Wizards regroup after loss, return home to face Jazz

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards went from being the Eastern Conference's hottest team to losing their first game after the All-Star break.

They will need to beat one of the Western Conference's best teams to avoid dropping back-to-back games for the first time in nearly two months.

Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz (36-22) visit Washington on Sunday for the first of two regular-season meetings against the Wizards (34-21).

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Washington went 18-3 in its final 21 games before the lengthy All-Star break. Despite 40 points from Bradley Beal, the Wizards fell 120-112 at the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

"We gave up 69 points in the second and third quarter that is too many points," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "When you score 112 points on the road, that should always be enough to win. ... We've got to move on.

"We have been playing good basketball. Hopefully, it is just one game and we come back tomorrow and have a good day and get ready for Sunday."

The Jazz had a good night Friday in Milwaukee thanks to their pick-and-roll scheme. Utah scored 22 points in the paint in the first quarter and 52 for the game.

Hayward scored 29 points, Derrick Favors 19, and center Rudy Gobert registered his 40th double-double of the season with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

"Our guards did a good job of attacking the pick-and-roll," Hayward said. "They're big enough to see over the top and they were hitting the roll man. ... The roll was wide open."

Showing little after the break, the Jazz took control with an 18-2 run in the first quarter.

"Coming back from the break always brings cobwebs," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "I felt that we started the game like that. We weren't communicating defensively, and we were making mistakes.

"After that first timeout, we kind of figured it out a little bit. The guys did a good job. They played together and shared the ball. I thought we were pretty solid defensively."

Washington can't make that claim after allowing 120 points to the 26th- ranked scoring offense in the NBA. The Wizards also labored on 3-pointers, going 5 or 24.

"They really got our number, man," Beal said of the 76ers. "It was the first game back. We had some terrible energy and focus. We kind of disrespected them a little bit and they kicked our butts. Plain and simple. We just didn't come out with focus and energy."

Washington faces the stingiest defense in the league. Utah allows 95.7 points per game.

All-Star John Wall had 29 points and 14 assists in the loss to the 76ers. Bojan Bogdanovic scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field in his Washington debut after Wednesday's trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

Acquired to provide the second unit with needed scoring and shooting, Bogdanovic had yet to practice with his new team before playing. His presence will lead to a rotation shake-up. Kelly Oubre Jr., also 1 of 5 against Philadelphia and 4 of 20 in his last five games, is among those reserves who could receive fewer minutes.

"Right now, we need a better version of Kelly," Brooks said of Washington's sixth man after Saturday's practice. "We're going to keep challenging him, keep pushing him. Hopefully, he comes back better Sunday night."

Washington last lost two in a row on Jan. 2-3 in back-to-back road games at Houston and Dallas.