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Fast break: Minus Wall, Wizards lose for 1st time in playoffs


Fast break: Minus Wall, Wizards lose for 1st time in playoffs

ATLANTA -- Without John Wall, the Wizards didn't stand much of a chance at beating the Atlanta Hawks again at Phillips Arena in Game 2 Tuesday. Ramon Sessions' postseason career-high 21 points almost did it, but in the end they ran out of gas without their best playmaker. 

The Wizards lost for the first time in the playoffs 106-90, but the series is now 1-1 though they still have home-court advantage. 

Wall (left wrist) was injured in Game 1 here when the Wizards won 104-98. Sessions started for him, and while the assists weren't there the scoring was as he went 8-for-14. Sessions had four assists. Wall has averaged 13 assists per game in the playoffs. 

Bradley Beal had more ball-handling responsibilities as well and produced 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Paul Pierce had 15 points and Marcin Gortat 10 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:26 left. Otto Porter came off the bench to score 15 and grab eight rebounds.

Sessions scored 10 points in the first 3:13 of the third quarter to put the Wizards in range of a game they trailed after having a 7-6 first-quarter lead. They drew even on Porter's three-pointer at 71 but never could regain the lead. 

The Hawks had 18 assists on their first 20 made baskets as they took a 53-46 lead going into halftime. DeMarre Carroll had a team-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and four assists while Paul Millsap and Al Horford scored 18 each. Kent Bazemore had 10 off the bench.

TURNING POINT: The Wizards went without a field goal until 9:19 of the fourth when Sessions made a drive to the basket. They still were able to get to 84-81 after a three-pointer from Pierce but an offensive rebound and putback by Millsap and a three-pointer from Pero Antic pushed the lead to double digits for Atlanta. 

NUMBERS GAME: The Wizards shot 35-for-82 from the field, 42.7%, includ2ng 13 of 22 three-pointers, 54.5%, but lost the edge in rebounds 44-40 edge in rebounds and 38-30 in paint points while the Hawks also were plus-nine in assists with 30.

RETURNED: Garrett Temple made his first appearance in the postseason, and it was his first game action since March 9 when he strained his right hamstring and had a setback during recovery. He entered at 2:54 of the first quarter and made Korver uncomfortable with his 6-6 frame. Temple only scored two points in 13 minutes on 1-for-4 shooting but he's on the roster because of his defense and hustle.

IN CHECK: Even without Wall, the Hawks' backcourt of Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver were outdone again. They combined to shoot 7-for-23, including 4 of 14 on three-pointers. Beal and Temple kept Korver contained. 

LOST OPPORTUNITY: The Hawks went with Mike Muscala for the first time in this series and weren't able to make him a factor when he came in with 1:03 left in the first quarter. The Wizards allowed him to take a few open shots that he missed badly, but Nene wasn't able to make them pay by closing the gap. The Hawks were ahead by six when Muscala entered. When he left with 8:52 left in the second, they led by eight. For the second game in a row, Nene didn't have a field goal. His only two points came on foul shots. He went 0-for-5 in 27 minutes. 

VILLAIN: The "Paul Pierce sucks" chants began again after the Wizards' forward dealt a hard foul to Teague to prevent a transition basket just before halftime. The same thing happened in a first-round series with the Toronto Raptors, but that was for what he said before it began. Pierce leaned into Teague with his shoulder to stop a fast break. It was just a common foul.

UP NEXT: The Wizards returned to D.C. immediately after the game and likely will be off Wednesday. They don't play Game 3 until Saturday at Verizon Center (ESPN, 5 p.m. ET).

MORE WIZARDS: John Wall's injury jeopardizes Wizards' postseason run

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Kentucky's Diallo, UMBC's upset hero

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history, defeating the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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