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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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Wizards' offense stumbles without John Wall in loss to Raptors

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Wizards' offense stumbles without John Wall in loss to Raptors

The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 100-91 on Sunday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre. Here's analysis of what went down...

Not enough: The Wizards pulled off the upset earlier this month in Toronto when they were without star guard John Wall. On Sunday, there weren't as fortunate.

This time Kyle Lowry didn't get ejected in the first half and this time DeMar DeRozan (33 points, 15-for-26 FG) had a good shooting night. Bradley Beal (27 points) stepped up, but had five turnovers and didn't get much help from his teammates.

Otto Porter was held to 15 points and six rebounds. Those are decent numbers, but they needed more with Wall out. Markieff Morris had only three points on 1-for-10 shooting. Marcin Gortat (12 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists) played well, to be fair.

The Wizards have now lost two straight games and sit 9-7 on the season. Without Wall, the Wizards were the underdogs but they were only down three to begin the fourth quarter. They were outscored 21-15 in the final frame.

The Raptors snapped the Wizards' streak of holding opponents to under 100 points at five games on a DeRozan dunk with just 54.7 seconds left.

Wall out, may miss Monday: The Wizards held Wall out due his swollen left knee and it could keep him out against the Bucks on Monday. That's what head coach Scott Brooks told reporters in Toronto before the game. The Wizards proved on Sunday they can still compete against good teams without Wall, but the road won't get any easier. 

The Bucks have a very good backcourt with Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton. After dealing with Kyle Lowry in this one, Tim Frazier will have to keep up with Bledsoe if Wall isn't available.

Frazier and Tomas Satoransky filled the void on Sunday with Wall out and produced mixed results. Frazier put up some solid numbers with six rebounds and eight assists, but had four turnovers, including a badly timed one with 2:10 left when he dribbled off his knee and out of bounds. Satoransky also had three turnovers, but managed four points, three rebounds and two steals in 12 minutes. His best moments were on defense.

The Wizards' offense overall just couldn't get going without Wall running the show. They shot 42 percent despite going 11-for-19 (57.9%) from three. Their 11-for-19 (57.3%) mark from the free throw line didn't help.


Perimeter defense: Here's a positive for the Wizards. The Raptors entered this game tied for 10th in the NBA in three-pointers made per game (10.9) and they chucked up a lot of attempts from long range. The Raptors hit 10 threes, but the Wizards deserve credit for holding them to 26.3 percent at 10-for-38 overall.

Three-point defense has been a big point of emphasis for the Wizards since Brooks took over. Last year they were 20th in opponents three-point percentage. They were eighth in the NBA coming into Sunday's game, a major improvement. 

The personnel is there for them to defend the perimeter well, even without Wall. Beal, Porter and Kelly Oubre, Jr. are all young, quick and long. So far this season they have been putting those skills to good use.

Injury scare for Keef: Markieff Morris took a hard shot to his nose in the first quarter on a loose ball play. Morris dove to the ground trying to get possession and his face slammed straight into the leg of Jonas Valanciunas. Morris would return in the second quarter and quickly hit a three.

Here's the replay of Morris' collision:


Up next: The Wizards head to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Monday night. It will be their first back-to-back set of the season. They are the last team to have one. Tipoff is a 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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John Wall out against Toronto Raptors with swollen knee

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John Wall out against Toronto Raptors with swollen knee

For the second time this season the Wizards will be playing at the Toronto Raptors without star point guard John Wall.

Wall is sitting out this time due to a swollen left knee, head coach Scott Brooks announced on Sunday afternoon. Wall was limited in the Wizards' loss to the Heat on Friday night and said fluid had built up in his knee after he received IVs the previous weekend. 

The Wizards were able to beat the Raptors on the road on Nov. 5 without Wall. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was ejected from that game in the second quarter.

Without Wall, the Wizards will rely on backup point guards Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky. They could also use shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter to run the offense. Kelly Oubre, Jr. could be used on the defensive end to check Lowry.

The Wizards are 2-3 without Wall dating back to last season. This year he is averaging 19.9 points and 9.3 assists per game this season.

The Wizards play the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday in a back-to-back set. Wall could miss that game as well, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.