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Takeaways from Wizards' big road win over Knicks

Takeaways from Wizards' big road win over Knicks

The closing out of the New York Knicks left a lot to be desired for the Wizards, who didn’t get the best performance from Bradley Beal and lost a double-digit lead, but John Wall scored the last four points and made a strip on the final play as they won back-to-back games for the first time 113-110 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

John Wall (25 points, 13 assists, five rebounds) posted his 25th double-double and Otto Porter (23 points, six rebounds) tied his career-high with six three-pointers to lead them to their season-high fourth win in a row and and just their fifth road victory. Markieff Morris (14 points, six rebounds, four assists) and Marcin Gortat (12 points, 12 rebounds) also had strong games.

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers (34 points, 10 rebounds) and the Knicks had Derrick Rose (20 points), Kristaps Porzingis (15 points) and Justin Holiday (11 points) also in double figures.  

The Wizards (23-19) led 100-86 entering the fourth quarter. Brandon Jennings (three points) made his only shot from deep to cut the deficit to 107-104, but Wall responded with a strong drive for a layup to end a five-minute field-goal drought by Washington.

Rose missed on a difficult drive at the rim put collected the loose ball for a putback to give New York (19-25) a 110-109 lead.

But Wall took over. He was fouled on a drive by Anthony and made both free throws. Then when Anthony tried to give his team the lead back, Wall took the missed jumper immediately downcourt for a breakaway dunk for the final margin.

[RELATED: NBA's new collective bargaining agreement official]

The Wizards held on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 104-101 on Wednesday in similar fashion, almost squandering a double-digit led and surviving a game-tying shot. The Knicks never got off one as Jennings lost the handle and Wall passed the ball ahead for Bradley Beal to run out the clock.

In games decided by six points or less, the Wizards are 12-4.

--After setting a career-high with six made three-pointers Wednesday, Porter had six more as he had plenty of uncontested looks again.

--New York played better when Rose wasn’t on the floor with Anthony as the stretch option at the four spot and Porzingis at the five. Anthony went on his 25-point explosion in the second quarter with mostly the second unit. When coach Jeff Hornacek went back to it late in the third with the deficit growing, Rose was at the point guard and took the shots without success. Most were quick, low-percentage and were welcomed by Washington, which in the past has schemed to let Rose take plenty of shots.

-- For the second game in a row, Beal was cold. Unlike what he faced vs. Memphis, which is an elite defensive team, the Knicks aren't very good. Still, Beal missed 9 of 13 shots and didn’t look as crisp with his legs or decision-making. He shot 4-for-14 previously Wednesday. Beal also failed to make a three as he misfired on all seven.

--Jason Smith (11 points) and Kelly Oubre (10 points) gave the Wizards the punch off the bench that they’ve lacked on the road to compensate for Beal. They also combined for seven rebounds.

--Tomas Satornasky played 14 minutes and his only make in two attempts was a three-pointer. He had two steals in solid two-way play to further solidify his spot in the rotation. Trey Burke (three points) only played six minutes but made a three as well. Sheldon McClellan, Marcus Thornton and Andrew Nicholson didn’t play. 

--To combat New York's smaller lineups, Wizards coach Scott Brooks went smaller too whhich is why Gortat only logged 29 minutes. Gortat only played three minutes in the fourth quarter but produced nonetheless. 

[RELATED: Wall and Beal not named All-Star starters]

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This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

One of the best parts of the NBA offseason, behind free-agency and the draft, has to be the open run's that go on all summer long. These sessions give an opportunity for NBA players to team up with each other, while also playing alongside high school, college, and overseas talent. 

Some new Wizards teammates, Isaiah Thomas and Thomas Bryant, made their way to the Rico Hines private run in Los Angeles, California to establish some chemistry before training camp opens in late September.  

As seen above, IT is no stranger to sharing the sugar as he finished top 20 in the league in assists per game (5.9) in 2016, the last season he was fully healthy. While TB is one of the most efficient rim-runners in the league, leading the NBA in two-point field goal percentage (68.5) last season. 

Could this be a preview of what to expect come season's tip? Wizards fans sure hope so. 

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

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Washington Wizards hire assistant coach Michael Longabardi to Scott Brooks coaching staff

The Wizards sought to add an assistant coach with a strong defensive track record this offseason and they did just that Saturday evening by hiring Michael Longabardi, according to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. 

Longardi, 46, has spent the last three seasons as a defensive coach on the Cleveland Cavaliers' staff. He was initially hired by former Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue in 2016 when the team claimed their first championship in franchise history. 

Before joining the Cavaliers, Longabardi held assistant coaching roles with the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and most notably the Boston Celtics, in which he and Lue served under head coach Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau from 2007 to 2013.

Longabardi was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Xaverian High School, a private Catholic school. He then went on to play basketball at Newberry College where he earned the nickname "Mr. Defense."

Just a day after reports broke that Tommy Sheppard would be promoted to a permanent general manager position, the organization is making yet another move in hopes of improving overall culture and team defense.

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