A late-January, Monday-night game between the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs is not exactly a marquee matchup. Still, there was more on the line in this contest than most people probably realized. With their 127-106 win, the Wizards ended one of the NBA‘s strangest losing streaks.
Before this game, the Wizards hadn’t won in San Antonio since Dec. 11, 1999, when they picked up a 99-89 victory thanks to 31 points, four rebounds, and five assists from Mitch Richmond, who out-dueled a young Tim Duncan (23 points and 13 rebounds).
Even considering that Eastern Conference teams play each Western Conference team on the road just once per season, that was still a 22-game losing streak that lasted 8,451 days. Four players on the Wizards’ roster and seven players on the Spurs’ roster in this game had not even been born yet the last time the Wizards were victorious in San Antonio.
While ending their San Antonio woes was a cool historical note, the more important story for the Wizards is that they’ve now won six games in a row, the longest active winning streak in the league. As a result, they’re up to ninth place in the Eastern Conference at 24-26 and are just 3.5 games back of a top-six spot. At the very least, they should be in the mix for a play-in spot the rest of the way.
Deni Avdija stepped up with a career-high 25 points off the bench to lead the way in the scoring department in this game, while Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 14 assists in strong all-around performances. Next up for the Wizards are the lowly Detroit Pistons, who have the worst record in the East. If they can win that game, they’ll earn their first seven-game winning streak since 2017 and tie for the third-longest streak in franchise history.