Garrison Mathews shows off his range in Wizards' loss to Blazers

Chase Hughes
NBC Sports Washington

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 122-103 on Friday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The one constant for the Wizards this season, no matter who has been in the lineup, has been their offense. But their injuries have finally reached the point where even scoring can't be counted on.

They had another off night offensively on Friday in a loss to the Blazers, their fourth defeat in their last five games. It was also the fourth time in five games they have scored 103 points or fewer. They did that just six times in their previous 29 games.

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But that's what can happen when you are missing literally four of your five regular starters and the fifth gets ejected in the opening minutes of the game. The Wizards are getting used to being undermanned, but Friday it was to a different degree. 

Their starting lineup totaled 27 points. Bradley Beal averages more than that (27.8 ppg) himself.

2. The clip of Garrison Mathews telling NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller "I'm a professional shooter" may have gone viral, but those who watched it saw no lies. Mathews lit up the college ranks with his outside shooting and now he's doing it in the NBA. So, he is quite literally a professional shooter.

And it wasn't just a one-time thing. Mathews continues to take advantage of the opportunity created by Beal being out. On Friday, he poured in 18 points and shot 5-for-7 from three. It was his third straight game in double-figures.

Part of what makes Mathews' shooting impressive is the variety of shots he can make. He knocked one down wide open, another in traffic from the corner and another while getting fouled, something he has shown a knack for. Just like teammate Davis Bertans, he gets four-point plays on the regular.

When Beal comes back for good, it will be tough for Mathews to get minutes with Jordan McRae also in the mix. McRae had himself a game with 35 points, one off his career-high.

But all of a sudden the Wizards have some shooting guard depth behind Beal, something they have never really had to this extent since they drafted him.

3. Wizards fans are starting to really like Mathews, but they absolutely love Carmelo Anthony. Every time he scored, made an assist, checked in off the bench or did basically anything, the crowd went wild. 

It's amazing, really. Anthony has become a polarizing figure on social media and particularly among NBA writers and bloggers who favor analytics. He has become a symbol of inefficiency and selfish basketball.

But basketball fans everywhere are still in love with the guy. In talking to Blazers reporters, he gets this type of treatment all over the country.

Anthony, to his credit, is still putting up numbers. The Blazers may not be good, but he is still filling up the box score by knocking down midrange shots and leaners around the rim. He finished with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting.

4. With Beal already out, the Wizards lost their other starting guard early in this one as Isaiah Thomas was ejected for making contact with a referee. It happened just over a minute into the first quarter, as Thomas sort of fell into the ref and extended his arm, sort of like a push.


Whether it was intentional or not, the league does not mess around with player and referee contact, so he was quickly tossed. The same applies to confronting fans in the crowd, which Thomas was ejected for last month.

Thomas is a smart guy, but he has two ejections in the past few weeks for breaking obvious rules that are taken very seriously by the NBA. The question now is if this one will warrant a suspension like the last one. My guess is no, but we'll see.

5. Beal missing from this game was not just due to rest because the Wizards are in the middle of a back-to-back set. In fact, he took a turn for the worse in the last game against the Magic, when he bumped knees with Jonathan Isaac and aggravated his right lower leg soreness.

Isaac got the worst of it, as he was stretchered off the floor, but it was enough to make Beal miss his third game of the season. Head coach Scott Brooks said Beal is considered day-to-day, so he could be back in the lineup for Saturday's match-up with the Denver Nuggets. But it sounds like the team could be cautious and hold him out until next week.

On a more positive note, rookie Rui Hachimura is back with the team. He had been away for about three weeks ever since he was accidentally kicked in between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga. Hachimura had a procedure that left him sore enough that the team just had him stay home for 17 days.

Though he was back and sitting on the bench, Hachimura was walking gingerly. It doesn't seem like he is close at all to returning.


Garrison Mathews shows off his range in Wizards' loss to Blazers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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