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Big 3 help Spurs send Mavs to sixth straight loss

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Big 3 help Spurs send Mavs to sixth straight loss

DALLAS (AP) Tony Parker had 21 points and nine assists, Manu Ginobili had several key baskets among his 20 points and the San Antonio Spurs handed the Dallas Mavericks their sixth straight loss, 111-86 on Sunday night.

Dirk Nowitzki had eight points on 3-of-9 shooting a week after making a surprise return in a 38-point loss to the Spurs in San Antonio.

The Spurs led all the way, with Tim Duncan helping a 20-6 start by hitting several jump shots. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

Darren Collison scored 18 points to lead the Mavericks, whose losing streak is their longest since January of their championship season in 2010-11.

Dallas was within five in the third quarter when Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down, and he made an even longer 3 with the shot clock inside a second to put San Antonio ahead 80-70. He finished the third quarter the same way he did the second - with a last-second shot that put the Spurs up by 12.

Nowitzki struggled again a week after making his season debut at San Antonio. It was his third game in four nights, and he was limited to 17 minutes Friday against Denver, the second of back-to-back games. He missed his first three shots of the second half before finally hitting a driving layup to get Dallas within six.

Ginobili keyed a late spurt in the first half that turned a five-point lead into a 12-point halftime edge. He assisted on a 3-pointer by Kawhi Leonard and scored the final two baskets of the half, the last a pull-up jumper with less than a second left for a 57-45 lead.

The Spurs ran out to a 20-6 lead on midrange jumpers from Tony Parker, who scored 10 in the first quarter, and a couple of 3-pointers from Danny Green, who had a career-high seven from long range against Dallas a week ago. Green finished with eight points and was 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

The Mavericks closed the gap late in the first behind Elton Brand, who scored six in the first quarter after going scoreless for the second time this season two nights earlier against Denver. Brand scored 14 points in this one.

O.J. Mayo, Dallas' leading scorer, was held under 10 points for the fourth time in five games. He came in averaging 9 points on 33-percent shooting the previous four games and finished with eight on 4 of 14 shooting. Green blocked two of his 3-point attempts in the second half, including one after Mayo tried a pump fake that instead just gave Green enough time to get there before Mayo shot it.

NOTES: Mavericks F Vince Carter made his first start after coming off the bench the first 30 games. ... Spurs G Gary Neal missed his third straight game with a strained right calf. ... Mayo had a career-high five steals in Friday's loss to Denver. But he also had six turnovers for the third straight game. ... Green was 14 of 19 from 3-point range the previous three games. He was 7 of 8 when the Spurs set a franchise record with 20 3-pointers a week ago against Dallas. ... Oklahoma football players drew some boos when they were shown on the big board. The Sooners play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on Jan. 4. Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M attended a Mavs game a few days after winning the award.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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