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Wizards-Nets preview: No sleeping on Brooklyn


Wizards-Nets preview: No sleeping on Brooklyn

Matchup: Washington Wizards (13-14) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8-21)

When: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. (TV: CSN+, CSNMidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra) 

When last we met: First meeting this season

Streaks: The Wizards matched their season-high three-game winning streak with Wednesday's 100-91 victory over the Grizzlies as John Wall recorded his fourth straight double-double. ...After a mini-turnaround following an awful start, the Nets have lost six of seven including 119-118 in overtime against the Mavericks Wednesday, their fifth straight home loss.

Three things to watch

Temple of Boom: Garrett Temple typically provides the Wizards with strong defense and steady hand when he enters. Lately the veteran wing guard is providing scoring punch to Washington's offense. Before last Saturday's win over the Hornets, Temple ever scored 20 points in any NBA game. Since then, 21, 23 and 20, becoming the first player in league history to have three straight games with at least 20 points after not having any in his first 250+ games. Starting in place of the injured Beal, Temple is 10 of 22 (45.4) percent on 3-point attempts. That's miles better than his career rate of 32.2, but how many noticed his clip of 37.5 percent from beyond the arc last season?

Bombs away: The Wizards are playing without Bradley Beal and yet their 3-point shooting is on fire. During the three-game homestand, Washington hit 34 of 69 (49.2%) from beyond the arc. Along with Temple, rookie Kelly Oubre provided a lift from deep by making all six of his 3's. The hot touch may continue as opponents are hurting the Nets from long range. Meanwhile, Washington's foes have cooled off. The Wizards remain last in the league in 3-point shooting defense, but Charlotte, Sacramento and Memphis went 20 of 62 (32.2).

Meet the Nets: Only the outrageously bad Philadelphia 76ers sits behind Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings. Yet the Nets also own wins this season over the Hawks, Bulls, Pistons and two against the Rockets. Washington already lost very winnable games this season to the likes of the Lakers and Pelicans. The frontcourt duo of Brook Lopez (19.1 ppg) and Thaddeus Young (16.0) lead the way offensively, but the Nets are 25th in scoring (96.8).

MORE WIZARDS: Morning Tip: Humphries finds his bounce back on the bench

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Death Row D.C. and the Wizards are back

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller were joined by Julie Donaldson to break down the Wizards' wins in Games 3 and 4.

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Marcin Gortat are back and the Wizards are a different team because of it. Plus, how regaining their Death Row D.C. mentality has changed this series.

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!

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Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Another 40-point third quarter evens another playoff series for the Wizards

Last night's Washington Wizards comeback would not have happened had it not been for the team's blowout third quarter. 

Of course, you can say that literally about any quarter, but if you take away the third, the Toronto Raptors outscored Washington easily, 78-66.

The Wizards won by eight and this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a performance of this magnitude from this bunch.

In that frame alone in Game 4, the Wizards broke out to 40 points, the same amount they had in the first two quarters combined. As a team, they shot 65 percent and 83 percent from deep (5-for-6).

By far that was their best offensive quarter of this series.

Of course, Bradley Beal got his due, 12 points including three three-pointers, but for the first time this series, Otto Porter Jr. became a threat on the offensive end of the court.

The 6-8 forward scored 10 of his 12 points, all of which came in a 26-14 run. First, he started with back-to-back three-pointers, both in the tail end of a transition, both a feed from John Wall. One came from the corner and the other came off of a screen that ended up being a close contest from OG Anunoby.

That run resulted in the Wizards’ first lead of the game from a corner three courtesy of Beal.

Speaking of Anunoby, he was silent in that quarter for the Raptors. Granted in the first half he was taken off the court after getting pinned under Marcin Gortat, but the Raptors’ guard played for nine minutes and the only thing he recorded on the stat sheet was a foul.

Serge Ibaka, who has also been a pain in the Wizards’ side also disappeared. One rebound, two points from the free throw line, and one block was all that the 6-10 forward managed. With Porter on the court and producing, it pushed Ibaka to set up outside the paint, clearing the lane for Wall to generate movement on the offense.

All this being said, Toronto actually didn’t have a bad quarter. They shot 50 percent from the field and DeMar DeRozan had 14 points.

But the Wizards were simply better. They out-shot one of the best all-around offensive teams in the league.

Rolling with the punches in transition, not passing up open looks, Wall dealing out six assists; that is the Wizards’ team that knocked off some of the top teams in the NBA this year. No one shot more than five times in the quarter and the team combined for 10 assists on the 15 made baskets.

They erased a 14-point deficit and were tied at 80 heading into the fourth.

If you look back to the last 40-point playoff quarter for Washington, there are many parallels. It was another series where the Wizards were down 0-2 to the Celtics. They were dealing with an offensive driven team and the physicality became a prevalent story in the series.

Had it not been for those 12 minutes of basketball, the Wizards would be down 3-1 and face an insurmountable climb to get back into their First Round series. Now they are at a fresh slate in a best-of-3 series. With all the momentum, Washington is just two wins away from getting back to the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs.

Hopefully, this time is a little different than the last.