Wizards take down Bucks
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Ariza netted 18 points and the Washington Wizards held off the Milwaukee Bucks, 114-107, at the Bradley Center.
Ariza shot 9-of-12 from the field and Bradley Beal scored 23 points to help Washington to its eighth win in nine games. Both Ariza and Beal hit five 3- pointers.
Martell Webster and Drew Gooden added 15 and 13 points, respectively, in reserve roles for the Wizards, while John Wall finished with nine points and 13 assists.
Brandon Knight led six Bucks in double figures with 25 points.
Milwaukee's lone lead of the contest came midway through the first quarter, when Khris Middleton's jumper made it 15-13. Washington took control after that, pushing the spread to 36-27 after 12 minutes.
Gooden opened the second with a jumper to spark a 16-4 surge, which he capped with his first 3-pointer of the season at 7:40 of the period for a 52-31 advantage. Beal and Ariza hit back-to-back threes minutes later as the lead reached 66-39.
Washington led by as many as 28 in the first half and owned a 75-53 advantage at the break.
"When you're down that much, to fight back it takes a lot out of the tank," said Knight. "We've got to do a better job of not putting ourselves in that position early in the game."
The Bucks chipped away during the third quarter and made things interesting early in the fourth. A pair of Giannis Antetokounmpo free throws had the visitors within 85-78 a minute into the final frame.
"We've got guys that need to learn that the game is never over in the NBA," said Washington head coach Randy Wittman. "We came out in the third quarter like we were going to run the clock out and go on home."
Later on, Ersan Ilyasova made two at the stripe with 2:13 to play, as Washington's once comfortable margin was down to 104-101. Beal made sure the Wizards would leave with a win, however, scoring five straight before John Wall's 3-ball iced it with 59 seconds left.
The Wizards have won five straight away from home ... The Bucks have lost three straight and five of six ... Bucks guard O.J. Mayo was suspended for the game after "forcibly striking" New Orleans center Greg Stiemsma on Friday ... Middleton scored 15 points, Ramon Sessions had 14 for Milwaukee and Ilyasova scored 13 with eight boards.