A couple of hours before tipoff, it was announced that Thomas Bryant had a stress reaction in his right foot. This left the Wizards with no true center, meaning Rui Hachimura would get the start at center. The Wizards were down for majority of the game. They made a comeback in the 3rd quarter to take the lead momentarily, but that would not last long. Washington could not keep up the defense that helped them comeback from a double digit deficit.
Bradley Beal goes off again
Bradley Beal (42 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast) did his best to best to keep the Wizards in the game. Beal (who shot 53% from the field and 50% from 3) was aggressive offensively and got any shot he wanted. In this high scoring offense, Beal has continued to lead the team offensively. Averaging 28 points per game (4th in the NBA), Beal is on a tear on the offensive end of the floor.
Wizards defense continues to struggle
The Magic are 29th in the NBA in points per game (102), yet they scored 127 against the Wizards. Evan Fournier (31 pts), Markelle Fultz (20 pts) and D.J. Augustin (24 pts) combined for 75 points alone. Having no center on an already bad defensive team did the Wizards no favors. Regardless of a center being in the lineup or not, the Wizards cannot let the Magic shoot 51% from the field and 48% from 3.
Rui Hachimura held his own at center
Hachimura shared the highest +\- on the Wizards with a +6. It was nice to see Hachimura in the positive, starting at center for the first time against a lengthy Magic team. It was easy to worry he would be in danger of fouling out, but he ended the game with only 4 fouls. Hopefully, Moritz Wagner will be back against the 76ers. Hachimura against Embiid is likely not a matchup that will end pretty.
The Wizards are back in action Thursday at 7 p.m. against the 76ers (15-6).