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Nets rout Magic 97-77 for 8th straight home win

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Nets rout Magic 97-77 for 8th straight home win

NEW YORK (AP) Deron Williams had 20 points and nine assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 97-77 on Monday night for their eighth straight home victory.

The Nets rebounded from their first two-game losing streak under P.J. Carlesimo, finishing off a four-game sweep of the Magic, who dropped their sixth straight.

Brook Lopez scored 16 points and Joe Johnson had 13 for the Nets, who tied a franchise record with their 11th victory in January and can break it when they host the NBA champion Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who lost for the 17th time in 19 games. Their last two losses had each been by two points, but they were blown out of this one early.

Routed by Memphis and Houston to end their four-game road trip, the Nets quickly got back on track at home against an overmatched opponent. But now comes a difficult stretch, with Chicago following Miami into Barclays Center on Friday and the improving Los Angeles Lakers visiting next Tuesday.

The Nets completed their first four-game sweep of the Magic since 2003-04, the season before Orlando drafted Dwight Howard. Brooklyn led by at least 20 points in all four games and is now 17-0 against teams that were under .500 when they played them.

Both coaches were quick to point out that Jameer Nelson didn't play in any of the first three meetings, but he made no difference thanks to another strong night from Williams, who set the tone with 13 points in the first quarter.

The Magic cut a 16-point halftime deficit to seven after three quarters, but the Nets responded with the first nine of the fourth quarter to push it back to 16. Brooklyn outscored Orlando 23-4 to open the final period.

Orlando starting forward Arron Afflalo was out with a strained left calf and Hedo Turkoglu was ineffective after missing nine games while getting back in shape after a broken left hand.

J.J. Redick, who tied a career high with 31 points Sunday against Detroit while making eight 3-pointers, finished 2 of 13 from the field but set a career high with 10 assists. Nelson was 3 of 12 for nine points.

The Nets closed the first quarter with a 10-2 run for a 30-20 lead. Williams was 5 of 6, hitting three 3-pointers, and the Nets made 11 of 17 shots (65 percent). They came out with the first eight points of the second, opening a 38-20 cushion on Andray Blatche's jumper with 9:17 left in the half.

Down 56-40 at the half, Orlando trimmed it to 70-63 after three but had to keep four starters on the floor the entire period. They rested to start the fourth and the Nets clobbered the Magic's below-average bench, with Keith Bogans hitting two 3-pointers in the 9-0 run to start the fourth, and though the starters came back less than 90 seconds in, the momentum was gone.

Bogans finished with 12 points.

Notes: The Nets also won 11 games in January of 1983 and 2002. ... The Nets on Monday recalled Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia from Springfield of the NBA D-League, where Shengelia was the player of the week last week. He averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in two games while shooting 76 percent from the floor (25 of 33), and tied the Armor record with 39 points on 17-of-21 shooting and grabbed 18 boards in a victory over Maine. However, he was unavailable to the Nets because of concussion symptoms. ... The Magic are 0-13 when failing to score 90 points.

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Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

A couple of weeks ago, John Wall was spotted at a Washington Mystics game with no brace to support his Achilles injury, a sign that his rehab from the injury was moving in the right direction. 

On Monday night at the 2019 NBA Awards, the Wizards point guard gave affirmation that he is indeed continuing to get healthier and stronger.

"I feel great, man," Wall told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller on the red carpet. "I'm doing a great job with my body, taking care of that."

Specifically, Wall has been able to slowly increase what he can do on his legs. The recovery and rehab for an injury as severe as his is a long road, and the point guard is making sure not to speed up the process and risk hindering the progress. However, he's about to reach a pretty big milestone in the journey during the coming weeks.

"I'm about to start jogging in like two weeks. Just riding the bike, I get to do exercises standing up now, so I don't have to sit down. I'm able to move, do ladder steps, doing those types of things," Wall said. "Just taking my time and progressing and letting everything heal the right way so I don't force myself back and get another injury."

As Wall continues to work to get back on the court, he's had plenty of motivational factors pushing him through some grueling months. His recent string of injuries have left some wondering if he'll still be an elite player when he finally.

He's heard those comments and he's using them to his advantage.

"I'm one of those guys that's very driven by all the hate and all the negative talk I'm getting. Keep it going," Wall said.

"Everybody said I can't be myself, I won't be nowhere near as good again. That's all the other stuff that's going to fuel me. I don't get upset about it, you're entitled to your own opinion. Please keep it going."

The haters have given Wall some extra juice, but so has his son Ace. Spending the offseason getting right has allowed Wall to work in another area of life: fatherhood.

The newest addition to his family has taken his desire for greatness to new heights.

"I've always had that drive that I want to be the greatest. To have a son like that, that's watching everything I can do. Even though he doesn't understand what's going on, he's putting memories in his head," Wall said. 

"So that gives me extra, extra motivation to another level I never thought I could. Like I said before, that's the best blessing a man could ever ask for is to have a son."

While Wall's offseason has been a busy one as he juggles rehab and being a dad, he's still been very involved in everything going on inside the franchise.

He's already chatted with first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura, and is excited for what is to come for the Wizards. Wall is also hoping that Hachimura will help improve his Japanese so that he can grow a larger following internationally. 

As the calendar slowly turns to July, both Wall and the Wizards' offseasons will ramp up. It's been an up and down time for both lately, but he's excited about the future.

"I think it's good," Wall said about the Wizards situation. "We added some pieces. See what we do in free agency to add some guys to bring back or we're going to go after somebody new. I think we'll be fine."

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Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

While he was putting together the best season of his career, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal was also making a profound impact off the court and those efforts have earned him a significant honor, the NBA's 2018-19 Community Assist Award.

The news was revealed at Monday's NBA Awards in Santa Monica, CA as Beal got the nod over nine other finalists. He is the second Wizards player to win the honor in just the last four years following John Wall in 2015-16.

Beal was involved in a variety of charitable efforts this past season. He has partnered with the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast Washington to help underprivileged youth. He visited the school in December and gave out shoes.

During the All-Star break in February, as he made his second appearance in the annual showcase, Beal handed out meals at a food bank alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This past year he also gave out Christmas presents in the Washington area and took a group of kids on a tour of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Beal was named a finalist for the Community Assist Award in April along with Jarrett Allen (Nets), Mike Conley (Jazz), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Dwight Powell (Mavs) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors). Part of the criteria was based on fan voting through social media that was held from April 24 through May 25.

Beal, 25, continues to ascend on the court as well. This year he posted career-highs in points (25.6/g), assists (5.5/g) and rebounds (5.0/g). He nearly made All-NBA in late May with the most votes of any guard that was left out.

In Beal and Wall, the Wizards have quite the combination. Both have been All-Stars on the court and now both can say they won the NBA's top honor for charity work as well.

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