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Wizards say Kelly Oubre, Jr should know better after ejection vs. Celtics

Wizards say Kelly Oubre, Jr should know better after ejection vs. Celtics

Everything that had gone on between the Wizards and Celtics through nearly two years of animosity and two previous playoff games that featured knocked out teeth and a gruesome bloody nose, all of it came to a head in Game 3 of their series on Thursday night at the Verizon Center. 

Early in the second quarter of the Wizards' blowout win, Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk caught Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. with a blindside screen. Oubre fell to the ground and earned an offensive foul call, but that wasn't enough. Oubre immediately rose to his feet, charged Olynyk and threw all seven feet and 240 pounds of him to the ground.

Referee Monty McCutchen sensed the spark from Oubre before he came back for more and tried to stand in between the two giants, but he was no match for a 6-foot-7 Oubre, who trucked Olynyk to the floor like Sean Taylor used to drop slot receivers.

For the soldout crowd at the Verizon Center, it was a thrilling moment in a series that has already lived up to all the rivalry hype that preceded it. They even chanted Oubre's name.

But ultimately it was a very poor decision by a young player still finding his way in the league. Oubre was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul and now faces a potential suspension, depending on a league review. And he's lucky it didn't prove more costly in a game the Wizards won easily.

Oubre didn't talk after the game, but many of his teammates did. Bradley Beal approached Oubre during why the officials reviewed the replay right after the incident and before they ejected him. Beal shared that conversation afterwards.

"I was encouraging him. In a situation like that, you've just gotta be smart," Beal said. "You got the call. As much as it may frustrate you, you just continue to do what you're doing. At that point in the game, that's what they wanted it to be. They wanted it to be physical and let it get out of hand a little bit. We were up 20 or whatever it was. They were kind of playing angry. They were fouling and setting moving screens. That's going to happen throughout the course of the game. I just told him: 'we need you. You're one of our best defenders. You're constantly getting better. You're a threat on the floor and we need you. Just make sure that moving forward you are smart about it. If somebody hits you, just move on. Just continue to play smart.'"

[RELATED: Jennings and Rozier ejected from Wizards-Celtics Game 3]

Head coach Scott Brooks did not excuse what Oubre did, but was understanding of the frustration.

"I think we've got to control our emotions. We can't respond that way," he said. "But when you keep getting hit in the head, you might respond that way and I think that's what he did. I'm not saying that that was the right thing to do. We have to focus on playing basketball."

From the Celtics' vantage point, the whole incident was Oubre's fault. Al Horford said "there was no such thing as the two Kellys – Kelly Olynyk stayed back." 

Olynyk answered succintly for each question, saying simply "I set a screen" and "I didn't expect it."

Since the Wizards completely obliterated the Celtics, they were able to laugh a bit at what Oubre did. He lost his temper and needs to learn from his mistake, but it was still an entertaining moment, even for his teammates.

Beal, for one, wasn't quite familiar with that side of Oubre and did not expect it to come out against Olynyk of all people.

"I thought they was cool. That's what threw me off," Beal said. "It really takes K.O. a lot to go off. I always see them shake hands. Like, before the game they would shake hands and talk a little bit."

On what was going through his mind when he saw Oubre get up:

"It was pretty much you weren't stopping him. You weren't stopping him. I knew exactly where he was going," Beal said.

Like Beal, Markieff Morris had some words for Oubre. The ones he shared with the media drew laughs.

"I told him they were going to throw him out 'so might as well leave now,'" Morris said.

It was shocking in the moment, yet funny afterwards. But now the Wizards and Oubre wait to hear his fate.

[RELATED: Wizards' Kelly Oubre faces possible suspension]

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5 must-see moments from the Wizards' blowout win over the Cavs, including John Wall owning Collin Sexton

5 must-see moments from the Wizards' blowout win over the Cavs, including John Wall owning Collin Sexton

The Washington Wizards blasted the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-95 on Wednesday night. Here are five plays or moments worth revisiting...

1. Wall vs Sexton: This game featured a matchup between one of the sport's most accomplished point guards and one who is just getting his career started. John Wall of the Wizards and Collin Sexton of the Cavs went at it and, not surprisingly, Wall had the edge on the rookie.

