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Morning tip: Porter returns to form in clumsy effort

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Morning tip: Porter returns to form in clumsy effort

This didn't look like the same team that had held three consecutive opponents to less than 100 points. The Wizards, confused by the L.A. Clippers on both ends, had two left feet in a 17-point home loss that overshadowed Otto Porter's rebirth after a left thigh bruise derailed his season.

Chris Paul was unstoppable as he had 23 points in just 27 minutes. DeAndre Jordan was 6-for-6 (all dunks) as he was set up with lobs and entry passes that found him unguarded.

"It was more communication, making it tough on Paul. He was just getting to his spots," Porter said. "We were running into each other on the pick-and-roll when Paul would come off and stuff like that. It was just communication."

Porter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and when the Wizards (14-15) had a real chance early in the third quarter to make a run he was on the floor with Kelly Oubre.

Oubre has started the last five games at small forward while Porter was out. This is the second game in a row that Porter has come off the bench but he logged 33 minutes in Monday's 108-91 loss. Oubre had played 25 minutes in making his fifth start but only had five points.

"We didn't come out with enough energy in the first quarter. That's where we kind of dug ourselves into a hole," Porter said of that 34-20 deficit. "We tried to fight our way back out, fight our way back the whole game. We just didn't have enough."

The consummate team player, Porter isn't going to say that he wants his starting job back. He only lost it because he took a knee into his thigh from Dwight Howard in a game Dec. 9. Porter played through it but his knee gradually stiffened because of the issues he had in his thigh.

Oubre has made a three-pointer in each game he has started. He's 8 of 12 overall. Porter, who was shooting less than 28% from deep when he sat, is 4 of 8 in his last two games. 

It's plausible that Porter could be back in the starting lineup Wednesday when they play at the Toronto Raptors. As long as Oubre doesn't fall completely out of the rotation, the Wizards should end up better off as a result because the rookie can contribute and learn behind Porter.

And putting the duo on the floor with Garrett Temple with his defensive prowess and wingspan at 6-6 makes them all better. But they have to convert shots, no matter who the starter is, to make this arrangement work. 

MORE WIZARDS: PIERCE'S SWAGGER STILL NEEDS TO BE REPLACED

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

5 must-see moments from Wizards' huge road win over Cavaliers, including Markieff Morris' alley-oop

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 110-103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night...

1. The Wizards didn't start out well, as they trailed by nine points at the end of the first quarter. Kelly Oubre, Jr. stumbled early by missing four of his first six shots and it looked like a carryover of his slump before the All-Star break.

But Oubre got hot in the second quarter and helped the Wizards turn the game around. This was one of his best plays, a two-handed slam that he celebrated with an emphatic scream to the crowd:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

2. Tomas Satoransky was one of the stars of the game. He had 17 points to go along with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals. 

Here's one of his dimes, a perfect alley-oop lob to Markieff Morris, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds:

3. Satoransky has reached double-figures in six of the 10 games since John Wall went out with an injury. This was a very impressive move, a stepback fadeaway that was super smooth:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

4. Ian Mahinmi made some key contributions including four offensive rebounds and a steal. This was his best basket, a powerful slam that came at a key time:

5. This play helped seal the victory. It was a smart after-timeout set drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks and it worked to perfection:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS