Wizards

Wake Forest beats UNC Greensboro 84-70

Wake Forest beats UNC Greensboro 84-70

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Travis McKie scored 19 points and Wake Forest overcame a slow start to beat UNC Greensboro 84-70 Saturday.

Chase Fischer had 13 points, Devin Thomas 12 and C.J. Harris 11 for the Demon Deacons (6-5), who shot 52.9 percent (27 of 51) from the field in winning their second straight game by double figures.

Trevis Simson scored 25 points for the Spartans (2-8), who are now 0-7 against Wake Forest and 1-47 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

Derrell Armstrong had 16 points and Kayel Locke 10 for UNC Greensboro, which led five times in the first half before the Demon Deacons took control in the final minutes to lead 38-29 at the break.

Wake Forest, which also held a 33-30 rebounding advantage against the Spartans, extended its lead into double digits in the opening minutes of the second half, going up 40-29 on Thomas' layup with 18:52 left.

The Demon Deacons went on to lead by as many as 15 points three times in the half, the last at 70-55 on a McKie dunk with 7:45 remaining. UNC Greensboro, which shot 42.4 percent (25 of 59), could get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

That was a turnaround from the first half, with Wake Forest having a tougher time than it did four days earlier against another Southern Conference team in a 79-55 victory over Furman.

The teams swapped the lead 10 times and tied things twice before the Demon Deacons finally asserted themselves in the final two minutes to take a nine-point lead at the half.

UNC Greensboro, which forced Wake Forest into seven turnovers and held them under 40 percent shooting for most of the half, last led 27-26 on Nicholas Paulos' 3-pointer with 2:21 left.

However, the Demon Deacons responded with a 12-2 run to close out the period. A pair of Harris free throws with 2:05 remaining put them on top 28-27, and his layup with 2 seconds left gave Wake Forest its biggest lead of the half.

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Wizards committed more turnovers against the Raptors than they have in any game in 25 years

Wizards committed more turnovers against the Raptors than they have in any game in 25 years

Whether it's good or bad, nothing the Wizards do is subtle. 

They'll score a million points and give up two million points. They'll beat the Heat, Nuggets and Celtics without Bradley Beal but also blow an 18-point fourth quarter lead to the Bulls. 

The Wizards had some turnover issues Friday night, but again, they're never subtle. 

Washington committed 28 turnovers on the way to a 29-point loss. Following the first seven minutes of play, the Wizards had seven turnovers and seven points. 

The last time the Wizards turned the ball over that much was April 2, 1994, in a 104-96 win over the Bucks. The last time an NBA team turned it over 28 times? The 2010 Suns. 

Nine Wizards players had multiple turnovers, while five players had at least three. 

Following Bradley Beal's comments criticizing the team's culture and need to develop winning habits, the Wizards' response left more than enough to be desired. Credit the Raptors defense utilizing their length and ball pressure to take advantage of when the Wizards were loose with the ball, but it takes more than good defense to turn it over 28 times. 

The bright side is this was an uncharacteristic performance for the Wizards. They currently average the 10th-fewest turnovers per game in the NBA, so there's a good chance they clean things up on Monday against the Pistons. 

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Wizards barely put up a fight vs. Raptors after Bradley Beal's strong comments

Wizards barely put up a fight vs. Raptors after Bradley Beal's strong comments

The Washington Wizards lost to the Toronto Raptors 140-111 on Friday night on the road. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. In case anyone was wondering how the Wizards would respond to Bradley Beal's strong comments about the team's culture, the answer is not well.

The Wizards barely put up a fight against the Toronto Raptors in a lopsided loss. They lost by 29 and trailed by as many as 33.

One reason was they committed 28 turnovers. They also allowed the Raptors to make 22 threes. That's the third-most allowed in one game by the Wizards in franchise history.

This was the Wizards' 41st game of the season. With a 13-28 record, they are on pace to win 26 games.

2. The Wizards didn't just lose this game, they may have lost backup shooting guard Jordan McRae for an extended period of time.

McRae stepped on a shoe at midcourt and rolled his left ankle. He immediately went down in obvious pain and had to be carried off the floor and into the locker room. 

It was reminiscent of the ankle injury Garrison Mathews suffered nearly two weeks ago. That one fortunately did not result in a fracture or ligament damage. He just had a bad ankle sprain.

Just like Mathews, McRae suffered his injury at a time when he was playing well and really coming into his own. Tough timing.

3. There weren't many positives for the Wizards in this one, but Isaac Bonga certainly was one. The second-year wing dropped a career-high 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and a steal. Five of his rebounds were on the offensive end.

Bonga shot 6-for-9 from the field and hit two threes. His continued development as a scorer has been impressive to watch this season.

4. Davis Bertans is such a good shooter that when he releases the ball, it is expected to go in. Even rarer, it seems, he misses two in a row.

Every once in a while, once in a blue moon, he has a legitimate off-shooting night. Friday was one of those nights. Bertans had 12 points and shot 3-for-11 from three.

Per usual of late, Bertans wasn't exactly open due to his place on the scouting report but he got decent looks. Many of his threes clanged off the front of the rim. 

Maybe he had tired legs. Whatever it was, the Latvian Laser didn't have it like he usually does.

5. The Isaiah Thomas experience has not been good as of late. The Wizards point guard at another bad game, this time with eight points in 16 minutes.

He just looked off; sluggish and making mental mistakes. That included two turnovers in the first quarter when he passed the ball as the shot clock expired.

Those decisions were inexcusable and in his last 10 games, Thomas has averaged 8.5 points while shooting 34.4 percent. He has not been the same guy since coming back from his calf injury in mid-December. But it's been more than physical. His head hasn't seemed to be in the game like it was earlier this season.

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