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Takeaways from Wizards' blowout win over Sixers

Takeaways from Wizards' blowout win over Sixers

Playing with his right pinky finger taped, John Wall went for 11 points in a game-changing third quarter for the Wizards as they drew even in their season series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday with a 109-93 win, giving them their 11th triumph in a row at Verizon Center. They’re 16-6 at home.

The franchise’s last 11-game home win streak came in 1989 by the then-Bullets. 

Wall drained three three-pointers in a 30-15 third quarter and came within range of a triple-double (25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) but didn’t play in the fourth quarter as the Wizards (20-19) went back above .500.

He entered this game after a terrible performance in the Wizards’ loss in Boston, when he shot 4-for-21 with a swollen left wrist and a pinkie that was out of place.

Wall shot 9-for-17 in this one and was followed by Bradley Beal (20 points, four rebounds), Markieff Morris (14 points, nine rebounds), Marcin Gortat (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Otto Porter (10 points, six rebounds).

Jahlil Okafor (22 points) led Philadelphia (12-26) and Ersan Ilysavoa (18 points, seven rebounds) was a difficult cover early. Ilyasova, however, didn’t score in the second half. No other starter scored more than Robert Covington (seven points).

--When the Wizards made their run to start the third quarter, they suffocated Philadelphia’s offense by forcing the non-three-point shooters, T.J. McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Gerald Henderson, into launching low-percentage shots.

--Ilyasova is a matchup problem because he’s too big and strong for the likes of Porter and too good of a three-point shooter to leave uncovered which knocks Morris and Gortat outside of their comfort zone. But Ilyasova didn’t score in the second half when he shot 0-for-4.

--The Wizards only had six assists on their first 23 made shots. It was an indication of Wall and Beal having to get points on their own to keep them in it. They combined for 32 in the first half on 12-for-23 shooting.

--Nik Stauskas (two points) was caught vs. Gortat on switches on two occasions and the Wizards couldn’t get a bucket out of it. But they made the Sixers pay for such gambles in the second half when Gortat had eight points and six rebounds in the pivotal third. Stauskas scored 15 in their Nov. 16 meeting, won 109-102 by Philadelphia. He shot 1-for-8.

-- Foul trouble reared its head for Morris yet again. He only had one in the first half, but he had two within a 120-second span of the third quarter to put him in foul trouble. He’d dropped in a corner three that helped the Wizards get out to a 7-0 run to start the third and force a timeout by the Sixers.

-- Nerlens Noel picked up two fouls in the last 35 seconds to give him five in 13 minutesplayed. But he also had six points and 12 rebounds. 

[RELATED: Brooks will be involved in any Wizards roster moves]

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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