Wizards

UNC beats BC 82-70 despite Hairston's injury

201301292035741344082-p2.jpeg

UNC beats BC 82-70 despite Hairston's injury

BOSTON (AP) P.J. Hairston ignited a first-half run and scored 14 points before he was taken off the court on a stretcher after a scary fall late in the opening half of North Carolina's 82-70 win over Boston College on Tuesday night.

Hairston banged the back of his head on the floor after colliding with teammate Dexter Strickland. A North Carolina spokesman said he suffered a concussion, but was not going to be taken to the hospital.

James Michael McAdoo led North Carolina (14-6, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 17 points and 10 boards. Strickland added 14 points.

Olivier Hanlan scored 22 points, Ryan Anderson 16 and Patrick Heckmann 12 for the Eagles (9-11, 1-6).

Boston College lost its fifth straight game.

North Carolina, which entered its sixth straight week out of The AP Top 25 after spending 33 consecutive weeks ranked, opened a double-digit lead midway into the first half and coasted to the win despite losing Hairston.

The scary moment came with 4:02 left in the half when Hairston collided with Strickland as they were contesting a shot by Heckmann. After banging into his teammate while they were both in the air, Hairston fell backward to the floor and hit his head.

Hairston connected on all four 3-point attempts and hit two free throws before he was injured.

Hairston was on the floor for a lengthy time being attended by the medical staff - with coach Roy Williams at his side. After he was helped to his feet, he attempted to slowly walk to the locker room - with each arm draped over a teammate - but he appeared to become woozy and was helped to the floor where he sat until paramedics brought a stretcher.

Surrounded by medical personnel, he was carted down a long hallway past the North Carolina locker room and into a medical room in the building, where he was expected to stay for the rest of the game. He left to an ovation, with a few players from BC standing at midcourt and applauding.

North Carolina, which led by 15 at halftime, kept BC from making a charge by getting timely transition baskets early in the second half.

When BC looked like it might put a scare into North Carolina, Marcus Paige and Reggie Bullock hit 3s that helped maintain a comfortable lead.

Heckmann's three-point play had cut it to 67-56, but Bullock followed with a trey from the left wing with 7 minutes left.

The Tar Heels, ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation in November, opened the game with sloppy play. Their shooting didn't help either as they missed six of their first seven shots until Hairston entered the game and sparked a 16-2 run over a 3-minute stretch by hitting three from beyond the arc.

BC jumped to a 10-5 edge before Hairston's 3 from the right wing ignited the run. After a 3-pointer by Bullock and a short jumper in the lane by Desmond Hubert, Hairston nailed a 3 from the top of the key. Brice Johnson then sank a baseline jumper before Hairston hit another trey, making it 21-12 with 1:30 left in the opening half.

During the spree, Carolina went 6 for 6 from the floor.

The Tar Heels maintained their double-digit lead for the remainder of the half - thanks in part to three straight baskets by Jackson Simmons - and led 48-33 at intermission.

Behind Hairston's success from long range, the Tar Heels were 5 of 8 from behind the arc in the first half. They also shot 52.9 percent overall (18 of 34) and outrebounded the smaller Eagles 18-10.

The Tar Heels play their next two games at home, hosting Virginia Tech Saturday and Wake Forest on Tuesday.

BC next hosts Clemson on Saturday.

Quick Links

How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

How the Wizards have taken Raptors big man Serge Ibaka out of the series on offense

The Wizards-Raptors first round playoff series has evolved to feature the emergence of several players who started off slowly including Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Kelly Oubre, Jr. The opposite has happened for Toronto big man Serge Ibaka.

After Ibaka lit up the Wizards for 23 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in Game 1, there has been a disappearance. His scoring has gone missing and it's a big reason why the Wizards have won two straight games and earned a 2-2 series split.

Head coach Scott Brooks knows Ibaka well from their days in Oklahoma City. He helped develop Ibaka and has since watched from afar as his game has changed to include a consistent outside game.

Brooks has on several occasions referred to Ibaka as one of the best three-point shooting big men in the league. The numbers back that up. Last season, he shot 39.1 percent from three on 4.0 attempts per game, excellent for a 6-foot-10 power forward.

This season that number dipped to 36 percent, but he hit 41 percent of his threes in his final 16 games of the regular season. That carried over into the playoffs when he went 3-for-4 in Game 1 as part of an 8-for-11 shooting night overall.

The Wizards made a point to take away those outside shots following their series-opening defeat. The way they are doing that is by crowding him when he gets the ball, even if it means him getting past the initial defender.

"You want to make sure you meet him on the catch. You want to take away his shot," Brooks said. "When he gets open shots, they are money. He's going to knock them down... We did a good job of meeting him on his catch and making him put the ball on the floor with his left hand. You can live with the results."

After his 23-point outburst in Game 1, Ibaka has scored just 20 points total in the last three games. He has gone 2-for-6 from three.

The Wizards are taking away his shot attempts in general. He took 11 shots in each of the first two games of this series, but just four in Game 3 and five in Game 4. In Game 3 he had three points and three turnovers and on Sunday he had seven points and four turnovers.

Here are two examples of the Wizards' defense on Ibaka. On this first play, Markieff Morris meets Ibaka as soon as he catches the ball and the result is a turnover:

On this next play, Morris follows Ibaka all the way to the rim and even though he goes up on a pump fake, Morris recovers to alter Ibaka's shot and force a miss:

The Wizards, however, did get away with one against Ibaka. He was left wide open for a three in the final minute, but the shot rimmed out:

As the first two plays demonstrate, Morris deserves a lot of credit for the Wizards' success against Ibaka. He has the size and mobility to keep up with him and is willing to use contact to his advantage.

"Just playing the tendencies," Morris said. "We're making them do things they are uncomfortable with and are getting better results."

Ibaka was fourth on the Raptors this season in points per game and third in shot attempts. He is their third option behind All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. If the Wizards can continue to lock up Ibaka, it will be difficult for the Raptors to beat them.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

OUBRE IS HELPING THE WIZARDS WIN IN MANY WAYS

WALL WAS DUNKING ALL OVER RAPTORS BIG MEN

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM GAME 4 WIN

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

usatsi_10801687.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller were joined by Julie Donaldson to break down the Wizards' wins in Games 3 and 4.

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat are back and the Wizards are a different team because of it. Plus, how regaining their Death Row D.C. mentality has changed this series.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!