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5 (10) must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Cavs

5 (10) must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Cavs

Here are five - or, actually 10 - plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 140-135 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night at the Verizon Center that are worth revisiting...

1. This game was one of the wildest that the Wizards have played in a long, long time, one that head coach Scott Brooks described as "an instant classic." The Wizards and Cavs traded blow after blow through 53 minutes and Cleveland needed some miracle shots to emerge with the victory. There were far too many moments to go with the usual five, so we picked 10 of them. 

The entertainment started early with this dunk by LeBron James on a fastbreak. He soared over Markieff Morris and finished with two hands. Morris even lost his shoe on the play:

2. John Wall had a big dunk of his own soon after. Wall drove and finished with his left hand, as he is prone to do:

 

3. Jason Smith brought some energy off the Wizards' bench with four points and four rebounds in his first five minutes. He also had this block, which set Wizards Twitter on fire:

4. LeBron set a career-high with 17 assists in the game. This was his best, a perfectly-thrown pass to Kevin Love, who drained a corner three:

5. Bradley Beal has gotten good at stepback jumpers and on this one sent Iman Shumpert to the X-ray room with an ankle injury:

6. Beal wasn't done there. He ended up with 41 points, including three on this play:

Check the celebration. Beal was feeling it:

7. This was the play you will probably see over and over for the next 24 hours. With his team down three late in the fourth, LeBron banked in an impossible fadeaway three to tie it and send the game to overtime:

8. The reactions from Wizards fans to that shot perfectly encapsulated the moment:

9. Wall hit some big shots of his own, including this and-1 with 1:37 left in overtime. Once he got up, he did Isaiah Thomas' celebration, pointing to his watch:

10. James ended up fouling out just :47 seconds into overtime. But unfortunately for the Wizards, Kyrie Irving then stepped up and took over. He hit a huge three-pointer to push Cleveland over the top. It was in nearly the same spot he knocked down his famous shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals:

Now, for some memes on your way out:

The Wizards' 17-game home winning streak came to an end on Monday night. Next up is the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday night on CSN.

[RELATED: LeBron denies Carmelo for Love trade, calls reporter 'trash']

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

kz-okpala-stanford-shot-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: KZ Okpala

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: KZ Okpala

School: Stanford
Position: Forward
Age: 20
Height: 6-10
Weight: 210
Wingspan: 7-2
Max vertical: 37 in.

2018/19 stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.5 bpg, 46.3 FG% (5.9/12.7), 36.8 3PT% (1.1/3.0), 67.1 FT%

Player comparison: Kyle Kuzma, Gerald Green

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 25th, NBADraft.net 23rd, Bleacher Report 27th, Sports Illustrated 29th, Ringer 41st

5 things to know:

*Okpala is a tall, lanky wing who loves to drive from the perimeter to the rim. He made the All-Pac-12 team this past season after improving his scoring average from 10.0 points as a freshman to 16.8 points as a sophomore. He also increased his rebounds per game average from 3.7 to 5.7.

*He is arguably one of the most athletic players in this class. At 6-foot-10 in shoes, he has great size for a wing player and measured at the NBA combine with a 7-2 wingspan. He also has an impressive vertical leap of 37 inches which would be good even for a point guard. He is also fast in the open court. Teams will be enticed with his ceiling on both ends of the floor.

*Okpala scored a lot in college but has a raw offensive game. He isn't fully there as a ball-handler and has an improving, but still inconsistent outside shot. The fact he made a leap from his freshman to sophomore year as a three-point shooter was a very good sign. His 36.8 three-point percentage on three attempts per game is encouraging but does not offer any guarantees that he can stretch the floor at the next level. His 67.1 free throw percentage doesn't help his cause.

*He is just the third player from Stanford to leave for the NBA before his junior season, joining the Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, who were first round picks in 2010.

*Okpala is the son of two Nigerian immigrants. He had a 4.4 GPA in high school.

Fit with Wizards: Okpala would fill a need for the Wizards in that he is a forward and they don't have many of those under contract for next season. He would also give them a young player with high upside, something they currently lack.

But Okpala also seems to offer decent bust potential. Ever since Kevin Durant came into the league, there have been a lot of players like Okpala to come along, ones that are tall enough to play inside but prefer to work on the perimeter.

Sometimes that can work, like with Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brandon Ingram (sort of). But for every success story, there seem to be a lot of guys like Perry Jones and Thon Maker.

Okpala seems very much like boom or bust, and the Wizards may not be able to afford taking a chance like that.

Best highlight video:

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Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

Neil Olshey signs extension with Trail Blazers, off the table for Wizards job

After Tim Connelly decided to re-join the Nuggets rather than take the Wizards' vacant front-office position, Washington has been forced back to the drawing board.

The Wizards have interviewed Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver, former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry and Wizards interim team president Tommy Sheppard.

In addition to those names, NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the team could have interest in Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. 

That option was eliminated Friday when Olshey signed an extension to remain with Portland. 

With Connelly and Olshey off the table, there are fewer high-profile candidates left for the Wizards to consider as replacements for Ernie Grunfeld. 

Standig noted that Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris could also draw interest from Washington. 

The franchise is running out of time to find their new front-office leader with less than a month remaining before the NBA Draft. 

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