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Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

Morning tip: Wizards give Beal last shot, but result the same

For a team that is just 27 games into their regular season schedule, the 2016-17 Washington Wizards sure seem to get a lot of chances at last-second buzzer beaters. Markieff Morris had an opportunity to be the hero in Orlando. Otto Porter and John Wall have both had their shots. And on Monday night in Indiana, the man many have clamored for all year to take the final shot actually got one at long last.

Just like the others, that one rimmed out, too. This time it was Bradley Beal who had the open look, yet once again the Wizards saw the same result. It was another heart-stopping finish, one that brought Marcin Gortat to the floor in disbelief.

Yes, it was another missed opportunity, another play that will stick in the memory of the player who came up short in the final moment. But, just like most of the other last-second shots before, Beal got an uncontested look. The play drawn up by head coach Scott Brooks worked to perfection and the Wizards had their chance, it just didn't go in.

"I felt like it was good," Beal said. "It was kind of tough with the angle and it being 0.9 seconds, but I’ll take the blame for it. It was definitely a shot I can make. Just move on."

"We’ll take that shot any day of the week," Brooks said. "We did a great job of executing, setting screens and coming off hard. It was a good look. There was 0.9 seconds, so the shot had to get up in a hurry. He had plenty of time to catch and gather. It was a good look. Marcin set a great screen. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way."

The time left on the clock certainly produced a challenge, but the same was the case for a play just seconds earlier. On that one, Beal knocked it down right before the shot clock ran out and with just 15.7 seconds left in the game. That tied the game at 105-105, though initially it appeared to be a go-ahead shot before a referee review determined his foot was on the three-point line.

Afterwards, Beal - who finished with 22 points on 7-of-19 shooting - still wondered if it should have counted for three.

"It was a three to me, but the refs thought otherwise just like they did for a lot of other calls throughout the game. It is what it is," he said.

"I think he was on the line by half an inch," Brooks added.

The 15.7 seconds remaining were more than enough for Thaddeus Young to sink a running floater on the other end to put the Pacers up 107-105. That snapped a Wizards' three-game winning streak and kept them outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. A win would have put them in the playoff mix for the first time this season. Though it's still early, that would have been a nice short-term goal for a team that is still recovering from a disappointing 2-8 start.

The Wizards are now 12-15 on the season. They are 10-6 at home with five straight wins at the Verizon Center. On the road, it's been a much different story where they are just 2-9, the second-worst record in the East. 

Like Monday night, they just haven't been able to consistently close the deal.

"We’re so close in these road games. We’re going to have a breakthrough," Brooks said.

[RELATED: 5 MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO PACERS]

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

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USA Today Sports Images

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