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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Possible shootout

As is the case with most young teams, the Lakers have a lot of trouble on the defensive end of the floor. They are dead-last in defensive rating (112.7) and opponents' field goal percentage (47.7), 27th in points allowed per game (110.2) and 28th in both steals (8.6) and blocks (5.4).

Part of their issues can be rooted in inexperience, and having Nick Young in their rotation certainly doesn't help. But it's also a product of their style of play. The Lakers love to push the ball with the eighth-best pace factor (97.8 possessions per 48 min.). They take a lot of shots (86.6/g, 3rd most in NBA) and give up almost as many (86.3/g, 3rd-most in NBA). The result has been a lot more points for the opposing team so far, but sometimes they can get hot and be a dangerous team to guard.

The Wizards, of course, can score a lot of points themselves. They are 10th in the NBA in points per game (106.9) and in January were seventh in basketball at 109.4 points per contest.

Their ability to score is even more pronounced at home, where they scored 112.3 points per game in January. The Wizards have won 15 straight at the Verizon Center, tied for the second-longest home winning streak in franchise history with the 1988-89 Bullets.

[RELATED: Wizards may stand pat at NBA trade deadline]

Youth movement

The Lakers haven't been able to put it all together yet under head coach Luke Walton, but their roster is rife with potential superstars taken with high lottery picks. Included in that mix are each of the last two No. 2 overall picks: D'Angelo Russell (2015) and Brandon Ingram (2016).

Russell has improved in his second season and is averaging 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per game, but shoots an ugly 39.6 percent from the field. Ingram is still struggling to find consistency as a rookie, with 7.9 points per game on an even worse 35.6 percent shooting.

Randle may be out

The Lakers may be missing one of their best young players as forward Julius Randle is listed as questionable due to his bout with pneumonia. Randle has missed the last two games and could miss another on Thursday night.

If Randle can't go, that will make the Lakers thin down low. Randle is averaging a modest 13 points this season, but leads the team in rebounds with 8.4 per game. He's also a solid passer from the post with 3.8 assists per game, second-most on the team. Randle's well-rounded game has allowed him to post 10 double-doubles and two triple-doubles this season.

[RELATED: Confident John Wall says Wizards can make Eastern Conference Finals]

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

RELATED: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RAMON SESSIONS

4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS