USA TODAY Sports
The Bucks erased a 20-point deficit in the 3rd quarter, but didn't have the energy to finish out the game.
A dominant first half and quick third-quarter start helped the Washington Wizards build a 20-point lead, which seemed like it would be enough against a visibly exhausted Milwaukee Bucks team. But the Bucks had some surprising fight in them, outscoring the Wizards by 19 points in the 3rd quarter to take a 3-point lead into the fourth. Unfortunately, whatever energy source they discovered was only enough for one run, and the Wizards came right back to control the 4th quarter and eventually earn a 13-point victory.
John Wall led the Wizards with his second consecutive double-double, notching 23 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals in an excellent all-around performance. Washington also got 20 points from Martell Webster who sank four shots from behind the arc.
Monta Ellis did his best to keep Milwaukee competitive, dropping in 12 of his 19 shot attempts for 26 points and dishing 8 assists. Brandon Jennings had 9 dimes for the Bucks but shot just 2-8, including 0-3 from deep. Ersan Ilyasova shook off a rough first half (3-10 shooting) to finish with a respectable 21 points and 12 rebounds, but his inability to slow down the Wizards on defense or keep them off the boards was critical.
Also of note was the ejection of Larry Sanders (17 pts, 11 rebs, 2 blks) who was tossed after receiving two quick technical fouls for arguing (and mockery) after a charge was called against him.
The loss drops Milwaukee to just a game above .500 and two full games behind the Boston Celtics for the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks host the Heat, who extended their winning streak to 20 games with a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, Friday night.