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Wizards end skid with 108-99 win vs. Magic: Five takeaways


Wizards end skid with 108-99 win vs. Magic: Five takeaways

Just like the first time these teams met, the Wizards and Magic went down to the wire. The result remains the same as they won 108-99, beating Orlando for the 10th time in a row, but instead of John Wall and Bradley Beal it was Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple who had career nights as the Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak.

Temple made his first start of the season for Bradley Beal, who missed his second game in a row with a left shoulder contusion. He had 18 points to tie his personal mark set last season when he started for Beal who had a wrist injury then.

Humphries, who had made just two career three-pointers from 2004-14, had a career-high five on eight attempts for a team-high 23 points.

The Wizards (4-4) edged the Magic 88-87 in the season opener for both teams with Wall and Beal dominating in the fourth. In this one, they spread the wealth.

Orlando (5-6) was on a two-game winning streak and were playing their second game of a back-to-back. Victor Oladipo was out because of a concussion and Nik Vucevic had 10 points in the first quarter but only nine in the next three.

The Wizards fell behind  15-5 and were sluggish as the Magic shot 60% in the first quarter. But they took a 31-27 lead entering the second.

They trailed 90-86 at the six-minute mark when Marcin Gortat blew a layup but outscored Orlando 23-9 to end the game.

Wall had 15 points and 11 assists, Gortat 13 points and 10 rebounds and Otto Porter nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Nene had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and one block in 20 minutes. Gary Neal had seven points and Ramon Sessions five points, five assists and four rebounds.

  • After being criticized by coach Randy Wittman for playing soft in a 24-point loss to Oklahoma City when he grabbed just one defensive rebound, Gortat looked uneasy and jittery as made just 1 of 4 shots to begin the game. His first shot was a putback off a miss by Humphries but that was off. Then it was an errant left-hand hook. Vucevic came back at him on the other end, backed down Gortat and scored with a right-hand jump hook. Gortat botched a layup on a nice feed from Wall late in the fourth but his strong finish made up for everything. The next down the court he converted a three-point play, was caught on a switch with Elfrid Payton and blocked his shot, ran back in transition and tipped in a missed layup from Temple for a 94-90 lead. Gortat couldn't grab the rebound off Porter's missed three-pointer but tapped it out for a second chance and Wall buried the jumper for a 101-94 lead.
  • The Wizards were better with Nene, who comes off the bench, vs. Vucevic than Gortat. Nene gets physical with him in ways that can cause him to misfire and is a tougher cover because of his passing ability (see the layups for Neal and Sessions of his reads in the first quarter). While Nene isn't a shot-blocker, he doesn't have to be. He's an excellent position defender and when it comes to making reads with the ball. When Gortat was back on him, Temple's double-teams disrupted Vucevic's rhythm. 
  • Payton lost his dribble and Wall had the loose ball in front of him. Payton, however, dove to the floor, to come up with it and somehow it got into the hands of Aaron Gordon who got to the rim for the layup and a foul on Porter. He completed the three-point play by making the foul shot but it typifies how bad this team remains when it comes to 50-50 balls.  
  • Temple started in place of Beal instead of Neal, who did so in the previous game vs. Oklahoma City. Temple made two three-point shots in the first half and was the Wizards’ leading scorer with nine points. But he was put in this spot because of his defense and having to match up with Evan Fournier, who has given the Wizards problems in the past. Temple’s strip of Tobias Harris late in the second quarter led to a layup for Nene that trimmed the deficit to 52-50. This is who Temple is -- a glue player that every team needs in a pinch.
  • Rookie Kelly Oubre played four minutes in the first half while Drew Gooden remained on the bench. Oubre was active in the paint. He went coast-to-coast with his one rebound, got into the paint, double-clutched and scored for a bucket. He started the fourth quarter, too, of a close game which is significant. That means Wittman is beginning to trust him more. Oubre had four points on 2 of 3 shooting in 10 minutes.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards honor Paris with moment of silence, French national anthem

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch


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:


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.


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:


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.



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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:


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:


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: