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Apr 5, 2024 9:47 pm

Deandre Ayton, Blazers hand Wizards another loss

Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton collected 34 points and 13 rebounds to lift the visiting Portland Trail Blazers to a 108-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday.

The double-double was the third in a row for Ayton, who made 13 of 25 shots from the floor and 8 of 9 attempts from the free-throw line. He also had 23 points and 16 rebounds in the Trail Blazers’ 118-117 setback to Washington on Dec. 21.

Portland’s Dalano Banton recorded 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists off the bench. Rookie Scoot Henderson contributed 19 points and seven assists for the Trail Blazers (21-56), who have won two in a row following a season-high 10-game losing skid.

Washington’s Deni Avdija collected 22 points and 12 rebounds and Jordan Poole added 20 points and nine assists. Rookie Tristan Vukcevic had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Wizards (15-63), who have dropped five of their last six games to match the franchise record for losses in a season. They finished 19-63 in both the 2000-01 and 2008-09 seasons.

Washington didn’t do itself any favors by making just 5 of 33 attempts from 3-point range.

Vukcevic tipped in a basket to give Washington a 101-100 lead with 3:01 remaining in the fourth quarter before Henderson’s jumper on the ensuing possession regained the advantage for Portland.

The teams each made a free throw before Kris Murray added a basket and Henderson converted a three-point play to stake the Blazers to a 108-102 advantage with 15.1 seconds left.

The Wizards’ Jared Butler misfired on a 3-point attempt to effectively end the game.

Washington pulled within three points at 86-83 early in the fourth quarter before Ayton drained a long-range jumper and Banton sank a 3-pointer for a 91-83 advantage.

Poole drained a 3-pointer to bring Washington within three points at 65-62 early in the third quarter before Portland answered with a 19-10 run. Henderson scored nine points during that stretch, capped by a 3-pointer to give the Trail Blazers to an 84-72 lead with 2:33 remaining in the quarter.

Avdija converted a pair of three-point plays and Butler and Justin Champagnie combined to sink three free throws during a 9-2 run for Washington to end the quarter.

–Field Level Media

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