Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
It’s safe to say that the Wizards are having some problems finding the solution to scoring. They either do it really well, or have nights, like tonight where two people do it well and the others do it when it doesn’t really matter. Tonight it was a 20 point hole the Wizards could not dig out of against Portland.
As if things didn’t get worse for the Wizards they lost Dwight Howard in the second quarte, as he aggravated the hip injury and did not return to the game. He is listed as questionable for the next game.
Howard, who was averaging 14.1 points and 10 rebounds in his first eight games, was declared out at halftime after playing just seven minutes, scoring two points and picking up three fouls.
The big difference tonight for the Wizards was the inability to stop Damien Lillard. He finished the game with 40 points. C.J McCullom added 25 points.
There were just times when the Wizards didn’t even look alive on the defensive end and watched the Blazers pass the ball around before taking an open shot, that even included a few circus style shot that ended with a two by Jake Layman.
”That’s perfect Blazer basketball. We need more possessions like that,” Lillard said of the Layman shot that gave Portland a 17-point lead.
Jusuf Nurkic had 13 points, 14 rebounds and matched his career high with eight assists for Portland.
Washington, which trailed by 29 points in the third, cut the deficit to 115-107 with 51 seconds to play. Their lead was cut with all of the Wizards starting five on the bench.
”We’ve got to just play with more enthusiasm, more effort, more energy,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. ”That’s embarrassing.”