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Morning tip: Wizards can't blame turnovers on fast pace anymore


Morning tip: Wizards can't blame turnovers on fast pace anymore

The excuse that the pace-and-space play of the Wizards will lend itself to turnovers because that's just a byproduct is just that -- an excuse. Plenty of teams have sped up their play and don't sacrifice ball security to do it. 

Other than the win vs. the San Antonio Spurs, when the Wizards had just 10 turnovers, their ball security has been atrocious to start the season. In their other four games, they've had 82 that have turned into 78 points for the opponent. In Friday's 118-98 loss to the Boston Celtics, they had a season-high 24 turnovers that led to 24 points.

"They did a good job of using their hands and pushing the pace. We had too many live turnovers and we couldn't make shots," said Wizards point guard John Wall, who had a season-high eight. "They made a lot of threes and put us in a bind that we hadn't been in before this season."

The Phoenix Suns, when they were at their best in Steve Nash's MVP seasons in 2005 and '06, averaged less than 14 turnovers a game in advancing to the conference finals each season which put them in the top 10. Last season's NBA champ, the Golden State Warriors, averaged 14.5 which put them just below the middle of the 30-team pack at 18th. The 2014 champion Spurs averaged 14.4 which was good for 11th best. The 2009 Orlando Magic, who advanced to the NBA Finals, averaged just 13.9 for 12th.

So it can be done. The defense has slipped in Washington, and turnovers have contributed. If the Wizards (3-2) are constantly putting their opponents in transition by giving away live basketballs, they're going to have trouble getting stops or coming back from deficits. When they fix this, then they'll have to address how to get more out of Marcin Gortat in the low post. There's more than one fire to put out though it's much too early in the season to panic.

"We were running our offense. A lot of turnovers wasn't (because of) overdribbling today," Wall said. "They're a team kind of like the Hawks and all the good teams we play, they're going to use their hands, they're very active. When we try to make skip passes and make flare passes they did a great job put their hands in the passing lanes. You give credit to the team that played better defense and forced you in those situations."

The Hawks are next up tonight, in Atlanta (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 7 p.m. ET).

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


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:


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.


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:


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:


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:


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: