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Takeaways from Wizards' comeback to beat Kings in overtime

Takeaways from Wizards' comeback to beat Kings in overtime

The defensive issues persist for the Wizards, who allowed another sub.-500 opponent to shoot the lights out. But they won for the third time in as many road games Friday, coming back from a 15-point deficit to force overtime and win 130-122.

It was the Wizards' first win at the Sacramento Kings since 2009.

John Wall (25 points, 12 assists) sparked a 17-4 run to tie the score at 105 when he fed Bradley Beal (38 points, 10 rebounds) for a three-pointer. It was Wall’s 43rd double-double and Beal's first. Otto Porter (19 points, six rebounds), Bojan Bogdanovic (17 points), Jason Smith (nine points, six rebounds) and Ian Mahinmi (nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks) contributed heavily in the comeback.

Buddy Hield (18 points) got the Kings out to a blazing start by scoring 15 in the first quarter but didn’t score in the second half.

After the Wizards had trimmed the deficit to five, the Kings ended the third quarter with a 13-4 run to go up 97-82. But they shot 9-for-26 the rest of the way in coming apart at the seams for the second game in a row.

They blew a 28-point lead in their previous game vs. the San Antonio Spurs and lost by double digits.  This one was tied at 110 in the last two minutes.

The Kings (25-40) had six players in double figures, led by Willie Cauley-Stein (20 points, 13 rebounds), Arron Afflalo (18 points), Hield and Darren Collison (14 points, 10 assists).

--Smith, who didn’t play in Denver, got the call behind Markieff Morris (10 points). He made all four of his shots, including a three-pointer and two mid-range jumpers to get the deficit to single digits early in the fourth. Smith and Mahinmi finished the game for coach Scott Brooks, who went away from the ineffective combo of Morris and Marcin Gortat (two points). Morris did return to replace Smith late but played just 26 minutes. Gortat played 22. 

--The Kings only had two turnovers in the first half. The ball pressure wasn’t there, the switching was sloppy yet again and the dribble penetration allowed caused havoc. The Kings made 8 of 12 threes in the first half alone, 66.7 percent, which were mostly a product of the ball getting too deep, the defense sucking in and the kickouts. The tone changed when Hield, who isn't good off the dribble, was closed out effectively by Beal and Porter who suffocated him. On a crucial possession late in the overtime, Porter blocked Hield at the rim.

--Wall picked up his 12th technical foul of the season (cost, $4,000) for arguing with game officials over a no-call. He stepped out of bounds on a drive but was upset that Collison wasn’t called for a hand check that prevented him from turning the corner. Wall will get a warning letter from the NBA as he approaches 16 which leads to an automatic one-game suspension.

--Bogdanovic missed his first free throw after knocking down 35 in row. He went 3-for-4 from the stripe. He shot 0-for-5 from three-point range, which is where he is normally lights-out. 

--Anthony Tolliver (10 points) had eight consecutive points late in the third when the Wizards made a run. He dropped a three-pointer over Smith’s contest, had a dunk when Porter ran him off the arc but no one rotated to stop his dunk at the rim and had another three. That kept the score at 87-78. The Wizards couldn’t exploit him as a defensive liability in the post vs. Morris or Smith in the first three quarters but they figured it out late.

-- The Wizards were in the penalty with 9:01 left in the game after Smith fouled Ben McLemore (11 points) to stop him at the rim. The Kings, however, only had two and were able to play more aggressively but couldn't stop anyone. Beal scored 16 points in the fourth. He combined with Wall for eight in the extra session. The Wizards had 68 points in the paint and 25 in transition. Only having 11 turnovers also allowed them the needed possessions to come back. 

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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