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

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

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle the Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday 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. LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Defense needed

The Wizards enter Thursday night aiming to correct some issues on the defensive end. They have lost three straight home games and five of their last seven games overall. That included a disappointing defeat to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Dallas came into the matchup with the NBA's worst record, yet jumped out to a scorching start on offense with 36 points in the first quarter and 64 in the first half.

The Mavs were the third bad team in three weeks to sneak up on the Wizards. The Lakers were the first, they beat Washington in overtime last month. Thursday night offers the Wizards a chance to make some corrections and get back on track against a team they want revenge against.

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More Jason Smith?

Twice the last 36 hours head coach Scott Brooks has said that he has "to find more minutes" for Jason Smith. The big man didn't play in two straight games before coming off the bench late in their loss to the Mavericks. Smith provided a spark with a dunk and two blocks.

The Wizards have had major issues protecting the rim and right now Smith is someone who could help that cause. Plus, Brooks has said he feels more comfortable playing Smith at the center position despite him traditionally being a power forward. With the league going smaller at the big man spot, Smith has the size to play center and can stretch the floor with his three-point shot.

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Lakers play fast

With Lonzo Ball running point guard, the Lakers have managed to become one of the fastest teams in basketball. They rank second in pace factor. Fast teams are generally associated with offense, yet the Lakers are 28th in offensive rating. They have been much better on defense with the fifth-best defensive rating in the game. In the first meeting between these teams, the Wizards were held to 99 points including one overtime period.

L.A. is very young and very athletic. Ball isn't scoring much (8.8 ppg) but is averaging 6.8 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game. Fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma has been a standout so far with 14.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. And Brandon Ingram is starting to reach his potential with 15.5 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting. The Lakers have trotted out to a 5-6 record and are not an easy out anymore.

[RELATED: KELLY OUBRE CAN SEE WHY DURANT MADE A FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT]

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Milwaukee Bucks fire head coach Jason Kidd, report says

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USA Today Sports

Milwaukee Bucks fire head coach Jason Kidd, report says

With the Bucks currently eighth in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee has fired head coach Jason Kidd. Assistant coach Joe Prunty will take over in the interim.

The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Kidd leaves the Bucks in the middle of his fourth season with the team. He took over before the 2014-15 season and has since taken them to two playoff appearances in his three full seasons. The Bucks won just 15 games the year before Kidd took the job.

RELATED: OUBRE IS CHANGING WIZARDS' OUTLOOK

Milwaukee was the sixth seed last season and entered this year with high expectations. With Giannis Antetokounmpo developing into an MVP candidate, eighth place in the East isn't good enough, even if that technically means they would make the playoffs if they began today.

The Bucks are 23-22 and have lost four of their last five. Since beginning the season 15-10, they have gone 8-12.

With the presence of Antetokounmpo and other talented young players like Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Jabari Parker (if he re-signs) and Khris Middleton, the future is bright in Milwaukee from a roster perspective. That makes the vacancy left behind by Kidd an attractive one for prospective coaches. 

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

Regardless of what happens this summer, the Bucks' decision has major implications for the Eastern Conference in the short-term. Can Prunty, who has never been a full-time NBA head coach before, jumpstart the Bucks? Or will their struggles continue and this season be chalked up as a down year?

Teams at the top of the East wouldn't mind seeing the Bucks continue to stumble, as they proved a tough out in last year's playoffs and boast one of the best young players in the game.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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Wizards at Mavericks: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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Wizards at Mavericks: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith, Jr., Harrison Barnes and the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT DALLAS MAVERICKS

Where: American Airlines Center
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wall and Beal continue to thrive

The Wizards have been inconsistent lately as a team with four losses in their last seven games, but John Wall and Bradley Beal have continued to put up All-Star numbers. Wall in his last 10 games has averaged 23.0 points, 10.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks while shooting 43.2 percent from three. He's got five games with multiple threes during that stretch.

In Beal's last 10 games he's averaging 26.8 points, 4.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three. Though the Wizards have dropped some winnable games in recent weeks, the Wizards' two best players have largely been carrying their weight.

RELATED: OUBRE IS CHANGING WIZARDS' OUTLOOK

Payback time?

The Wizards have another opportunity to get back at a team that handed them a regrettable loss. The Mavericks beat the Wizards in Washington on Nov. 7 in one of the first in their long line of defeats to sub-.500 teams. The Wizards lost by 14 that night and little did we know it would be the beginning of a trend that has defined their season so far.

Now the Wizards can get revenge, but they have had major problems doing so against other teams. They lost to the Nets in December and then got blased again by 35 points 10 days later. They got killed by the Jazz by 47 points in December, then lost again in January when they were missing their best player, Rudy Gobert. And the same thing happened against the Hornets. The Wizards lost in November and then again last week. We'll see if the Wizards can punch back this time.

PODCAST: MIDSEASON AWARDS FOR MVP, BEST WIN AND MORE

Mavs are struggling

It has been a long season for the Mavericks, who at 15-31 have the fourth-worst record in all of basketball. They have lost six of their last eight games and rank among the worst teams in the NBA in many categories including points per game (23rd) and defensive rating (21st).

They do have some talent, though. Harrison Barnes is averaging 18.5 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 45.2 percent. Rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. is putting up 14.7 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game while dunking all over his opponents. Dirk Nowitzki is still knocking down shots with 12.4 points per game on 47.1 percent from the field and 42 percent from three. 

Dallas does have some injuries at the moment. Nerlens Noel is sidelined with a torn ligament in his thumb. Seth Curry has a stress reaction in his left tibia. And Devin Harris could miss the game with a head injury.

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