Kyle Kuzma returned from an ankle sprain and scored 33 points, making six 3-pointers, to lead the Washington Wizards to a 126-101 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
Kristaps Porzingis added 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won three of their last four matches.
“We’re making strides. I think we did a good job,” Kuzma said. “I think the biggest way — we talk about efficiency — is just the way we were playing, playing the right way, playing extra pass basketball, moving the ball around. That’s going to cause a lot of efficient nights because you’re getting quality shots.”
Afterward, Kuzma posted to Twitter: “Feels good to be back hoopin.”
Damian Lillard had 39 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Blazers. Anfernee Simons added 17 points but sprained his right ankle late in the third quarter and had to be helped to the locker room. Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said X-rays were negative.
“Once I saw him stay down, I was definitely concerned. That makes things tougher for us,” Lillard said.
The Blazers were already playing without Jerami Grant because of the concussion protocol and big man Jusuf Nurkic, out with a left calf strain.
The final margin was the Wizards’ biggest lead of the second half. Cam Reddish made a 3-pointer that had the Blazers within 105-90 with 8:11 left. Shaedon Sharpe got Portland closer at 107-97 with 5:14 to go.
A series of calls versus the Blazers, including a flagrant foul and a technical on Lillard, stalled Portland’s momentum. It was the first flagrant foul of Lillard’s career.
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-backs.
The Blazers hit 23 3-pointers in a 127-115 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers, who were without NBA career scoring leader LeBron James.
The Wizards fell 135-126 at the Golden State Warriors.
The newest Blazers, Reddish and Matisse Thybulle, started together for the second consecutive game after both were acquired at last week’s trade deadline.