By Wole Akinso
Washington, DC— The Washington Wizards fought valiantly but Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was too dominant as the Wizards fall to the Bucks 142-129. Antetokounmpo nearly had a tripl- double with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Wizards coached Wes Unseld Jr. talked about the defensive challenge of guarding Antetokounmpo.
“The force in which he plays with is just hard to guard.”
The Wizards (2-11) showed more fight tonight compared to what was shown Friday against the New York Knicks; where they lost 120-99 at home. Forward Kyle Kuzma led the way for the Wizards, scoring 22 points and dishing out a career high of 13 assists. After the game, Kuzma spoke about the importance of getting his teammates involved in the offense.
“I just kind of made an emphasis today on looking for my teammates and trying to make them feel good. I think we’ve been on a rough stretch. I think our effort was a lot better because offensively we moved the ball; the ball moved. You know, going out there trying to show everybody, if I’m moving the ball, everybody has to move the ball.”
The Bucks had an 86-76 lead in the third quarter. However, Kuzma and Wizards point guard Tyus Jones changed the momentum in Washington’s favor. Kuzma had 10 points in the quarter and Jones had eight. The fortunes for the Wizards looked good once Kuzma hit the game tying three-pointer (100-100) at the 1:07 mark. The Wizards had the momentum with the fans in Capital One Arena hyped. They made this surge without guard Jordan Poole, who finished the game with 30 points but shot 11 for 26 from the field.
Poole came back into the game in the fourth quarter and the Wizards lost their mojo. Poole had a plus-minus of -15 in fourth quarter alone. Poole stayed in most of the fourth quarter ahead of Jones, who had 18 points and shot 9 for 13 from field. Jones did not step onto the floor in the fourth quarter because coach Unseld wanted more defensive size on the court.
“Obviously I want to be out there. I want, you know, to help close games. You know, I want to help lead the team,” said Jones.
Jones had a plus-minus of nine for the entire game, while Poole had a plus-minus of -26. With the win, the Bucks (10-4) are on a five-game winning streak, whereas the Wizards extend their losing streak to six games.