The five-time All-Star only scored eight points, but two of them came on a play that made Sexton show his inexperience. Wall zoomed down the court and had Sexton way off balance as he backpedaled towards the rim:


In addition to eight points, Wall had nine assists, two steals, and a block. He played only 21 minutes because the Wizards were able to rest their starters late due to the blowout.

2. Beal's big dunk: Bradley Beal put up some impressive numbers for a guy who only played 28 minutes. He posted 20 points with three assists, three rebounds, and three steals. He also hit his 900th career three-pointer.

This was his best play, a two-handed slam that Jordan Clarkson wanted no part of:

Speaking of Clarkson, what the heck was this, man?

3. Oubre's block: Kelly Oubre Jr. only shot 3-for-11, but did a lot of other things to help the Wizards win. He pulled in seven rebounds, had a steal and a block.

His block was nasty:

4. Mahinmi's first three: This was the most memorable moment of the night. Ian Mahinmi, playing in his 11th season and his 556th regular season, knocked down his first career three-pointer.

As we learned afterward, Wall set it all up. He told Mahinmi to go to the corner and, sure enough, it worked:

5. Beal's and-1: Beal had eight of his 20 points in the third quarter as the Wizards held off the Cavs' final push. This play was a good example of how he was just plain feeling it.

The Cavs had no hope in stopping him get to the rim for an and-1:

The Wizards have now won three straight games. At 5-9, they are only one game out of a playoff spot, which is crazy to think about given how poorly they started off the year.


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Ian Mahinmi's first ever 3-pointer a fun, proud moment for Wizards

Ian Mahinmi's first ever 3-pointer a fun, proud moment for Wizards

Ian Mahinmi is in the middle of his 11th NBA season. He has appeared in 623 total games, including the playoffs. Yet, until Wednesday night, he had never made a single three-point shot in an NBA game that counted.

With just over a minute left in the first half of the Wizards' win over the Cavs, Mahinmi stepped back behind the line in the weakside corner. John Wall drove to the elbow to collapse the defense and fired him a pass. Wide open, Mahinmi rose and released like he had done it many times before.

Technically, he had. Mahinmi has been working on his three-point shot persistently. At the end of every Wizards practice, he can be seen going around the horn popping threes.

In practice, Mahinmi makes long range shots consistently. Head coach Scott Brooks has put the number at around 70 out of 100 on his best days. Mahinmi even made a few this preseason, suggesting it might actually happen in a regular season game this year.

Sure enough, it did.

"It's something I work on. I work on threes and especially from the corners. It's good to see one finally go in," Mahinmi said.

Mahinmi had attempted two threes already this season. One clanged off the side off the backboard. The second rolled in and out of the rim.

Mahimni said the second attempt was actually a designed play to get him a three-point look. On this one, Wall called his number again.

Mahinmi said Wall told him to go to the corner. The team was up 20 points and it was late in the first half. 

The stars had aligned. It just seemed like the right time.

"Obviously, I was looking for it," Mahinmi said. "If the ball comes my way, I'm shooting it."

Brooks has expressed confidence in Mahinmi's outside shooting ability for months now. And he reiterated after Wednesday's game that Mahinmi has the green light.

"I want Ian to shoot threes if he's open," Brooks said. "He practices that every day. We see it go in every day. The league is changing. It's not just a small-ball league for the smalls."

That last point was not lost on others around the Wizards locker room. When Mahinmi entered the league in 2007, centers were expected to camp around the rim. He was asked to block shots and play with his back to the basket. 

In the decade-plus since, new species of big men have flowed into the NBA. Many of them hit threes, leap high above the rim and break down defenders off the dribble.

Mahinmi, though fully-developed at 32 years old, isn't letting that stop him. He has added a three-point shot that opponents have to at least know is possible to go in.

"He's adapted to the game and that's not easy at his position because they try to kick fives out of the league," guard Bradley Beal said.

No one expects Mahinmi to all of a sudden become Dirk Nowitzki and hit threes all the time. It was a small moment that probably won't mean much in the big picture.

Still, it was a reason for him and his teammates to celebrate.

"I'm glad to see him do that," center Dwight Howard said. "I'm so happy for him."