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Scott Brooks makes up for past disappointment to close down The Palace with Wizards

Scott Brooks makes up for past disappointment to close down The Palace with Wizards

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The lasting memory Scott Brooks has of The Palace is this: He was an undrafted second-year player making the start for the Philadelphia 76ers because Maurice Cheeks was injured. He had a chance to get the franchise's first win at the arena that had opened the previous year. 

Brooks had 20 points in 44 minutes, shot 7-for-13 and had seven assists playing with Charles Barkley. It didn't work out, as they lost 115-112 in overtime on March 20, 1990. 

Monday, as coach of the Wizards, Brooks won the final game at the venue 105-101 which is closing after this season for the Detroit Pistons who'll relocate downtown. The outcome didn't mean anything to the Wizards' place in the East (fourth) or Detroit which already had been eliminated from the playoff race. 

"It was one of my few games I started. Maurice Cheeks was out five or six games," Brooks said. "I don’t know if (Isiah Thomas) respected me a whole lot. We had a chance to win the game but one of our players – I’m not going to name his name – turned it over at the end of the game. We lost the game. I think it was actually on TNT. It was one of the first times I’d been on national TV as a player. Great memories. Lot of great players and teams. A lot of great basketball was played through here."

The teammate Brooks tried to cover for? Mike Giminski, who threw away the inbounds pass in a panic, stolen by Thomas. The Pistons trailed 103-99 with 10.8 seconds left but forced the extra session to win in what would be an NBA championship season. They won three overall here, 1989, 1990 and 2004.

The Pistons' new venue will be Little Caesars Arena. It'll be more easily accessible than The Palace of Auburn Hills, located far outside of the metro area, but it set the trend for the spacious, luxury-box filled facilities that are common today such as Orlando's Amway Center. Even now, The Palace is one of the more pleasant places to watch an NBA game.

Markieff Morris, who had 20 points and eight rebounds, took a special joy in beating his brother, Marcus. He had 12 points for the Pistons in defeat. He also had the game-winning tip-in vs. Wizards in the last meeeting here.

"My brother couldn't close it out so I had to step up, take his place and close it out," Markieff Morris said. 

Alumni such as Chauncey Billups, Dennis Rodman, Ben Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince were in attendance for a halftime tribute that featured the trophies and memories of the last 29 years. 

"It’s sad to see it go but like everything there’s always something better around the corner," Brooks said. "I’m sure the next building is going to be phenomenal."

[RELATED: Wizards complete biggest turnaround in NBA history]

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Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Watch Rui Hachimura’s shutdown block

Rui Hachimura continued his dominance in international friendlies Saturday as he put up 31 points and five rebounds in a winning effort over Germany.

After a highlight-reel performance in Thursday's loss to Argentina, Hachimura was back at it two days later.

That block at the 37-second mark is just filthy. It would also be goaltending in the NBA, but FIBA rules allow players to touch the ball at pretty much any time once it's made contact with some part of the hoop. Nevertheless, the athleticism to make this play is what stands out.

But Hachimura wasn't finished.

He looks more like Steph Curry leading that breakaway, dribbling behind his back and finishing at the rim himself than a 6-foot-8 forward.

With the international friendly schedule at its end, Japan will tip off the 2020 FIBA World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Turkey. After a matchup with the Czech Republic, Hachimura and Japan will take on his future NBA opponents when they face the United States on Sept. 5.

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Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Maryland native Quinn Cook tells the behind-the-scenes story of his road to the Lakers

Before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a blockbuster summer that saw them land Anthony Davis, before he won the NBA Finals as a role player with the Golden State Warriors, and before he averaged double-digit scoring and won the NCAA tournament at Duke, Quinn Cook was a star point guard at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md.

Cook was in town this week for his fourth annual youth basketball camp at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover. NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller sat down with the former Stag, who he’s known since the now-Lakers guard was 14 years old, on the Wizards Talk podcast.

Miller talked with Cook about why he feels connected to kids in the local community and what it was like losing his father as a teenager. One of his closest friends is fellow DeMatha product Victor Oladipo, who helped him get through the loss of his father Ted when he died suddenly in 2008 after going into a coma following a colon procedure.

“My best friend Norman and Victor, their parents took them out of school, and they were with me for two weeks,” Cook said. “At the funeral, [head coach Mike] Jones had the entire DeMatha basketball program…come to the funeral and all sit together [with] their uniforms on.”

Cook also went on to talk about his time at Duke, the viral video in which he convinced some people at the mall he was J Cole and his obsession with winning before going into how he landed in Los Angeles this offseason.

“When Golden State withdrew their qualifying offer, I became unrestricted and had some teams call me and the Lakers thing, it just happened quick,” Cook said. “I had talks with them, AD called me, [LeBron James] called Rob Palinka for me, and Coach K called them, talked to Bron and stuff and we got it done.”

Check out the full podcast below and listen to Miller talk hoops every week on the Wizards Talk podcast.

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