WASHINGTON — Two of the top teams in the Western Conference came to the nation’s capital, knowing that their opponent’s best player would not be available to cause them problems. The Washington Wizards, however, proved in those 48 hours that whoever they have available are players more than capable of continuing their good run of form, and the run they continue to be on after Sunday has led them to their longest winning streak of the season.
Kristaps Porzingis shouldered the scoring load without Bradley Beal, putting in 25 points and making six three-pointers as the Wizards defeated the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies 102-92 at Capital One Arena on Sunday evening. Deni Avdija scored a career-high-tying 21 points as the Wizards followed up their victory on Saturday against the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz with a win against a conference semifinalist from last year, albeit a team that was playing today without its top two scorers: Ja Morant (left ankle soreness) and Desmond Bane (right toe soreness).
Beal missed his third consecutive game as he works himself back into shape after being put in the league’s health and safety protocols earlier in the week.
“That was a point of emphasis for us, that even though they have a couple of guys out, this is one of those games you have to be careful,” Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “They’re going to play free and easy, they’re going to play physical. They’re going to play hard [because of] guys who get more opportunities.”
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday evening’s game, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Rodney Pierce. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 24 pictures in total.