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Beal returns as Wizards work over Bucks 106-101: Five takeaways


Beal returns as Wizards work over Bucks 106-101: Five takeaways

Bradley Beal made his return to the Wizards, who didn't miss a beat as they won for the third time in a row to move to a game from getting back to .500, with a 106-101 win vs. the Milwaukee Bucks at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

The Wizards had seven players score in double figures, led by John Wall (19 points, eight assists, five rebounds), Ramon Sessions (15 points, five assists), Jared Dudley (13 points, six rebounds), Nene (12 points), Garrett Temple (11 points, five assists, four rebounds, five steals), Beal (11 points) and Otto Porter (10 points).

It's their third win over Milwaukee (16-25) in as many meetings. 

Washington (18-19) darted out of the gates by shooting 62% in the first quarter to take a 28-19 lead. They stretched the lead to as large as 19 points in the second quarter and showed superb ball movement.

But they lost it by shooting just 6 of 23 in the third quarter and entered the fourth down 74-71. A 20-5 run, however, to put an end to Milwaukee. 

Khris Middleton (25 points), Jabari Parker (22 points) and Greg Monroe (21 points, 12 rebounds) led the Bucks. 

  • Milwaukee's spacing is terrible, and it allowed Temple to terrorize the passing lane. He had a career-high five steals in the first quarter alone, and in the second he had a chasedown block of O.J. Mayo that led to a transition layup for Dudley. When Dudley missed a three, Temple attacked the ball on the carom and challenged Giannis Antetokounmpo for it. The loose ball was picked up by Sessions for a layup. 

  • Inserting rookie Kelly Oubre changed the tone of the game. The Bucks have length and with a 7-2 wingspan he has lots of reach. Oubre had a three-point shot at the buzzer to end the third waved off from about 40 feet. He started the fourth and made a steal on the first possession that produced free throws that he made. Then calmly, Oubre buried a corner three-pointer as the Wizards went up 78-74. Oubre had another steal that resulted in two free throws for Wall. That's five points and two steals in nine minutes. This kid is for real and shouldn't be forgotten in Wittman's rotation because Beal is back. Aside from a three-point stroke that has been deadly accurate (12 of 22 since Dec. 19), he has those intangibles -- confidence, grit and ice in his veins -- that can't be gauged. But this is why the Wizards were so confident in trading up to get him in June. This is a game, however, where he should've played more. The Wizards had 15 deflections in the fourth quarter alone and turned over the Bucks 12 times. It's not by coincidence. 

  • Porter went to the locker room with 6:46 left in the third quarter limping because of a sore right hip, after he made a difficult clutch shot in transition in the lane. He did not return. Add him to the list of the wounded that already includes Marcin Gortat (left knee), Kris Humphries (right knee) and Alan Anderson (left ankle). Neal was a game-time decision because he'd come down with the flu and only played six minutes. He did make his only shot on a three.

  • Beal only played 22 minutes but having him back changes how teams defend the Wizards. With him on the floor late in the fourth, the defense didn't think twice about allowing Dudley to shoot. Multiple defenders were too concerned about running Beal off the three-point line. The result was wide-open threes for Dudley, who even had time to reset his feet with no one running at him. The lead bumped up to 100-92. 

  • Nene, making his second start in the middle for Gortat, took over the game defensively in the fourth to lead the Wizards from a 74-71 deficit. His ball pressure produced a steal from John Henson that led to Sessions' dunk as the Wizards regained the lead 75-74. He switched on to Michael Carter-Williams and forced him to lose it out of bounds and then tied up Johnny O'Bryant to prevent an offensive rebound. Then he won the tap which led to Oubre's three. Nene had another steal that put Wall in transition that got him to the foul line, forced Henson into a miss at the rim by playing good position defense and gave up his body to take a charge from Antetokounmpo. Then a few plays later, Wall took a hard charge in a similar spot from Jabari Parker. That sort of effort is contagious. 

[RELATED: Beal reacts to hometown Rams moving to L.A.]

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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:


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:


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.


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:


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.