Wizards

Alabama hangs on for 65-62 win over Oregon State

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Alabama hangs on for 65-62 win over Oregon State

NEW YORK (AP) Rodney Cooper hit a 3-pointer from right in front of the Alabama bench with 12.2 seconds left and the Crimson Tide, who led by as many as 15 points in the second half, beat Oregon State 65-62 on Thursday night in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Alabama (3-0) seemed to be in control of the game when it took a 52-37 lead with 12:31 to play on a 3-pointer by Trevor Lacey, who led the Crimson Tide with 20 points.

But the Beavers (2-1) stopped turning the ball over and took advantage of a shooting slump by Alabama to tie the score at 62 when Devon Collier made two free throws with 43 seconds to play.

Alabama spread the court and ran down the shot clock. Cooper, who finished 12 points, let the ball go with 6 seconds left on the shot clock and it went through.

Oregon State turned the ball over with 3.6 seconds left. Cooper missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 3.1 seconds to go, but Oregon State's final shot by Roberto Nelson at the buzzer was challenged and off the mark.

Alabama will meet the winner of the Villanova-Purdue game in Friday night's championship game.

Trevor Releford had 12 of his 14 points in the first half for Alabama, which finished 7 of 21 from 3-point range after going 2 of 10 in the first half.

Collier had 21 points for Oregon State while Angus Brandt had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Eric Moreland added six points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

There were nine lead changes in the final 8:19 of the first half, and a driving reverse layup by Releford gave Alabama a 35-32 halftime lead.

Alabama opened the second half on a 12-2 run as Cooper and Lacey started it with 3-pointers to match the first-half total. The lead reached 15 points as Alabama kept forcing Oregon State into turnovers. The Crimson Tide forced an average of 19 turnovers in their first two games, and Oregon State finished with one more than that.

The Beavers were able to make their run by stopping the turnovers. They went 10 minutes between miscues while cutting the lead.

Alabama won its opening game of the season against South Dakota State when Lacey hit a 3 at the buzzer for a 70-67 win.

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Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG

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Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG

The Wizards' struggles have been on full display to the public this week, and the rumor mill continues to churn out news and gossip at a hectic pace. 

Days after ESPN reported that every Wizards player is available for trade discussions following a dismal 5-11 start, the Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the Hornets had expressed interest in Bradley Beal.

From the Observer's Rick Bonnell:

The Charlotte Hornets have inquired with the Washington Wizards about the possibility of acquiring shooting guard Bradley Beal, an informed source confirmed Tuesday. The source didn’t identify what the Hornets have offered for Beal, a 6-foot-5 guard averaging 21.5 points this season, or whether any progress has been made toward a deal.

A day prior, Beal was asked about the swirling rumors

"Ernie has a job. Ted has a job," he said. "The organization has a job and they're gonna do whatever it takes to make sure that the organization is going in a direction they need to. All we can do is continue to work hard every day, continue to - you know - put in work until something changes." 

The 25-year-old, who made the Eastern Conference All-Star squad in 2017, is averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 boards and 3.5 assists through 16 games this season. 

Washington (5-11) plays host to the Los Angeles Clippers (11-5) Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. It will air at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington. 

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Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

WASHINGTON -- There are NBA head coaches that meet with media members on game days before or after morning shootaround. Scott Brooks generally isn’t one of them.

He did Tuesday ahead of the Wizards’ home matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers after Washington’s internal squabbles leaked publicly Monday. The Wizards are under the spotlight.

“Obviously, everybody is well aware of some of the reports,” Brooks said. 

There was trade buzz Monday morning followed by details on Thursday’s heated practice including the organization fining John Wall for cussing out Brooks.

 “Last week definitely was a spirited practice and very intense practice,” Brooks said during a lengthy opening statement. “And looking back at it, like we talked about as it happened, I said some things that I regret. Our players said some things that they regret. And right after the practice, I had a conversation to hash things out, and everything was good. And then some of our players had some conversations, and they hashed things out, and everything was good.”

Until, for the Wizards, it wasn’t.

 The team lost back-to-back home games, trailing by hefty margins in both. The barrage of reports came the morning after Sunday’s 119-109 loss to Portland.

 “Unfortunately, things get out there,” Brooks said of the reports, which included multiple verbal altercations among teammates. “You always talk about keeping everything in but like I said, I’ve been in this league for a long time and when you have the start that you have, I should get criticized and I understand that. I have thick skin and I can handle that.”

“What happened in practice happened in practice,” Bradley Beal said. “Practice is closed. Practice is not a public thing. It got heated. You guys know that. Practice, I mean it's happened in this organization and every organization around the league. High school, college, it happens.”
Wall joined Brooks and Beal with largely explaining away the incident as something of a normal occurrence over an NBA season. Unfortunately, for the Wizards, the defensive struggles in their latest losses are also par for the course this season. The point guard didn’t blame the losses on the practice blowout.

“It wasn’t nothing to do with that, because we had a great practice after that,” Wall said. “We had great shootaround and we just didn’t come out and play well. We didn’t make shots, we didn’t move the ball, we didn’t defend. You can try to translate it to that, but we already know when we don’t play defense and don’t make threes, we’re a terrible team, and we showed that the last two games.”

As for the fine, Wall said simply, “I wasn’t worried about it. I knew it was coming.”

Who knows what’s coming from this team Tuesday and beyond. The Wizards believe they can turn around the season, or at least aren’t publically showing a level of desperation that suggests otherwise. If trades aren’t coming, the fix must come from within.

“You see that we’re not winning. Everyone is frustrated. At the end of the day, we have to be able to communicate with each other so we can learn from it and try to build on things together,” Porter said. “That’s the only way we can start winning games, to rally with each other instead of against each other.”

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