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Dudley tries to explain woes, brushes off not playing in 4th

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Dudley tries to explain woes, brushes off not playing in 4th

As the Wizards were trying to hold on to a lead they'd built vs. the Houston Rockets, after erasing a 15-point deficit, Jared Dudley sat and watched the meltdown in the fourth quarter. He was a major part of the comeback but didn't log a minute after the third.

"A little bit surprising but you know what? It happened (vs.) Phoenix and we won the game," Dudley said Thursday, before the team departed for a four-game road trip that begins at the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, of coach Randy Wittman's decision. "I thought I played well in the third quarter. It happens through the course of the game. To me it's not that big of a deal."

That's because the Wizards (9-11) had their chances. Gary Neal had a three-pointer go most of the way down in the basket and then pop out. It could've given them a seven-point lead but instead James Harden led his team back. 

RELATED: Howard barely involved in Rockets offense against Wizards

Dudley had two three-pointers to start the third quarter and a strip of Harden that led to Otto Porter's uncontested layup. The Wizards' mood appears to be lagging after last winning consecutive games Nov. 21. 

Wittman labeled his team "soft" for how they began the first quarter again. John Wall disagreed again. Bradley Beal, who shot 5-for-15 and had seven turnovers, seems miserable -- again.

Dudley did his best to explain what's going wrong with the Wizards. Again.

"Some of the normal stuff you would do with player personnel, you might have to change for him," Dudley said of Harden who was 4 of 5 in the first quarter and had 19 of his 42 points by halftime. "He's so aggressive going to the basket. ... We did a bad job with that.

"What made it so easy for him was on the picks he got through the middle and it was basically (the defense) was like Moses parting the (Red) Sea. That's when the lobs are coming so you have to respect them even though they're struggling kind of like us being inconsistent they have the personnel so when they play well they can beat you."

It gets back to what Dudley observed when he first joined the Wizards. The locker room

We have to hold each other accountable. Getting beat down like (by) Indiana hitting where they're a lot of threes with intensity high, I'm fine with that. But I just felt like they were getting too many dunks. It was too easy early on," Dudley said. "For me, I have to be more vocal when it comes to in the locker room, when it comes to on the court.

"As players, we're supposed to keep each other accountable."

MORE WIZARDS: Wall defends Wizards after Wittman labels them 'soft' again

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 4: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

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

GAME 4: TORONTO RAPTORS AT WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Series: Raptors lead 2-1
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Time to get even

After a momentous Game 3 win, the Wizards have breathed some life back into their season. On Sunday, they can make this a brand new series.

With a win in Game 4 for the Wizards, they would tie the series and send it back to Toronto ensuring another home game in Washington. A loss would put them down 3-1, a deficit that has historically been hard to overcome.

Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat, most notably the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors did the same that year in the conference finals. It has only been done three times since 2006. 

How will Raptors respond?

Game 3 took on a much different tone and style than the previous two and it played into the Wizards' hands. It was much more physical and Washington did a good job of instigating contact and using it to their advanage. After the game, several players highlighted Markieff Morris shoving OG Anunoby and Serge Ibaka as a turning point.

Just because it worked in Game 3 doesn't mean it will carry over successfully in Game 4. Not only could the Raptors respond with their own dose of brutality, but the referees may try to nip anything of the sort in the bud early on.

It would not be surprising if Game 4 was officiated very tightly and if a message was sent in the first quarter to the players. After seeing how well it worked in Game 3, the Wizards will likely try to test the limits.

Playoff Beal

The Raptors will also try to adjust their defense following Bradley Beal's 28-point outburst in Game 3. He wasn't much of a factor in the first two games of the series, but broke out in Game 3 to lead the Wizards to a win.

The Wizards did a good job of getting Beal involved early. He was found for open looks from three in the first half and had two three-pointers in each of the first two quarters. Beal also took it upon himself to attack the rim and force the issue.

The Raptors held Beal back in the first two games by being rough with him and in Game 2 they got him in foul trouble. Surely he will be a big emphasis of their gameplan on Sunday.

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards returned to Washington, D.C. on Friday down 0-2 to the Raptors in their best-of-seven 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The team lost a close one in Game 1 and was run out of the building in Game 2. Game 3 was must-win, and the Wizards knew what needed to happen in order for them to secure the victory.

"Everybody eats." 

That's the phrase that has defined the Wizards throughout much of the season They are at their best when John Wall is making plays and feeding his teammates.

On Friday night, the Wizards beat the Raptors 122-103 to force at least a Game 5. Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Bradley Beal finally broke out of his slump for 28 points and  Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre all chipped in with at least 10 points.

But the stat sheet wasn't the only place where everybody eats.

Here's Marcin Gortat from Game 3. 

But if pantomiming isn't your thing, here is Bradley Beal actually eating popcorn during Game 3.

So what did we learn in Game 3? Well, for starters: "Everybody Eats" is not just a motto, it is a way of life.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

GORTAT DITCHES MOHAWK, TEAMMATES APPROVE

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

BEAL GOT AN APOLOGY FROM SCOTT BROOKS