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Djokovic treats media with chocolates after win

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Djokovic treats media with chocolates after win

LONDON (AP) Always the joker, Novak Djokovic was a man bearing gifts after reaching the championship match at the ATP finals.

The top-ranked Serb beat Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament, then handed out chocolates to thank journalists for their ``cooperation throughout the whole year.''

``I have a little chocolate treat for everybody,'' Djokovic said after answering English questions. ``If you would be kind and accept my present to you.''

The Australian Open champion then stepped off the podium and handed out chocolates to anyone who wanted one.

After each tennis match, players are obligated to hold a news conference. Most players, including Djokovic, normally answer questions in English from the international media first and then switch to their native language for journalists from their home countries.

Djokovic, who last week walked out on court at the Paris Masters with a Darth Vader mask to celebrate Halloween, is known for his good humor. Some videos on YouTube of him impersonating rival players have gone viral.

Djokovic was originally scheduled to have his news conference about 1 hour, 20 minutes after his match ended on Sunday. But that was delayed by 15 minutes, and he didn't actually start until about 30 minutes after that.

Of course, Djokovic had a witty answer as to why he was so late - after his serious response.

``We just took a little more time to do all the post-match recovery program because I'm going to play tomorrow,'' Djokovic said. ``I needed to be fresh and ready for a press conference, as you guys always can be very challenging.''

Although Djokovic handed out the chocolates on Sunday, he'll be back for one final match on Monday. He will face Roger Federer in the final at the O2 Arena.

After Federer's 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Andy Murray in the other semifinal, the six-time champion was surprised when told of Djokovic's actions.

``That's very nice and thoughtful,'' Federer said. ``I must say, I'm impressed.''

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS