Fourth-quarter drought dooms Wizards in Utah

Fourth-quarter drought dooms Wizards in Utah
January 25, 2014, 11:30 pm
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(Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)

This must feel like Groundhog Day for the Wizards, but at least this time when they squandered a chance to get over .500 it happened on the road. For the fifth time since the season opener when they had a chance to seize a winning record, the Wizards lost Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena.

They lost a 13-point lead to the Jazz (15-29) in the first half and went cold to start the fourth quarter. 

After expending a tremendous among of energy defending Goran Dragic in Friday's comeback win at the Phoenix Suns, John Wall was flat for the first three quarters. Wall and Bradley Beal combined to shoot 9-for-30. Beal had a chance in transition to tie the score at 101 with a wide-open look on a feed from Wall but it wasn't close. The only made three-pointer between the two came from Wall, who banked in one with 3.6 seconds left to trim the deficit to 102-101. 

The Wizards (21-22) were led by Trevor Ariza with 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 6 of 10 from three. Nene had 19 points on 9-for-16 shooting and six rebounds, 14 points and 11 rebounds from Marcin Gortat, 14 points from Beal and Wall had 13. 

Turning point: With the score tied at 77 entering the fourth, the Jazz scored eight points in a row and the Wizards went scoreless until free throws from Wall at 8:40. Utah never trailed in the period. 

Key stat: Utah, led by Enes Kanter and Alec Burks off the bench, outscored Washington's reserves 52-18.

Back in action: F Martell Webster (illness) did return to the lineup after missing one game. Webster came off the bench to contribute four points on 2 of 5 shooting in 22 minutes. C Derrick Favors returned from a groin strain to start for the Jazz, with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds in 34 minutes.

Up next: The Wizards are headed to the Bay Area, where they'll be off Sunday, practice Monday and then play Tuesday at the Golden State Warriors (CSN, 10:30 p.m. ET).

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