Wizards hand Bucks 10th straight loss

Andrew Wagner, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- The losses keep coming for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Their streak is now 10 games after they fell in overtime to the Washington Wizards, 100-92, Wednesday night in front of a sparse Thanksgiving Eve crowd at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Guard O.J. Mayo scored 21 points and came up big down the stretch for Milwaukee (2-12), tying the game at 78-78 on a jumper with 6:20 to play in regulation then giving the Bucks an 84-81 lead with a layup at the 4:11 mark.
The Bucks went cold after that, missing their next eight shots. Washington tied the score at 84 when forward Martell Webster hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 57 seconds to play. Webster drew contact from Mayo on the play but failed to make the free throw that would have given the Wizards the lead.
Washington (7-8) quickly went ahead when guard Trevor Ariza intercepted a bad pass by Mayo and ran down the court for an easy layup with 39 seconds to go. Ariza made it a three-point game by sinking the second of two free throws with 12 seconds left, but Mayo forced overtime with a 25-foot 3-pointer with six seconds remaining.
The Bucks went cold in the extra session, going 2-for-8 from the field with two turnovers, and they suffered their 10th consecutive loss.
"It really shouldn't have got to overtime," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "Going down the stretch in regulation, we just made some bad plays. In close games you have to make plays down the stretch, and we didn't do it. In overtime, we didn't execute, we had a couple of bad defensive possessions and it just got away from us. But I thought the effort was there."
Coming off back-to-back blowouts in which they lost by a combined 42 points, the Bucks shot 44 percent from the field and went 10-for-24 on 3-point attempts, but their 24 turnovers led to 29 points.
"We have to execute better," said Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, who went 6 of 7 and finished with 12 points. "When we come out of timeouts, we sometimes kind of run in a misdirecton. We have to tighten up some little things. We've lost 10 in a row, but we have to think about small things and try and get better."
Washington earned its third win a row despite its own turnover problems, coughing it up 27 times. The Wizards shot 50 percent from the field and got 25 points from center Martin Gortat, who went 11 of 12 from the field and pulled down eight rebounds.
He was one of four Wizards to score in double figures. Guard John Wall scored 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter, while Webster added 18 with seven assists and Ariza added 14 points.
"It's time for us to steal those games we're supposed to have," Webster said. "We just have to outright take them. We owe ourselves that, especially in the games we know we should win. And tonight we showed that."
While Milwaukee fell flat in the extra session, the Wizards made 4 of 8 from the field, converted all four free throw attempts and got a clutch 3-pointer from Ariza, who made it a six-point game with a 23-foot 3-pointer with 1:35 to play.
"We're in a tough stretch here of eight games in 11 days," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "They aren't going to be pretty, but I give these guys credit. We came out with not much spark to start the game, got down 11-2 and then fought back to be tied at 11. You're going to have nights like that coming off a back-to-back but mentally, we stayed in it."
Both teams shot nearly 60 percent in the first half but struggled to protect the ball. Milwaukee connected at a 55.6 percent clip but turned the ball over 11 times, leading to eight points for the Wizards, who led 49-48 at intermission.
NOTES: Milwaukee has lost 10 consecutive games for the sixth time in franchise history. The Bucks' losing streak is their longest since dropping 15 in a row during the 1995-96 season. ... Washington G John Wall is averaging 29.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds over his last four games, shooting 56 percent from the field during that stretch. ... Milwaukee debuted its new floor Wednesday. The playing surface had to be removed and resurfaced after players slipped during the Bucks' final exhibition contest, a game that was canceled midway through the first period. ... The Wizards' trip continues Friday against the Pacers in Indiana, so F Al Harrington will host Thanksgiving dinner for his teammates Thursday at his mother's Indianapolis-area home.