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Wizards take out Pelicans in rollercoaster game, avoid big injury scare

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Wizards take out Pelicans in rollercoaster game, avoid big injury scare

The Washington Wizards beat the New Orleans Pelicans 116-106 on Tuesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Weird game: The Wizards have been difficult to figure out so far this season, sometimes playing like a title contender and other times playing down to some of the worst teams in the NBA. Their inconsistency was displayed in extreme fashion on Tuesday night in a topsy-turvy win against the Pelicans.

The net result is a victory over a team currently in the Western Conference playoff picture, but this game was just plain weird. The Wizards led by 25 points midway through the second quarter before the Pelicans charged all the way back to tie the game at 61-61 with 10:21 left in the third. Then, the Wizards erupted to lead by 23 points entering the fourth quarter. They won by 10.

The Pelicans' comeback was in large part due to Anthony Davis (37 points, nine rebounds), who had 22 points by halftime and got pretty much anything he wanted in the paint. But give credit to the Wizards, who responded with a big run of their own.

The Wizards are now 17-14 on the season and are 3-1 since John Wall returned. Speaking of Wall...


Wall started out hot: Early on in this one we saw a version of Wall we hadn't seen in quite some time. He was absolutely unstoppable in the first quarter with 14 points and six assists on 5-for-8 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 from three. By halftime he had 15 points, tying his most since returning from his two knee procedures and his most in a game since Nov. 22, nearly a month ago.

Everything was working for Wall in the first half, including his no-look passes:

Wall would cool off after that. He scored just three points in the second half and ended up with 18 to go along with 10 assists and six rebounds. Still, it was a great sign for the Wizards, as their All-Star point guard took a step closer to reaching midseason form.

Wall, by the way, was wearing Kobe Bryant's signature shoes as a tribute to the Lakers legend, who had not one but two numbers retired in L.A. on Monday night.

Porter out again: The Wizards played their second straight game without starting small forward Otto Porter, who continues to deal with a right hip contusion. He was considered a gametime decision, but was not able to give it a go. This was not a surprise, as he missed practice on Monday and shootaround Tuesday morning. Head coach Scott Brooks said before Tuesday's game that Porter has not required further testing, so there seems to be no serious concern, yet he remains sidelined.

Beal injury scare: Already without Porter, the Wizards nearly saw another star go down in the third quarter when Bradley Beal (26 points, five rebounds, four assists) fell to the ground after appearing to roll his ankle. Beal was in obvious pain, but was able to rally and put together a strong second half of 22 points.

Here's the play Beal got injured on:

That sound you hear is Wizards fans sighing in relief.

Scott-o-matic: We may have an early-season favorite for the NBA's Comeback Player of the Year award. Mike Scott is straight-up unstoppable these days. The Pelicans were the latest to try to contain him and that they could not.

Scott found his groove early, per usual, with nine points in his first four minutes on 4-for-4 from the field. He ended up with 24 points, a new season-high and his most since April of 2014, and shot 11-for-15. In his last eight games, he's got 123 points (15.4 ppg) and has shot an insane 53-for-72 (79.1%). He is quickly turning into one of the best bargains in the NBA.

Up next: The Wizards have two days off before heading up to Brooklyn to face the Nets on Friday night. The Nets aren't good, but they did beat the Wizards just recently on Dec. 12, when Washington was playing without Wall. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

John Wall and J.J. Barea continue Wizards-Mavs beef with postgame war of words

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of teams the Wizards just plain do not like.

The Wizards have had beef with a host of their opponents over the past several seasons between the Celtics, Warriors, Suns, Magic and many others. Now the Mavericks can be included and one could argue they were the instigators.

On Monday night in Dallas, the Wizards and Mavs got into it several times. First, Bradley Beal and rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. got tied up at midcourt and Beal gave Smith an earful afterwards. Smith grabbed Beal's arm and the Wizards shooting guard did not like it.

Beal's displeasure was understandable, as this could have caused a shoulder injury:


Soon after that, Mavericks center Salah Mejri was ejected and as he left the court, Kelly Oubre, Jr. waved him off. Mejri didn't like that too much:

Those incidents were all precursors to this, a dustup between John Wall and J.J. Barea. First, they had words for each other on the court and it resulted in a technical for Barea, one of five total handed out during the game:


After the game, they kept talking. Wall poked fun at Barea's height by saying this:

"It was cool. It was funny. It was just a little midget trying to get mad. So, I paid him no mind."

Barea then fired back with this to Dallas reporters:

"Now I have somebody in the NBA that I don't like. But I don't think his teammates like him either."

That's some decent trash-talking. But because they won in a blowout, the Mavs had the last laugh. 


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Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

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Wizards suffer another ugly loss to the Mavericks in game Otto Porter left with an injury

The Washington Wizards lost to the Dallas Mavericks 98-75 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

It happened again: No one who has been following the Wizards throughout the 2017-18 season will be surprised by this. Once again, the Wizards faced a team with a far worse record, yet they not only lost, they got thorougly dominated.

And for the second time this season, it was the Mavs who pulled off the upset. Dallas beat them in Washington all the way back on Nov. 7, before we know these troubles against bad teams would define the Wizards' season to this point.

Offense was a major problem for the Wizards. They scored just 15 points in the second quarter and shot 35.6 percent in the first half. They only scored 17 in the third quarter and finished with just 75 for the game on 30.6 percent from the field. 

The Wizards also continue to have trouble in revenge games. Despite having a chance to punch back, they have now lost twice to the Mavs, Nets, Hornets and Jazz.

This one was just plain ugly and the result was the Wizards' 11th loss to a sub-.500 team. That's tied for the most in the NBA. They know it's a big problem, but they just can't seem to figure out why.

The Wizards have now lost five of their last eight games. With just over two weeks left until the trade deadline, one has to wonder what the Wizards' front office will do to shake things up. At some point they have to do something. It's not early anymore.


Porter injured: The Wizards didn't just lose, they saw one of their best players go down with an injury. Otto Porter was the player and once again it was his right hip, a recurring injury that has sidelined him periodically throughout his NBA career, including at various times this season.

Porter left for the locker room in the third quarter and never returned. The Wizards have two off-days coming up which should work in his favor, but clearly this is a concern as Porter can't shake the injury.

Wall played: Wall had another bout with migraine headaches and missed the team's shootaround. He was considered a gametime decision, but was able to give it a go. Early on, he didn't look affected by the headaches at all.

Wall came out hot by hitting his first shot and have five points and two assists in his first five minutes. By halftime, he had 11 points, four assists, two blocks but also four turnovers. But Wall didn't score in the second half and only added one assist.


Bit of chippiness: The Wizards and Mavs got into it a few times in this one, providing some entertainment in what was otherwise a dumpster fire of a game. In the third quarter we saw Bradley Beal and Dennis Smith, Jr. have words for each other:

Then we saw Salah Mejri get ejected and Kelly Oubre, Jr. wave goodbye to him:

And in the fourth Wall and Mavs point guard J.J. Barea did some jawing. The Wizards and Mavs do not appear to like each other, but Dallas continues to have the last laugh. They have swept the Wizards in seven of the last eight years.

Up next: The Wizards are off both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is not necessarily a good thing. They will have to stew on this loss for longer than usual. Their next game is Thursday night at the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on TNT, but you can catch pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington. It all starts with Wizards HangTime at 7 p.m.