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Wizards fall to Lakers in overtime, suffer first loss of season, and LaVar Ball called it

Wizards fall to Lakers in overtime, suffer first loss of season, and LaVar Ball called it

The Washington Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 102-99 in overtime on Wednesday night at the Staples Center. Here's analysis of what went down...

Undefeated no longer: The Wizards looked well on their way to a fourth straight win to begin the season, but LaVar Ball and the Lakers had other ideas.

Yes, LaVar Ball. He appeared on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast early in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were in control and predicted a victory. Then, the Lakers zoomed back.

The Lakers battled back down 10 points to begin the third quarter to force overtime thanks to a tip-in by Brandon Ingram with 0.7 seconds left. Ingram tipped in his own shot, which was not a great look for the Wizards' defense. From there the game seesawed with a Julius Randle dunk with 4.5 seconds serving as the finishing touches of a Lakers win.

The last shot for the Wizards was a three-pointer by John Wall that was way off. Wall appeared to be hoping for a foul, but regardless he is not the best candidate for a final three with Bradley Beal also on the court and Otto Porter fouling out didn't help that cause.

The Wizards fell to 3-1 on the year, falling one win short of their best start since 1978-79.

Wall vs. Ball: This game was billed as Wall vs. Lonzo Ball, superstar point guard against a guy who could be well on his way to becoming one. The two had their moments matching up with each other, but there was no defining moment where one got the best of the other.

The first quarter saw Wall and Ball score a combined two points. They had a combined six points at halftime, all in Wall's favor. It was another slow shooting start for Wall, who was 3-for-8 at the break.

Wall did have a few highlight-worthy plays, however, and one was at Ball's expense. Early in the first quarter Wall flew by Ball with a nasty crossover:

This dunk was the highlight of the night:

Ball had a rought night overall with six points on 2-for-11 shooting, but went home with a win. Wall had 18 points with nine assists, but shot 17-for-22 from the field.

Wall was involved in a controversial play with :11 seconds remaining in overtime. He drove to the rim and was blocked by Randle. A referee review ruled possession for the Lakers. That gave L.A. the ball with a 100-99 lead, setting up Randle's dunk to seal it.

Beal is taking another step: Beal showed off his improvement as a ball-handler, particularly in the third quarter. There were a few plays he made that you just didn't see in years past. He had a hesitation fake at the three-point line that got him a layup. There was also a beautiful shimmy move that led to a fadeaway over a much taller Brandon Ingram. 

Given it was the Staples Center, this was a nice ode to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant:

Beal finished with a game-high 28 points with six rebounds and two assists.

Free throws, man: The Wizards have nobody to blame but themselves for this loss. They shot 65.2 percent for the game from the free throw line. They also scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter. That won't cut it.

Mahinmi hurt: Yes, it happened again. This time Ian Mahinmi sprained his left ankle. Jason Smith had missed two games with a sprained right shoulder and hadn't played in the first half, but Mahinmi's injury brought Smith off the bench. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

Mahinmi can't catch a break in the injury department. Last game he messed up his left calf, but was able to return. One has to wonder if these are related, given it's the same leg.

Up next: The Wizards head up the coast to play the defending-champion Golden State Warriors. Washington is 3-1, making this quite the matchup. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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

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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:


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.


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On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

On MLK Day, John Wall wonders what King would think about race relations under President Trump

John Wall spoke at length over the summer about race relations in the United States following the violence in Charlottesville in August orchestrated by white supremacists.

Following the Wizards' game against the Bucks on Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday, Wall was asked about the subject again.

Wall does not believe improvements have made in the last few months with President Donald Trump in office and he wonders how King would react if he were alive to see the current state of America.

"I think he still wouldn't be satisfied. We're still dealing with it. I think it got better for a little period of time, but with the new president we have I think things are going backwards. We've been dealing with it the last couple of years. There are some things we still need to figure out," Wall said.


The Wizards play on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day every year and Wizards players cherish the tradition. It is not lost on Wall that he plays in Washington, D.C. where King made his famous 'I Have A Dream' speech and led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

“That’s just an honor and a blessing," Wall said.

"We are all still sticking to what he had with this dream, and we are just trying to get everything to be right with it. To be able to play in this city is an honor."


Wall says he tries to embody King's dream in his own life. King helped lead the civil rights movement that paved the way for equal rights and Wall, an African-American, has much to thank for those who fought. Every American does.

Wall says he wants to make King proud.

“I just hope that he appreciates what I’m doing. I’m doing myself very well. I hope he’s thankful for what I’m doing. I’m striving to be a better African-American athlete, and just as a person first of all – I think that’s the most important thing," he said.