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Brandon Jennings goes overboard with taunts of Wizards' Casper Ware

Brandon Jennings goes overboard with taunts of Wizards' Casper Ware

Brandon Jennings, in his seventh NBA season and first with the New York Knicks, couldn't contain his emotion. He was playing at Madison Square Garden and on fire in the third quarter as he sparked his team to take the lead on the Wizards. 

Someone forgot to tell Jennings that this was just a preseason game and he was getting hyped about draining a floater over Casper Ware, a generously listed 5-10 free agent who is trying to find a roster spot in the league.

“He’s trying to make the team," said Wizards coach Scott Brooks, who can relate to Ware's predicament of being undersized and working so hard to just make the final 15. "You got to respect guys like Casper. He’s putting himself in positon to make it in the league… I’m proud of the way Casper handled himself."

Jennings shoved Ware after the floater and appeared to mock him by clapping in his face to rile up the home crowd. They had to be separated. Jennings then drained a three-point shot over Ware, who also fouled him.

By the time Ware got comfortable, Jennings was off the floor. He scored eight points, including a floater of his own over the 7-foot Marshall Plumlee to tie the score at 88. 

He didn't have much to say about Jennings after the game, but both California natives have a history playing against one another in a pro-am league during the offseason.

"Yes, I was honestly," Ware said when asked if Jennings' behavior surprised him. "You got to take the good with the bad. I just got to focus and keep playing."

Like Brooks, Bradley Beal was complimentary of his teammate's composure.

"Casper did a great job," he said. "If I was in Capser’s position, I probably would’ve retaliated a little different."

RELATED: Wall looks sharp in return to Wizards

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

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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!

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Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Last night's Washington Wizards comeback would not have happened had it not been for the team's blowout third quarter. 

Of course, you can say that literally about any quarter, but if you take away the third, the Toronto Raptors outscored Washington easily, 78-66.

The Wizards won by eight and this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a performance of this magnitude from this bunch.

In that frame alone in Game 4, the Wizards broke out to 40 points, the same amount they had in the first two quarters combined. As a team, they shot 65 percent and 83 percent from deep (5-for-6).

By far that was their best offensive quarter of this series.

Of course, Bradley Beal got his due, 12 points including three three-pointers, but for the first time this series, Otto Porter Jr. became a threat on the offensive end of the court.

The 6-8 forward scored 10 of his 12 points, all of which came in a 26-14 run. First, he started with back-to-back three-pointers, both in the tail end of a transition, both a feed from John Wall. One came from the corner and the other came off of a screen that ended up being a close contest from OG Anunoby.

That run resulted in the Wizards’ first lead of the game from a corner three courtesy of Beal.

Speaking of Anunoby, he was silent in that quarter for the Raptors. Granted in the first half he was taken off the court after getting pinned under Marcin Gortat, but the Raptors’ guard played for nine minutes and the only thing he recorded on the stat sheet was a foul.

Serge Ibaka, who has also been a pain in the Wizards’ side also disappeared. One rebound, two points from the free throw line, and one block was all that the 6-10 forward managed. With Porter on the court and producing, it pushed Ibaka to set up outside the paint, clearing the lane for Wall to generate movement on the offense.

All this being said, Toronto actually didn’t have a bad quarter. They shot 50 percent from the field and DeMar DeRozan had 14 points.

But the Wizards were simply better. They out-shot one of the best all-around offensive teams in the league.

Rolling with the punches in transition, not passing up open looks, Wall dealing out six assists; that is the Wizards’ team that knocked off some of the top teams in the NBA this year. No one shot more than five times in the quarter and the team combined for 10 assists on the 15 made baskets.

They erased a 14-point deficit and were tied at 80 heading into the fourth.

If you look back to the last 40-point playoff quarter for Washington, there are many parallels. It was another series where the Wizards were down 0-2 to the Celtics. They were dealing with an offensive driven team and the physicality became a prevalent story in the series.

Had it not been for those 12 minutes of basketball, the Wizards would be down 3-1 and face an insurmountable climb to get back into their First Round series. Now they are at a fresh slate in a best-of-3 series. With all the momentum, Washington is just two wins away from getting back to the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs.

Hopefully, this time is a little different than the last.