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Oubre: We need to play like 'savages on the court'

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Oubre: We need to play like 'savages on the court'

Garrett Temple and Kelly Oubre both expressed similar concern about the current state of the Washington Wizards defense following the team's 125-101 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the veteran Temple expressed his opinion in measured yet forceful tone, the rookie Oubre talked with youthful exuberance about what's lacking.

"The dog. The fight. The grit and the griminess," the 19-year-old said shortly after Washington allowed its most points on the young season. "That's pretty much it. We need to be more and more [like] savages on the court I'd say. "

Other players and the head coach had plenty to say about Tuesday's disaster at Verizon Center and the Wizards third straight loss overall. The Thunder scored 37 points in the first quarter, made 17 3-pointers and outrebounded Washington 53-41.

"They jumped on us from the start," stated Temple, who has been part of Washington's top-10 ranked defense over each of the last three seasons. "Defensively we didn't come with it. We weren't focused. The coaching staff did a great job of telling us which plays they want to run. We just didn't execute the game plan."

During the three-game skid, the Wizards are allowing 119 points.

"Until we defend, get the defensive mindset we've had the last few years and rebound the ball, we're not going to be as good of a team as we expect to be. That's to a man, one to 15. We have to defend, we have to rebound otherwise it's going to be a long season."

The long night began immediately. Oklahoma City's third basket highlighted Washington's defensive disconnect.

Replay shows Otto Porter fronting Durant on the right wing immediately after a Wizards basket on the other end of the court. Denying a direct pass to the scoring savant makes perfect sense. The issue? Big men Marcin Gortat and Kris Humphries were positioned near the free throw line, leaving the basket area unprotected.

Russell Westbrook spotted the opening. After taking one dribble across midcourt, the Thunder point guard threw a pinpoint lob toward the basket, which Durant easily grabbed and layed in uncontested.

"We didn't execute what we were supposed to do defensively. Durant got a lob dunk," Temple said.

Oklahoma City continued on the attack and led by 14 points after the first quarter.

"They pretty much punched us first, I would say," Oubre stated. "They punched us first and we never kind of retaliated."

No, no they did not. The margin was 18 at halftime and immediately increased in the third quarter even with Durant sidelined after suffering a hamstring strain. Westbrook finished with a triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He helped finish off the listless Wizards by scoring or assisting on the Thunder's first five baskets of the second half.

Bad results and blowout losses occur over an 82-game season. This one cannot be dismissed as "one of those nights" seeing as it took place immediately after a 118-98 loss at Boston and a 114-99 setback in Atlanta.

"We've been embarrassed [over the last three games]," Temple said. "We haven't brought it. It's different if you lose close games. I don't care who is playing, who is not playing. We're all professionals. We can put out an effort and we haven't done that. Atlanta we played hard but made a lot of offensive mistakes. This game we didn't have any type of effort defensively on the boards.

"That's a thing you can control. You can't control the ball going in, but you can control your effort and we didn't have any tonight."

MORE WIZARDS: Gortat thinks Wizards got 'punked again'

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON:

Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets

TEAM STEPHEN:

Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.

RELATED: JOHN WALL GIVES UPDATE ON HIS REHAB

Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT