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Wizards hold off Nets in overtime to win sixth game in last eight

Wizards hold off Nets in overtime to win sixth game in last eight

The Washington Wizards beat the Brooklyn Nets 119-113 in overtime on Saturday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Nets made it interesting: The Wizards finally broke through on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, a team that is objectively no good but for some reason has given Washington serious trouble this season. The Nets won each of their first two meetings, both in Brooklyn, and the first was by 35 points. This time the Wizards took care of business.

It wasn't easy, though. The Wizards went up 25-8 in the first quarter, led by 20 at halftime and 23 at one point in the third, yet the Nets (16-27) kept fighting, perhaps drawing confidence from their previous victories. 

Quincy Acy hit a game-tying three with 9.1 seconds left to force overtime. The Wizards pulled it out in the extra period thanks in part to a pair of big mid-range jumpers by John Wall in the last 40 seconds.

The Wizards' defense in the second half was quite terrible. They allowed 35 points in the third quarter and 33 in the fourth. The Nets closed the fourth on a 16-5 run.

Those points came despite the fact the Wizards switched to their small-ball lineup of Wall (23 points, 16 assists), Beal (24 points, six assists), Kelly Oubre, Jr. (16 points), Otto Porter (12 points, nine rebounds) and Markieff Morris (12 points). Usually that group, dubbed the 'Death Row line-up,' provides a boost on defense, but they couldn't get any stops and overtime was the result.

The Wizards ultimately prevailed and have now won two straight games and six of their last eight. They are 11-5 since Wall returned from injury and 25-18 on the year overall, about a 48-win pace for a full season.

[PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE]

Gortat delivered: Marcin Gortat has had a lot going on these days. On Friday, he found himself embroiled in a mini-controversy stemming from comments he made to the Orlando Sentinel that he wouldn't mind playing for the Magic before his career is over. He then made a point to clear that up after the game. Saturday was Polish Heritage Night at Capital One Arena, which brought droves of Polish-Americans out and all of them were there to see him play.

Gortat came through with a big game. He hit on his first attempt, a turnaround hookshot on the baseline in the first minute, and by halftime had 11 points and eight rebounds. Gortat finished with 16 points and 13 boards.

Here was his best play, a powerful dunk assisted by Wall:

Gortat is a hero back home and Polish Heritage Night always brings extra responsibilities both before and after the game. Judging by his performance, he was able to manage it all quite well.

Oubre lit a spark: Oubre did not have his best game on Friday night against the Magic, as he shot just 4-for-12 from the field and 2-for-7 from three. That included a three pointer in the final minute with 12 seconds left on the shot clock that allowed the Magic to get an extra possession, a decision head coach Scott Brooks was not happy about.

Oubre bounced back nicely with a much more efficient game on Saturday. He hit his first four shots and ended up 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from three. He couldn't miss, as evidenced by this pull-up three to beat the buzzer at the end of the third:

Though his shooting percentage has fluctuated, Oubre's consistency scoring the ball has been impressive and a big reason why he is arguably the most improved player on the Wizards. He has now reached double figures in points 29 times in 43 appearances. That tied him for third on the Wizards this season with Porter.

Up next: The Wizards are off Sunday before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Remember, these teams saw each other just recently on Jan. 6 and in that game Matthew Dellavedova was ejected for pulling Beal to the ground. The rematch should be interesting.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL ON HIS GROWTH AS A LEADER]

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."

RELATED: WIZARDS HAVE BIG QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN SECOND HALF

Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.

RELATED: 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT HAS LOADED CLASS

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

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!