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NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Celtics Game 3: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

NBA Playoffs 2017 Wizards vs. Celtics Game 3: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their second round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Thursday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

GAME 3: BOSTON CELTICS at WASHINGTON WIZARDS

Series: Celtics lead 2-0
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: ESPN (pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. on CSN)
Live stream: ESPN.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Beal has to play better

Bradley Beal had a frustrating time in Game 2 on Tuesday night, with 14 points on just 4-for-15 from the field. He went 1-for-9 from three and set a playoff career-high with six turnovers. Beal had a chance to redeem himself at the end of regulation, but badly missed a would-be buzzer-beater.

Beal has to step up on both ends of the floor. Not only could they use his usual self on offense, but defending the perimeter has been a real issue for the Wizards so far this series. Through two games, they have allowed a combined 32 threes and in both games point guard Isaiah Thomas had his way.

[RELATED: 5 biggest Wizards-Celtics storylines to watch]

Stopping IT4

Limiting Thomas, who had 53 points in Game 2, will not be easy. So far this series he is averaging 43 points per game on 51.8 percent shooting. Thomas is both knocking down his threes (43.5%) and getting to the rim at will.

Stopping Thomas should ultimately fall on John Wall and Beal, but Thomas is doing a very good job of earning switches on screens. Several times down the stretch of Game 2 he got switched into an isolation with Markieff Morris. That's a mismatch under normal circumstances and particularly now that Morris is limited by a sore ankle. To ask Morris to stay in front of Thomas with a flat tire is just unfair.

[RELATED: Wall has gotten over Horford choosing Celtics]

Trying to stay alive

A loss would not mean the end of their season, but there is no doubt this is all but a must-win game. Lose this one and the Wizards will be 0-3 and no team has ever come back from that deficit. They essentially have to win Game 3 or else just about all hope will be lost.

[RELATED: How does trash talking in the NBA compare to other sports?]

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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves

WASHINGTON -- Ted Leonsis had a front row seat to two converging storylines.

The Wizards owner was among throngs inside Capital One Arena appreciating Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade’s final game in Washington.

Leonsis also recognized the likely last gasp for his team’s playoff hopes came up short.

“They’ll make the playoffs. It doesn’t look like we’ll make the playoffs now,” Leonsis said to NBC Sports Washington following the Wizards’ loss Saturday night.

 “Hope [Dwyane] plays well,” Leonsis continued. “We’ll have to figure out what to do in the off-season.”

The loss dropped the Wizards (30-44) 6 ½ games back of the Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington only has eight regular-season games remaining.

Earlier this season Leonsis said organizational changes are in play should the Wizards fail to reach their goals, which included reaching the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons.

Asked for his current thoughts on any off-season changes, Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington, “Don’t know yet. Let’s see how they do out West. It was disappointing. We were trying to catch [Miami].”

The Wizards embark on a four-game Western Conference road trip starting Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite any frustration with the game’s conclusion and the season at-large, Leonsis appreciated Wade’s gusto on his way out. 

The 16-year veteran and 13-time All-Star announced his retirement before the season. Wade, 37, looked anything but over-the-hill late against the Wizards.

Having turned into Miami’s closer after the All-Star break, Wade scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat (36-37) fended off several Wizards rallies.

“Kind of historic, right? (Wild) that Dwyane Wade beat us tonight,” Leonsis said. “What a career, what a game. Just everything about the way he plays is beautiful. He’s really great.”

Leonsis remarked the referees overlooked an apparent traveling violation from Wade in the third quarter.

“We wanted to beat them. They played better. The no-call on Dwyane on the travel was apropos. I thought he took five steps. You say, ‘Well, that’s when you’re a Hall of Famer you get that respect,” Leonsis said respectfully. “But, good for him.”

Miami moved one game ahead of idle ninth-place Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: 

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Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

On most occasions, elite athletes decide to finish their careers way after their skills have declined. It is uncommon for most icons to go out on their own terms. When you train your entire life to play professional basketball, it's a tough task to realize that your time has passed, and its time to move on to another venture. 

Dwyane Wade is not grouped into that category. Tonight's performance against the Wizards justified that. 

After announcing publicly last September that the 2018-19 NBA season would be his last, the news left the sports world nostalgic. Once a bright young star out of Marquette, "Flash" was must-see television.

After announcing last September that this would be his last ride in South Beach, Wade, albeit the face of the franchise, knew that this team wasn't the one he had joined when he was drafted fifth overall in June of 2003. It wasn't the squad he won his first title with in '06, or the bunch that started the "Super Team" movement. This was a collection of young prospects, journeymen, and he was a veteran presence, and no longer the marquee option. He welcomed the move to the bench and to be the veteran presence in the locker room that the team needed and has had quite the resurgence of sorts that has the sports world questioning whether retirement is really the best option, and whether he should come back another year. 

Scott Brooks is one of many who thinks Wade should reconsider.

In his final appearance at Capital One Arena Saturday evening, the veteran star lead his group to victory, showing flashes of the player he once was, and carrying his squad to a crucial road win. 

Brooks joked that "the NBA needs to fine the Miami Heat for letting him retire".

It appears that Wade's contemporaries are of the mindset of Brooks. Wizards forward Jeff Green, who exploded for 25 points off the bench in the tough loss, discussed postgame that despite his efforts to get Wade to change his mind, the latter knows that it's time to move on.

"He's playing amazing," Green said. "I've tried my convincing, I've been trying for the last six months, it didn't work."

Green expressed that he's glad his friend is choosing to leave the game before it leaves him.

"I'm happy for the guy." Green said. "He's going out the way he wants to."

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