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Takeaways from Wizards' thorough victory over Pacers

Takeaways from Wizards' thorough victory over Pacers

A 13-point lead had been reduced to 71-68, Bradley Beal was out and the Wizards were struggling to find points to fend off the Indiana Pacers.

John Wall (34 points, 9 assists, 11 rebounds) came to the rescue by taking over in the third quarter by scoring 12 consecutive points en route to a 111-105 victory Wednesday at Verizon Center in front of 16,172. It is the seventh win a row at home for Washington (15-16) which is now 12-6 here.

Marcin Gortat (13 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists), Otto Porter (22 points) and Beal (12) contributed along with 18 points from the bench. 

The Pacers (15-18) were led by Paul George (34 points) and Jeff Teague (19 points, 11 assists). George made it uncomfortable in the final minutes when his three-point shot cut the deficit to 96-94 but the Wizards held on. Porter’s three-pointer with 1:40 left pushed the lead to 103-98 to make it a two-possession game.

With the East loaded with teams at or just above and below .500, the Wizards are now 1-1 in their season series with the Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks; 2-1 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks and 1-0 vs. the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.

A win Friday vs. the Brooklyn Nets would put the Wizards at .500 to end the calendar year. They’re 9-5 in December and are tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest active home winning streak.

-- Though Myles Turner was matched up with Gortat, he’s no match for him in the low post. The last time these teams played, Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the defense focused more on the backcourt and allowed single coverage. The Wizards had a 54-34 edge in rebounding. Turner spends a lot of time on the perimeter and Pacers coach Nate McMillian even went to a big (slow) lineup of Al Jefferson and Kevin Seraphin on the floor at the same time when Wall made his 12-point run. Both are major liabilities in pick-and-roll coverage.

--Morris’ passing out of double teams has been an underrated part of his game. He accepts being trapped and is patient with how he finds the open man which usually results in the Wizards getting a quality look. Morris was stuck on the baseline and found Porter cutting, who drew a third foul on George with 3:47 left in the half. Morris (10 points, seven rebounds) was limited by foul trouble again himself.

--Beal rolled his right ankle in transition at 1:29 of the first quarter, when he made contact with Monta Ellis. Beal was able to shoot his foul shots but went to the locker room. Beal played six minutes of the second quarter and shot 1-for-3 but never looked comfortable. He had the ball in transition and had a chance to go in for a strong finish but deferred to Porter. When the Wizards came out of halftime, Sheldon McClellan started in his place. Beal was listed by the team as having a sprain with a questionable return.

--Jason Smith (seven points, seven rebounds) has continued to ride a hot streak. With Daniel Ochefu (illness) not available, Smith played 18 minutes and was vital in the pick-and-roll to help free Wall with screens. Marcus Thornton (seven points) also made key buckets to sustain them minus Beal. George, however, was able to exploit Thornton’s presence late when he ran screen-roll action with C.J. Miles, forced Porter to switch and get a matchup with the smaller guard. In the final two minutes, that advantage was taken away with Morris and Kelly Oubre.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Beal heads to locker room after rolling ankle]

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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:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

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.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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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:

RELATED: GET TO KNOW NEW WIZARDS FREE AGENT SIGNING

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:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS