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John Wall, Bradley Beal thank Wizards fans on Instagram after Cavs game

John Wall, Bradley Beal thank Wizards fans on Instagram after Cavs game

The Wizards had their second sellout of the season on Monday night at the Verizon Center as they hosted the defending-champion Cavaliers in front of a national TV audience. Cleveland ended up winning in overtime and snapping the Wizards' 17-game home winning streak in the process. But the effort put forth by the fans did not go unnoticed by Wizards players.

First, after the game, several remarked about the crowd. John Wall described it as a "playoff atmposphere." 

Then, one day later, Wall and his backcourt partner Bradley Beal issued a joint statement on Instagram to thank the fans for their support.

[RELATED: Wizards and Cavs duke it out in overtime instant classic]

Both of them posted the same thing, so here is how it appears on Wall's account:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQOljzjgDKS/

Calling Monday night the best atmosphere they have seen in D.C. is worth noting. Both Wall and Beal have played in playoff series before. But, according to them, Monday night was even more intense.

The players have said over and over this season that fans showing up and cheering can help them on the court. Clearly, they think that made a difference on Monday night, albeit in a loss.

[RELATED: 5 (10) must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Cavs]

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Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

Rookie Rui Hachimura does full practice with Wizards, return not far away

WASHINGTON -- The long-awaited return of Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura is getting closer, as he participated in a full practice on Saturday for the first time since suffering a groin injury back on Dec. 16.

Hachimura, 21, had no limitations, per head coach Scott Brooks. He went through all of their drills and full-contact scrimmages.

"He did well. He went through everything. That's another good day," Brooks said.

The final hurdle for Hachimura at this point involves getting into game shape. His conditioning is not close to midseason form after missing seven weeks of games.

Brooks said Hachimura definitely will not return before the end of the team's current road trip, which ends on Tuesday in Milwaukee. After that, however, it could be a matter of days.

 

The Wizards will return to Washington after playing the Bucks for a six-game homestand. It seems likely he is back by the time it's over.

The ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hachimura has had a strong rookie season so far, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. The Wizards have gone 7-12 since he's been out.

Hachimura suffered the injury when he was inadvertently kicked between the legs by teammate Isaac Bonga. He required a minor procedure and was away from the team for weeks before slowly working his way back to basketball activities and then participating in practices.

Saturday was a big step in his recovery and it now puts the finish line into focus.

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Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

Watch: We mic'd up Thomas Bryant when he cheered on Indiana in matchup vs. Maryland

When the Maryland Terps faced Indiana for the first time in Big Ten play this season in early January, one famous former Hoosiers player sat in the stands cheering his team on. Wizards center Thomas Bryant allowed NBC Sports Washington to follow him throughout the game, where he showed his trademark enthusiasm for his former team. 

"It feels great," he said when asked by NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes how it feels to be watching his alma mater. "It seems like yesterday I was just playing against Maryland myself."

MORE COLLEGE HOOPS: THE BIG TWENTY REVISITS UVA'S HIGHEST HIGH, LOWEST LOW IN NCAA TOURNAMENT

Unfortunately for Bryant, the Hoosiers lost that game. But they'll get another shot at the Terps on Sunday. 

But Bryant, who will have his own game to suit up for when the Wizards take on the Hawks, won't be there to cheer. But when he did have the chance - he was vocal. After all, he told Hughes, that's just the type of fan and teammate he is.

"No matter if I'm out there or not, I'm going to be on my brother's side," he said.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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