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Wizards 'sick' of Lakers fans in D.C., glad to shut them up in win

Wizards 'sick' of Lakers fans in D.C., glad to shut them up in win

No matter if they are among the worst teams in the league, and regardless if Kobe Bryant has long since retired, it's a yearly guarantee that Lakers fans will show up to road games and make their presence felt, even if that opponent is playing much better than they are as of late.

On Thursday night at the Verizon Center, hundreds - if not thousands - of fans in purple and yellow showed up (late, as they do) and made a lot of noise, particularly in the fourth quarter. They chanted 'Let's Go Lakers,' as L.A. closed the gap against the Wizards, only to be disappointed as Washington pulled away for a 116-108 victory.

Their presence was noticed by Wizards players, who took pleasure in shutting them up.

"I'm sick of that, too. That's terrible. It felt like we were on the road today. But that's for another time," Beal said. "Honestly, it's the best feeling in the world seeing all the fans in yellow leaving with two minutes left."

The second quote was said by Beal over the loudspeaker at the Verizon Center in his postgame interview with Wizards radio color analyst Glenn Consor. He looked up at the stands as he said it, then walked to the locker room.

Beal wasn't the only player who mentioned it afterwards.

"We let the Lakers fans get into it," point guard John Wall said. "I wasn't [happy with that]."

"There were a lot of Lakers fans," forward Markieff Morris said. "That's not our fans, you know? They got Lakers fans everywhere, so you can't really put it on our crowd. They were there when we needed them."

Wall had 16 points in the fourth quarter and said the Lakers fans helped inspire him to take over.

"Just hearing the crowd make big Lakers chants. That just made me mad. I did what I had to do to try to get a win for us," he said.

[RELATED: Bradley Beal blocks DeAngelo Russell from behind vs. Lakers]

Morris continued to explain how that's just par for the course in the NBA. The same thing happened when he was with the Phoenix Suns.

"It's the Lakers. They travel everywhere. It doesn't matter where they are at. You could have 30 [straight wins] at home, they still have their fans. It's just one of those things. It's been like that since I got in the league," he said.

Head coach Scott Brooks also knows that well as an 11-year veteran as a player and after 17 years as an NBA coach.

"There were some Lakers fans, but that was expected. Lakers travel well. But our crowd has been good and we complain about how we have played at home," Brooks said.

The Lakers are fifth in average road attendance with only the Cavaliers, Warriors, Thunder and Spurs ahead of them. That is despite the fact the Lakers are 17-35 on the year and feature no All-Stars.

Wall says he knows the deal.

"Our fans were still here. They were cheering," Wall said. "But the Lakers are a big-time organization that has won a lot of championships. They have a fanbase. It's kind of like the Celtics, they have one of those fanbases. They are one of those legendary teams. We understand it. We dealt with it before when Kobe was playing."

As Morris put it, don't be surprised if it happens again when they come back to Washington.

"Let the Lakers go. They will be back next year," he said.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Wizards' 16th straight home win over Lakers]

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Lakers reportedly showing interesting in ex-Wizards centers Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat

Lakers reportedly showing interesting in ex-Wizards centers Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat

With the search on to find some replacement depth following DeMarcus Cousins' ACL injury, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently evaluating all options and available players. In the group of potential matches, there's no shortage of players with D.C. ties.

First, it was center Dwight Howard who appeared on the radar. It was reported on Sunday that the Lakers were preparing to open up discussions with the 33-year old center. Howard, who played for L.A. during the 2012-13 season, only appeared in nine games for the Wizards last season while dealing with injury issues.

But, he's not the only former-Wizard in the discussions. A new report states that while the Lakers are preparing to host a workout for Howard, they will also potentially be giving Marcin Gortat a look, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gortat spent the 2018-19 campaign with the Los Angeles Clippers averaging 5.0 points per game and 5.6 rebounds in 47 games. Prior to that, he spent five seasons in Washington, proving to be a valuable asset at times. The 35-year old averaged at least 10 points and eight rebounds in four of his five years with the Wizards.

It's still relatively unknown who the Lakers will go with when it comes time to add depth, but there seems to be a good chance that a former-Wizard could be joining Lebron and company for the upcoming season. 

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

This week is Wall Week at NBC Sports Washington. We are rolling out content each day centering around the Wizards' five-time All-Star point guard. Today, we take a deep dive into the numbers to illustrate Wall's career in Washington so far...

**Wall's career averages of 19.0 points and 9.2 assists put him in elite company. Only three other players in league history have averaged at least 19 and nine with at least 500 games played; Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. Only Johnson and Robertson have also averaged at least four rebounds in addition, like Wall has.

**Wall is already well-represented on the Wizards/Bullets franchise's all-time leaderboards. He is first in career assists (5,282) and steals (976), second in free throws (2,456), third in points (10,879) and minutes played (20,545) and fourth in threes made (539). He is already third all-time in VORP (value over replacement player), a cumulative stat similar to WAR (wins above replacement) in baseball. Only Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes accrued more while in Washington.

**Wall has also put up some of the best individual seasons in franchise history. He has the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 highest assist totals with his best year the 2016-17 season when he dished out 831. 

**Wall's 2016-17 campaign was also the only season in franchise history where a player averaged 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. He has 111 20-point, 10-assist games in his career which is by far the most in franchise history. Second on the list is Rod Strickland with 43. Gilbert Arenas is third with 24.

**Wall has 396 career blocks. Only six guards in NBA history have recorded more. Those six are Dwayne Wade (885), Clyde Drexler (719), Dennis Johnson (675), Jason Kidd (450), Kendall Gill (432) and Latrell Sprewell (399). Only Johnson and Kidd played most of their time at point guard, so Wall is third all-time at his position.

**Wall's 5,282 career assists are fifth among active players. Only Chris Paul (9,181), LeBron James (8,662), Rajon Rondo (6,975) and Russell Westbrook (5,701) have more.

**Unfortunately, injuries have significantly affected Wall's last two seasons. He has played a combined 73 regular season games the past two years. For context, he has played the same amount of games as Gordon Hayward, who appeared in just one game in 2017-18. And DeMarcus Cousins, despite going through a full rehab from a torn Achilles during that time, played in more games (78) than Wall.

NBA.com and Basketball Reference were used in this research

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