Wizards drop 15th in a row, 103-87 to Utah Jazz

By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 28, 2010; D04

When the Washington Wizards set a franchise record for futility in Charlotte on Friday, Coach Flip Saunders succinctly explained his team's recent struggles by stating, "We just don't have enough."

But as they prepared to host the Utah Jazz at Verizon Center on Saturday, the undermanned and overmatched Wizards realized that they were going to have a little less.

Randy Foye was forced to finally rest his sore left wrist, which had been plaguing him for nearly a month and contributed to him losing his starting point guard job to Shaun Livingston. It was likely the last thing this offensively-challenged team needed when it already was missing starting small forward Al Thornton and has scored more than 90 points just four times this month.

"Murphy's law, I guess," Saunders said.

The Wizards still went out to play a game against the Jazz, a Western Conference playoff contender, but the result was what could've been expected. They lost their 15th consecutive game, 103-87.

"I told our guys, 'We're playing teams right now that have more talent than we have,' " Saunders said after the Wizards (21-51) lost their fourth game this month by at least 15 points.

A crowd of 15,312 tried to stick around, but many began flooding toward the exits with 4 minutes 29 seconds remaining when Jazz point guard Deron Williams dropped a behind-the-back pass to Carlos Boozer for a layup and free throw that gave the Jazz a 22-point lead.

Boozer and Mehmet Okur led all scorers with 22 points each, while Williams had 20 points and 12 assists as the Jazz nearly repeated the result of the last meeting on March 15, when the Wizards lost by 23.

Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 20 points, but missed 14 of his 22 shots. Nick Young came off the bench and scored 16 points, while Shaun Livingston and Mike Miller both had 14. The Wizards trailed, 61-56, when Miller made a running bank shot with 6:24 left in the third period, but the Jazz outscored them 36-20 over the next 14 minutes.

Thornton missed his second consecutive game with a strained right hip flexor, as Saunders started Alonzo Gee. But after scoring 19 points in his first career start in Charlotte, Gee was held to just six points.

Foye hurt his wrist in a collision with Chicago's Derrick Rose on Feb 22 and had been toughing it out through the pain and wearing a protective cast after games. He scored 17 points off the bench the night before, but aggravated the injury while reaching in on Bobcats reserve D.J. Augustin.

"I was trying to grind it out because it was my left hand, but it affects my game," said Foye, who will have an MRI exam on Monday.

The Wizards have lost 17 of 18 overall and have not won since Feb. 28.

They have just two opportunities to avoid going winless this month. But that will not be an easy task, with road games against Houston and New Orleans next week.

"Obviously, it's not any fun," Miller said. "Nobody feels sorry for us. I don't think Houston or New Orleans is going to feel sorry for us and let us win. We have to go out there and earn it. We're men. We have to go out there and do it."

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