Washington Wizards

Wizards play the role of thief in Boston thriller

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Wizards play the role of thief in Boston thriller

BOSTON -- Bradley Beal scored 34 points, including a three-point play with 1:25 left in the second overtime, and the Washington Wizards beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 125-124 on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer that could have won it for the Celtics, who were without six players and missed several opportunities to put away the Wizards.

Otto Porter Jr. finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Markieff Morris scored 20 points, Ian Mahinmi added 14 and Tomas Satoransky had 10 points for Washington, which played the night before but still had enough energy at the end to rally past the weary Celtics, who blew a 20-point lead.

Boston patched together a lineup without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) and center Al Horford (illness), two of the four regulars who were sidelined.

Marcus Morris led Boston with 31 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, but made a costly defensive error in the closing seconds of regulation. Terry Rozier added 21 points and nine assists, and Tatum scored 19 points for the Celtics (see full recap).

Simmons, Augustin power Magic to upset
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jonathon Simmons scored a career-high 35 points, D.J. Augustin added 32 and the Orlando Magic bounced back from an embarrassing defeat to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 126-117 on Wednesday night.

Simmons was 7 of 12 from 3-point range and Augustin hit 6 of 9, three of them in the fourth quarter to help Orlando pull away.

Nikola Vucevic had 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Magic, who were routed 108-72 Tuesday night in San Antonio, their fifth straight loss.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 38 points for Milwaukee, which has lost seven of 10.

Augustin and Simmons combined for 20 points as the Magic closed out the first quarter on a 27-7 run to take a 16-point lead.

Milwaukee (36-32) erased most of it by scoring the first 10 points of the second quarter, but did not regain the lead until Eric Bledsoe converted a turnover into a layup with 4:50 left in the third quarter.

Orlando (21-48) scored the final 14 points of that period to take 91-80 lead into the fourth.

The Bucks never got within five in the fourth quarter (see full recap).

Kings recover after blowing late lead 
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- De'Aaron Fox made a layup at the buzzer to force overtime, Zach Randolph scored the first three points of the extra period and finished with 22, and the Sacramento Kings recovered after blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Heat 123-119 on Wednesday night.

Randolph added a key block on Justise Winslow with 1:19 remaining in OT as Sacramento swept Miami for the first time since 2001-02.

That overshadowed an impressive night by Miami's Goran Dragic, who scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter to fuel the Heat's comeback and matched his season high of 33 points. But Dragic missed a tying turnaround jumper with 20 seconds left in overtime, then stepped out of bounds with the ball with 12.3 remaining.

Randolph had the first three points in overtime with a free throw and 17-foot jumper. Fox made a short runner, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 28-foot 3-pointer and Buddy Hield added four free throws.

Hield finished with 24 points, Fox had 20 and Bogdanovic added 14 for Sacramento.

The Heat, who began the day in eighth place in the East, lost their second straight.

Wayne Ellington had 22 points with six 3-pointers, James Johnson added 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Winslow scored 13 points for Miami (see full recap).

Victor Oladipo powers Pacers up standings

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Victor Oladipo powers Pacers up standings

WASHINGTON — Victor Oladipo scored 33 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 20 and the Indiana Pacers defeated Washington 98-95 on Sunday night to overtake the Wizards by a half-game in the crowded Eastern Conference standings.

Myles Turner added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which almost gave away a 17-point lead but never trailed in a victory that vaulted it into fourth place in the East. The Pacers finished their four-game road trip 2-2 after beginning it with two losses.

Bradley Beal scored 22 points and had a career-high 11 assists for Washington, which lost its third straight for the first time this season.

Beal, the Wizards' leading scorer this season, shot just 8 of 27 from the floor, missing three potential tying or go-ahead shots inside the final 19 seconds. And as Washington fell to 10-6 without All-Star point guard John Wall (knee surgery), Beal also committed two of his five turnovers on late possessions when the Wizards could have tied or taken the lead.

Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points for Wizards, who sank to fifth place, a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, who played later Sunday.

Down 17, Washington climbed back into the game with a 12-0 run that began late in the third quarter and stretched into the fourth. Beal scored seven in that span, and then found Jodie Meeks for a 3-pointer that cut it to 80-75 with 9:44 left.

The Wizards eventually got within one before Beal missed a transition layup with Oladipo and Cory Joseph contesting to keep the score 96-95 with 19 seconds left.

From there, Oladipo and Joseph each hit one of two free throws, and Beal missed a game-tying jumper attempt on one possession before his look at a game-tying 3 fell short near the buzzer (see full recap).

Raptors capture 11th win in last 12
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 13 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 103-98 on Sunday night, Toronto's 11th win in 12 games.

Serge Ibaka scored 17 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors completed their first season sweep of Charlotte since 2006-07. Both DeRozan and Lowry made key 3-pointers down the stretch as Toronto improved to 26-5 at Air Canada Centre, the best home record in the NBA.

