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Wizards fall 110-105 to Heat: Five takeaways

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Wizards fall 110-105 to Heat: Five takeaways

A victory meant more to the Miami Heat than it did the Wizards, who stuck with reserves in a close game down the stretch Wednesday. Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stayed on the floor for a 110-105 comeback at American Airlines Arena.

The Wizards drop to 4-2 in the preseason with one game left Friday vs. the Toronto Raptors in Montreal. Gerald Green led all players with 28 for Miami off the bench and Tyler Johnson contributing 14.

Marcin Gortat led six Wizards in double figures with 18 points, followed by Kris Humphries (16), Otto Porter and John Wall (14), Gary Neal (13) and Ramon Sessions (10). Gortat and Humphries also combined for 25 rebounds.

Wall, Gortat and Porter didn't play after the third quarter when the Wizards led 81-68.

Bradley Beal was given the night off and Neal started in his place. Jared Dudley, in his first action since joining the Wizards in July and having lower back surgery, played 12 minutes, missed his only shot and had five fouls. 

The Wizards, who had conditioning issues getting used to the fast-paced team, were sharp in their defensive rotations and ball movement as this was their best game on both ends. The end result doesn't matter as much as will they be ready for the Oct. 28 opener at the Orlando Magic.

  • The Wizards are clearly in much better form than the Heat, who didn't have a first unit that could keep up with the fast pace. Hassan Whiteside was playing in just his second preseason game and Dragic, who had a child this summer and didn't play for the Slovenian national team, isn't there yet either. Bosh is working his way back after blood clots in his lungs. The jury still is out on how good they can be and it wouldn't be surprising if they began the season slow. This is probably why coach Erik Spoelstra left them on the floor to finish the game. 

  • Kelly Oubre started out well with a dunk as soon as he got on the floor and had a nice putback dunk in the second half. But he was left on the floor for the entire fourth quarter despite his numerous miscues. He was 3-for-10 overall, missing all shots that weren't point-blank, for nine points. The lefty couldn't finish in traffic or driving to his right, was stripped in transition, had his shot blocked at the rim by Chris Anderson and blew a defensive rotation that allowed Anderson an uncontested layup to give Miami a 100-98 lead. He stayed on the floor despite this because it's the preseason and pulling the 19-year-old would be pointless by coach Randy Wittman. Of course, he'd have been benched if the game had counted -- or Oubre would've been on the floor with first-unit players for the Wizards instead of free agents like Jaron Johnson and Josh Harrellson. 

  • Porter only shot 4-for-7 (5 of 6 free throws) but he created a lot by making wise decisions. When run off the three-point shot, he put the ball on the floor to force the action and knock down the mid-range shot. When Garrett Temple missed a three in the third quarter, Porter slipped between four defenders to get the rebound and drew a foul for a pair of free throws. This is closer to the type of player Porter is and was expected to be when he was drafted in 2013, a utilityman who does so many things well (six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal). He's not routinely going to be the 8-for-10 scorer for 22 points that he was in the preseason opener.

  • Gortat, who dominated in his matchup with Whiteside late last season, continued to have success. His position defense was exceptional one-on-one and in help situations as Gortat had four blocked shots. He made almost every look for Whiteside difficult and stepped out to defend Bosh, stayed with him off the dribble and forced him to finish over top his long reach. And Gortat ran the floor at warp speed which resulted in clean looks.

  • Temple played 16 minutes as he returned from his left hamstring strain and proved he's still the Wizards' best one-on-one defender. When he took on Green, who had trouble putting the ball on the floor without being disrupted, the scorer went silent. The moment Temple went off the floor, Green heated up again to score 13 fourth-quarter points. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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