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Takeaways from the Wizards' narrow win over Phoenix Suns

Takeaways from the Wizards' narrow win over Phoenix Suns

Well on their way to a blowout of the Phoenix Suns, the Wizards wasted a 22-point lead, fell down by 11 themselves and had to come back to win 131-127 on Tuesday night to sweep the season series.

The Wizards (38-24) trailed 81-70 midway through the third quarter but righted themselves with a 24-11 run.

The game turned at 10:45 of the second quarter when Jared Dudley took exception to a foul by Jason Smith when he set a hard screen on Tyler Ulis. Dudley ran full speed and chest bumped Smith and Brandon Jennings entered the fray.

Punches weren’t thrown but Dudley and Jennings were ejected. The Wizards led 44-29 shortly after that but had the deficit cut to 68-61 by halftime.

Bradley Beal (27 points) led Washington, followed by John Wall (25 points, 14 assists), Bojan Bogdanovic (29 points, nine rebounds), Jason Smith (17 points, six rebounds) and Ian Mahinmi (15 points, nine rebounds, career-high seven steals). Bogdanovic's 29 points were a season-high for a Wizards reserve.

Phoenix (21-43) was led by Eric Bledsoe (30 points) but had too many players in foul trouble in the end to mount a comeback.

Wall looked sluggish early but finished strong as the Wizards broke open a 110-110 tie with an 8-0 run. They stretched it to double digits in the final two minutes in the first of five road games.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Suns gorilla mascot dives onto court during Wizards game]

--The Suns got back in it because of their transition play. They scored a season-high 53 points on the break, 26 more than the Wizards who weren’t as crisp getting back to stop their rim runs after getting a comfortable lead.

--Devin Booker (25 points) had six turnovers in the first half, and a lot of them came when he was trying to run the pick-and-roll at Mahinmi who is good at containment and has good hands. Mahinmi had five steals alone in his first 14 minutes on the floor.

--Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris were non-entities. They combined to shoot 5-for-19 from the field. When the Wizards tried to play through Morris and Gortat in the post to open the third quarter they were unsuccessful as Phoenix went on a 15-2 run to take a 76-70 lead. Gortat, however, did make two key plays in the final four minutes when he converted a pass from Wall for a layup and a 115-110 lead and then took a charge on Marquese Chriss (nine points) to negate a basket.

--Morris and Wall were disconnected so badly that during Phoenix’s run in the second quarter, they attempted a switch that led to Bledsoe’s open three. There was a lot of confusion in trying to counter Phoenix’s small lineups. Bledsoe shoots just 33% from three, but when he gets an open shot his accuracy -- like with most players -- rises. He drained it in the comeback from 22 down. Morris wanted the switch. Wall didn't. And Wall allowed a late three-point look from Booker when he hesitated on whether or not to run at the shooter. Fortunately for him, Booker missed but indecisions such as this were why Phoenix made 13 of 27 threes, or 48.1%.

--Trey Burke hadn’t played in the previous four games but Wall needed a breather to end the third. He was quickly stripped by Ulis and committed a foul to put him at the line. Ulis made 1 of 2 free throws but Williams got the rebound on the miss for a putback to make it a three-point play for Phoenix. Burke started the fourth quarter and was short on his first shot. The Wizards lost their lead three minutes into it and had to go to Beal instead.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Shoving match breaks out between Suns and Wizards]

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NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

NBA draft lottery 2020 to be held virtually amid coronavirus pandemic

The NBA offseason arrives later this week and will speed up soon not long after with the Aug. 20 draft lottery, which will be held virtually this year.

The news it is being held virtually, which was first reported by the Athletic, was a fairly obvious expectation. All 14 teams participating will do so remotely via a video feed. That's the way many events are being held amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wizards have the ninth-best odds in this year's lottery. That gives them a 4.5 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and a 20.2 chance to select in the top four.

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The top eight teams in the lottery are the Warriors, Cavs, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls and Hornets. The Warriors, Cavs and Timberwolves are tied for the best odds to get the No. 1 pick.

There is no consensus top player in this draft. Mock drafts have rotated through a few players at the top. The big names include James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball.

The Wizards will need some luck to move up and have a chance to get one of them.

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Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan competes in White Marlin Open in Ocean City for second consecutive year

Michael Jordan has proven time and time again that no opponent is too challenging for him.

Even in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Isaias, Jordan’s love for competition prevailed as he was spotted in Ocean City, Md. this past weekend competing in the White Marlin Open, a deep-sea fishing competition, for the second consecutive year. 

If basketball, football, baseball and golf weren’t enough, the six-time NBA champion has now become a regular competitor in the world’s largest billfish tournament. After he entered the competition in 2019, he was the weekend’s star even without the winning catch.

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 competition, rumors began to circulate about whether the sports icon would appear on the eastern shore again. When his plane was spotted at Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport last week and his boat Catch 23 was registered, excitement began to grow from fans and fellow anglers.

In the competition’s 47th year, Jordan’s boat was spotted as one of 433 to enter the competition. His is an 80-foot Viking, which displays the print matching his Air Jordan 3 sneakers that he wore during the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

The tournament features competitions in fishing for tuna, dolphins, blue marlins, wahoos, sharks and white marlins. Due to the effects of the hurricane, the competition spanned from Aug. 3-9, an extension from its normal five days. This year, the White Marlin Open set a record for the most money ever awarded with a collective $6.8 million distributed to the winners.

The top $1.85 million prize went to Brandon Golueke from Ocean City for a 97-pound white marlin. The fish was the third largest white marlin in competition history.

While Jordan and his Catch 23 crew were unable to bring home the top prize again this year, he has proven he has a promising future in angling. Back in June, his boat brought in a 442.3-pound marlin on the second day of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, N.C., which earned fifth place that day and ninth place in the tournament overall. 

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