Wizards

Brazil alive; Big doubles win for Czech Republic

Brazil alive; Big doubles win for Czech Republic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Brazil's doubles team of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares upset the top-ranked Mike and Bob Bryan 7-6 (6), 6-7 (7), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and kept the United States from clinching the first-round Davis Cup match.

It was only the third time the Bryan brothers had dropped a Davis Cup match. It was just the second time that they had dropped a five-set match in ATP competition. Their only other five-set defeat was in a 1999 match at Wimbledon.

The United States has a 2-1 advantage heading into Sunday's reverse singles.

---

CZECH REPUBLIC 2, SWITZERLAND 1

GENEVA (AP) - In the longest match in Davis Cup history, the Czech Republic beat Switzerland in a doubles epic lasting seven hours.

Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol eventually clinched on their 13th match point to edge Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 24-22.

The defending champion Czechs took a 2-1 lead on Chiudinelli's double-fault.

The previous longest Davis Cup match was 6 hours, 22 minutes for John McEnroe's victory for the United States against Sweden's Mats Wilander in 1982.

Berdych and Wawrinka are due back on court Sunday to begin the reverse singles.

---

CANADA 2, SPAIN 1

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez helped Spain staved off Davis Cup elimination with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2 win over Canada's Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.

Canada is attempting to advance to the second round of Davis Cup World Group play for the first time. The Spaniards, who are missing their top stars to injury and rest, trail the best-of-five series 2-1.

David Ferrer, ranked fourth in the world, Rafael Nadal (fifth), Nicolas Almagro (11th) and Fernando Verdasco (24th) stayed home. While Nadal and Almagro are out with injuries, Ferrer and Verdasco chose to rest.

---

ARGENTINA 3, GERMANY 0

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Argentina reached the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the 12th straight time after David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos defeated Germany's Christopher Kas and Tobias Kamke in doubles.

Argentina will be at home to face France in the quarterfinals in April.

Carlos Berlocq and Juan Monaco gave Argentina a 2-0 lead in Friday's singles.

---

ITALY 2, CROATIA 1

TURIN, Italy (AP) - Italy beat Croatia in the doubles to take a 2-1 lead.

Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli took 3 hours, 17 minutes to beat Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (11). Fognini converted Italy's fifth match point with an ace. Croatia wasted two set points in a thrilling tiebreaker.

Italy needs one win from Sunday's reverse singles to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998, when it won the competition.

---

SERBIA 3, BELGIUM 0

CHARLEROI, Belgium (AP) - Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic beat Belgian duo Ruben Bemelmans and Steve Darcis 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the doubles to take an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Serbia won despite playing without ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic, who is injured.

---

FRANCE 3, ISRAEL 0

ROUEN, France (AP) - France beat Israel 7-6 (3), 6-1, 6-0 in the doubles for an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

After Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet won their singles Friday, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra had little trouble brushing aside Israel's makeshift pairing of Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela after a competitive first set.

---

KAZAKHSTAN 2, AUSTRIA 1

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) - Alexander Peya and Julian Knowle kept Austria's hopes alive by winning the doubles.

They beat Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin 7-6 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3) to make sure the series will be decided in Sunday's reverse singles.

Golubev is set to play Jurgen Melzer, before Evgeny Korolev takes on Andreas Haider-Maurer.

Quick Links

Bradley Beal's phantom foul and the Wizards' most important rally of the season

Bradley Beal's phantom foul and the Wizards' most important rally of the season

After calling an inconsistent game throughout the night, the referees made a decision with five minutes to go in Game 4 that nearly altered the entire series between the Wizards and Raptors.

DeMar DeRozan was chasing a rebound on the baseline and ran into Bradley Beal. Beal, who had a team-high 31 points, was levied a sixth and final foul with the score tied. 

Beal had unloaded for 20 points in 12 minutes in the second half, but now the Wizards would have to close it out without their All-Star shooting guard. Somehow, they were able to seal the win and tie the series.

Beal heard the whistle as he laid on the ground. He immediately hopped up and unleashed a tantrum that nobody could blame him for.

He jumped up and down, screaming at the referees, who had just called by all accounts a questionable foul and in a key moment of a playoff game.

Both Beal and head coach Scott Brooks were incensed and with good reason.

“I was beyond emotional, beyond mad, frustrated," Beal said. "I honestly thought they were going to kick me out of the game I was so mad, but I was happy they didn’t do that."

Beal is probably lucky the referees didn't take offense to his reaction because it continued when he was on the bench. He walked past his teammates and leaned over with his hands on his knees, still furious. Then he returned to the sideline to yell at the refs. Center Ian Mahinmi helped convince him to step back and cool off.

