The Washington Wizards attempt to bounce back from the second-worst loss in franchise history when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday. Washington matched the NBA season low for points scored in a 116-69 loss to the Utah Jazz and the 47-point margin of defeat trails only a 52-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 10, 1971 when the franchise was known as the Baltimore Bullets.
The Wizards shot 28.2 percent from the field - second lowest in the NBA this season - in a brutally bad performance in the opener of a five-game road trip. “They punched us and punched us again and punched us again,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said afterward. “Surprisingly, we didn’t fight back. One of the first times since I’ve been here we didn’t play with fight.” Portland has an issue of its own to deal with as coach Terry Stotts and star point guard Damian Lillard are perplexed with the club’s lackluster 7-6 home record. “We need to be better,” Stotts told reporters after consecutive home setbacks. “If we want to be the team that we want to be, we have to be better at home. There’s no question.”
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCSN Washington, NBCSN Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (12-11): Washington will be without star point guard John Wall (knee) for the sixth consecutive game and his absence has led to more double teams for Bradley Beal to contend with. The standout shooting guard has been limited to 11 or fewer points in three of the past four games - he had 11 on 4-of-15 shooting versus Utah - after scoring 22 or more in each of the previous six games. Beal has fared well against Portland by averaging 25.7 points over the past three meetings, making 11-of-23 from 3-point range during the stretch.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (13-10): Portland has traditionally been a strong team on the home court but losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans left everybody searching for answers. Shooting guard CJ McCollum, who is averaging 30 points over his last two outings against the Wizards, took it deeper and pointed out that the club’s inconsistent nature isn’t limited to home contests. “We’ve just got to execute a little bit better, I think that’s the bottom line,” McCollum told reporters. “I don’t have a recipe for why we’re losing or why we’re winning, I think it’s just been up and down and that’s how we’ve been this year. So we’ve got to figure it out.”
1. The Trail Blazers scored the game’s final 10 points while posting a 108-105 road victory over the Wizards on Nov. 25.
2. Lillard is averaging 31.3 points, seven assists and 5.3 rebounds over his last four games against Washington.
3. Wizards SF Otto Porter Jr. is averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds over the last two meetings with Portland.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 117, Wizards 106