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Wittman ready to take on old pal Rivers

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Wittman ready to take on old pal Rivers

The friendship between Wizards coach Randy Wittman and Celtics coach Doc Rivers goes back nearly 30 years, but it hasn’t been enough to dampen their competitive fires.

“I want to kick his ass,” Wittman said with a laugh prior to tonight’s home opener against the Celtics at Verizon Center. “And you can tell him that, because I want to tell him that.”

Wittman and Rivers entered the NBA as rookie teammates with the Atlanta Hawks in 1983 and spent five years together as a backcourt duo, leading the Hawks to three straight division titles from 1984-87.

The two parted ways in 1988 when the Hawks traded Wittman and first-round pick Ricky Berry to the Sacramento Kings for Reggie Theus and a third-round pick.

Wittman, 53, went on to play nine seasons in the NBA, finishing with 4,034 points and 1,201 assists. Rivers, 51, played 13 seasons and finished with 9,377 points and 4,889 assists.

Both went into the NBA coaching ranks after their playing days. Wittman has coached parts of seven seasons with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Wizards and owns a career record of 118-239 in 357 games.

Rivers began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic in 1999 and has spent the past nine seasons in Boston, leading the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008 and a conference title in 2010. He has a career mark of 546-435 in 981 career games.

The Celtics already have a pair of losses to open their season with their next two games against the Wizards. They face each other again Wednesday night in Boston.

 “We’re great friends and it’s always fun [to face him],” Wittman said. “Doc’s a great coach, obviously. The success he’s had there -- Boston has made the kind of remarkable run you dream about having with the type of players he’s had there. We talk pretty much once a week to see how everybody’s doing.

“But we’re not talking this week.”

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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point 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.

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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

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

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition 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 SATURDAY NIGHT

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

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

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

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

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

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