Wizards 102, Bucks 90

After missing five games with a sprained right wrist, it took
rookie Brandon Beal just two games to score a season-high in
points. And he did it with his right wrist taped.

Beal scored 28 points as the Washington Wizards beat the
Milwaukee Bucks 102-90 Monday night, earning a rare road win.

”I felt good, my wrist is feeling a lot better,” Beal said.
”Probably the biggest thing is I wanted is to shoot with
confidence. My teammates did a great job of finding me and I was
able to knock down some shots.”

Beal, who played one year at Florida before being selected by
Washington with the third pick in last year’s draft,, made 10 of
his 17 shots – including 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

”I just happened to be open tonight,” Beal said.

Washington has won four consecutive games and 11 of 18. The
Wizards are 10-7 since John Wall returned from injury and won for
only the fourth time in 25 road games this year.

”With tape on it, it looks like he’s still injured,” Wall said
of Beal. ”He got good looks early and he made them. We just kept
coming to him and finding him.”

Washington coach Randy Wittman said the key to the game was good
ball movement that led to 29 assists.

”That tells the story for us,” Wittman said. ”When we’re in
the high 20s, we’re pretty good.”

Monta Ellis had 24 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for
Milwaukee, and Ersan Ilyasova added 19 points and nine rebounds.
Leading-scorer Brandon Jennings was held to seven points, missing
14 of 17 shots.

The Bucks scored 32 points in the first quarter, but had trouble
scoring the rest of the way. Milwaukee was the ninth consecutive
team to score less than 100 points against the Wizards.

”We got after them,” Wittman said. ”After that first quarter,
I thought we did settle down with our defensive scheme and planted
our feet.”

Milwaukee missed 50 of 73 shots after the first quarter.

”We had a bunch of good looks tonight and we just could not
make them,” Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. ”Anytime that you
shoot only 37 percent from the field you are going to have a rough
night, especially when the other team is shooting over 50

The Bucks have dropped four consecutive games and six of seven,
but hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They
didn’t lose any ground to the team closest to them as Philadelphia
lost 107-90 to the Los Angeles Clippers.

”Right now we are spotty,” Boylan said of his team’s energy.
”We are not consistently bringing the type of energy that we need
to win a game. Tonight we had some spurts and a little pop at
times, however we have had a hard time sustaining it in the last
few games.”

The Wizards scored nine consecutive points to take control of
the game midway through the fourth quarter. Nene scored the first
five points, A.J. Price scored on a layup and Beal capped the
streak with two free throws to make it 90-78 with 6:35 left.

The Bucks pulled to 96-90 on a 3 by Jennings with 2:35 left, but
Nene backed down the smaller Ilyasova and scored on a layup with
2:15 left to make it 98-90.

Nene then easily intercepted a pass from Samuel Dalembert under
the basket. Wall was fouled and converted both free throws to put
Washington up 10 with 1:45 to go.

”We missed a lot of free throws and wide open shots, but it’s
not really an excuse for us,” Ilyasova said. ”When you’re on the
floor you have to make good shots.”

Nene dominated down low with Milwaukee forward Larry Sanders
missing his third consecutive game due to a bone bruise in his
lower back. He had 21 points on 10 of 13 shooting with 13 rebounds
and six assists.

”He stabilized a lot of different things for us,” Wittman said
of Nene.

Beal scored 16 points in the first half and Washington led 55-47
at halftime. Beal’s 3-pointer made it 47-44 with 3:24 left in the
second quarter.

NOTES: It was the Wizards’ first road win against an Eastern
Conference team after opening the season with 14 consecutive
losses. … Sanders will seek a second opinion since the injury
didn’t seem to be healing. … Bucks F Marquis Daniels returned to
the team after missing a game for personal reasons.