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No Wall, no problem as Wizards rip Nets: Five takeaways

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No Wall, no problem as Wizards rip Nets: Five takeaways

John Wall or no John Wall -- and Wednesday there was no John Wall for the Wizards -- this wasn't the type of energy expected from a team on the cusp of being officially eliminated from the playoffs. At least, not for two quarters.

Still, the Wizards (38-40) came through with a 121-103 victory over the Brooklyn Nets (21-57) after allowing a 30-23 lead to evaporate after the first quarter and a 40-32 edge dissipate midway through the second.

Bradley Beal (25 points) shot 11 of 15 to lead the Wizards, followed by Ramon Sessions (18 points, 13 assists), Marcin Gortat (16 points, 12 rebounds), Otto Porter (15 points, six rebounds), Nene (13 points, seven rebounds) and Garrett Temple (10 points, six rebounds, six assists).

The sense of urgency that the Wizards needed to show to put away a team on a five-game losing streak didn't come to the surface until the third quarter where Sessions, in his first start, scored 11 points to blow open a  54-52 halftime advantage.

Thomas Robinson (23 points) scored a career-high in leading Brooklyn, followed by Sean Kilpatrick (15 points), Wayne Ellington (14 points) and Markel Brown (13 points).

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If the Wizards  had lost, they would've been eliminated because the Detroit Pistons won at the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

  • Wall practiced fully Tuesday and was a late scratch because of a right knee bruise. Given that the opponent, with Larkin (nine points, 31 minutes) as Brooklyn's starter, the Wizards were able to get away with it and save him for Friday's game at Detroit. The Wizards had 36 assists on 48 made shots.

  • Temple energized the Wizards when they had no life in the first quarter and trailed 21-20, getting consecutive steals. One led to a layup for Sessions and the next produced a dunk for Markieff Morris (nine points, seven rebounds). The defensive effort of the other four players on the court picked up with Temple as they denied passing angles and took a seven-point lead into the second quarter.

  • The Nets' pick-and-roll coverage was beyond bad which allowed Gortat to get to the rim for easy finishes. Sessions has a tendency to look for his shot first with the second unit because that's his job. But he made the extra pass.

  •  Kelly Oubre (seven points) logged his most time since Jan. 20 with 19 minutes. It wasn't just garbage time. Oubre played late in the first and coach Randy Wittman stuck with him to start the second. Drew Gooden (four points) also made his first appearance in a month and just his second since Feb. 28. He had a nifty reverse towards the end of the game.

  • The Wizards were so much bigger inside, they had a 53-38 edge in rebounds and scored 68 of their points in the paint. The Nets shut down Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the season because of injuries. But they also kept the Nets to 39 of 92 shooting, or 42.4% which is a telltale sign of how they're engaged defensively.

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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:

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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:

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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:

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