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Wizards edge heat in overtime to snap three-game losing streak

Wizards edge heat in overtime to snap three-game losing streak

The Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 117-113 on Tuesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Gutsy win: The Wizards earned themselves a much-needed breather amid a hectic Eastern Conference playoff race on Tuesday night.

By beating the Miami Heat, Washington snapped their season-long three-game losing streak. It has been a tough few days with losses to the Warriors, Raptors and Pacers, but the Wizards are finally back in the win column.

With the win, the Wizards took a 2-1 lead on the Heat in their season series. They will play for a fourth and final time on Saturday. If the Wizards win that game, they will own the playoff tiebreaker for seeding purposes.

The Wizards moved to 37-28 on the season and 11-6 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury.


Beal balled out: There was a lot of talk over the previous 48 hours about how tired Bradley Beal looked in the Wizards' loss to the Pacers on Sunday night. He admitted after the game that he was and Pacers guard Victor Oladipo remarked that Beal was "exhausted." Tired legs were blamed in part for Beal missing his final five shots, including two that could have tied the game in the final seconds.

Beal did not look tired in this one. He came out swinging with 10 points in the first quarter and had 15 by halftime. For the game he scored 30 and shot 12-for-16, including 6-for-7 from three.

Due to overtime, Beal wasn't able to get a break in his minutes. He still logged 43, just like he did against the Pacers. But now he has two days off to rest.

Markieff Morris was also a key contributor. He had 16 points and 13 rebounds in his first double-double in about a month, since Feb. 5. Tomas Satoransky's 19 points and seven assists are also worth mentioning.

Otto got hurt: Otto Porter's hip is giving him problems again and this time it is due to a fluke play. Porter collided with Dwyane Wade in the open court as both jumped for a loose ball. Porter took the hit right on his hip and went down writhing in pain. Porter remained in the game for a few plays, but then left for the locker room. He will be evaluated further on Wednesday.

Bench mob: The Heat wouldn't have been able to make this one interesting if it weren't for their second unit, which has clearly improved over the course of this season as guys have gotten healthy and due to the addition of Wade at the trade deadline. The Heat's bench outscored that of the Wizards 64-32 and did most of the damage on the Wizards' 18-point lead in the first half.

Tyler Johnson blew up for 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Wade had 22 points, including some big shots in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Justise Winslow added 15 points off the bench and Kelly Olynk had nine rebounds.

The Wizards put Kelly Oubre, Jr. on Wade in the second half, but Wade wasn't slowed one bit down the stretch. Wade pulled out all of his veteran tricks with pump fakes and shimmies to get Oubre off balance. Oubre has every advantage athletically at this point, but Wade is an NBA legend and still has some left in the tank.

Meanwhile, the Wizards' bench had some moments. Oubre had 14 points and Mike Scott had eight. But collectively, the Heat's bench was much better.

The WIzards' bench has been up-and-down recently due to the domino effect of Wall's absence, a shooting slump for Scott and a foot injury to Oubre, which kept him out of Sunday's game. Tuesday was also a mixed bag, but the Wizards had enough to win.


Sessions debuted: It took two 10-day contracts, but Ramon Sessions finally made his 2017-18 debut with the Wizards on Wednesday night. He didn't play at all on his first deal and signed his second one on Monday. 

Sessions checked about eight minutes into the first quarter and was the Wizards' backup point guard for a night. Tomas Satoransky got the majority of the minutes, but Sessions got the rest. Tim Frazier did not play for the first time since Feb. 14 when he sat out with a broken nose.

Sessions didn't play very well. He had six points in 13 minutes, but shot 1-for-5 from the field, had two turnovers and registered a -17 net rating. He did, however, go 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He is known for attacking the rim and drawing fouls.

One game does not mean Frazier lost his job, of course. What it likely means is that the Wizards actually need to see Sessions in a real game before deciding whether to keep him. Now that he's on his second 10-day contract, they will have to choose at the end of it whether they want to sign him for the rest of the season or release him to free agency. 

Up next: The Wizards are off both Wednesday and Thursday before heading to New Orleans for a Friday night matchup at the Pelicans. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins with Wizards HangTime at 7 p.m.

