Utah makes it a month since Washington win

March 28, 2010|By Michael Lee | The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — — When the Washington Wizards set a franchise record for futility in Charlotte on Friday night, coach Flip Saunders explained his team's recent struggles by stating succinctly, "We just don't have enough."

But as they prepared to host the Utah Jazz at Verizon Center on Saturday, the undermanned and overmatched Wizards realized that they were going to have a little less.

Randy Foye was forced to finally rest his sore left wrist, which had been bothering him for nearly a month and contributed to his losing his starting point guard job to Shaun Livingston. It was likely the last thing this offensively challenged team needed when it already was missing starting small forward Al Thornton and has scored more than 90 points just four times this month.

"Murphy's law, I guess," Saunders said.

The Wizards still went out to play a game against the Jazz, a Western Conference playoff contender, but the result was what could've been expected. They lost their 15th consecutive game, 103-87, and 17th of 18; Washington hasn't won since Feb. 28.

"I told our guys, 'We're playing teams right now that have more talent than we have,' " Saunders said after the Wizards (21-51) lost their fourth game this month by at least 15 points.

An announced 15,312 tried to stick around, but many began flooding toward the exits with 4 minutes, 29 seconds remaining when Jazz point guard Deron Williams dropped a behind-the-back pass to Carlos Boozer for a layup and free throw that gave the Utah a 22-point lead.

Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 20 points but missed 14 of his 22 shots. Nick Young came off the bench and scored 16 points, while Livingston and Mike Miller both had 14.

Thornton missed his second straight game with a strained right hip flexor, as Saunders started Alonzo Gee. But after scoring 19 points in his first career start in Charlotte, Gee was held to six points.

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