Wizards

Pistons outmuscle Magic in 105-90 win

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Pistons outmuscle Magic in 105-90 win

AUBURN HILS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons don't get a lot of chances to dominate games with their post presence. When they got an opportunity Tuesday night, they took advantage.

Jason Maxiell, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe combined for 38 points and 28 rebounds, and the Pistons pulled away to beat the undersized Orlando Magic 105-90 Tuesday night.

``The performance from our bigs was really good,'' Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. ``That was a big part of our game plan tonight.''

Brandon Knight led Detroit with 18 points, while Monroe scored 16 and Drummond and Maxiell each had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pistons ooutrebounded Orlando 54-41, including 16-6 edge in offensive rebounds. The Magic had their size issues magnified when Glen Davis was benched for much of the second half after taking 15 first-half shots and grabbing just three rebounds.

``I knew I had a big matchup tonight against (Davis), and I wanted to set the tone early,'' Maxiell said. ``In a game like this, I'm completely focused on defense. The offense is just going to come on its own.''

After missing his first shot of the second half, Davis picked up a technical foul from the bench and ended up with three teammates and an assistant coach surrounding him to prevent an ejection. He only returned briefly when the game was out of hand, and finished with 11 points.

``I played 23 minutes and I took 16 shots that were all good looks,'' he said. ``The second half, I should have stayed aggressive, but I took myself out of the game by getting a tech, and I was not helping the team, so Coach sat me.''

J.J. Redick was Orlando's biggest threat, scoring 26 points on 9-for-10 shooting - including 5 for 6 on 3-pointers. Jameer Nelson added 14 points and nine rebounds, but leading scorer Arron Afflalo missed his only four shots.

``I was really excited and enthused about our approach tonight, and I thought we had a great shootaround this morning,'' Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. ``We certainly didn't get the results we were after. You have to play at both ends of the floor.''

After an even first half, the Pistons got a tiebreaking basket after a strange play to end the second quarter. Detroit had a foul to give, so Will Bynum grabbed Nelson 30 feet from the basket. Nelson, trying to draw a shooting foul, flipped the ball straight up into the air. Both teams froze, expecting a whistle, but when nothing was called, Kyle Singler grabbed the loose ball and Monroe finished the half with an uncontested dunk.

That put the Pistons up 54-52 at the half despite 17 first-half points from Redick. He hit all six of his first-half shots, including three 3-pointers and a four-point play.

``Redick is just a monster out there,'' Frank said. ``He's having the best season of his career, and when he starts shooting like that, there's not a whole lot you can do. We knew that we had to make the difference inside, and that's what our bigs were able to do.''

Maxiell had nine points and 11 rebounds in the half for Detroit, who only committed two turnovers in the first two quarters.

``We were shooting 60 percent from the floor and 50 percent on threes, and we were still down two at the half,'' Vaughn said. ``That shows you that it boiled down to the matter of stopping the other team.''

Monroe and Drummond combined for 16 points in the third quarter, including back-to-back dunks by Drummond in the last minute of the period, as Detroit built a 82-66 lead. By the fourth quarter, even 6-foot-5 Rodney Stuckey was dunking in traffic against the lethargic Magic defense.

``We know that if we play with a lot of fight and a lot of effort every game, we'll get some great wins,'' Drummond said. ``We weren't trying to do anything fancy. We were just finishing plays.''

NOTES: Busta Rhymes provided the six-minute halftime show, but also had a technical glitch. After his first song, he dropped the microphone, which then rolled off the makeshift stage. Luckily, a quick-thinking stagehand was able to retrieve it after a few seconds. ... Nelson had to be escorted off the court by teammates after continuing to argue the no-call at the end of the half.

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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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