Wizards

Wizards beat Heat 105-101 for 2nd win of season

201212041919695936651-p2.jpeg

Wizards beat Heat 105-101 for 2nd win of season

WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Wizards can't beat many teams, but they beat the best: LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Perhaps inspired by the courtside presence of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Wizards doubled their victory total this season with a 105-101 win over the Heat on Tuesday night, despite James' triple-double of 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

Jordan Crawford led Washington with 22 points, including three free throws in the final 11 seconds, while James missed a potentially tying 3-pointer with 3.9 to go.

While the reigning NBA champion Heat's six-game winning streak ended, and they fell to 12-4, the Wizards improved to 2-13. They started the season 0-12, but have won two of their last three games.

The Wizards have won three consecutive regular-season games against the Heat, including two last season in April.

On Tuesday, with a crowd of 17,761 - not, incidentally, a sellout - standing and screaming down the stretch, relishing that rare chance to witness a compelling game involving the Wizards, Kevin Seraphin contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds. He helped Washington outrebound Miami 44-43.

Dwyane Wade scored 24 for Miami, while Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Miami made only 8 of 28 attempts on 3-pointers.

After trailing by as many as 12, Miami tied the game at 88 on Bosh's reverse layup with 6 minutes, 50 seconds left. But Crawford's 15-footer put Washington ahead 99-95 with a little more than 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

With 18 seconds left, James wasted a chance to give the Heat the lead, clanking a 3-point attempt. Crawford's free throw then made it 102-99, and he slapped his palms together vociferously. James made a shot in the lane to pull within 102-101, and Crawford added two free throws for a 104-101 edge with 6.9 seconds on the clock.

James then missed his last shot, another 3. Nene got the rebound, and tacked on a free throw.

For those, especially in the D.C. area, who believe Griffin is capable of sports miracles, perhaps his presence might have been taken as a sign that his city's NBA team could pull off the upset.

As Washington's Emeka Okafor stepped to the foul line a little less than 4 minutes into the game, the arena rumbled with some of the loudest, most enthusiastic cheers of the evening. For Okafor? Hardly. No, the buzz was because fans realized that Griffin was in the house, making his way to a front-row seat.

Griffin, who led the Redskins to a 17-16 victory over the New York Giants a night earlier, gave a little wave and big smile moments later when he was shown on the video screens above the court.

``Let's give a warm Wizards welcome to your Redskins quarterback, RG3!'' intoned the arena announcer, while the loudspeakers blared the local NFL team's fight song, ``Hail to the Redskins.''

In the first half, the Wizards led by as many as 10, going up 54-44 on Martell Webster's 3-pointer with about four minutes left in the second quarter. At halftime, Washington was ahead 60-54, led by Crawford's 12 points and A.J. Price's nine.

The Wizards have struggled to score, but they made 58 percent of their field-goal attempts in the first half Tuesday. The Wizards entered averaging an NBA-low 89.4 points, about 15 fewer than the Heat.

Unlike the James-Wade-Bosh Heat, the Wizards are mostly a collection of castoffs and high draft picks who never lived up to their billing - or have yet to, anyway. Their best player, 2010 No. 1 overall pick John Wall, has yet to participate in a practice, let alone play, this season because of a left knee cap injury.

Before the game, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said he can't give an idea of when Wall will be available.

``I mean, right now, we're still progressing the way we are with his rehab. He's not been on the floor to practice. He's been on the floor to shoot some, but he's not progressed to the point that he can get out and practice,'' Wittman said. ``So obviously until that happens, I don't know what that timetable's going to be.''

Notes: Wizards F Trevor Ariza left in the third quarter with a strained left calf. ... Wittman went with his fifth different starting lineup of the season, inserting Singleton in place of forward Kevin Seraphin. ... The Heat were without Shane Battier, who is out with a sprained right knee, and Norris Cole, who has a strained groin. ``We just want to make sure that doesn't get worse,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said about Cole. ``Give him a couple more days' rest.''

Quick Links

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

img_4776.jpg
NBA

Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Capitals Draft Tracker

usatsi_10905403.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Draft Tracker

The 2018 NHL Draft starts on Friday with the first round and runs through Saturday. Here's a running tracker of the Caps' picks.

1st round, 31st overall: D Alexander Alexeyev, WHL, 6'4", 196 pounds

The Caps' first first-round pick sine 2016, Alexeyev is a smart two-way defenseman with good size.

Read more on him here.

2nd round, 46th overall (from Florida, via New Jersey): D Martin Fehervary, Allsvenskan (Sweden), 6'2", 194 pounds

A physical style defenseman who is very strong in his own end, but does not have much offensive upside. Sort of a throwback style of play which makes him a surprise pick this high.

2nd round, 47th overall (From Colorado): F Kody Clark, OHL, 6'1", 179 pounds

Kody Clark boasts an NHL pedigree as the son of Wendel Clark, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs who recorded 330 goals and 564 career points in 763 NHL games.

3rd round, 93rd overall: F Riley Sutter, WHL, 6'3", 203 pounds

Riley Sutter also boasts a strong NHL pedigree as the son of Run Sutter and nephew of Darryl Sutter.

Riley is a power forward who played alongside Caps prospect Garrett Pilon on the Everett Silvertips in the WHL and recorded 53 points in 68 games. last season

4th round, 124th overall: 

6th round, 186th overall: 

7th round, 217th overall: