Wizards continue push for sixth seed, host Bucks
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards edged into sixth place in the Eastern Conference and will try to stay in that position Saturday night when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to the Verizon Center.
The Wizards moved ahead of Charlotte on Friday night with a 96-86 road victory over the Orlando Magic, while the Bobcats lost at Boston. Washington and Charlotte were dead even, but the Bobcats own the tiebreaker by virtue of their 3-1 head-to-head record.
Nene scored a team-high 17 points and John Wall finished with 10 points and 12 assists to lead the Wizards over the Magic on Friday.
Bradley Beal finished with 16 points while Trevor Booker and Marcin Gortat added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Wizards.
Neither team shot the ball very well on Friday with both squads under 42 percent from the field. The Wizards shot 2-for-19 from long range. Orlando built a 12-point lead after the first quarter, but the Wiz continued to fight back throughout the contest.
"It's great to win a game like this. I don't think anybody shot the ball well. I think we shot like 10 percent from the 3-point line so it was definitely a great defensive effort by us," Beal said. "They got up early again on us, but I think we did a great job of sticking with it defensively and that's what won the game."
The Wizards host the Miami Heat on Monday, then close the regular season in Boston on Wednesday.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, has a chance to earn back-to-back wins for the first time all season. The Bucks ended a six-game losing streak Friday night with a 119-116 home victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brandon Knight scored 24 points and Ramon Sessions tallied 20 points and seven assists for the Bucks, who have lost 12 straight on the road. Khris Middleton had 17 points, Zaza Pachulia 16, John Henson 15 and Chris Wright 14 for the Bucks.
"A win is a win. Personally, I love winning. It's a weight off your shoulders," said Henson. "We finally finished out a game. If we can win these next three, it'll feel even better."
The Bucks scored 58 points in the paint. Prior to Friday, the Cavaliers had allowed fewer than 45 points in the paint in 18 consecutive games, which was the longest active streak in the NBA.
At 15-64, the Bucks hold the worst record in the NBA. That is two games clear of Philadelphia (17-62), which lost at Memphis Friday night.
The Wizards have won two of three this season, but did fall at home to the Bucks on Dec. 6. Milwaukee is 4-2 in its last six visits to our nation's capital.
04/12 10:18:24 ET