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Wizards smoke Heat 106-87: Five takeaways

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Wizards smoke Heat 106-87: Five takeaways

In a game that lacked the energy of the first two meetings, the more injured team (Wizards) dealt with the lesser injured team (Miami Heat) convincingly. It produced the most lopsided result 106-87 as Washington won for just the second time in the last six games at Verizon Center on Wednesday night in front of 17,008.

John Wall (18 points, 10 assists) and Bradley Beal (18 points) led six players scoring in double figures for Washington, including Nene (16 points, six rebounds, five steals), Marcin Gortat (15 points, 12 rebounds), Garrett Temple (11 points) and Jared Dudley (10 points). 

Just as important for the Wizards (20-21), they lead the season series 2-1 which could come into play with tiebreakers considering how close everyone in the East standings is below the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miami (23-20), which has lost three in a row and six of seven, were led by Chris Bosh (18 points) and Luol Deng (16).

  • Nene made the start for the first time at power forward instead of Dudley. The move made sense, even though pairing him in the last game vs. the Trail Blazers was disastrous because there was no spacing for the offense. The Heat had Hassan Whiteside, Bosh and Deng in the starting lineup so more size was needed. Nene and Gortat combined to score half of the Wizards' 26 first-quarter points to get them out to a good start. Nene's 26 minutes were one above his season high.

  • Whiteside went down without contact with 6:18 left in the second quarter and didn't return because of a left oblique muscle (on the side) strain. The Heat trailed 37-31 at the time but without his shot-blocking presence in the middle and Dwyane Wade (sore shoulders) already being out made this one a wrap early. The Heat lack scoring depth on the bench, especially shooting.

  • Wall stayed on on the floor with Gortat up almost 20 with less than four minutes left -- long after Heat coach Erik Spoelstra conceded the game with his reserves. Wall, who was given off practice and didn't shoot around with the team Wednesday morning, played 44 and 36 minutes in the previous two games. He logged 32 minutes but probably could've been kept to less than 30.  

  • Beal didn't settle for just jump shots. He kept his dribble alive, used lots of hesitation moves and was able to get into the paint to score. He made most of his shots at the rim, converting 4 of 6 in the paint (shot chart). 

  • The difference in this outcome was shooters. Despite both teams having a heavy dose of injuries, the Wizards have scorers off the bench like Gary Neal, Ramon Sessions and Dudley or Temple (both have been starters recently but actually are backups). Miami, though they got off to a good start, are struggling when players like Wade go down because Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson aren't reliable shooters. Winslow made half of his eight shots but those buckets game in garbage time. Richardson was 2 of 7. 

RELATED: Nene steals, scores coast-to-coast lay up

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

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Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

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**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.

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**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.

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The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.