Fred VanVleet and C.J. Miles each scored 12 points for the Raptors, who have won four straight since an overtime loss to Milwaukee on Feb. 23.

Kemba Walker scored 27 points and Dwight Howard had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who lost their third straight, all on the road. Charlotte is 10-21 away from home.

Jeremy Lamb scored 16 points, Frank Kaminsky had 15 and Nicolas Batum added 10.

Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored the game's opening basket but the Hornets never led again.

The Hornets cut the deficit to two, 88-86, on a three-point play by Lamb with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter. Lowry answered with a 3 for Toronto and, after Walker split a pair at the line, DeRozan added a corner 3, giving Toronto a 93-87 lead with 3:22 remaining.

This was the first time in four meetings with Charlotte this season that the Raptors failed to score at least 120 points (see full recap).

Holiday leads Pels to 8th-straight win
DALLAS — Jrue Holiday scored 30 points, Nikola Mirotic added 24 in a rare start and the New Orleans Pelicans won their eighth in a row, 126-109 over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

On a night when his jumper wasn't falling, Anthony Davis had 23 points and 13 rebounds, scoring most of his points from inside 5 feet.

Holiday scored 19 in the first half as the Pelicans held a double-digit lead for most of the last three quarters, save for one fleeting Dallas run at the start of the fourth.

New Orleans has averaged 127 points during its streak and cleared 118 in all eight games.

Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 23 points for the Mavericks, passing Elvin Hayes for eighth all-time in field goals with 10,980.

Dallas opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to get within 91-87, with Kyle Collinsworth scoring on a three-point play and Nowitzki and J.J. Barea hitting 3-pointers. After calling timeout, New Orleans answered with 10 straight points, including 3s by Holiday and Mirotic.

Dennis Smith Jr. also scored 23 for Dallas, which has lost three straight and 17 of 21.

Nowitzki scored 11 points in the first quarter, including a 3 at the buzzer, but New Orleans led 33-25 after one.

Holiday took advantage of the smaller Dallas guards to get inside, scoring 19 in the first half. Mirotic hit three 3s in a 19-8 run to start the second quarter, which gave the Pelicans their biggest lead at 19.

Dallas got within 10 in the third quarter and had the ball, but Smith threw away an outlet pass, and Davis and Ian Clark scored all of the Pelicans' points in a subsequent 12-4 run (see full recap).

They didn't win in D.C. but Sixers know they may need to in playoffs

They didn't win in D.C. but Sixers know they may need to in playoffs


WASHINGTON — The Sixers’ 58th game of the regular season very well could have had playoff implications, or even been a preview of a postseason pairing. 

The Wizards (35-25) hold the fourth seed in the East, a coveted position for the last shot at home-court advantage. The Sixers (32-26) are two games behind them in seventh, a close but still significant differential with a tight battle among several teams. 

The Wizards kept their distance by snapping the Sixers’ seven-game winning streak, 109-94 (see observations)

“It’s a chance, depending on how the year plays out, we might cross match,” Robert Covington said. “You’ve got two unbelievable atmospheres with Washington and Philly. Home court is going to play a big part in it.”

The Sixers had reaped the benefits of a rare five-game homestand heading into the All-Star break. In fact, they have not lost at the Wells Fargo Center in 2018, feeding off the energy of their fans and the vibe in the city since the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The Sixers are embarking on a three-game road trip, though, against playoff-contending teams. They will have to play through adverse environments as they face the Heat on Tuesday and Cavaliers Thursday. 

“We’ve been undefeated at home for quite a bit now,” Joel Embiid said. “If you want to be a playoff team you’ve got to win those type of (home) games. But at the same time, you’ve got to go on the road and try to steal one.”

Stealing one on the road against the Wizards is something the Sixers have struggled to do in their last eight trips. They have not won in Washington since Nov. 1, 2013. 

They fell flat in their efforts Sunday. The Wizards led by as many as 23 points and squashed the Sixers’ late-game comeback attempt. Bradley Beal (24 points), Otto Porter Jr. (23 points) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (19 points) led the way as the Wizards improved to 9-3 without John Wall (left knee surgery). 

The highlight stat lines of Embiid (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Ben Simmons (16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) were outweighed by the team’s overall shooting struggles (36 percent from the field, 27.3 percent from three).

“I think we were never into the game, honestly,” Embiid said. “We didn’t make threes, we didn’t share the ball, we didn’t execute.” 

The season series between the Sixers and Wizards is tied up at two apiece. If they do face off in the playoffs, the Sixers will have to take care of business in Capital One Arena, home-court advantage or not.

“Sometimes it’s hard to explain,” Saric said of the Sixers’ struggles in Washington. “But I think if we play against them in (the) playoffs, I think we can beat them and we can beat them on their court.”