Wizards

Lakers rout Warriors 101-77 after Brown's firing

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Lakers rout Warriors 101-77 after Brown's firing

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Pau Gasol added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown's firing earlier Friday with a 101-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Jordan Hill scored 14 points for the Lakers, who had just a few hours to absorb Brown's dismissal after just 18 months on the job. Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

Stephen Curry scored 18 points and Klay Thompson had 15 for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall, and nine straight at Staples Center since March 2008.

The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers' victory total for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days in recent history for a franchise that's never short on drama.

With the talented veteran club off to a Western Conference-worst 1-4 start after a winless preseason, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning shootaround.

Bickerstaff ran the Lakers as the interim coach, but the veteran NBA bench boss isn't likely to be a candidate for the full-time job. Kupchak is searching for a replacement, possibly making a selection before the Lakers' next game on Sunday against Sacramento.

The Lakers' crowd quickly made its choice known: A chant of ``We want Phil!'' rose out of the stands while Bryant shot a free throw in the third quarter.

Phil Jackson, the 11-time NBA champion coach who won five rings in two previous stints running the Lakers, is near the top of Kupchak's list again, the GM acknowledged. Mike D'Antoni, the former Knicks and Suns coach, also is thought to be a prime candidate.

Dwight Howard had six points and eight rebounds while playing just 24 minutes for the Lakers in his ongoing return from offseason back surgery. Steve Nash, the other major addition to the club, watched from behind the Lakers' bench, missing his fourth straight game with a small fracture in his leg.

Brown never got the chance to integrate the two stars into his new offense while they were dogged by health issues. Kupchak and Buss still needed to see more success than the Lakers managed in the past six weeks, particularly on defense - and Los Angeles limited the Warriors to 33.7-percent shooting.

The Lakers' offensive struggles evaporated in the third quarter while they leaped to an 18-point lead over the undermanned Warriors, who struggled to contend inside without injured center Andrew Bogut.

Darius Morris had career highs of 10 points and five rebounds while playing the majority of the Lakers' minutes at point guard. Los Angeles' reserves have been largely ineffective during Brown's tenure, but Morris and Hill led a spirited effort against the Warriors, outscoring their counterparts with Golden State 37-17.

NOTES: Lakers F Devin Ebanks was inactive after getting arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs early Friday morning. Rookie Darius Johnson-Odom made his NBA debut in the final minutes. ... Warriors C Andris Biedrins came up roughly 2 feet short on an airballed free throw in the first half. The Latvian veteran has a career free-throw shooting percentage just over 50 percent. ... Brown went 42-29 with the Lakers, coaching them to the second round of the playoffs during the strike-shortened season before his abbreviated start to this fall.

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PHOTOS: What the media attention on Rui Hachimura looks like at Wizards workouts

PHOTOS: What the media attention on Rui Hachimura looks like at Wizards workouts

WASHINGTON -- If it wasn't clear on draft night in Brooklyn or the next day at his introductory press conference in Washington, Wizards first round pick Rui Hachimura is a massive deal back in his home country of Japan. He gets the star treatment from Japanese media and that attention has followed him through the first two days of Wizards mini-camp.

Usually, Wizards mini-camp isn't even open to the media. Most years, the Wizards host undrafted players and members of their G-League team with little fanfare as they get set for the Las Vegas Summer League in early July.

But this year has been markedly different with dozens of Japanese reporters and photographers arriving early and staying late, all competing for information about Hachimura to report home to their respective outlets.

While the Wizards' pre-draft workouts, some featuring big-named prospects, had five-to-10 reporters show up to the Wizards' practice facility, the total media contingent probably pushes 50 now.

Here are some photos to put it in perspective...

Here's a photo from Hachimura's press conference on Friday...

On Tuesday at mini-camp, there were two sets of media scrums for Wizards Summer League coach Robert Pack. He first did one with American reporters, then one with those from Japan, who had a lot of questions about one player in particular, of course...

With Hachimura on board, it's a new era for the Wizards when it comes to media attention.

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Mystics win fourth straight, beat Sky 81-74

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Mystics win fourth straight, beat Sky 81-74

 In their second victory against the Chicago Sky this season, Elena Delle Donne dominated once again.

In 33 minutes of play, the star forward racked up 22 points, seven rebounds and 9 of 15 field goals against her former team. She led the Mystics in points and rebounds. 

Tianna Hawkins brought a spark off the bench, tallying 15 points, four rebounds, six of ten field goals and a +11 differential in just 18 minutes of play. 

The Mystics won all four games on this road trip, tying their season-high win streak from earlier this season. Washington is now 8-3 as they head home to host the Connecticut Sun, who just snapped a seven-game win streak.

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