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Takeaways from Wizards' win over Denver Nuggets

Takeaways from Wizards' win over Denver Nuggets

Unlike in previous games this season when the Wizards have been guilty of coming out flat against an undermanned opponent, they toyed with the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center 123-113 to keep the pressure on for the No. 2 seed in the East.

The Wizards (39-24) won their second game in a row to start a five-game road trip out West. They won the first game of the back-to-back on Tuesday at the Phoenix Suns.

John Wall (30 points, 10 assists) led all scorers followed by Bradley Beal (23 points, five assists), Otto Porter (22 points, four steals), Markieff Morris (11 points) and Marcin Gortat (11 points, 15 rebounds) with his 34th double-double. It was his first in five games.  

They sweep the season series 2-0 with Denver (29-35), which was playing without two of their best players in Nikola Jokic (flu) and Danilo Gallinari (vertigo).

They hung close until the Wizards pulled away at the end of the first quarter. Only up 29-28, the Wizards closed with a 6-0 run behind steals from Bojan Bogdanovic (10 points) and Brandon Jennings (four points, six assists) for easy buckets.

The Nuggets trimmed an 11-point deficit to 42-39 midway through the second quarter but a 25-11 run effectively put the game away though they’d make another push to end the third and again in the fourth.

The Wizards will be off Thursday before playing another back-to-back set Friday at the Sacramento Kings and Saturday at the Portland Trail Blazers.

Wilson Chandler (21 points) and Gary Harris (26 points) led the Nuggets. Jamal Murray (17 points) sparked them off the bench with his three-point range.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Morris ejected for kicking Plumlee in groin]

--A 35-point third quarter allowed Denver to trim a 24-point deficit to 97-85 entering the fourth though Wall played all 12 minutes. But Jennings, Bogdanovic and Ian Mahinmi (seven points, four rebounds) stretched it back to 16 with 8:12 to play.

--In Washington’s first seven sets of back-to-back games, they were 0-2, 1-1 (five times) and 0-2. With this win, they’ve now gone 2-0 in four consecutive back-to-back sets.

--Morris, Porter and Gortat only combined for five field goals and 14 points in the previous game. Morris made 3 of 3 while Porter shot 10-for-15 and Gortat 5-for-10. Porter had made just one three-pointer in his previous two games. He shot 2-for-3 to maintain his spot as the league’s most accurate shooter from distance. The last one at 53.7 seconds left put the lead to 119-108 to seal it.

--Chandler got the first field goal for the Nuggets on a busted coverage. While Gortat rotated properly to the ball, Morris also went to the ball which left Chandler alone under the rim. It represented a continuation of confusion on coverages that almost came back to bite them after blowing a 22-point lead in Phoenix.

--With 5:05 left and the lead down to 108-97 for Washington, coach Scott Brooks had to go back to his starting five rather than keep them under 30 minutes. Only Morris stayed below (26 minutes).

--Morris was ejected because of a Flagrant 2 with 2:08 left on Mason Plumlee. Morris was stripped of the ball as he went up to shoot and struck Plumlee between the legs. The play initially wasn’t going to reviewed but when head official Marc Davis did so it resulted in the ejection.

--Coming off 17 points in his last game, Jason Smith didn’t make an appearance. 

[RELATED: Mahinmi has arrived for Wizards as defensive force]

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WATCH: Bradley Beal cross Andre Drummond into next week on step-back 3

WATCH: Bradley Beal cross Andre Drummond into next week on step-back 3

Bradley Beal didn't take long to add to his highlight reel Monday afternoon.

Beal just reminded Pistons' center Andre Drummond that he really shouldn't be out on the perimeter while on defense. 

After crossing up Drummond, Beal hit him with a step-back three and then reminded him that you should really slide your feet on defense. 

Beal is clearly having himself a week after getting engaged to his longtime girlfriend on Sunday.

Hopefully, Drummond learned his lesson.

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Bradley Beal passes Wes Unseld on Wizards' all-time scoring list

Bradley Beal passes Wes Unseld on Wizards' all-time scoring list

Bradley Beal is the leader of the Wizards and now holds the mantle as the franchise player now that he's committed for at least two more years. 

In his eighth season with the Wizards, Beal continues to move up the team's all-time scoring list. Entering Monday's game against the Pistons, Beal needed 17 points to pass Wes Unseld on the Wizards' All-time scoring list, and after going into halftime tied with the Bullets legend, he finally passed him with a pull-up jumper. 

Unseld scored 10,624 points in his 13-year, Hall of Fame career with the franchise from 1968-81, and now that Beal has passed him he now sits in fourth-place on the Wizards' all-time scoring list. 

The three players ahead of him are Elvin Hayes (15,551), Jeff Malone (11,083) and John Wall (10,879). 

Since Wall is out for most if not the entire season, Beal should be able to pass him before the year is done, and there's no reason to think he can't pass Malone during next season. 

If the Wizards can convince Beal to re-up after his current contract is out, Beal could end his career as the franchise's leading scorer and maybe even the best player in the team's history if they can build a winner around him. 

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