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Wizards at Spurs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Spurs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

The Washington Wizards play at the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Where: AT&T Center
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 8 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Season series finale

It's only Dec. 2, yet the Wizards and Spurs play for the final time this season on Friday night. The two teams squared off just three games ago, on Nov. 26 at the Verizon Center, where the Spurs won 112-100 in a game that wasn't as close as the score would suggest. San Antonio shot 53.3% and coasted to victory behind 24 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, 20 from Tony Parker and 19 from Kawhi Leonard.

The 15-4 Spurs are always a difficult matchup, but this year they have been more vulnerable at home. The Spurs are 11-0 on the road this season, but 4-4 in San Antonio. This is all after the Spurs went 40-1 at home last year. The Wizards, though, have not won in San Antonio in the John Wall and Bradley Beal era. 

[RELATED: Brooks breaks down Wizards beyond X's and O's]

Mahinmi out

The Wizards will once again be without rim protector Ian Mahinmi, as the veteran continues to deal with a sore right knee. He made his season debut in the Wizards' first game against the Spurs after missing six weeks following left knee surgery. But Mahinmi's right knee now hurts and on Friday it will cost him his third straight game.

Mahinmi has already missed 16 games this season, so the Wizards are quite used to playing without him. His absence will mean more playing time for Jason Smith. What will make things even tougher for Washington, however, is the fact Markieff Morris is banged up. He's dealt with twisted ankles and a sore foot recently and will have to run around with LaMarcus Aldridge, who can stretch the floor a bit with his shot. 

Spurs bench

The Wizards had a lot of trouble with the Spurs' bench in their first matchup this season. The game was close until the second quarter when reserve guard Patty Mills entered and started hitting threes. Mills finished with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including three threes on five attempts. Mills also dished four assists in 19 minutes of work.

Jonathan Simmons was another spark off the Spurs' bench. He scored 15 points in 22 minutes to go along with four assists, two steals and a block. His energy and athleticism was tough for the Wizards to deal with. Simmons had a monster putback dunk and a slick chasedown block. With his speed and leaping ability, he's a tough guy to match up with.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Smith tries to play off failed high-five attempt]

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Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

Rui Hachimura's learning curve can be seen on offense late in games

WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has translated so smoothly to the NBA level that it is easy to forget he is still just a rookie with only 31 games under his belt. For a reminder of his inexperience, just look at the fourth quarter.

Hachimura tends to start games hot on the offensive end, like he did on Friday in the Wizards' loss to the Cavaliers when he had eight points by the end of the first quarter. But he scored only nine points after that and went scoreless through seven minutes in the fourth.

That has been a consistent theme for him this season. He averages 4.8 points in the first quarter shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 4.0 points in the second shooting 57 percent and then 4.3 points on 47.9 percent in the third. In the fourth quarter those numbers plummet to 1.9 points on average and 33.3 percent shooting.

Basically, Hachimura often comes out on fire but then slows down considerably once opponents make midgame changes. Against the Cavs, Hachimura said it was because they disrupted passing lanes.

"They are an NBA team. They just adjusted. They didn't want me to catch the ball. They didn't let me just catch the ball. I think that's why," he said.

The Wizards have seen teams switch defensive match-ups midgame to counter Hachimura. Sometimes taking away his midrange jumper will be prioritized. The Cavs seemed to find success playing Hachimura more physically in the second half, bumping him away from his comfort zones.

Over time, Hachimura can improve his ability to sustain scoring throughout games simply by becoming more versatile. The more consistent he becomes at making three-point shots and creating off the dribble, the more difficult it will be for teams to stop him. As long as he keeps improving, he will reach a point where he can stay ahead of the defense with a multitude of counters.

Developing a more reliable outside game and more dribble combinations will take some time. For now, Hachimura believes the key to him keeping up his scoring pace involves working with his teammates, particularly star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

"I just gotta connect more with Brad. Brad is the one everybody is trying to guard. Screens and pick-and-rolls with him, that kind of stuff will help me," Hachimura said.

Hachimura's game against the Cavaliers reflected how the team played overall. After scoring 41 points in the first quarter, they managed only 42 in the second half. They blew a 16-point lead and lost, 113-108.

So, he wasn't alone. And those rooting for Hachimura to round out his game should feel good about his odds. He has a relentless work ethic and is often staying after practice to go over film with player development coach Dave Adkins.

Hachimura is perceptive and driven to improve. In order to take the next step as a scorer, he will have to get better at closing games.

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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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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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