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Wizards blown out by Spurs, as streak of losses in San Antonio since 1999 continues

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Wizards blown out by Spurs, as streak of losses in San Antonio since 1999 continues

The Washington Wizards lost to the San Antonio Spurs 98-90 on Wednesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Streak continues: Many will tell you that San Antonio, TX is a wonderful city rife with history, good restaurants and warm weather. Please excuse the Washington Wizards if they hate the place.

They lost to the Spurs in a blowout on Wednesday and remain winless in San Antonio going all the way back to 1999. It was their 18th straight loss when playing at the Spurs.

The Spurs win games with their defense and this one was no exception. The Wizards scored their fewest points since Jan. 22, nearly two months, and shot just 42.7 percent. The Spurs hold opponents to the lowest points per game in the NBA (99.0) and the Wizards fell into all of their traps.

Bradley Beal was the only one immune to it. He had 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. The rest of the Wizards shot just 26-for-69 (37.7%).

Losing in San Antonio has come to be expected for the Wizards, but they picked a bad night to drop a game. The Cavaliers and Sixers both won. Philly winning means more because they passed the Wizards in the East and currently sit fourth while the Wizards are in the sixth spot. 

If the playoffs began with those seeds, the Wizards would see the Cavaliers in the first round. Even though the Cavs aren't what they were a year ago, that should be avoided if possible.


Hustle plays: The Spurs also beat the Wizards at the minor details of the game, something they have long been good at under head coach Gregg Popovich. They got the loose balls and offensive rebounds at key moments to either sustain or steal momentum away from Washington.

In the first half, 40-year-old Manu Ginobli dove on the ground to beat Ramon Sessions to a loose ball and it led to two points by Pau Gasol. In the third quarter, Patty Mills flipped around quickly to steal an outlet pass from Marcin Gortat that led to free throws. And in the third there was one play when the Spurs got three offensive rebounds and ultimately got to the free throw line again.

The Spurs out-rebounded the Wizards 43-34 overall and outdid them in offensive rebounds 12-8. They just wanted it more on this particular night.


Oubre stood out: The Spurs' defense got the best of most players on the Wizards, but Kelly Oubre, Jr. was an exception. The third-year pro has been struggling with his shot in recent weeks, so in this one he stuck to high percentage looks, at least early. He had 10 points in his first nine minutes on 5-for-7 shooting, many of those attempts right around the rim.

Oubre attacked the lane dribbling both to his left and his right. He finished with floaters, tough layups and on one fastbreak with a thunderous left-handed slam:

Oubre ended up with 21 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He shot 9-for-17 from the field and 3-for-6 from three.

Oubre has continued to make an impact defensively, even when his shot is not falling. But he has to get more creative some nights to affect games when he isn't hitting from long range. Wednesday was a good example of how he can use his athleticism to take matters into his own hands.

It is a tricky balance, however, because sometimes his aggression can lead to mistakes. That certainly happened at times even in this game, as he had two turnovers. But when Oubre can contain his explosiveness, he can make a big difference.


Under the weather: Already without Wall, the Wizards had to shorten their rotation by two players against the Spurs as both Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott were out due to flu-like symptoms. In Meeks and Scott, the Wizards were missing two key pieces on their bench.

Instead of giving Tim Frazier and Jason Smith a rare and extended opportunity, head coach Scott Brooks instead chose to tighted things up. He relied heavily on the starters until the game was out of hand.

Brooks also got experimental, playing Tomas Satoransky (zero points, 0-for-7 FG) and Sessions together in the second quarter with Oubre and Otto Porter (12 points, seven rebounds) as the forwards. In the fourth quarter, we saw a lineup with three point guards: Sessions, Frazier and Satoransky.

The fact the Wizards had three days off before this game helped allow Brooks to rely on his starters early. It was also an opportunity for Brooks to see what life will be like when Wall returns. There is a chance Satoransky could see more time off the ball. This gave him another glimpse of how he can use Satoransky in more creative ways once the minutes at point guard go down significantly.


Up next: The Wizards are off Thursday before returning home to host the Denver Nuggets on Friday with a 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Washington. That will be a special night at Capital One Arena as the Wizards retire Phil Chenier's No. 45 jersey. 

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?


Wizards Tipoff podcast: Should Bradley Beal be an All-NBA selection?

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, host Chase Hughes was joined by guest co-host Travis Thomas to break down Bradley Beal's All-NBA chances and John Wall's injury rehab.

They also discussed the crazy Eastern Conference playoff race, Trae Young's draft stock and essentials for a good snow day.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!