WASHINGTON – Nick Young scored a flashy 26 points, JaVale McGee had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards broke an eight-game losing streak Wednesday night with a 100-85 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Young had a flying one-handed baseline dunk in the first half and scored 11 points in the 16-4 run that gave the Wizards a 20-point lead early in the third quarter. Among the highlights: Young picked off a pass, tossed the ball to John Wall, then received an alley-opp pass back from the rookie to finish off the fast break with another one-handed jam.
The win kept Washington with a winning record at home (14-12), a welcome contrast to the team's 0-25 mark on the road. The Wizards have one more game in the homestand before they put their dubious streak on the line in a much-anticipated — at least from a painful-to-watch standpoint — visit to last-place Cleveland on Sunday.
Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to lead the Bucks, who have lost five of six and fell 2½ games behind the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee was hoping to build some momentum after a home win over Toronto on Tuesday, but, as coach Scott Skiles said before the game: "We haven't done a good enough job this year of beating teams around or below our own record."
McGee had his first double-double since Jan. 24, pulling down more rebounds than in his last four games combined (12) and getting the better of Bucks center Andrew Bogut. Bogut scored eight of Milwaukee's first 10 points but didn't score again until 2½ minutes to play in the game. He missed a pair of free throws early in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Wizards were having fun, despite being undermanned in the frontcourt. Even guard Kirk Hinrich had a rare highlight block, rejecting John Salmons' drive into the seats. Hinrich only has seven blocks on the season.
The Wizards dressed only 10 players, and all the missing notables were forwards: Al Thornton (dislocated right middle finger), Yi Jianlian (sprained left ankle), Josh Howard (sore left knee). In addition Rashard Lewis played with stiffness in his right knee and scored only three points in 29 minutes.
The Bucks made a dent in the lead in the fourth quarter, scoring six straight points with the help of a couple of steals by Jennings to pull within 12, but Cartier Martin hit back-to-back 3-pointers from opposite corners for the Wizards to make the score 89-71 with 5½ minutes left.
Notes: Coach Flip Saunders said Wall had the Wizards' blessings for the rookie's jet-setter's trip to Kentucky on Tuesday. Wall flew out of Washington after practice to watch his college team play a night game at home against Tennessee. Wall sat courtside during the Wildcats' victory and spoke to the team in the locker room. According to his Twitter feed, Wall — who is a Wizards co-captain — didn't board a plane to return home until 12:30 a.m. or so. "He was probably at home and in bed earlier than if he would have stayed in D.C. He's a late night person," Saunders said. "He stays up watching TV and everything else, so there was no concern." ... Milwaukee F Chris Douglas-Roberts was suffering from an illness and did not play until the final 1:10. F-C Larry Sanders sat out with back spasms.