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Celtics coach Brad Stevens outdistances John Wall

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens outdistances John Wall

The Wizards didn't lose because of John Wall, who admitted that his legs were almost dead when he missed the layup at the buzzer that would've sent Saturday's game into overtime. It was because the Boston Celtics has Brad Stevens as coach.

"I should've dunked the ball but I didn't have enough energy left to do that," Wall, who had a season-high 36 points, 13 assists, seven steals and seven rebounds in a season-high 44 minutes. 

They were short-handed without Bradley Beal (rest), Otto Porter (right hip) and Drew Gooden (left calf) negating the return of Marcin Gortat after missing three games with a knee infection.

RELATED: Wall's layup falls short at the buzzer

After two foul shots from Garrett Temple tied the score at 117 with 14 seconds left, Stevens drew up a play during the timeout that caught the Wizards (19-20) off-guard. The Wizards didn't have any timeouts left and Wall went the length of the court with four seconds left and had a clear path to the rim. Nene's putback was too late.

"Brad knew exactly how they were going to play it," said Jae Crowder, who made a point-blank layup off Marcus Smart's pass over the top of Kelly Oubre as he fronted the post. "I wanted to front on the post to clear the backside for me so there was no backside help and throw it over the top and me make a play."

In a nutshell, that was it. But the Wizards were expecting Stevens to run his final offensive play through Isaiah Thomas in some sort of pick-and-roll action. That would make the most sense as Thomas had 32 points and made 16 trips to the foul line. Keeping him out of the paint has been a constant challenge but Stevens -- easily the NBA's best coach when it comes to after-timeout plays -- did it again.

"They popped the ball back to Marcus Smart," Wall said. "He threw a perfect pass. It was a situation we weren't expecting it. ... I don't think that one play cost us the game."

Wall scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, stealing an inbound pass to Evan Turner for a dunk to get the score to 111-110 with 1:11 left.

Even after that Stevens fooled the Wizards. He designed an ATO for Avery Bradley, who had been a non-factor offensively with nine points on 4 of 13 shooting, to pop for a three-pointer. He made it and the lead was four.

Both teams traded a flurry of free throws (12 in the last 30 seconds), including a technical on Crowder for arguing with Wizards coach Randy Wittman. Then came the heart-breaking finish for Oubre, who was making his seventh start for Porter.

"He hit the game-winning shot on me," Oubre said. "It's definitely a tough pill to swallow."

Veterans like Temple, however, won't let the rookie take the blame for the loss. They led 61-54 at halftime and instead of putting Boston away they squandered the lead because of nine second-half turnovers (only five in first two quarters). 

"They ran a good play. We thought they were going to one or two guys and Brad drew up a great play. They got something over the top with no help. That's our fault," Temple said. "As veterans we got to tell Kelly how we would guard if they try to go in the post. He was doing things we've been doing over the whole season, fronting the post. We didn't have any weakside help on that one for him. We had a chance way before that in the third quarter where we lost the game."

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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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:

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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:

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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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