Beal has made a major difference in this series. He averaged 14.0 points in the first two games, both losses. He has averaged 29.5 points in Games 3 and 4, two Wizards wins.

Getting him out of the game was a major break for the Raptors, but they couldn't take advantage. The Wizards closed the final five minutes on a 14-6 tear. John Wall stepped up to lead the charge with eight of those points.

The Wizards still had one star on the court and he played like one.

“Just go in attack mode," Wall said. "When Brad went out, I knew I had to do whatever it took... I just wanted to do whatever, so that we could advance to Game 5, tied 2-2.”

Once Beal composed himself, his confidence grew in his teammates. He and Wall feel comfortable playing without each other because they have done so often throughout their careers.

This year, Wall missed 41 games due to a left knee injury. Two years ago, Beal missed 27 games. Early on in his career, he had trouble staying healthy. Now he is an iron man who played in all 82 games during the 2017-18 regular season.

Beal has grown accustomed to being on the floor a lot, but he realized he can still affect the game from the sidelines.

"I just gathered my emotions, gathered my thoughts and told my team we were going to win, regardless. I knew if we still had John [Wall] in the game I loved our chances," Beal said. "Face the adversity that I had to overcome, just gather myself and be a leader, being vocal and keeping everyone encouraged in the game.”

Wall and others did the heavy lifting in the end. The Wizards used Kelly Oubre, Jr. as the shooting guard with Beal out and he made key plays down the stretch, including a steal on Kyle Lowry in the closing seconds.

The Wizards were thrown a significant curveball and they overcame it to put themselves in good position now having won two straight.

“You have to have resolve to win in this league," Brooks said. "You win playoff games and you win playoff series with having that. We have that, and we have to continue to have that because we have to win two more games and one of them has to be on the road."

When it comes to the officiating, the Wizards deserve credit for their resilience and restraint early in Game 4. The Raptors had 16 free throws in the first quarter compared to the Wizards' four. Washington perservered and ended up with more free throws (31) than the Raptors (30) did for the game.

In Game 1, the Wizards appeared to be affected by a lack of foul calls. That came was called loosely by the referees, while this one was officiated tightly. Though Beal went off, the Wizards for the most part stayed the course and were rewarded for it.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

WALL WAS DUNKING ALL OVER RAPTORS BIG MEN

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM GAME 4 WIN

Quick Links

The Wizards supplied all the highlights and fireworks; 5 must-see moments from Game 4

The Wizards supplied all the highlights and fireworks; 5 must-see moments from Game 4

WASHINGTON -- As the home team in a dire situation you have to take advantage, and that is exactly what the Washington Wizards did in their 106-98 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Highlight reel play after highlight reel play, the Wizards ignited the crowd with some of their best plays from the entire season to make it 2-2 in the series. Here are just a few of them:

1. John Wall collects posters in the first half

The first one was perhaps the best. Everything was going wrong for the Wizards, poor turnovers, bad shots, a three from Toronto. Then John Wall had enough. Not only did he fly past his defender Kyle Lowry, but he went up and slammed one home past the 7-foot Jonas Valanciunas. Up until that point, the Wizards were shooting 1-for-7.

Rinse and repeat, except this time Jakob Poeltl was Wall’s victim.

2. Wall to Beal alley-oop in transition

With the Wizards’ offense faltering, the Raptors remained on the verge of blowing the game open throughout the second quarter. But with a steal from Otto Porter Jr., Wall hung up the ball for Bradley Beal to slam home. The alley-oop kept the Wizards within single digits in the second with an uninspiring offensive effort.

3. Otto Porter breaks out of the half

A subdued offensive start to the game was due in part to the production from Porter. In the first half he went 0-for-4 with one point in nearly 17 minutes of action.

Throw that away in the second half. He broke out of halftime with back-to-back threes and 10 of the Wizards’ 26 in a monster 26-14 run to take the lead back in the third.

He finished the quarter with 10 points, an assist, and two blocks.

4. The Polish Hammer throwing it home

Are you convinced yet that Marcin Gortat’s new haircut is doing him some good? Gortat squeezed through two Raptors’ defenders, threw it down, gave a Goliath-type roar to the crowd before officially bringing the hammer down. 

5. Beal being called for his sixth foul of the game

Agree with the call or not, there is no denying that Beal’s removal from the game lit a fire underneath the Wizards. From that point Washington went on a 14-6 scoring run to end the game, closing out for the win.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

WITH PLAYOFF BEAL BACK, IT IS OFFICIALLY A SERIES

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

WIZARDS DOMINATED GAME 3 BECAUSE EVERYONE ATE... LITERALLY