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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Knicks

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Knicks

Here are five must-see plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 117-101 victory over the New York Knicks at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night that are worth revisiting...

Before we get to stuff from the actual game, John Wall made a difficult shot during warmups. While sitting on the floor, Wall swished a shot from outside. It did not forebode a big scoring night for Wall, who finished with 15 points. But he did have 13 assists to just two turnovers:

1. Two of Wall's points came on this play. Wall got past Brandon Jennings easily with a pretty spin move, then finished with a layup:

Wall would get Jennings later in the game again with this and-1. Jennings had no answer for Wall:

2. Wall, as mentioned above, had another good night passing the ball. But on this play it was Bradley Beal running the pick-and-roll with Marcin Gortat. Beal set up Gortat for a big slam in the first half:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. ended up with 14 points in 28 minutes against the Knicks and helped key a big third quarter that propelled the Wizards to their 15th straight home victory. Two of his points came on a fastbreak sequence where he split two defenders and finished at the rim:

4. Now, for some more dunks. Here is Beal all alone on the fastbreak, stuffing it with two hands:

5. And here is Oubre going hard in the paint for a one-handed slam:

The Wizards picked up another win to move to 28-20 on the season. The Knicks, meanwhile, continued their recent slide. They fell to 21-29 on the year as trade rumors involving Carmelo Anthony continue to dominate the headlines.

Speaking of Melo, we had some fun at his expense on the @CSNWizards Twitter account:

That's just good meme'ry. Or, is it meme-age?

Whatever. Here's one more that doesn't feature Melo.

The Wizards finished the month of January undefeated at home, as did the Capitals. No home team has lost at the Verizon Center in the year 2017. That is quite amazing.

[RELATED: Wizards optimistic about Mahinmi's timeline to return]

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Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has translated so smoothly to the NBA level that it is easy to forget he is still just a rookie with only 31 games under his belt. For a reminder of his inexperience, just look at the fourth quarter.

Hachimura tends to start games hot on the offensive end, like he did on Friday in the Wizards' loss to the Cavaliers when he had eight points by the end of the first quarter. But he scored only nine points after that and went scoreless through seven minutes in the fourth.

That has been a consistent theme for him this season. He averages 4.8 points in the first quarter shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 4.0 points in the second shooting 57 percent and then 4.3 points on 47.9 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter those numbers plummet to 1.9 points on average and 33.3 percent shooting.

Basically, Hachimura often comes out on fire but then slows down considerably once opponents make midgame changes. Against the Cavs, Hachimura said it was because they disrupted passing lanes.

"They are an NBA team. They just adjusted. They didn't want me to catch the ball. They didn't let me just catch the ball. I think that's why," he said.

The Wizards have seen teams switch defensive match-ups midgame to counter Hachimura. Sometimes taking away his midrange jumper will be prioritized. The Cavs seemed to find success playing Hachimura more physically in the second half, bumping him away from his comfort zones.

Over time, Hachimura can improve his ability to sustain scoring throughout games simply by becoming more versatile. The more consistent he becomes at making three-point shots and creating off the dribble, the more difficult it will be for teams to stop him. As long as he keeps improving, he will reach a point where he can stay ahead of the defense with a multitude of counters.

Developing a more reliable outside game and more dribble combinations will take some time. For now, Hachimura believes the key to him keeping up his scoring pace involves working with his teammates, particularly star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"I just gotta connect more with Brad. Brad is the one everybody is trying to guard. Screens and pick-and-rolls with him, that kind of stuff will help me," Hachimura said.

Hachimura's game against the Cavaliers reflected how the team played overall. After scoring 41 points in the first quarter, they managed only 42 in the second half. They blew a 16-point lead and lost, 113-108.

So, he wasn't alone. And those rooting for Hachimura to round out his game should feel good about his odds. He has a relentless work ethic and is often staying after practice to go over film with player development coach Dave Adkins.

Hachimura is perceptive and driven to improve. In order to take the next step as a scorer, he will have to get better at closing games.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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