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Wizards run over Bucks 115-86: Five takeaways

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Wizards run over Bucks 115-86: Five takeaways

In a more complete effort than they've shown at anytime this season, the Wizards ripped the Milwaukee Bucks, beating them for the second time in as many meetings, 115-86 on Tuesday at Verizon Center in front of 15,485.

The Wizards (5-4) had six players in double figures, led by Otto Porter's 19 points, four assists and three steals and John Wall with 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Jared Dudley made 3 of 4 three-point shots for a season-high 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Marcin Gortat had 12 points and nine rebounds and Garrett Temple and Gary Neal had 10 points each.

Milwaukee (5-6) led 29-27 after the first quarter but were dominated on both ends after that. Khris Middleton led them with 14 points and Jerryd Bayless' 13. Michael Carter-Williams had 12 points and no assists.

What had been a 66-46 lead was cut to 72-66 on a dunk by Carter-Williams at 5:50 of the third quarter but a 13-0 run from Washington going into the fourth ended the threat. 

When these teams met on Oct. 30, the Wizards had to come back to win 118-113 in Milwaukee.

The Wizards' bench had 46 points. In just 16 minutes, Nene contributed eight points, six rebounds and two assists. rookie Kelly Oubre had seven points and three rebounds in eight minutes and Ramon Sessions seven points. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to nine points on 3-for-13 shooting and Greg Monroe just four points on 1-for-6 and five rebounds.

They don't play again until Saturday when they travel to face the Detroit Pistons.

  • The way Temple is playing defensively, and hitting the occasional three to keep the defense honest, they can get away in the short-term while Bradley Beal (left shoulder bruise) heals. The ball movement hasn't suffered at all, they're better defensively with him and because he doesn't need that many shots the distribution probably is more equitable. Going into the third quarter, no one had more than 10 shots (Porter). Three other starters for the Wizards (Wall, Temple and Gortat) had nine.

  • The second unit lost the edge that the first unit had defensively to start the game. Greivis Vasquez came off the bench for Milwaukee to get nine points in 11 minutes of the first half. He's a big part of why they led 38-36 at 8:09. But when Wall and Temple returned with the first unit -- and Dudley joined them at the stretch four spot instead of Kris Humphries -- they pressured them into mistake after mistake and closed with a 28-8 run. Pending the matchups, the Wizards don't necessarily have to go with Dudley or Humphries. It can be both. 

  • The hustle plays, an area where the Wizards have been terrible all season, improved. Sessions missed a jumper and Johnny O'Bryant secured the rebound. Dudley, however, slipped in and stripped him and knocked the loose ball off of Bayless for an extra possession. Temple missed a transition layup but got his own rebound and saved it inbounds for another possession. Plays like this is why they had a 13-7 edge in second-chance points.

  • The size and length of the Bucks are real, but their lack of reliable outside shooting except for Middleton will be their downfall and why they won't be a top four seed in the East. Middleton, who has traditionally torched the Wizards with his shooting, began 4-for-4 from the field but he picked up his fourth foul with 1:54 left in the third quarter.

  • Gortat went strong to the basket and Wall's pinpoint passes found him. He had 12 points and six rebounds by halftime as the smaller lineups by the Wizards created more room for him to operate. The highlight was a one-handed bullet that split multiple defenders and found Gortat slashing towards the rim for a dunk. But more important than any of that is the job he did defensively on Monroe, Milwaukee's max player. He was physical with him at every turn and kept him off his sweet spot.

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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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Looking back at the most memorable Wizards/Bullets moments on All-Star Saturday Night

Looking back at the most memorable Wizards/Bullets moments on All-Star Saturday Night

With Bradley Beal set for the three-point contest at the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend, let's take a look back at some of the most memorable moments for Wizards and Bullets players on All-Star Saturday night.

The franchise can boast past winners of the three-point and dunk contest, but there have also been some crushing defeats.

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

2014 DUNK CONTEST: WALL STEALS THE SHOW

John Wall has accomplished a lot in his career and that includes a dunk contest title back in 2014, the only dunk contest won by a Wizards or Bullets player. Wall took home the crown amid a crowded field of participants, the last dunk contest that featured six players: Paul George, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, Ben McLemore and Terrence Ross. Ross was the defending champion. 

Wall dropped the mic with a dunk over former Wizards mascot 'G-Man.' After the dunk, he famously did the Nae Nae dance with George.

2014 THREE-POINT CONTEST: BEAL COMES IN SECOND

On Saturday night, Beal will do his best to avenge the loss he took in his first stab at the three-point contest. Beal fell just short in a stacked group that included former winners Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

The winner was Marco Belinelli, who needed a bonus round to finish it off. That was because Beal hit his final six shots in the last round to force an overtime round. It was one of the closest three-point contests ever.

RELATED: BEAL A HEAVY UNDERDOG IN THREE-POINT CONTEST

1996 THREE-POINT CONTEST: LEGLER WINS IT ALL

The Wizards do have one three-point contest winner, Tim Legler who captured the crown in 1996. Many may know Legler for his broadcasting career, but he was a very good shooter in 10 NBA seasons, four of which were in Washington. 

Legler beat out some of the best sharpshooters of the 90s including Dennis Scott, Steve Kerr, Glen Rice and Hubert Davis. Legler tried to defend his crown the following year, but lost out to Kerr.

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2011 DUNK CONTEST: MCGEE WAS ROBBED

Wall was the only Wizards player to win the dunk contest, but an argument could be made that JaVale McGee should have won it back in 2011. That was the year Blake Griffin won the title by jumping over a car. Griffin jumped over the hood, which many said wasn't exactly the same as jumping over the highest point of the car. I, who have approximately an 11-inch vertical leap, thought it was a bunch of malarkey.

That's not why McGee was robbed, though. He was robbed because Serge Ibaka appeared to steal his dunk. Video surfaced ahead of the contest of McGee practicing a dunk where he did a windmill slam while grabbing a piece of paper from the net with his mouth. Ibaka then did a very similar dunk in the contest itself. McGee admitted in an interview during the contest that Ibaka did the same dunk, so he had to switch it up. Who knows what would have happened if McGee did it instead of Ibaka. McGee, however, still put on a show including one slam where he dunked two basketballs.

RELATED: 

2007 THREE-POINT CONTEST: ARENAS COMES UP SHORT

Gilbert Arenas had a tough run in the three-point contest, as he finished as the runner-up in back-to-back years, 2006 and 2007. He lost to Dirk Nowitzki in 2006 and Jason Kapono in 2007.

It was in 2007, though, that Arenas wore the Wizards' gold alternate jersey (they were awesome, don't let anyone tell you differently) and finished the final round shooting threes one-handed once he realized he had lost. Arenas was one of the best personalities in the NBA at the time and that was on full display.