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Wizards hold on to edge Clippers for second straight win

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Wizards hold on to edge Clippers for second straight win

The Washington Wizards beat the Los Angeles Clippers 100-91 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Win is a win: Playing down to lesser opponents has been an unfortunate trend for the Wizards all season and it was enough for head coach Scott Brooks to reference before Friday's game how they had a losing record against teams with losing records. For the second straight game they got a win, but did so the hard way.

This time it was the (11-16) Clippers and the Wizards made things much more difficult than they needed to. After leading by as much as 18 points, the Clippers hung around and cut the lead down to a tie in the fourth quarter.

The lead was lost mostly when head coach Scott Brooks used a lineup of Tim Frazier, Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Markieff Morris and Ian Mahinmi. Brooks then brought John Wall (14 points, five assists, six rebounds), Bradley Beal (20 points, 10 assists) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (eight points, seven rebounds) in and they couldn't stop the bleeding initially.

That group, though, made the final push towards victory. Oubre converted a four-point play with 3:11 remaining and Wall followed that with a three-point play on a fadeaway with 1:51 left.

The Wizards tied their season series against the Clippers after losing in L.A. last Saturday. Washington is now 16-13 on the season as they get set for a big matchup with Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, who dropped 57 on them in the first meeting back in November.

[PODCAST: NBA REPORTER DAVID ALDRIDGE TALKS WIZARDS]

World's Best Boss: Mike Scott might officially be unstoppable. The Threegional Manager lit it up again and for the second time this season against the Clippers.

Scott poured in 22 points in 24 minutes on 9-for-10 shooting, tying a season-high (also vs. the Clippers) and his most since the 2013-14 season. In his last six games, he's scored 80 points and shot 34-for-43. Despite being signed to a veteran minimum contract over the summer, Scott has emerged as their most consistent scorer off the bench. He's a big reason why their second unit has improved year-over-year.

Scott got started early with his usual mix of midrange jumpers. He cashed in post opportunities and hit a pair of threes. By halftime, he had 12 points and was 5-for-5 from the field.

Scott also did something he hadn't done yet this season, throw down a big dunk. This looks like the guy from a few years ago who was a force for the Atlanta Hawks:

Sato still the guy: Satoransky was the primary backup point guard again for the Wizards. He played 19 minutes, while Frazier only got three. Satoransky played much better in his second showing with 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting with three rebounds and three assists. He helped lead the Wizards on a nice push in the first half to build a double-digit lead.

Morris, Mahinmi returned: The Wizards were at full-strength for the first time this month on Friday, as both Markieff Morris and Mahinmi returned from their brief injury absence. Morris was nursing a host of minor injuries including a sore right hip. He was a late scratch for Wednesday's win over the Grizzlies and came back after missing one game. Mahinmi missed two games with a right knee strain and was cleared as a gametime decision.

Morris was okay with eight points and four rebounds in 21 minutes as he battled foul trouble. Mahinmi had three points and six rebounds in 17 minutes.

Porter not so lucky: The Wizards were fully healthy for about three minutes of game time as starting small forward Otto Porter left with a right thigh contusion. He first had his right leg stretch and examined by trainers in front of the Wizards' bench, but soon after he exited to the locker room and never returned. A contusion doesn't sound serious, but it was enough to make him miss most of this game.

Up next: The Wizards take Saturday off before hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Tipoff is Sunday at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]

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NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes reveals his 2018 NBA All-Star ballot

The 2018 NBA All-Star starters have been announced with few surprises based on the previous updates we saw from fan voting, which account for 50 percent of the equation. The other 50 percent is split by players and media.

I had the honor of filling out one of the media ballots before the Jan. 15 deadline and in interest of transparency, here is how I voted with some brief reasoning for why:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics

Irving is the best player on the top team in the conference. He is scoring like he always has, but is now expanding his game under coach Brad Stevens.

G Bradley Beal, Wizards

Beal has turned into one of the best scorers in the NBA and now does so many more things. It wasn't an easy pick between him, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall and Victor Oladipo, but Beal has been so valuable to the Wizards this season with Wall missing extended time that he got the nod.

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

F LeBron James, Cavs

LeBron remains the best player in basketball and is having one of his best seasons at the age of 33. It's incredible to watch and he is deserving of the most votes.

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Giannis is a bonafide star and is among the most versatile players in the NBA with how he can affect the game on both ends of the floor. Even without a three-point shot, he's completely unstoppable on offense.

F Joel Embiid, Sixers

Embiid is proving he can stay on the court (for the most part) and is putting up crazy numbers. Kristaps Porzingis and others got consideration for this spot, but Embiid edged them out with his rebounding.

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE

G Russell Westbrook, Thunder

His scoring is down from last season, but Westbrook tops the NBA in assists per game and things are starting to click in Oklahoma City with him leading the way.

G James Harden, Rockets

The NBA's leading scorer, Harden is still putting up insane numbers despite co-existing with another star guard in Chris Paul. And the Rockets are really, really good.

F Kevin Durant, Warriors

The best player on the league's best team, Durant is currently fifth in points per game and tied for third in blocks. He is incredibly efficient and does so many things well.

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans

Davis continues to put up impressive numbers, but he's now more efficent than ever. The Pelicans are currently sixth in the West, too.

F Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

Towns has become almost underrated with all the attention placed on other young stars in the league, but he's as good as any of them. Big KAT has the T'Wolves on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

2018 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James, Steph Curry named captains; Wall and Beal miss cut for starters

The NBA announced the starters for next month's 2018 All-Star Game and once again LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the top vote-getter.

Stephen Curry of the Warriors was second in votes, meaning he and James will serve as captains and pick teams for the Feb. 18 showcase.

Neither John Wall or Bradley Beal of the Wizards made the cut as starters, so they will have to hope to make it as reserves by NBA coaches. The full rosters are announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

For the starters, fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote with players and media each representing 25 percent. 

PODCAST: WHAT CHANGES SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE?

Here are the starters from each conference. Keep in mind these groups will be split up once the captains pick their teams:

EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Kyrie Irving, Celtics -- 2,170,833 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G DeMar DeRozan, Raptors -- 998,999 fan votes (4th)

F LeBron James, Cavs -- 2,638,294 fan votes (14th)

F Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks -- 2,530,211 fan votes (2nd)

F Joel Embiid, Sixers -- 1,285,587 fan votes (1st)

RELATED: BROOKS FEELS GOOD ABOUT WALL AND BEAL'S ALL-STAR CHANCES

WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTERS

G Stephen Curry, Warriors -- 2,379,494 fan votes (5th All-Star appearance)

G James Harden, Rockets -- 1,486,830 fan votes (6th)

F Kevin Durant, Warriors -- 2,238,406 fan votes (9th)

F Anthony Davis, Pelicans -- 1,088,230 fan votes (4th)

F DeMarcus Cousins, Pelicans -- 922,269 fan votes (4th)

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS