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Wall, Beal close out Knicks at MSG 111-108: Five takeaways


Wall, Beal close out Knicks at MSG 111-108: Five takeaways

NEW YORK -- With the Knicks in turmoil, a day after firing coach Derek Fisher and on their worst losing stretch of the season, the Wizards did what has become the norm for them at Madison Square Garden -- win.

Back in the starting lineup after coming off the bench over the weekend in a back-to-back, Bradley Beal (26 points) sparked the Wizards (23-27). John Wall posted his 29th double-double (28 points, 17 assists, five rebounds, one turnover), Jared Dudley (14 points), Marcin Gortat (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Otto Porter (13) responded in the 111-108 victory Tuesday.

Carmelo Anthony (game-high 33 points, 13 rebounds) led all scorers and Kristaps Porzingis (20) was a second-half spark for the Knicks after he'd scored just four points in the first two quarters. Starting point guard Jose Calderon failed to score.

The Knicks (23-32) erased what had been a 16-point deficit to take an 89-88 lead in the fourth quarter until Beal returned. Wall found him immediately for a three-point shot and then Porter for another for a 96-92 lead.

Beal hit another three-point shot and then doubled Anthony to force a turnover late and that led to Wall's jumper to put the game away. The Knicks have lost 10 of 11.

Still, the Wizards made it more interesting than it should've been after Beal missed two crucial foul shots. Langston Galloway (14 points), who hit a desperation three-pointer over Porter to cut the score to 107-106 with 8.5 seconds left, missed a wide-open look at the buzzer to force overtime.

Wall made all four of his foul shots down the stretch. 

  • The Wizards, who entered fifth in the NBA in three-point shooting, made 10 of their first 12. Robin Lopez's jump hook in the lane cut the deficit to 47-41 but immediate threes from Porter and Beal stretched it back to double-digits by half 63-50. They shot 16 of 26 from three-point range for the game, a season high for makes.

  • Like he did in Charlotte, Dudley opened on fire with his shot. He made 5 of 5 in the first half, including four three-pointers. The five field goals put him at 2,000 for his career. Like Charlotte, a game in which Washington lost by blowing a 19-point lead, offensively he wasn't a factor in the second half as he clanked his open looks and didn't score.

  • As has been typical for the Wizards coming out of the locker room for the third quarter, they were flat. They weren't able to get clean looks, missed badly on the ones they took and allowed the opponent to step into their comfort zone. Porzingis buried consecutive threes to trim the deficit to 65-60 less than three minutes in. Then he fooled Dudley, who was anticipating a hand off to Anthony on his curl cut, turned baseline and threw down a nasty, one-handed dunk to wake up the crowd. The score was tied at 83 going into the fourth. Coach Randy Wittman went to a small lineup of Wall, Porter, Beal, Garrett Temple and Dudley which allowed them to pull away late.

  • Anthony hit a three and Afflalo was given a basket on a drive and was about to take a foul shot to complete a three-point play that could've trimmed the deficit to 106-104. But the officials went to the Replay Center which determined that Beal was not in the restricted area therefor it was a charge on Afflalo. The basket was erased. With the score 107-103, Beal committed a turnover with less than 30 seconds left but was able to steal it back on a pass from Galloway to Anthony.

  • Kris Humphries made his first appearance since Jan. 3, when a right knee injury kept him out. He played the last 40 seconds of the second quarter and again with 1:36 to close out the third. Humphries pulled out the chair from Kevin Seraphin on defense which led to the former Wizards center falling and causing a turnover. Humphries' only three-point shot was errant on Wall's drive and dish for their final attempt of the third. Rookie Kelly Oubre played seven minutes in the first half. He hasn't been on the court for more than eight minutes in almost a month. 

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

USA Today Sports Images

Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Phil Chenier tells stories ahead of his jersey retirement

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by Bullets/Wizards legend Phil Chenier ahead of his jersey retirement set for this upcoming weekend on March 23.

Chenier looked back on his playing and broadcasting career and told great stories. He also shared some memories of the 1978 championship as the franchise gets ready to honor its 40th anniversary.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!