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Takeaways from Wizards' blown chances in loss to Heat

Takeaways from Wizards' blown chances in loss to Heat

A chance to win consecutive games for the first time, the Wizards allowed one of the league's worst offensive teams, the Miami Heat, light up Verizon Center from long-range on Saturday in a 114-111 loss.

Bradley Beal (34 points, five rebounds, four assists) and John Wall (34 points, eight assists) led them but couldn't find much help elsewhere as the tandem of Goran Dragic (22 points) and Hassan Whiteside (18 points, 18 rebounds). 

The next highest contributor for the Wizards was Marcin Gortat (10 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks) but no one else reached double figures until late in the fourth quarter. 

Miami (4-8) trailed 42-35 midway through the second quarter but went on a run to take the lead 60-59 at halftime. Five of its buckets in that stretch were layups. When the game was blown open in the third quarter it was because of the 13-for-23 shooting that extended the lead to 91-82 entering the fourth. 

-- The Wizards fell into too much dribbling and not enough passing and moving off the ball in the second half. That led to an elite defense such as Miami's loading up to the ball, forcing contested shots and being in position to grab the defensive rebound. Conversely, the Heat didn't wait to shoot. If the open look was there, they took it.

-- Miami was 13-for-27 from three-point range, getting mostly open look as the concern was bumping down on pick-and-rolls to eliminate easy looks for Whiteside at the rim. The Heat entered the game 22nd in the league in three-point accuracy (33.6%) and 28th in scoring (94.5). They had 91 points after three quarters. They finished at 48.1% shooting from three.

-- Markieff Morris (6 points) only played nine minutes after he went down with a right ankle sprain in the second quarter and didn't return. Morris was replaced by Tomas Satornasky (eight points, four assists) initially as they went to a three-guard lineup. When the Wizards started the third quarter, Jason Smith (four points) was with the first unit. 

-- Andrew Nicholson made an early appearance at center and despite size and athletic disadvantage vs. Whiteside. He froze the shot-blocker with a variety of pump and ball fakes. Nicholson was on the court just six minutes but was 2-for-3 (4 points). 

-- Satoransky's defense with the second unit was a bright spot as he was able to make Dragic work for his looks. At 6-7, he can recover to challenge shots. But the Heat were dominant on the boards with a 48-38 edge. Eighteen of those grabs were on the offensive end.

[RELATED: Jennings says Wizards, other teams try harder against Knicks]

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By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

By the numbers: Bradley Beal on pace to become one of NBA history's best three-point shooters

Bradley Beal topped Gilbert Arenas for first place in career three-pointers in Wizards/Bullets franchise history on Saturday night in the Wizards' loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Beal, only 25, has put himself in some good company over the years with his outside shooting. Here are some numbers to put it all in perspective.

By The Numbers: Bradley Beal's historic shooting numbers

2,208: Beal made his record-breaking, 869th three on his 2,208th attempt. It took Arenas 2,430 attempts to get there in a Wizards uniform. Arenas, however, reached the mark in 357 games compared to Beal's 408. Beal, now at 2,209, is second on the franchise list for career three-pointers attempted. Based on his career attempts averages, he should get there this season.

100: Beal has made at least 100 three-pointers in five straight seasons entering 2018-19. That is a franchise record. The longest such active streak is held by Jamal Crawford at 14. The longest streak in NBA history is held by Ray Allen at 17.

39.4: Beal's career three-point percentage. He is one of only five players ever to shoot at least 39 percent from beyond the arc while making two or more threes per game in their careers. The others are Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Buddy Hield, who has only played in 164 games compared to Beal's 408.

223: Beal set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a single season back in 2016-17. He passed Arenas, who twice got to 205, in 2004-05 and 2006-07.

41: Beal also passed Arenas for the most games in franchise history with five or more three-pointers made. Arenas is in second with 40, while Trevor Ariza is in a distant third with 15. Otto Porter Jr., for comparison, has done it nine times. Beal's 41 games with five threes or more rank 18th among active players. Curry is way ahead of everyone else with 183.

37: Beal is one of just eight players ever to begin his career with six straight seasons of 37 percent or better from three. The other seven is mostly a who's who of three-point specialists like Curry, Thompson, Korver and J.J. Redick.

20: Shooting 37 percent or better from three while also scoring 20 points or more is rarer than you may think. Beal has done it twice in his career, same as LeBron James, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard. Only 11 players have accomplished the feat more often. Dirk Nowitzki has done that in nine seasons, most all-time, while Kevin Durant is second with eight.

872: Speaking of Durant, this isn't a historic number, it's just an interesting coincidence. Since Beal entered the league before the 2012-13 season, he and Durant have been nearly identical as three-point shooters. Beal has made 870 threes, while Durant has knocked down 872. Beal has shot 39.4 percent, while Durant has hit 39.6 of them. Another guy who has been extremely similar to Beal is Danny Green, who now plays for the Raptors. He has hit 858 threes during that span at a 39.2 percent rate.


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Three things to watch for Wizards' first road game at the Blazers, including Bradley Beal's return to the Moda Center

Three things to watch for Wizards' first road game at the Blazers, including Bradley Beal's return to the Moda Center

John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic on Monday night. Tipoff is at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. 

Here are three things to watch...

Beal returns to Portland

Monday night may be a special one for Wizards guard Bradley Beal, as he goes back to the site of the best game of his career. Last December, Beal lit up the Blazers for 51 points. That was the most ever scored by an opponent playing in Portland, beating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who had 49 at the Rose Garden back in 1972. 

The Blazers now play at the Moda Center and the previous record was 47 points, held by Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry. Beal put his name up there with some of the best scorers the game has ever seen.

Beal just had it that night. Though he took 37 shots, he knocked down 56.8 percent of them.

Beal scoring that much against the Blazers, of course, doesn't mean he will repeat the performance. But he has had some recent success against Portland with 25 points or more in four straight games against them.

Anytime Beal and his backcourt mate John Wall see the Blazers, it's a matchup worth watching because Portland has two star guards of their own with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. 

Though he did not face them either time last year, Wall has averaged 20.2 points and eight assists against the Blazers in his career. Lillard has averaged 24.3 points against the Wizards, but has shot just 41.6 percent. McCollum has only scored 14.3 points against the Wizards through 10 games, below his 17.2 carer average.

Howard is out

Dwight Howard did not travel with the team to begin their five-game road trip, as Chris Miller of NBC Sports Washington reported. He is definitely out against Portland and could miss more time as he remains out due to a piriformis muscle strain.

The Wizards have lost both of their games without Howard and have struggled particularly when it comes to rebounding. They will get a good test against the Blazers, who last year ranked third in the NBA in total rebounds and were fifth in defensive boards.

Need a win

It's too early for desperation, but the Wizards could really use a win. Not only are they 0-2, but they lost both of those games against undermanned teams playing on the second night of back-to-backs.

Now, their schedule is going to get more difficult with the Blazers, who finished third in the West last year, and then the Warriors, who won their second straight championship. It's an unforgiving road ahead and the Wizards will have to correct things against some of the best teams in basketball.