NBA: Blazers dig out of 20-point hole to defeat Wizards


Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates after scoring against the Washington Wizards in the second half at Capital One Arena on February 03, 2023 in Washington, DC. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter on Friday, helping the visiting Portland Trail Blazers overcome a 20-point deficit in a 124-116 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Simons drained nine 3-pointers and added six assists as the Trail Blazers outscored the Wizards 73-47 in the second half.

Portland’s Damian Lillard collected 29 points and six assists, and Trendon Watford scored a season-high 21 points off the bench. Josh Hart added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who recorded their fifth win in the last six games to reach .500 on the season.

Jerami Grant had 10 points and Drew Eubanks had five while making the start in place of the injured Jusuf Nurkic. The Trail Blazers announced earlier on Friday that Nurkic will be sidelined until after the All-Star break due to a left calf strain.

Bradley Beal scored 34 points and Kristaps Porzingis collected 32 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards, who saw their season-high six-game winning streak come to a halt.

Beal, who made 14 of 25 shots from the floor and four 3-pointers, also provided a bit of comic relief in the first quarter. He enjoyed a bit of popcorn from a fan in the front row after unsuccessfully chasing a loose ball before it went out of bounds.

The Wizards pushed their advantage to 20 points on multiple occasions in the second quarter before Hart’s 3-pointer with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter gave the Trail Blazers a one-point lead at 102-101.

Portland kept its foot on the gas, with Simons and Watkins each draining a 3-pointer before Hart’s basket on the interior pushed the advantage to 122-111 with 55 seconds remaining.

Washington bolted out of the blocks as Porzingis scored eight quick points to stake his team to a 15-2 lead. He finished the first quarter with 16 points after making 4 of 5 shots from the floor — including 2 of 3 from 3-point range — to pace the Wizards to a 36-19 advantage.


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