WASHINGTON – Markieff Morris shot 7 of 7 from the floor for 15 points, Otto Porter Jr. added 14 and the Washington Wizards beat the San Antonio Spurs, 116-106, on Tuesday night (Wednesday, Manila time) to snap a three-game losing streak in the middle of a tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
San Antonio lost for just the second time in eight games but may have been dealt a more serious blow with a left knee injury to star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was the game's leading scorer with 13 points before he limped off late in the second quarter. Aldridge is the biggest reason the Spurs have stayed afloat without Kawhi Leonard most of this season.
Washington lit up the NBA's top scoring defense to improve to 15-11 in 26 consecutive games without five-time All-Star guard John Wall, who is close to returning from left knee surgery. The Wizards had dropped to sixth in the East by losing five of seven and could clinch a playoff spot as early as Thursday.
The Spurs are potentially in a more precarious spot, sitting sixth in the West with Utah, Minnesota, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers all within reach behind them.
Spurs: Fell to 2-9 on the road since Feb. 1. ... Shot 18 of 33 (54.5 percent) from the free throw line. Brandon Paul's 0 for 2 in the fourth quarter earned all fans in attendance a free fast-food chicken sandwich. ... Are 2-5 this season without Aldridge.
Wizards: Made 10 of 24 3-point attempts. ... Morris scored his 15 points in just 17 minutes and didn't attempt a free throw. ... Had seven players in double figures, including Kelly Oubre Jr., who had 12 with nine rebounds.
WALL NEARING RETURN
While Wall insisted he'll be himself when he gets back, coach Scott Brooks is already having discussions about how to manage the 27-year-old's seemingly imminent return because the ramping-up process is going so well.
"His knee is responding through everything that we put him through, so it's getting close," Brooks said. "We're pushing him in practice, making sure he can withstand the intensity that it's going to be in a game as much as we can simulate it."
SPURS TO SUPREME COURT
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich took his team to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, where they met Chief Justice John Roberts and heard from Justice Sonia Sotomayor about her life and experiences. Popovich wanted players to continue learning about things outside basketball, which seemed to work.
"I thought it was dope," Paul said. "I took a business law class in high school. ... I'm a big fan of the law. My mom jokes with me and says that I should try and go to law school and stuff like that. I thought it was cool to meet the different people that came to talk to us."
Spurs: Return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
Wizards: Visit the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.