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Fast break: Minus Wall, Wizards lose for 1st time in playoffs

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Fast break: Minus Wall, Wizards lose for 1st time in playoffs

ATLANTA -- Without John Wall, the Wizards didn't stand much of a chance at beating the Atlanta Hawks again at Phillips Arena in Game 2 Tuesday. Ramon Sessions' postseason career-high 21 points almost did it, but in the end they ran out of gas without their best playmaker. 

The Wizards lost for the first time in the playoffs 106-90, but the series is now 1-1 though they still have home-court advantage. 

Wall (left wrist) was injured in Game 1 here when the Wizards won 104-98. Sessions started for him, and while the assists weren't there the scoring was as he went 8-for-14. Sessions had four assists. Wall has averaged 13 assists per game in the playoffs. 

Bradley Beal had more ball-handling responsibilities as well and produced 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Paul Pierce had 15 points and Marcin Gortat 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:26 left. Otto Porter came off the bench to score 15 and grab eight rebounds.

Sessions scored 10 points in the first 3:13 of the third quarter to put the Wizards in range of a game they trailed after having a 7-6 first-quarter lead. They drew even on Porter's three-pointer at 71 but never could regain the lead. 

The Hawks had 18 assists on their first 20 made baskets as they took a 53-46 lead going into halftime. DeMarre Carroll had a team-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and four assists while Paul Millsap and Al Horford scored 18 each. Kent Bazemore had 10 off the bench.

TURNING POINT: The Wizards went without a field goal until 9:19 of the fourth when Sessions made a drive to the basket. They still were able to get to 84-81 after a three-pointer from Pierce but an offensive rebound and putback by Millsap and a three-pointer from Pero Antic pushed the lead to double digits for Atlanta. 

NUMBERS GAME: The Wizards shot 35-for-82 from the field, 42.7%, includ2ng 13 of 22 three-pointers, 54.5%, but lost the edge in rebounds 44-40 edge in rebounds and 38-30 in paint points while the Hawks also were plus-nine in assists with 30.

RETURNED: Garrett Temple made his first appearance in the postseason, and it was his first game action since March 9 when he strained his right hamstring and had a setback during recovery. He entered at 2:54 of the first quarter and made Korver uncomfortable with his 6-6 frame. Temple only scored two points in 13 minutes on 1-for-4 shooting but he's on the roster because of his defense and hustle.

IN CHECK: Even without Wall, the Hawks' backcourt of Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver were outdone again. They combined to shoot 7-for-23, including 4 of 14 on three-pointers. Beal and Temple kept Korver contained. 

LOST OPPORTUNITY: The Hawks went with Mike Muscala for the first time in this series and weren't able to make him a factor when he came in with 1:03 left in the first quarter. The Wizards allowed him to take a few open shots that he missed badly, but Nene wasn't able to make them pay by closing the gap. The Hawks were ahead by six when Muscala entered. When he left with 8:52 left in the second, they led by eight. For the second game in a row, Nene didn't have a field goal. His only two points came on foul shots. He went 0-for-5 in 27 minutes. 

VILLAIN: The "Paul Pierce sucks" chants began again after the Wizards' forward dealt a hard foul to Teague to prevent a transition basket just before halftime. The same thing happened in a first-round series with the Toronto Raptors, but that was for what he said before it began. Pierce leaned into Teague with his shoulder to stop a fast break. It was just a common foul.

UP NEXT: The Wizards returned to D.C. immediately after the game and likely will be off Wednesday. They don't play Game 3 until Saturday at Verizon Center (ESPN, 5 p.m. ET).

MORE WIZARDS: John Wall's injury jeopardizes Wizards' postseason run

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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. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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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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