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Two big names still up in the air for Monday as Wizards weigh option of resting starters

Two big names still up in the air for Monday as Wizards weigh option of resting starters

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- With the chase for a 50-win season still alive for the Wizards, though their seeding is no longer up for grabs, coach Scott Brooks said Monday morning that John Wall and Otto Porter will be game-time decisions.

If Wall (left thigh) and Porter (back spasms) can go, the regular starting five will begin tonight's game vs. the Detroit Pistons, who are playing their final home game at the Palace of Auburn Hills before relocating to downtown next season.

"I'm going to do what's best for our team, not what's best for our record," Brooks said. "Right now we're locked in. If we had a chance to move up obviously things would be a little different. But we're not going into the game where we're just going to relax, let the game come. That's an ugly look. We'd love to get 50. If it doesn't happen, like I told the guys, if we end up with 48, 49 it's a great regular season. We won our division.."

Wall had treatment Sunday and Porter went through shootaround and stayed later to work on his shot.

"I want to get to 50 wins, for sure," said Wall, who took a knee from Willie Reed in Saturday's loss to the Miami Heat. "We know we have a position locked. If I'm healthy enough to play, I'm going to play. But if it's sore enough that I can't run I don't want to jeopardize injury."

[RELATED: Tougher matchup for Wizards: Cavs or Celtics?]

Brooks said he will keep down the minutes of his starters regardless of who plays, so having them play 30 minutes or more is unlikely.

"Whoever plays tonight you still want to play well," Brooks said. "Play our minutes hard. We do want to get a pretty good run. Take it serious because we have playoffs right around the corner."

Here is a closer look at each Wizards starter...

John Wall: Missed two games. Both were schedule rests on back-to-backs since he was coming off surgeries to both knees May 5. He also had been playing under minutes restrictions. He averages 36.4 minutes per game, seventh-most in the NBA, behind LeBron James, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and James Harden. 

Bradley Beal: Missed a career-low four games. Last sat out Dec. 30 in a game vs. the Brooklyn Nets because of a sore ankle. He missed three in a row early in because of a thigh strain. He averages 34.9 minutes per game, 17th-highest, behind Damian Lillard, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan and C.J. McCollum. 

Otto Porter: Missed one game though that's a bit misleading. Porter played in games that he didn't return in because of ailments several times but didn't miss the next game as a result. He appeared to get hurt two games ago in a loss vs. the N.Y. Knicks and didn't return to action after 22 minutes. He sat out vs. the Heat with back spasms and has had soreness in his right hip on and off this season. Still, his 32.8 minutes are a career-high. 

Markieff Morris: Missed five games because of foot and ankle soreness (both) since he went down in a game Dec. 12. His 31.3 minutes per game are just shy of a career-high average. 

Marcin Gortat: Hasn't missed a game but has seen his minutes cut signficantly since the All-Star break. Averages 31.4 minutes after being on a career-high pace of 34-plus. In the last 15 games, playing just 23 minutes per game with the emergence of Ian Mahinmi behind him.

[RELATED: Should Wizards' starters play or rest before playoffs?]

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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: