday, Dec. 15: Miami Heat, 102, Washington Wizards, 72