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Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Few positives can be taken from a defensive perspective when a player scores 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds and seven assists, a line that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled on Saturday night at the Verizon Center. But the Wizards - who won the game 110-105 - can take pride in one particular stat that did not reflect well on Antetokounmpo. 

That would be the turnover category where Antetokounmpo tied a career-high with seven of them. The Greek Freak commits his fair share of turnovers normally, ranking sixth in the NBA with 3.5 per game. But only once before has he had seven and not since January 24 of 2015.

"We tried to make it crowded for him and he did turn the ball over a few times, probably too many than he would like," head coach Scott Brooks said. "But that was our plan, just to crowd the paint and make it tough on him. But he is really a great player and we had our hands full tonight.”

Brooks relied heavily on his newly discovered small-ball lineup, one that includes both Otto Porter, Jr. and Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the floor at the same time. Both are primarily small forwards, but provide length and versatility which allow the Wizards to make smooth switches on defense. Oubre played the entire fourth quarter and Porter logged 9:24 of the frame.

Their long arms make it tough for defenders to go around them and that helped against Antetokounmpo, who had four turnovers in the second half. A 6-foot-11 point guard, Antetokounmpo likes to attack off the dribble and usually has no problem getting around his defenders.

"That was my prerogative tonight to take that matchup with Giannis pretty seriously," Oubre said. "Just try to speed him up. Don't give him what he's use to having. He's a driver, he's a slasher. Just stay in from of him. That's definitely what we tried to do and I feel like we did a great job of that tonight."

Giannis wasn't the only Bucks player the Wizards had success against defensively. Former second overall pick Jabari Parker was limited to a season-low eight points. Parker entered the game averaging 19.6 points on the year.

"The biggest thing was making sure they saw bodies," guard Bradley Beal said. "Their strongest point is driving to the basket. They love to get points in the paint."

This was a nice follow-up for the Wizards after they beat the Nuggets on Thursday night and held them to just 85 points, including 33 in the second half. To put together two consecutive defensive outings like this seems like a step in the right direction for a 9-13 Wizards team that is off to a disappointing start overall in large part because of their defense late in games.

Beal called their recent play on defense "grimy" and he meant it in a good way. Guard John Wall, who has complained about his team's defensive effort at times this season, also saw progress.

“I think we’re getting to the point where if we’re not making shots we’re still competing and keeping our edge on the defensive end and competing – making people feel us and I think that’s helping us," he said.

Now comes a chance to do it for three straight games. On Monday the Wizards will play the Miami Heat and attempt to do something they haven't done all year, win three games in a row.

[RELATED: Kelly Oubre breaks out for Wizards against Bucks]

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Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

Rui Hachmiura takes water break, uses real waterboy in NBA 2K20 Player Tournament victory

He may have not been on an actual basketball court, but Rui Hachimura must have still broken a sweat during his NBA 2K matchup with Donovan Mitchell on Sunday.

He needed a real-life water break - and even had some help from a waterboy.

Hachimura, the 13 seed, took on four-seed Mitchell in the NBA 2K20 Player Tournament, and came out with a 74-71 victory. 

The winner of the tournament receives $100,000 to go to a charity in support of coronavirus relief efforts.

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Wizards continue win streak, beat Pacers in 2K simulation

Wizards continue win streak, beat Pacers in 2K simulation

The Wizards picked up their sixth-straight win in eight games in Sunday night’s NBA 2K simulation, beating the Indiana Pacers 67-51 on the road.  

Bradley Beal wasted no time getting things started, knocking down an early three to put the Wizards on the board.   

Later in the second, Beal proved just how difficult he is to guard. With an assist from Davis Bertans, Beal finished with a huge slam to lift the Wizards over the Pacers 30-28, closing out the half.

Beal finished the game with 23 points in 21 minutes. 

Here’s how the Wizards won: 

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Rui Hachimura shows off

The rookie set the tone with a big alley-oop dunk in the first quarter, extending Washington’s lead by seven. He had 12 points at the end of the first half with 10 in the paint. 

Hachimura came back fueled up in the third, knocking the ball loose from T.J. Warren with a steal and dunk. 

 

Hachimura finished with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals. 

Game of runs 

Washington took advantage of a set pace to take an early lead over Indiana. The Wizards started the game with both a 7-0 and 13-2 run in the first quarter. 

The Pacers used their defense to answer in the second, taking the lead on a 22-6 run before the Wizards followed with a 16-6 run to end the quarter 35-30 at the half.

It got pretty close early in the third when Indiana went on a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 39-38 but the Wizards were able to fully reload going on a 13-2 run.

The Wizards would go on to continue the run to 29-9 later in the fourth to extend the lead to 19 with 35 seconds left.  

Washington had 11 offensive rebounds, nine steals (eight of which came in the second half alone) and 21 assists on 27 made field goals. 

Big man in the paint

Thomas Bryant controlled the boards with 15 rebounds.

The 2K Wizards look to continue their winning streak as they return home to virtually host the Toronto Raptors, the reigning NBA champions on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. 

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