Jazz-Wizards Preview

The Associated Press

Although they put up a fight with 40 fourth-quarter points, the Washington Wizards fell just shy of their longest winning streak in more than nine years.

Now they'll have a chance to bounce back at home against the worst road team in the Western Conference.

The short-handed Wizards seek their seventh win in eight games while dealing the Utah Jazz their fourth straight loss on a season-high road swing Wednesday night.

Looking to win a seventh straight game for the first time since January 2005, Washington (31-29) trailed by 19 in the fourth quarter Monday before storming back with the help of six 3-pointers over the final 12 minutes.

Bradley Beal - who finished with 21 points - hit one of those 3s to cut the deficit to two with 8.9 seconds left, but visiting Memphis sank its free throws in the waning moments to preserve a 110-104 victory.

"I think that's something we find ourselves doing a lot, getting down and digging in the last five minutes of games, and I feel like we can't do that," said Trevor Ariza, who scored 15. "We gotta play hard throughout the whole game and compete throughout and not wait for the last five minutes to play."

John Wall had 23 points and nine assists Monday, and has averaged 24.5 and 10.3 while shooting 56.9 percent from the field over his last four games. However, he was limited to just 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting in a 104-101 loss at Utah on Jan. 25.

Ariza stepped up with 23 points and six 3s in that contest. He's also scored 23.3 per game while hitting 19 of 38 (67.9 percent) from 3-point range in his last four overall heading into this meeting.

The Wizards have averaged 118.8 points with a 49.4 field-goal percentage - including 43.4 percent from beyond the arc - in their last four contests. But they were outscored 62-34 in the paint Monday as injuries continue to mount in the frontcourt.

After winning three straight since losing Nene to a knee injury, Washington was without forwards Kevin Seraphin (sore right knee) and Martell Webster (sore back) against the Grizzlies. Coach Randy Wittman said he expects Webster to play against Utah, though there's no timetable for Seraphin.

The Jazz (21-39) aren't likely to pose much of a threat inside since they've been outscored 126-94 in the paint while dropping the first three on the six-game trip by an average of 16.3 points.

Utah, last in the Northwest Division, has dropped 11 of 13 en route to a West-worst 7-23 road record.

One night after putting a scare into NBA-best Indiana in a 94-91 loss, the Jazz posted a 39.2 field-goal percentage while allowing league-worst Milwaukee to make 56.8 percent in Monday's 114-88 defeat.

Enes Kanter finished with a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Gordon Hayward scored 20. Utah, however, is averaging just 86.0 points on 40.1 percent shooting on the road swing.

"It doesn't matter how many points I scored because it was a loss in the end," said Kanter, who had 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the first meeting with the Wizards.

Hayward chipped in 16 points and hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to seal that victory after Utah overcame a 13-point deficit to take control in the fourth quarter.

The Jazz, who have won the last four meetings, haven't visited the nation's capital since an 83-76 victory in November 2012.

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