Kyle Kuzma grabs 22 rebounds, Wizards escape Magic | Inquirer Sports
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Kyle Kuzma grabs 22 rebounds, Wizards escape Magic

/ 11:43 AM January 10, 2022
Kyle Kuzma Wizards

Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards reacts against the Charlotte Hornets at Capital One Arena on January 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

Kyle Kuzma had 27 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, Bradley Beal scored 20 points and the Washington Wizards sent the host Orlando Magic to their ninth consecutive defeat with a 102-100 victory on Sunday.

Cole Anthony made two free throws with 15.9 seconds left to bring Orlando within 100-98. Kuzma hit the second of two foul shots with 12.4 seconds remaining to give the Wizards a three-point lead, while Magic rookie Franz Wagner made it 101-100 with a dunk.

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Beal’s free throw with 6.8 seconds to play gave Washington a two-point cushion, allowing Orlando one final possession for a tie or a much-needed home win. But Beal partially blocked Gary Harris’ 3-point attempt from the right wing with time winding down, and Chuma Okeke’s off-balance putback at the buzzer was well-contested by Kuzma.

Washington overcame a terrific performance by Orlando’s Terrence Ross, who scored 16 of his 32 points in the third quarter. Ross continued his strong play since clearing COVID-19 protocol, making 13-of-20 shots in 31 minutes off the bench.

Ross scored 20 straight points for Orlando — tying a franchise record held by Tracy McGrady — during one stretch of the second half as the Magic eventually dropped their seventh straight game at the Amway Center.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributed 14 points for Washington and Daniel Gafford had 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Spencer Dinwiddie also had eight points and 10 assists.

Wagner finished with 16 points. Anthony (12 points) and Harris (11 points) also scored in double figures and Mo Bamba had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Magic.

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Washington’s Rui Hachimura made his much-anticipated season debut with six points and three rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench. Hachimura, the Wizards’ first-round draft pick in 2019 out of Gonzaga, played for the first time since a June 2 playoff loss to Philadelphia and went 2-for-8 from the field and 2-for-4 at the free-throw line.

Wendell Carter Jr., who leads Orlando in double-doubles this season with 19, missed his second straight game due to a sore left hamstring and rookie guard Jalen Suggs missed his 19th straight game with a fractured right thumb.

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