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Wizards blast Magic to tie a season-high with four straight wins behind Tomas Satoransky's career night


Wizards blast Magic to tie a season-high with four straight wins behind Tomas Satoransky's career night

The Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 115-98 on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Streak continues: The Wizards are all of a sudden unstoppable and they are doing it without their best player. On Saturday, they again earned a thoroughly impressive win without John Wall and again with unusually generous and crisp ball movement.

This time they dished 35 team assists. It was the fourth straight game the Wizards have had 27 assists or more, their longest such streak since April of 1997. This is the best passing streak the Wizards have had since Rod Strickland, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard were tearing it up for the Bullets.

Again, everyone got involved. Otto Porter led the Wizards with 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal. Tomas Satoransky set a career-high with 19 points.

All five Wizards starters reached double figures. Bradley Beal had 18 points, Markieff Morris had 16 points with three assists and three steals. Marcin Gortat had a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

The Wizards tied a season-high winning streak with their fourth straight victory. They moved to 30-22 on the season and within a game of the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers. Everything is looking up for the Wizards right now.

The Wizards, by the way, have won all four of these games without Wall. They are 9-6 without him this season. That's a small sample size, but it is a 49-win pace. Their record with him this year is 21-16, a 47-win pace.


Satoransky's career night: Satoransky keeps taking his game to new heights. The second-year guard had the best night of his brief career and showed an ability to affect a game with his scoring like we hadn't yet seen.

Satoransky was a force on the fastbreak with strong finishes and deft passes to his teammates. He attacked the rim in the halfcourt and stretched the floor with a consistent three-point shot. In addition to setting a career-high in points, Satoransky tied a career-best with three threes. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. He also added six assists and two steals.

Once again, Satoransky's impact was felt on defense. He helped keep Magic point guard Elfrid Payton in check, as Payton was limited to 14 points after Payton scored 30 and 27 against the Wizards in their previous meetings.

Satoransky is starting to shed the label of 'capable backup.' He is now becoming a real strength for the Wizards. Soon it may be worth a debate about where he ranks among best backup point guards in the NBA. 

Beal does so much: With Wall out, Beal is not only stepping up as a scorer, he has been leading the Wizards to win in a variety of ways. Saturday night was yet another well-rounded performance where Beal looked like in complete control from the opening tip.

Beal had 18 points and flirted with a triple-double with eight points and eight assists. He also had two steals and a block. 

Beal is being treated much differently by defenses with Wall not on the floor. He is often seeing double teams and is clearly the primary focus of opponents. But Beal is using that to his advantage. Instead of panicking, Beal baits the defense into collapsing on him before setting up others with passes.

Beal's patience and improvement as a passer is allowing the Wizards to run their offense through him in different ways without Wall out. Beal deserves a lot of credit for the Wizards' increased ball movement.

Up next: The Wizards are off Sunday before beginning a back-to-back set on Monday. They play at the Indiana Pacers with a 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Washington.


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Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

Bradley Beal eliminated in first round of three-point contest, Donovan Mitchell wins dunk contest

It was a short night for Wizards guard Bradley Beal in the 2018 All-Star three-point contest on Saturday, as he was eliminated in the first round.

Wearing the Wizards' new 'The District' white alternate jersey, Beal shot a 15 and fell short of the top three spots to qualify for the second round. Suns guard Devin Booker won the contest with a 28 score in the final, beating out Klay Thompson of the Warriors and Tobias Harris of the Clippers.


Beal's was undone by a slow start. He missed all five shots on the first rack and made just one on the second. He began to heat up at the third rack, but by then couldn't recover.

Here is Beal's full round:

This was Beal's second showing in the three-point contest. He finished second back in 2014 and this year said he was motivated to avenge that loss. He should have plenty more opportunities to participate in the future if he chooses.

The NBA's All-Star Saturday night began with Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie winning the skills competition. He beat Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen in the final round.

Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest. He edged Larry Nance, Jr. of the Cavaliers in the finals.


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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:


Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)


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.


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.


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.