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Takeaways from Wizards' overtime loss to Grizzlies

Takeaways from Wizards' overtime loss to Grizzlies

The hard work it required for the Wizards to get back into the game with the Memphis Grizzlies after trailing by 15 early was shattered by the three-point shooting of center Marc Gasol, who forced overtime with a long ball and closed it out there with two more.

The Wizards (0-2) led by as many as eight and 100-97 after two free throws from John Wall. But Gasol drilled a three about a foot outside the three-point arc for the extra period where the Grizzlies prevailed 112-103 Sunday at FedEx Forum.

There, the Wizards failed to score until 17.7 seconds remained in the extra period when Marcus Thornton made a three-pointer. 

Memphis (2-1) was led by Mike Conley (24 points, 13 assists), Zach Randolph (22 points, seven rebounds), Gasol (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Vince Carter (18 points).

Wall had his second double-double (22 points, 13 assists) and Marcin Gortat (14 points, 12 rebounds) had his first of the season. 

  • The tied turned with 3:17 left, with Wall's Flagrant 1 foul on Carter, whacking him across the head to stop a transition layup. The Wizards led 96-88 but Carter made two free throws, the Grizzlies got the ball and Conley drained a stepback three-pointer to change the momentum. 

 

  • Wall, who had a career-high 12 technical fouls last season, drew his first at 7:19 of the second quarter after he didn’t get whistles on consecutive drives to the basket and he missed. The good thing for the Wizards is he didn’t get discouraged and he finished 8-for-19. His ability to get into the defense put them in scramble mode and allowed for trailers to swoop in for point-blank finishes. Wall had consecutive three-point plays in the last two minutes of the first half.

 

  • The Wizards shot 4-for-22 from three-point range, a major weakness in their arsenal despite how well they shot at times in the preseason. Bradley Beal (14 points) was 2-for-8 and Otto Porter (13 points) missed all five of his attempts. 

 

  • Gasol made three three-point shots all of last season. He went 4-for-6 in this game. He made two more in overtime for a 107-100 lead and again for 112-100. The 7-footer had never made more than three in a season. Having Gortat have to step out that far from the basket to defend put him in a tough spot.

 

  • Beal wasn't restricted by foul trouble in this game and played 39 minutes. His stat line remains mostly empty. He had just three rebounds and one assist though his attacks on the basket with the dribble remain. He still is making creative finishes around the rim and breaking down defenders with his hesitation dribble, but 5-for-17 won't get it done. 

 

  • Wall had the final shot to win it in regulation but only got an off-balance look that had no prayer because Conley didn't allow him to turn the corner. Those end-of-game possessions for the Wizards have been problematic before Brooks' arrival. When asked after the game why he didn't use a timeout, Brooks said it was because he had a veteran group that he trusted. Some coaches call timeout no matter what. Others take the temperature of their team and try to catch the defense on its heels. Most of the time, Wall will end up taking the shot in that situation and it's a low percentage one. And whistles in that situation are unlikely. 

[RELATED: Steve Buckhantz gets Phil Chenier a Memphis birthday present]

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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