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Takeaways from Wizards' last-second loss to Pacers

Takeaways from Wizards' last-second loss to Pacers

With the chance to win both games of a back-to-back in reach, the Wizards couldn't cash even as Bradley Beal's long jumper -- appeared to be a three but his foot big right toe was on the line -- tied the score. Paul George did them in again Monday night on both ends, but someone else hit the game-winner for the Indiana Pacers. 

Thaddeus Young got the ball on a broken play on an inbounds, drove to his left and lofted up a left-handed shot for a 107-105 victory at BankersLife Fieldhouse. Beal had a chance with 0.9 seconds to win it on a catch-and-shoot from the corner but the ball went off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

George, who went for 40 in their first meeting a season ago and made two foul shots at the end of a game last year for victories, had a five-point spurt late in the fourth quarter to break open a close game. The Wizards, however, responded with a 7-2 run to bring it down to the wire.

The loss ended the Wizards’ three-game winning streak. It’s the first of a three-game trip to the Midwest that includes stops at the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday and at the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. 

Marcin Gortat (21 points, 13 rebounds) had his 15th double-double to lead the Wizards (12-15). John Wall (19 points, 10 assists) had his 16th double-double, Bradley Beal (22 points, three assists) and Otto Porter (17 points, nine rebounds) contributed as well.

George (27 points, nine rebounds) and Jeff Teague (23 points, 10 assists) led the Pacers (15-14). Myles Turner (20 points, eight rebounds, five blocks) and Young (12 points, 11 rebounds) were factors as were C.J. Miles (10 points) and Al Jefferson (10 ponts) off the bench.

--Beal picked up his fourth foul on a reach-in on Turner at 10:33 of the third quarter. He’d missed a runner and had been scoreless after scoring 10 in the second quarter. But Beal, who was defended by George to cool him down, also missed open looks. In the second half, George was incredibly physical with Beal who had difficulty getting free on screens but George picked up his fourth foul by 6:15 of the fourth quarter.

--Turner, a center, was a coverage problem as he was able to get open looks from the arc. He was 8-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point range.

--Teague lived in the paint. He scored 11 of his points in the third quarter when Indiana made its run and took a 88-79 lead entering the fourth. The Wizards entered the game 2-11 when trailing in that situation. They were 9-2 when leading going into the final 12 minutes.

-- Jason Smith returned from a right hamstring injury that kept him out Sunday and he made two open jumpers on his only two shots. He went to the bench after the four minutes because he picked up three fouls. Andrew Nicholson (6 points) filled in.

--Tomas Satoransky has played sparingly, but when Kelly Oubre had a putback off a scramble the opportunity was created by the guard battling with three Pacers. Then Satoransky found Porter slicing for a layup that forced a timeout with the deficit down to 79-75. But Satoransky was beaten in the paint by Teague, biting on his upfake as the Pacers went back up 92-88 and shot an airball on the next play while wide open from three-point range.

[RELATED: Wall grants 'biggest fan's' birthday wish]

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‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

Capital City Go-Go

‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

The Washington Wizards G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, held their second open local player tryouts at the Entertainment and Sports Arena Saturday morning in Southeast D.C.

Over 100 hopefuls filed into the arena with plans to impress Go-Go General Manager, Pop Mensah-Bonsu, head coach Ryan Richman, and his staff. 

Although each player in attendance has a unique path that’s led them here, they all shared one simple, yet intricate goal:

One shot in the G League. 

Adam Stanford, a prospect from California, traveled on a red eye to make the tryout on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep.

“My plane left at midnight from LAX, I had a two-hour layover in Denver, made it to Reagan National at five, checked into my hotel at six, took an hour nap and then Ubered here for tryouts,”  he said. 

“If I made this team it’d be big. Not just for me but for everyone who knows what I’ve been through from college to now.” 

Stanford is a 6-foot-4 wing from Campbellsville University, where he averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, and was an academic All-American. 

Even with his positive outlook on the process, and an impressive showing Saturday morning, Stanford’s name wasn’t called for a follow-up workout later in the afternoon. 

The harsh reality that your chances are extremely slim to make a G League roster from an open tryout can be a tough pill to swallow, but as a guy who’s been on the opposite end of the chopping block, Mensah-Bonsu had an immense amount of respect for those who showed up to compete Saturday.

“Personally it’s tough because I never wanted to be that guy to read out the numbers of those who did make the team, and skip over those who didn’t,” Mensah-Bonsu said, “it’s heartbreaking. We always anticipate what the DMV has to offer in terms of the wealth of talent in this area.

"I was pleasantly surprised because we ended up selecting 15 guys to stick around for the afternoon portion, but going into this we were only planning to pick five.” 

Those who made the cut won’t be announced until a later date, which leaves the larger point of how those who were passed on respond?

The all-time leading scorer in Peach Sun Belt Conference history, Detrek Browning, was in attendance Saturday and put on a show. His combination of quickness, deep range shooting ability, and a knack for loose balls/putbacks captured the attention of every media member in attendance. 

However, his name wasn’t called for the next round of tryouts. 

Still, in a state of shock, he delivered words of encouragement not just for his self, but others to turn to after a similar letdown. 

“I for sure thought I was going to get a place here, but you just gotta focus and move on,” Browning said. “I quit my job in June to focus on basketball and it’s been paying off. I’ve seen my game increase exponentially.

“I did my best and that’s what matters,” he added. “I appreciate them not picking me up, it’s just going to make me work even harder.”




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Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Elena Delle Donne thanks makers of face mask, knee brace after 2nd MVP honors

Most MVP award winners thank coaches, parents and anyone who helped them become great. Elena Delle Donne is not most people.

The Washington Mystic's superstar forward had a lot to be thankful for after receiving the second MVP honors of her career, creating a long list on Twitter. Some injury-preventing accessory manufacturers made their way high up on her list.

Delle Donne became the first woman player to shoot 50/40/90 splits over the course of an entire WNBA season this year, but she was perhaps more grateful for the apparrel that allowed her to stay on the court: her knee brace and face mask. 

The Delaware native often deflects praise onto her teammates and coaches when receiving accolades, but when EDD's knee is being held together by her bulky brace and her nose is feeling protected after a fracture earlier in the season, they definitely deserve the thanks. 

She had a gruesome knee scare in a Game 2 loss to the Atlanta Dream in the playoffs last season, and even missed some early season games this year in recovery. Still, Delle Donne wouldn't let her knee keep her out of action, as her 31 regular season starts were the most games she's played since 2015. It's been evident she's had an edge all season to help her Washington Mystics get back to the Finals, and this time finish the job. 

Delle Donne's face mask has also been somewhat of a fashion trend in recent weeks with star athletes around the District. Wizards all-star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal along with Redskins runing back Derrius Guice, all wore the face masks in solidarity when they came to support the Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

Despite Delle Donne's nose having been fully recovered, she's kept the face mask on during games for style and reassurance. Considering these ailments, it's impressive Delle Donne's shooting touch not only hasn't been affected, but instead has improved. 

After a Game 2 win over the Las Vegas Aces, Delle Donne and Co. have the opportunity to make their season mantra come true and #RunItBack to a second straight WNBA Finals appearance.