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Takeaways from Wizards' huge win over Warriors

Takeaways from Wizards' huge win over Warriors

The first two games out of the All-Star break, no matter how bad the Wizards looked vs. the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz, are bygones. That’s because Tuesday, they upset the Golden State Warriors at Verizon Center 112-108 in their fourth sellout of the season.

The Wizards (35-23) led most of the way and by as many as 19 points in the first half before Golden State made its run. But they had to overcome a pair of three-pointers from Draymond Green to tie the score at 106 and a missed three-pointer by Steph Curry that could've won it in the waning seconds.

John Wall had his 38th double-double and tied a career-high in assists (12 points, 19 assists, six rebounds) while Bradley Beal (25 points, three steals), Otto Porter (14 points, eight rebounds, three assists), Markieff Morris (22 points, six rebounds, four blocks), Marcin Gortat (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Bojan Bogdanovic (16 points).

Curry (25 points), who was coming off 0-for-11 shooting from three-point range Monday in Philadelphia, didn’t make one until the third quarter. Klay Thompson (16 points) was their primary offense early but Zaza Pachulia (12 points, eight rebounds), Green (14 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds) and Shaun Livingston (14 points) were factors, too.

The Warriors (50-10) took their first lead 80-79 after four consecutive free throws from Livingston late in the third, but Porter made a clutch three-pointer for a 102-100 lead, Beal made a floater for a 104-103 lead, Morris had a dunk on a lob and all three combined to shoot 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 1:18.

Patrick McCaw (eight points) replaced Kevin Durant in the lineup after he went down with an injury.

--It wasn’t a well-played game in terms of taking care of the ball. Both teams combined for 39 turnovers but both teams played well defensively. The Wizards and Warriors are tops in the league in deflections.

--Durant’s return home was anticlimactic again, similar to what happened last season when he played here for the only time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gortat maneuvered for position and it knocked Pachulia to the floor. He fell backwards onto Durant’s foot and forced his left knee backwards. His night ended after 1:33 as he went to the locker room and the team announced he had a hyperextension that would require an MRI. Durant only took one shot and didn’t score.

--Gortat was tentative getting the ball on the short rolls to the basket. He appeared to be predetermining that he wouldn’t shoot the ball and pass instead. That produced four turnovers for him in the first half alone when the Wizards could’ve had a lead larger than 61-49 at the break. Morris had difficulty finishing over smalls on switches as Golden State collapsed with active hands to bother him and relied on help to contest late, but he was able to make them pay when he scored 11 of his points in the fourth. 

--Ian Mahinmi (six points, six rebounds) had his best game in Washington, entering earlier than usual because of two first-quarter fouls on Gortat. He was the defensive presence that he needed to be against a team like Golden State that has so many shooters that bigs who can step out, help contain the ball and get back to his man is important. Mahinmi blocked a dunk attempt by Green at the rim and then went at Pachulia for a bucket on a counter move.  Mahinmi frustrated Pachuilia into a foul on the next offensive possession for the Warriors and forced JaVale McGee into a turnover when he recovered to stop him at the time.

--After 16 points in the first quarter, Beal went silent until a three-pointer just past the midway point of the third. Wall played the role of facilitator for most of three quarters until he grew more assertive as Golden State locked in on taking his shooters away. He had 17 assists – two short of tying a career-high – entering the fourth quarter. Both found ways to close as Curry and Thompson shot a combined 5-for-22 from three-point range.

[RELATED: Durant exits Wizards game with apparent knee injury (VIDEO)]

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jaxson Hayes

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jaxson Hayes

School: Texas
Position: Center
Age: 19
Height: 7-0
Weight: 219
Wingspan: 7-4
Max vertical: 34.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 72.8 FG% (3.8/5.3), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.0), 74.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jarrett Allen, John Henson

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 10th, NBADraft.net 9th, Bleacher Report 10th, Sports Illustrated 9th, Ringer 10th

5 things to know:

*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.

*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.

*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.

*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.

*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.

Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.

The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.

Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.

Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nassir Little

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Nassir Little

School: North Carolina
Position: Forward
Age: 19
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
Wingspan: 7-1
Max vertical: 38.5 in.

2018/19 stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.8 FG% (3.6/7.6), 26.9 3PT% (0.4/1.4), 77.0 FT%

Player comparison: Jae Crowder, Justise Winslow

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 11th, NBADraft.net 11th, Bleacher Report 16th, Sports Illustrated 11th, Ringer 14th

5 things to know:

*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.

*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length. 

*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.

*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.

*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.

Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.

But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.

That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.

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