Defensive lapses put the Milwaukee Bucks in a terrible position Wednesday night at the Verizon Center.
Then the Bucks went on a spirited third-quarter run to erase a 20-point deficit in just over 7 minutes.
But it proved to be false hope.
Washington point guard John Wall and his teammates regained control in the fourth quarter as the Wizards grabbed a 106-93 victory and handed the Bucks their second loss in two nights.
The good vibrations from the California road trip, where the Bucks went 2-1, have vanished with the back-to-back losses to Dallas and Washington.
And next up?
Only the Miami Heat and its 20-game winning streak on Friday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
"I think in both cases the defense hasn't been good," Bucks guard J.J. Redick said of the two straight defeats. "And to start the game, really, we've got to get off to better defensive starts.
"That's on our group. We have to communicate better; we have to have each other's back. In this league there's multiple options on every play. Everybody is a capable player. You've got to do it as a team. That's the biggest thing."
The Bucks (32-31) allowed 60 points in the first half and gave up 30 or more points in three of the four quarters.
Wall led the Wizards (21-42) with 23 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals and kept his team in a good rhythm throughout the game.
And the Wizards' interior tandem of Nene and Trevor Booker dominated the paint, with Nene contributing 13 points and 13 rebounds and Booker adding 13 points and 12 rebounds in 22 productive minutes off the bench.
Big rally by Bucks goes to waste against Wizards
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Mar 14