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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.

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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:

Ouch.

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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Wizards fall to Cavs as LeBron James nets triple-double

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Wizards fall to Cavs as LeBron James nets triple-double

The Washington Wizards lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-99 on Sunday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Even depleted, Cavs are a problem: Both teams entered this game without at least one of their best players due to injury, as Otto Porter sat out for the Wizards with a hip contusion. The Cavs, though, were missing Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and despite LeBron James shooting a low percentage, they still had enough to top the Wizards for the second time this season.

It was a testament to Cleveland's depth and it came in the second of a back-to-back set, as the Cavs beat the Jazz in Cleveland on Saturday night. 

It's still early in the season, but the Wizards were reminded on Sunday how they still have work to do to catch the Cavs. They are close enough to give Cleveland a worthy challenge, but the Cavs can win in so many ways.

A different LeBron: The Wizards had no answer for LeBron in the first matchup between these teams this season. Back on Nov. 3, he pummeled them for 57 points, the second-most in his illustrious career. LeBron shot an insane 23-for-34 from the field.

This time the Wizards had much better luck despte employing a similar defensive strategy. In the first matchup, they guarded him one-on-one and LeBron feasted off of fadeaway midrange jumpers. In this game those just weren't falling for him.

Before the game head coach Scott Brooks suggested the Wizards would guard him similarly, noting they will usually live with long twos, knowing the percentages. It worked this time.

To be fair, it seemed like a relatively off-night in general for LeBron scoring-wise, as he finished with 20 and had just 13 points after three quarters. He shot just 8-for-23 from the field.

Perhaps it was the product of the Cavs playing the second game of a back-to-back after beating the Jazz in Cleveland on Saturday. All that said, he still had a triple-doube with 15 assists and 12 rebounds.

But just look at this highlight for example. He traveled twice on the same play.

That's very unusual, even for a guy like LeBron who is known for getting away with travels. 

With LeBron having to beat the Wizards with his passing, Kevin Love was a benefactor. He stepped up to drop 25 points and shoot 5-for-8 from three.

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Wall moves up the list: John Wall (15 points, 10 rebounds) moved up the Wizards/Bullets' franchise all-time scoring list by passing not one but two former Bullets legends in the first half. He pushed past Phil Chenier and Gus Johnson to now own sole possession of fifth place in franchise history. The four ahead of him are Elvin Hayes, Jeff Malone, Wes Unseld and Kevin Loughery. Loughery is only 46 points ahead of Wall, so he should be in fourth very soon. 

Porter didn't play: Porter was considered a gametime decision after getting elbowed in his right hip on Friday night against the L.A. Clippers. He wasn't able to go, however, and missed his second game of the season. Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points, eight rebounds) started in his place and did exactly what the Wizards didn't want him to do, he got in early foul trouble.

After picking up two fouls in about 4:30 of gametime, Oubre had to take a seat and Coach Brooks had to get creative. He played Tomas Satoransky and Mike Scott some at the three for much of the rest of the first half. Oubre finished with four fouls, but only gave the Wizards 29 minutes and probably would have played more if he stayed out of foul trouble.

Scott remains hot: Another day, another big game for Scott off the Wizards' bench. With 19 points against the Cavs, he now has 99 over has last seven games while shooting 42-for-57. That's quite good.

Up next: The Wizards stay home to host Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]

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Wizards vs. Cavaliers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards vs. Cavaliers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS GAME INFO

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 5 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

WIZARDS VS. CAVALIERS WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Will Porter Play?

The Wizards got John Wall back on Wednesday and on Friday both Markieff Morris and Ian Mahinmi returned from injuries. But just three minutes into their win over the Clippers and Otto Porter went down with a right hip contusion.

Porter's status for Sunday is now in question. As of Saturday, he was considered doubtful but he will be re-evaluated before the game. If he can't play, expect Kelly Oubre, Jr. to get the start.

Measuring Stick:

The Wizards feel like their record should be much better than 16-13 as they have lost a host of games to teams with losing records.

Though they haven't completely turned the corner, they are coming off two straight wins with the second one much better than the first. All of a sudden, the Wizards have some momentum heading into their second meeting with the Cavs this season.

The Cavs, though, aren't playing too bad themselves. After beating the Jazz on Saturday night, they have won 17 of their last 18 games.

After starting the season a disappointing 5-7, they have caught fire and are now 22-8 through 30 games. With the Celtics stumbling, the Cavs are looking more and more like the best team in the East. This gives the Wizards a chance to see how they stack up.

PODCAST: MORRIS ON WHY THE WIZARDS ARE A TOUGH TEAM

Stopping LeBron:

LeBron James pretty much always plays well, but he was on a different level the first time these two teams squared off.

LeBron eruped for 57 points, the second-most in his career and completely dominated the WIzards. He shot 23-for-34 (67.6%) and added 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. It was a masterpiece by one of the greatest players in NBA history.

The Wizards know it's pretty much impossible to stop LeBron, but they can certainly hope for better results than last time. In that game they opted to guard him one-on-one and he took advantage, particularly in the post.

Perhaps this time they will decided to deploy double teams.

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