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Kelly Oubre, Jr. channels rapper Travis Scott in his style and performance on the court

Kelly Oubre, Jr. channels rapper Travis Scott in his style and performance on the court

Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. considers Houston his home, having lived there from 2005 when his family was displaced from New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina all the way until 2013 when he left for prep school in Nevada. For Oubre, the Houston connection runs deep.

It's a big reason why he admires rapper Travis Scott, a chart-topping artist who hails from Missouri City, Texas where Oubre once lived. They went to nearby schools in Ft. Bend; Oubre to George Bush High School and Scott to Elkins High School. Scott was known as Jacques Webster, Jr. at the time.

Oubre, who considers 'Butterfly Effect,' 'Uptown' and 'Yeah, Yeah' among his favorite songs, can name all the deep cuts from Scott's discography. 

"I go back all the way down to his first albums," Oubre said.

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But it's about more than the music for Oubre. He sees Scott as a style icon of sorts and someone he even emulates on the basketball court.

Just let him explain. Oubre listens to Scott's music before games including his new album with Quavo of Migos called 'Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.'

Oubre has watched concerts of Scott on Instagram and YouTube. He loves the energy he brings to the stage.

"Go watch his performance online. He gets the crowd into it. He's screaming at the crowd. He's a real rock star with it. He's got a flavor, too," Oubre said.

Oubre has been known to scream to the crowd after a big dunk or after drawing an offensive foul. That, you could say, comes from Scott.

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Scott puts more emphasis on his live performances than most rappers. Many of his concerts feature mosh pits, which are unusal for the genre.

Scott described his concert style to MTV back in 2015. What he said was pretty out there, but very much a connection to Houston.

"It all extends from the rodeo based out of Houston. I kind of wanted make something similar to that in a way as far as the animals," he said. "I just kind of wanted to bring a lot of the kids and turn [them] into animals. Create the real-life circus for like the kids, a playground."

Okay, perhaps he lost you there. But Oubre feels he can channel that energy. As he told Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington over the summer, Scott has influence on his fashion which also ties into his play on the court.

"I think I'm a rock star. That's how I kind of go about it," he said. "My game kind of represents my fashion, just going hard, raging and screaming to the crowd and all that stuff. I was a rapper, I would be Travis Scott. Just know that."

Yeah, man.

To hear more from Oubre on Travis Scott and other subjects like his dogs, burner Twitter accounts and taunts from fans, check out our interview with him on the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards ride huge second half to break through, beat Pistons

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Wizards ride huge second half to break through, beat Pistons

The Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 122-112 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Changes were subtle: Many were surprised when head coach Scott Brooks decided to trot out the usual starting lineup after all the talk about making changes following their blowout loss to the Hornets on Wednesday, but that didn't mean Brooks was going to keep everything the same. He did adjust his rotation, it just took him a few minutes.

Center Marcin Gortat played four minutes in the first quarter before sitting the rest of the first half. After Markieff Morris began the game cold and missed his first three threes, Scott pulled him and got creative with his lineups.

Early in the second quarter we saw Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter and Mike Scott in a super small-ball set... and it worked. After the Wizards went down by 15 points, that group exploded back by causing turnovers left and right and took the lead. Even Meeks, who has struggled all season, popped off for six points in his first five minutes.

Whether it was those moves or not, the Wizards came out in the third quarter a different team. They outscored the Pistons 45-28 in the frame and shot 16-for-21.

After going scoreless in the first half, John Wall exploded for 10 points in the third quarter and finished with 16 points and 11 assists for the game. Bradley Beal had 13 points in the third and Gortat had eight. Beal had 26 points for the game and Gortat had 13 points and nine rebounds.

The big third quarter propelled the Wizards to the win. They snapped a two-game slump and improved to 26-20 on the season.

PODCAST: SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE A TRADE OR BENCH A STARTER?

Otto came to play: Brooks ripped into the Wizards following their loss on Wednesday and early on it seemed like most of the players didn't get the message. Porter was a major exception because he came out on fire.

Porter had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals by halftime. He was 3-of-4 from three and was all over the place on both ends of the court.

Porter ended up with 16 points. It was a great sign for the five-year pro, who hadn't reached double figures in six of his previous eight games. If Porter gets going offensively, the Wizards should be in good shape moving forward.

Oubre, too: Oubre gets criticism from time to time about his mistakes on the court, when he gambles on defense or doesn't make the extra pass on offense. But what is never questioned is his effort, so it's no surprise he showed up when Brooks was looking for more energy from his team.

Oubre lit a spark with 11 points in the first half on 4-for-7 from the field in just under 16 minutes. He ended up with a career-high 26 points for the game. He shot 9-for-14 from the field and 5-for-9 from three. He also added five rebounds.

Oubre has been one of the Wizards' most consistent players recently. He has reached double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 16.3 points per game during that stretch.

Oubre has 15 points or more in four straight games, a career-high. This season he has 13 such games compared to seven in his previous two seasons combined. 

If the Wizards continue to struggle in the big picture, Oubre will be knocking on the door to be inserted into the starting lineup. His improvement is also giving the Wizards a lot of options as they approach the trade deadline because if they want to move a starter, he could step right in.

Stocking up: The Wizards beat the Pistons for the third time this season, meaning they took the season series. That could come in handy if the Wizards need a playoff tiebreaker over the Pistons at the end of the season.

Up next: The Wizards are off through the weekend. Their next game is on Monday night at the Dallas Mavericks. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

The Charlotte Hornets are attempting a firesale of sorts with the 2018 NBA trade deadline approaching and have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in talks, according to a report by ESPN.

Walker, 27, is having one of his best seasons with averages of 21.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is a prolific scorer and is on a team-friendly contract of $12 million per year through next season.

Though many teams have good point guards these days, there should be a strong market for Walker. Teams like the Sixers, Pistons, Clippers, Knicks and Nuggets would seem to be great fits. 

PODCAST: SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE A TRADE OR BENCH A STARTER?

The Pistons stand out in particular. They are currently ninth in the East and their primary point guard Reggie Jackson is hurt. Even when he does play, they need offense and that's what Walker provides.

The Sixers have Markelle Fultz working his way back from a shoulder injury, but have the assets to trade for Walker and could use some help to make a playoff push. The Knicks could use more talent around Kristaps Porzingis and Walker would certainly help.

There are still about three weeks until the Feb. 8 trade deadline and a lot can change before then. But it appears there is another big name readily available on the market.

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