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Morning tip: Wizards aren't close to being out of the woods

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Morning tip: Wizards aren't close to being out of the woods

PHILADELPHIA -- Bradley Beal sat in disbelief on the bench next to Alan Anderson. He almost couldn't believe, after the letdown the Wizards had two nights prior, they were trailing the Philadelphia 76ers and at risk of losing Friday's game. 

Fortunately for the Wizards (27-30), that didn't happen. But they needed to be jolted several times to wake up because they have the Cleveland Cavaliers coming to down for an early game Sunday at Verizon Center. 

"I said to Alan in the third quarter, 'We have to win this game,'" said Beal, who shot just 4 of 14 in the 103-94 comeback win at Wells Fargo Center. "We can't come out the way we did, especially on Sunday or we're going to get beat by 30. We need to come out with more focus, more energy. It starts on defense."

Not getting up for the Sixers (8-50) is understandable. But considering the Wizards are fighting for their playoff lives and lost 109-104 to the injury-depleted Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, they shouldn't have needed any special motivation. 

Beal tied the score at 17 with a jumper in the first quarter and then Philadelphia assumed control with a 5-0 run. The Wizards trimmed the deficit to one early in the second quarter, briefly took the lead 39-37 on a three from Beal and then trailed again going into halftime 52-48.

The pattered repeated itself throughout the third quarter until John Wall took over by scoring 13 of his game-high 23 points.

"We played terrible. Only down four," Wall said of the halftime deficit. "We just got to defend. Offensively is not our problem. We had a bad shooting night (40 of 94) and still had 103 points. It's as simple as that. It's aggravating for me to keep telling you all the same thing. You all are probably tired of hearing it. When we defend, we're perfectly fine."

Anderson, playing in his second game of the season, let his teammates know that what was happening on the court was unacceptable. They got their hands dirty to make it right. Wall was two rebounds shy of his third triple-double of the season. Marcin Gortat grabbed 11 rebounds, Otto Porter had 10, Markieff Morris seven and Nene eight off the bench. 

"We realized we can't come out and just beat everybody, just beat a team like that that doesn't have a great record. They competed hard," Beal said of the Sixers. "We did a great job of finally figuring it out, figuring out their defense.

"It was a matter of us just playing hard. They were beating us to a lot of loose balls. They were scoring at will, making a lot of catch-and-shoot threes. They basically were doing whatever they wanted. We weren't doing anything to make them uncomfortable. We finally got after it. Started pressuring the ball."

The fear of losing this one weighed on Wall long before tipoff.

"The whole game I was thinking that. Before the game even started," Wall said. "This is a game we can't lose especially if we're trying to make a run. Losing a game like this would be really devastating."

Winning a game like Sunday's vs. Cleveland could be season-altering.

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

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!