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Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Instead of looking at the final play of the Wizards' 107-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when Otto Porter got the ball from Markieff Morris on the double-team and turned the corner for a good look at the basket that didn't go down, it's the way quarters ended that hurt them most. 

The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead in the first half that evaporated and came back to take the lead 103-102 on a three-point shot by Bradley Beal with 53.4 seconds left. But the one thing the Wizards had done a good job of all game, rebounding (43-37 edge), backfired late.

LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed an offensive rebound on a miss by Patty Mills and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout and re-inserted Danny Green in the lineup. His three-pointer, his only made shot of the game, put them up 105-103 and after John Wall tied it for the Wizards with a strong drive it was Kawhi Leonard knocking down the game-winner for San Antonio. 

"Getting that first-quarter shot and (the one) they got at halftime, that's five points," Wall said. "That's a big swing. ... The ways they ended the quarter gave them some momentum."

With 46.7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wizards allowed an open three-pointer from Mills and allowed Manu Ginobili to bank in a 14-foot bucket at the buzzer. A 28-19 lead melted to 28-24.

They'd force a miss again to end the second, with David Lee not converting two layups, only to have Ginobili steal the outlet pass with 1.9 seconds left to nail a 33-foot three-pointer. A 60-54 lead became 60-57 at halftime.

Then an inefficient ending to the third quarter is where the Wizards finally lost the game, getting three turnovers in the last 2:14 and allowing a 7-1 run to trail 80-74 entering the fourth. 

These are the botched spots when the Wizards could've secured their first win in San Antonio since 1999. 

"Pissed," Wall said of the locker room mood. "Let another one go. ... There are about seven games already this season for us that can haunt us (in regards to playoffs)."

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the final play called out of the timeout was for Beal on a curl to the basket but the passing lane wasn't there. Still, it goes back to how they ended quarters in the first three 12-minute sessions that set the table for disappoinment at the end.

"They scored every possession down the stretch of every quarter," Brooks said. "I'm happy that we're playing hard, playing together. But I'm not happy we're not getting wins."

[RELATED: The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Spurs]

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Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Rui Hachimura was a star in Vegas, earning All-NBA Summer League Second Team honors

Welcome to the Wizards Rui Hachimura.

In his first action as a Washington Wizard, the first-round draft pick brought home some hardware after being named to the All-NBA Summer League Second Team.

Hachimura showed out in a Summer League that was headlined by which stars were not playing on the court. In his final contest against the Atlanta Hawks, Hachimura dominated the court.

Playing a total of three games in Las Vegas, he averaged 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Those stats paired with a 2-1 record in the games he played garnered the Second Team honor. 

He was joined by Chris Boucher (Toronto), Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans), Anfernee Simons (Portland) and Lonie Walker IV (San Antonio) on the Second Team. 

The Gonzaga product is looking to become the best Japanese player to step onto an NBA basketball court and, although it is a small sample size, he showed some major potential in his limited action. 


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Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Mystics' Kristi Toliver named WNBA All-Star reserve for a second straight year

Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver is a WNBA All-Star once again. 

Toliver was named an All-Star reserve on Monday as selected by the league's coaches. She joins Elena Delle Donne, who was named a captain of one of the two teams, and head coach Mike Thibault as representatives from the Mystics. 

This selection gives Toliver, 5-7, the third honor of her career and the second with Washington. Last year en route to the franchise's first WNBA Finals appearance Toliver was named an All-Star. She also got the nod in 2013 when she played with the Los Angeles Sparks. 

Through 15 games, Toliver is averaging 12.1 points and is second in the league with 5.7 assists per game, which is also on pace for a career-high.

She is shooting at a career-best .497 clip and is looking as explosive as ever at 32-years-old. With her and Delle Donne, the Mystics are 9-6 and second in the Eastern Conference.

In the offseason, Toliver is also an assistant coach for the Washington Wizards. Often she worked on the player development side of the staff and closely with Bradley Beal. 

Delle Donne will have the first choice of selection in the All-Star game draft. As a reserve, Toliver cannot be selected until after the starters are chosen.