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Takeaways from Wizards' win over Giannis-less Bucks

Takeaways from Wizards' win over Giannis-less Bucks

The way the Wizards won for just the fourth time on the road wasn’t pretty, but they erased a 12-point deficit despite 19 turnovers to win 107-101 and take the season series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

John Wall (16 points, seven assists) recovered from a miserable start with four first-quarter giveaways to knock down a pair of pull-up jump shots late in the fourth as the Wizards get back to .500 at 18-18. They won 3 of 4 over Milwaukee all in less than a month.

Bradley Beal (26 points) led them, followed by Markieff Morris (20 points, 10 rebounds), Kelly Oubre (17 points, five rebounds), Otto Porter (13 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Marcin Gortat (seven points, 12 rebounds).

Jabari Parker (28 points) led the Bucks who were sparked early by Michael Beasley (18 points) who left the game and didn’t return after just 15 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon (career-high 22 points) and Greg Monroe (12 points, 12 rebounds, four steals) also contributed.

--The Bucks’ best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, came to the arena sick and was replaced in the starting lineup by Mirza Teletovic (five points). The Wizards responded by attacking his matchup with Morris. That forced the Bucks to help and created passing lanes to get others easier shots. They also had a 49-32 edge in rebounding, including 13-5 offensively.

--Beal re-injured his right ankle, stepping on Brogdon’s foot after making a layup but was able to stay on the floor after limping off during a second-quarter timeout. Beal missed one game after spraining the same ankle Dec. 28.

--Beal only shot 2-for-10 from three-point range, but he had repeated open looks with Antetokounmpo not there and Bucks coach Jason Kidd relying on Monroe more than starter John Henson (two points, 14 minutes) in the middle. While Monroe (32 minutes) is a better offensive option, he’s weak on help defense and had to close out Beal on occasion and was late. Beal did most of his damage when attacking the paint but could’ve had a bigger output if the long balls were accurate. But he was 8 of 9 shooting inside the arc.

--Brogdon made the start with Matthew Dellavedova, and he’d had great success vs. Washington matched up mostly with Trey Burke. But he had to face Wall and had difficulty running the halfcourt offense. When the second half started, Brogdon couldn’t get them started because of Wall’s pressure and he was quickly pulled for Dellavedova. But Dellavedova (two points) was a diaster offensively and couldn't knock down his open looks. Brogdon returned to lead them in the fourth with 14 points.

--For the second game in a row, Sheldon McClellan (eight points, three rebounds, two steals) is the first shooting guard off the bench and not Marcus Thornton who had another DNP. McClellan doesn’t have to do anything special or try to force shots on offense. He’s there for his defense – Thornton’s weakness – and athleticism as he be effective in the open court. McClellan had a three-point play conversion for a 89-83 lead and took a charge on Parker midway through the fourth. Morris responded with a mid-range jumper for a 91-83 lead. 

--Oubre found his stroke after a bad stretch of games since his Dec. 16 concussion. He was 3-for-7 shooting in the first half and had a strong offensive rebound and putback during a third-quarter run to give the Wizards a 74-68 lead. They had 16 second-chance points at that juncture of the game, a key component in the comeback. The Wizards ended with a 20-4 edge in second-chance points.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Bradley Beal has injury scare on fall vs. Bucks]

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Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Nets, including another rebounding disaster

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Five observations from Wizards' loss to the Nets, including another rebounding disaster

The Washington Wizards lost to the Brooklyn Nets 125-118 on Friday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. The Wizards have a real problem with the Nets, a team they had dominated not long ago. With a loss in Brooklyn on Friday night, the Wizards have lost four of their past six meetings with the Nets. Previously, they won nine of 10 matchups going back to 2015.

The Wizards, to be fair, aren't playing well against anyone right now. They have lost four straight games and six of their last nine. This game was supposed to be one that was manageable, but they couldn't take advantage.

2. One of the most crippling problems for the Wizards season just will not go away. Once again, the Wizards were outworked on the glass and by a significant margin. The Nets out-rebounded the Wizards 46-25 and it could have been worse if it weren't for both teams shooting 52 percent or better. 

Washington has now been edged in rebounds 22 times in 29 games this season. This time, it was a collective effort for their opponent. Seven different Nets players had four boards or more.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of Wizards players who came up short. Their entire starting lineup combined for eight rebounds. Thomas Bryant and Markieff Morris had three rebounds apiece.

3. Free throw shooting loomed large in this one, both in terms of attempts and percentage. The Nets took 31 free throws and made 26 of them, good for 83.9 percent. The Wizards attempted only 16 and made nine, for 56.3 percent.

Opponent free throw percentage is always an odd stat to evaluate. There is a certain amount of luck involved, as there's nothing teams can really do to affect it. 

Yet, the Wizards happen to be near the bottom of the league in opponents free throw percentage. Teams are shooting 79.3 percent at the line in games against them. Only the Lakers have seen teams shoot better, at 81.6 percent.

4. Otto Porter Jr. was out for the second straight game as he continues to deal with a right knee contusion. Just like Wednesday, Porter was considered a gametime decision but was ruled out after a pregame workout with trainers.

Porter only played seven minutes on Monday before leaving with the injury, so he has missed the better part of three games. The team has described it as non-serious, that it's just a deep bruise, but it has been enough for him to miss consecutive games for the first time in nearly a year, since Dec. 17 and 19 of last season. He hasn't missed three games since the 2015-16 season, by the way.

5. With Porter out, it was once again Sam Dekker who benefitted most. Jeff Green got the start in Porter's place, but it was Dekker who got the leftover minutes as a backup. Head coach Scott Brooks has opted for Dekker in consecutive games now over Troy Brown Jr. and Devin Robinson. Brown was their first-round pick in June and Robinson has been in the system for two years now.

While Dekker is above those guys on the depth chart at the moment, that doesn't necessarily say much about the big picture. The Wizards could simply be using Porter's absence as an opportunity to get an extended look at their newest acquisition. 

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Report: Wizards finalizing deal to trade Kelly Oubre Jr., Austin Rivers for Trevor Ariza

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Report: Wizards finalizing deal to trade Kelly Oubre Jr., Austin Rivers for Trevor Ariza

The current Washington Wizards, now 11-18 and losers of four in a row, need help. They may be bringing back one of their former players just for that purpose.

The Wizards are reportedly in "advanced talks" to acquire Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza as part of a 3-team deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The scenario would send Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers to the Suns. 

Ariza, 33, played two seasons with Washington from 2012-2014. His two-way presence helped turn the Wizards into a playoff team in 2014. One of the league's best 3-and-D players, Ariza continued his productive over the next four seasons in Houston. After he started for a Rockets team that reached the Western Conference Finals last season, the small forward signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Suns.

Oubre, the Wizards' 2015 first-round pick, has significant potential but remains an erratic player four years into his career. He is also a restricted free agent this summer.

Washington acquired Rivers, a wing guard threat off the bench, this offseason for center Marcin Gortat.

By league rules, Saturday marks the first day players that signed as free agents this summer can be traded.

Ariza is averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 36 percent on 3-pointers in 26 games with the Suns this season.

Check back for more on the Ariza rumor and more on NBC Sports Washington.

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