Bucks can’t contain Bradley Beal in loss to Wizards
WASHINGTON — Tomas Satoransky got a bottled-water shower from his teammates and a postgame handshake from team president Ernie Grunfeld.
The big game for the lanky Czech point guard was cause for celebration for the Washington Wizards, who are playing cohesively with Satoransky starting in place of the injured John Wall.
Satoransky had 18 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his first career triple-double, helping Washington beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 on Friday night.
Bradley Beal scored 32 points for the Wizards, who won for the third time in four games. Beal threw down an alley-oop for Satoransky’s last assist, making it 111-101 with 1:43 remaining.
“Shout out to Brad, because he called that play,” Satoransky said. “It was all love from him.”
With Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined by hip and quad injuries, Washington came out aggressively and never trailed after the opening two minutes. The Wizards finished with 18 3-pointers, matching the franchise record.
Trevor Ariza scored 20 points, including 18 in the second half, and made six 3-pointers. Jeff Green went 4 for 7 from beyond the arc on his way to 20 points, helping Washington shoot 54.5 percent (18 of 33) from 3-point range. It was the Wizards’ first game this season making more than 50 percent of their 3s.
“We’ve been passing the ball well. We’ve been spacing it well,” coach Scott Brooks said. “With Trevor, he was bound to make some of his 3s.”
Washington improved to 7-4 without Wall this season and 5-3 since the injury that forced the Wizards’ highest-paid player to undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee. The Wizards also traded away Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers while adding Ariza.
“Our team is totally different from the beginning of the year,” said Beal, who scored 30 or more for the 10th time this season. “It’s just a matter of us getting it together, and I think we’re finally at that point to where we can turn the corner.
“We’re just dedicated to playing hard and playing the right way. I don’t know what it is. Maybe a switch clicked on or whatever it is, but we’re clicking at the right time and we have a good group of guys in here who just want to continue to get better and want to win.”
Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks, who had won 11 of 13. Eric Bledsoe had 18 points and nine assists.
“To play the way we want to play, you’ve got to move, move people, move the ball,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We were just a little stagnant.”
Washington used a 13-2 run to open an early 34-22 lead. Beal converted a three-point play and made a 3-pointer during the stretch, and Satoransky also made a 3.
Malcolm Brogdon helped steady the Bucks in the second quarter with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting. Washington led 57-47 at halftime and pushed back ahead after Milwaukee tied it twice in the third quarter. The Bucks fell to 2-1 this season without Antetokounmpo.
“It’s an adjustment. If any of the starters were out, it would be an adjustment, but when Giannis is out, it’s even a bigger adjustment,” Brogdon said. “That was a winnable game for us even though Giannis was out. That’s on us to take a bigger role.”
PLACE YOUR (FREE) BETS
Friday night marked the debut of a gambling-focused telecast on the Wizards’ regional TV partner, NBC Sports Washington. The telecast included a series of questions that fans could answer on the network’s website for a chance to win a $500 prize. Fans were asked to guess which team would be the first to 75 points (Washington); whether the halftime score would be odd or even (even); and whether Satoransky would score 20 points (no). A bill legalizing sports betting has been approved in Washington but has yet to take effect.
Bucks: G Donte DiVincenzo was inactive with bursitis in his left heel. … In anticipation of Antetokounmpo’s visit, the Wizards designated Friday as Greek Heritage Night, and Greek Ambassador Haris Lalacos attended.
Wizards: Improved to 13-7 at home. They are 5-18 on the road. … The Wizards’ 40 points in the first quarter tied the most points allowed by Milwaukee in a period this season.
Bucks: Finish a three-game trip at Atlanta on Sunday.
Wizards: Host Toronto on Sunday before traveling to London, where they will face the New York Knicks at The O2.