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Wizards angry over perceived stat-stuffing by Giannis

Wizards angry over perceived stat-stuffing by Giannis

The shove Markieff Morris had on Giannis Antetokounmpo late in the fourth quarter to negate an extra possession had to do with more than just that moment in Monday’s game.

It was personal. Morris isn’t fond of the Milwaukee Bucks. Neither are his teammates who still smarted after a 27-point loss in their meeting before the Christmas holiday.

Anteotokounmpo scored a career-high 39 points. Seven of them were scored in the fourth quarter, when Wizards coach Scott Brooks didn’t play any of his starters in a game they trailed 100-78 after three quarters.  

“We felt like they whooped us badly but also you’re just up 20 or 30 points, keeping your star player in trying to get his numbers we kind of didn’t like that. We took that personal,” said John Wall, who had 18 points and a season-high 16 assists. “We didn’t have (anything) written on the board. We didn’t say too much. It was a lot more chippie, a lot more trash-talking than it was in the past. As long as we got the win, we’re fine.”

This time, the 6-10 forward/guard for the Bucks had 22 points, but only six of them came after halftime. The Wizards erased a 10-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to pull out a 107-102 victory.

Otto Porter isn’t noted for his physical style of play but he had a lot to do with it. He had game-highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds.

“We didn’t want Christmas to be over like that and for them to beat us like that,” Porter said in reference to the 123-96 loss at Bradley Center. “We just wanted to take care of home.”

Antetokounmpo only attempted one shot in the fourth quarter when he played seven minutes and that was a dunk with 22.8 seconds left.

Morris' shove with a forearm to his rib cage came during a 15-2 run with the Wizards trailing 96-92 with 5:38 left. Anteotokounmpo plowed over Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe as a result. 

“We already knew our mind-set was locked into the game,” said Bradley Beal, who had 22 points. “We knew that we wanted to get them back and do whatever it takes to do so.”

Morris had words with Matthew Dellavedova and a spat with Antetokounmpo in Friday’s loss. He responded with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Two minutes after the no-call foul on Morris, the Wizards were ahead 99-98 and never looked back. It was Morris' 16-foot jumper that put them over the top.

“You never want to do anything dirty to the players. He’s a great player and he dominated us last game and all you could do was respect it,” Wall said of Antetokounmpo. “We just wanted to be more physical and not let him get easy lanes to the basket and be able to do what he wanted to. We just wanted to make sure guys were feeling him.”

[RELATED: Takeaways from Wizards' comeback win vs. Bucks]

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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!