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Wizards bounce back to beat Lakers with Wall, Beal and Porter all dropping 20-plus points

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Wizards bounce back to beat Lakers with Wall, Beal and Porter all dropping 20-plus points

The Washington Wizards beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-95 on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Here's analysis of what went down...

Rebound performance: The Wizards needed this one. After three upset losses in the last few weeks, a stretch bad enough for Marcin Gortat to describe as a s***hole, Washington bounced back with a convincing win over the Lakers on Thursday night and they did it with a much better effort on the defensive end.

Sure, the Lakers aren't a good offensive team. And yeah, they had a tough battle with the Celtics the night before. But the numbers the Wizards held L.A. to speak for themselves. 

The Wizards locked down the Lakers to the tune of 95 points on 36 percent (31-for-86) shooting. That included 13 percent (3-for-23) from three.

Early on the Lakers' guards were getting past the Wizards at the perimeter, but that was corrected in the second half. The Lakers' tired legs may have helped, but the Wizards deserve credit for their response. In winning, they snapped a three-game home losing streak and got a victory after losing five of their last seven games.

The Lakers were one of the teams that snuck up on the Wizards early this season, but Bradley Beal (22 points, six assists, five rebounds), Otto Porter (20 points, 11 rebounds) and others were determined to make sure it wouldn't happen again.

Keef's best game: In his fourth game since returning from sports hernia surgery, Markieff Morris put in what was easily his best outing of the season so far. Morris dropped 16 points to go along with five rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting, all in 17 minutes of work. 

Morris found his groove early with a fadeaway jumper over Kyle Kuzma in the first quarter. He then opened the second half with back-to-back threes. This was despite leaving for the locker room in the first quarter with a stiff left knee. He returned int he second quarter and showed no signs of slowing down.

Morris is one of the best players on the Wizards at getting off his own shot and he looked like himself on Thursday. He won't reach midseason form overnight, but Thursday was a great sign.

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Block party: John Wall calls himself the best shot-blocking point guard in NBA history and he sure looked like it in this one. Wall (23 points, eight rebounds, four assists) had three blocks. Two were exceptional plays; the first on Jordan Clarkson and the second on Brandon Ingram. Both were on the fastbreak with Wall playing help defense.

Wall had another block in the third quarter on Kuzma. Wall's three blocks were tied for the third-most in his career for a single game. His career-best is five, set back on Oct. 28, 2015 against the Magic.

Wall also had two steals. Thursday was the 10th time in Wall's career he's had at least two steals and three blocks.

Bench made a run: The Wizards were given a nice boost by their bench, particularly in the second quarter as their lead grew to double digits. Of the Wizards' 22 bench points, 16 of them came in the first half. Tim Frazier had seven points and five assists. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had four points an seven rebounds, though he was 0-for-5 from three.

Up next: The Wizards continue their homestead with a Saturday night matchup against the Hawks. This is a much different team than the Wizards saw just months ago in the playoffs. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

[RELATED: GORTAT FED UP WITH EFFORT SO FAR]

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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]