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Home-and-home means more Mystics, Storm

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Home-and-home means more Mystics, Storm

For the second time in 48 hours, the Mystics face the Seattle Storm. For the first time in four games, Washington will play on its Verizon Center court. Based on how the locals played on their just completed three-game road trip including a loss Sunday in the Pacific Northwest, the Mystics will take any advantage they can get. Games in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Seattle ended the way all five-road games have gone for the Mystics (2-8) this season: with a loss. On this venture, the trio of setbacks came by an average margin of 17 points, the exact difference in the 72-55 loss to the Storm (5-7).Now the Mystics seek revenge as they open a four-game home stand on Tuesday night.
Washington lost for the seventh time in eight games despite Crystal Langhorne scoring 21 points on 9 of 15 field goal attempts. Her teammates in the same game, 13 of 48 (27.1 percent). Combined with scoring only nine points in the second quarter and the Storm shooting 56 percent from the floor, Washington lost its third straight to Seattle and its seventh straight in Seattle.Adding to the frustration, the loss came in a game where the often-miscuing Mystics only turned the ball over 12 timesand helda 13-2 offensive rebounding advantage. We did take care of the ball and took 15 more shots than them, but we just struggled to put the ball in the hole, Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said.The struggles offensively were indeed a team effort.Michelle Snow and Monique Currie combined for 41 points in the one tight game on the road swing, a 3-point loss at Phoenix. Four days later, the frontcourt duo failed to score a single point.Snows four-game tear since entering the starting lineup ended with a thud as the center missed her only field goal attempt in 17 minutes of play. After making of half of her 16 shots en route to a 20 point outing against the Mercury on Wednesday, Currie missed all six of her attempts and was scoreless on Sunday.The starting backcourt of Matee Ajavon and Jasmine Thomas finished with only one turnover compared to five assists, but they also missed 14 of 19 field goal attempts. Tough game for us, said Langhorne. I felt like they controlled the pace the entire game. Our offense really wasnt clicking and things just didnt go our way. The struggles offensively have also been a constant throughout the season. The Mystics are averaging a league-low 68.6 points, just below the Storm's 68.66.Sue Bird and Ann Wauters led the surging Storm, winners of four straight, with 14 points each. Former Mystics forward Katie Smith scored nine points and had a game-high plusminus of 20.I think were playing better, but I think there is still more to go, said Bird, a member of the U.S. womens Olympic basketball team headed to London this summer.Rather than face the Storm earlier in the season when they lost six of seven games, the Mystics get a team finding its stride. At least now, Langhorne and company know what is coming up.Yes, its always nice to go back home so hopefully we can pull out some wins, Langhorne said. We know what to expect (on Tuesday) so well be ready. The Mystics only two wins this season came at home including a victory in their last game at the Verizon Center, 67-66 over Indiana on June 15. With a victory Tuesday, the Mystics will have won conseutive home games for the first time since winning five straight closingthe 2010 season regular season.

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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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