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For Mike Scott, applause from Wizards fans is extra meaningful after NBA comeback

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USA Today Sports Images

For Mike Scott, applause from Wizards fans is extra meaningful after NBA comeback

Tuesday night has become a regular occurrence these days for Mike Scott. He went off for 24 points in 23 minutes on 11-for-15 shooting, production that was pivotal in another Wizards win.

This has become a running theme for the former University of Virginia star, who is now averaging 15.4 points in his last eight games while shooting a slightly-more-than-decent 79.1 percent from the field. That streak is quickly turning him into a fan favorite.

Each time he was subbed out on Tuesday, the 16,529 in attendance at Capital One Arena treated him with a roaring applause. Many fans stood up and out of their seats to cheer.

Those fans see a guy making a difference on the court for their favorite team, but they may not know what those moments mean to Scott himself.

"It felt great. I don't really show a lot of emotion on the court, but that did feel great," Scott said. "I'm very grateful for that. It may seem like nothing to other players, but stuff like that, it feels great to a player. It's very encouraging, especially from the past years that I've had. It just feels great."

[PODCAST: WALL GOES 1-ON-1 TO TALK ALL-STARS, ONE-AND-DONE RULE]

It wasn't long ago that Scott's NBA career and life as a free man was in jeopardy due to various injuries to his left leg and a felony drug arrest that could have put him in prison for up to 25 years.

Scott beat the case, then had to lose 30 pounds over the summer to earn a contract with the Wizards. His road back makes nights like Tuesday's more special than they may seem and that perserverance is also earning him some attention around the Wizards locker room.

"That's just a guy that understands that we all are human. Everybody makes mistakes. You can bounce back," guard John Wall said.

"He admitted that he made a mistake. Stuff happens in life, but he put it behind him. He put in a lot of work to get in the best shape that he could to come back and help our team. You can't do nothing but applaud a guy like that and give him a lot of respect."

For this to happen in Washington, D.C., the closest NBA city to his hometown of Chesapeake, Va., adds a nice angle to Scott's story. He's having quite the homecoming so far this season as an early candidate for NBA Comeback Player of the Year.

"My dad is here a lot. My friends are here a lot. It's only a three-hour drive to Chesapeake, 2 1/2 with the way my dad drives. It's great," he said.

For more on Scott's journey, click here.

 

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]

 

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Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Scott Brooks feels good about John Wall and Bradley Beal's All-Star chances

Voting for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game's starters is now closed and though they have not fared well with fan ballots, the chances Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal are picked as reserves seem good.

The All-Star reserves are chosen by NBA head coaches and Wizards head coach Scott Brooks thinks the Wizards should have two representatives.

"They're definitely both having All-Star years," Brooks said. "I can't vote for either one, but they are definitely in my mind two of the best guards in the East."

Wall, 27, is averaging 19.9 points and leads the Eastern Conference with 9.3 assists per game. He also leads all NBA guards with 1.1 blocks per game.

Bradley Beal, 24, is seventh in the East with 23.7 points per game and third among Eastern Conference guards. He is averaging a career-high 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

The 25-19 Wizards are currently in the playoff picture, which should help their cause for two All-Stars. But there is a lot of competition at the guard position.

Beal has done plenty to make the case he should be a first-time All-Star. He leads the Wizards in points and has played in every one of their games.

What could hold Wall back is that his numbers are down from last season and the fact he missed 11 games due to injury.

Brooks, though, thinks he should be in there and that it shouldn't be all that close.

"I think John is the best point guard in the East," he said.

Wall is certainly up there among the best point guards in the conference. His competition would be guys like Kyrie Iriving, Kyle Lowry and maybe Ben Simmons. Wall is a more versatile player than Irving and has better numbers than Lowry or Simmons.

The All-Star starters are announced on Jan. 18 and the full rosters will be revealed on Jan. 23. We'll see if Wall and Beal make the cut.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

5 must-see moments from Wizards' tough loss to Bucks including John Wall's circus shot

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday afternoon...

1. John Wall came out swinging in the first half with 22 points, 16 of them in the first quarter alone. 

This was one of his best plays. Wall split two defenders and then flipped it in off the glass:

Wall finished with 27 points, nine assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks. 

2. Kelly Oubre, Jr. led the Wizards' bench with 19 points, five rebounds and a block. He missed on this play, but nearly dunked on Giannis Antetokounmpo. That would have been something:

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

3. Oubre did get this one to go down. He popped a three at the buzzer to end the third quarter:

4. Wall had some nice passes including this alley-oop lob to Tomas Satoransky. Sato got way up there:

Satoransky also threw down this alley-oop pass earlier thrown by Bradley Beal:

5. This last play was by the Bucks and it was not something you see every day. Antetokounmpo fired an assist through his legs like a longsnapper:

The Wizards lost a close one. Now they head to Charlotte to begin a five-game road trip.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]