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Wizards end road skid with win against Nuggets

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Wizards end road skid with win against Nuggets

DENVER (AP) Bradley Beal scored 23 points, John Wall blocked Ty Lawson's attempt for a tying layup in the final seconds, and the Washington Wizards hung on to beat the Denver Nuggets 112-108 on Friday night to snap an eight-game road losing streak.

Kevin Seraphin added 18 points and Wall and Trevor Ariza each added 14 points for the Wizards, who picked up just their second win away from home this season. They entered a league-worst 1-16 on the road.

Wall also had 12 assists. Nene had seven points for Washington in his return to Denver, where he played for nearly 10 years before being sent to Washington last March as part of a three-team trade.

Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost at home for just the third time in 18 games. He had made 10 consecutive shots from the floor before Wall rejected his layup in the final moments.

Corey Brewer and Andre Miller each added 17 points for the Nuggets, whose home-winning streak ended at five games.

Beal hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 58 with 8:07 left in the third quarter, but Lawson began finding the range, scoring 10 straight points for the Nuggets, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help Denver go in front 68-64.

Lawson made all eight of his third-quarter shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. He finished his torrid quarter with a breakaway dunk, and Denver took an 87-80 lead into the final period.

Washington, though, opened the fourth with a big run of its own, scoring 12 unanswered points, including 3-pointers Ariza and Crawford and went in front 92-87 with 9:36 left to play.

The Nuggets closed to 100-97 on successive baskets by Miller and Lawson with 3:46 remaining. A putback by Seraphin put the Wizards up 108-104 with 28.9 seconds remaining. Miller answered with a layup, was fouled but couldn't convert the free throw.

Crawford was fouled by Kosta Koufos and made one of two free throws for a three-point Washington edge with 21.6 seconds left and Miller then scored on a layup with 13.6 seconds remaining.

The Nuggets fouled Beal with 8.6 seconds and he made one of two free throws for a 110-108 lead. Lawson drove the lane but his attempt for a tying layup in the final seconds was blocked by Wall, who added a pair of free throws with 2.7 seconds left to seal the victory.

JaVale McGee, who was acquired as part of the trade that sent Nene to Washington, followed a one-handed dunk off an alley-oop from Brewer with a putback dunk in the last 33.3 seconds of the second quarter, giving the Nuggets a 50-45 halftime lead.

NOTES: Washington's Crawford was back in action after missing four games because of a sore left ankle. He came off the bench and had 8 points in just over 17 minutes of play. ... Nuggets had won 24 in a row at the Pepsi Center when scoring 100 or more points before losing to the Wizards.

Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

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Watch a George Mason walk-on receive a full scholarship

There are not many videos better in this world than walk-on college athletes receiving a full-ride scholarship and their ensuing reaction. 

George Mason's men's basketball team gave everyone one of those emotional moments. Jack Tempchin, who's in his third year as a preferred walk-on for the Patriots, received the scholarship after Thursday's practice. 

His teammates reacted appropriately. 

On Twitter, the redshirt junior thanked his teammates, coaches and family who helped get him to this point. 

As a walk-on, Tempchin has only played in 16 games throughout his three years. Most of his minutes have been in garbage time of blowouts or to come in the game to pick-up a quick foul. Throughout those appearances, he's put up six points, four of them coming from the charity stripe. 

Gotta love when a player gets properly rewarded for their hard work and dedication. 

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Beal makes his case in win over Cavs

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Beal makes his case in win over Cavs

The Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-112 on Thursday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. Just before tip-off, the NBA announced it's 2019-20 All-Star starters and not included in the Eastern Conference backcourt was Bradley Beal. Boston's Kemba Walker and Atlanta's Trae Young instead got the honors.

Whether Beal knew that fact when he took the floor or not, he put in a performance against the Cavs that should add to his case for being a reserve. The two-time All-Star followed up a 38-point gem against the Heat with 36 points against Cleveland just one night later. He also had eight assists and shot 15-for-22 (68.2%) from the field and 4-for-8 from three.

Beal now has the fourth-most 30-point games in the NBA since the start of last season with 40 of them. Only James Harden (86) Gianiis (54) and Damian Lillard (45) have more.

This 30-point game helped the Wizards bounce back from a loss the night before in Miami. Washington is now 15-29 on the season and 5-5 in their last 10 games.

2. In his previous six games since returning from a quad injury, Davis Bertans had put up some solid numbers and shown flashes. Against the Cavs, though, he did what we saw him to much more often a few months ago when he was healthy.

Bertans not only lit a spark off the bench, but he did so in microwave fashion. He had 14 of his 17 points in the first half, including three consecutive threes in the second quarter to force a timeout as the Wizards' lead grew to 14. That marked a big turnaround after Washington trailed by as many as 12 in the first quarter.

Bertans helped lead a monster effort from the Wizards' bench as a whole. They outscored the Cavs' second unit, 59-34. The Wizards are second in the NBA in bench scoring and that is despite all of the injuries they have dealt with in recent months. Now that they are nearly whole, the bench is becoming even stronger.

 

3. The Thomas Bryant situation is getting more interesting as each game passes. He has now been back six games and has been kept between roughly between 12 and 21 minutes a night. He played 17 minutes against the Cavs and contributed nine points and three rebounds.

Bryant is a big man coming off a foot injury, so the Wizards have incentive to play it safe and maintain a minutes restriction. But it has now been nearly two weeks since he came back.

Is it as simple as a minutes limit or is Ian Mahinmi's improved play having a domino effect on Bryant? The more Bryant plays limited minutes, the more that could become evident, if this is indeed performance based. 

Mahinmi, by the way, had seven points, seven rebounds and played strong defense, helping the Wizards to hold Tristan Thompson to six points and three rebounds.

4. Much like last week when the Wizards saw the Pistons and Andre Drummond, watching this game was reminder that Kevin Love is reportedly available in trades. That begs the natural question of where he would fit, if he gets dealt soon, like before the Feb. 6 deadline.

Some might argue the Wizards as an option, given their best players are guards and Love would technically complement them well. Given his age and contract, however, it would probably be too much of a risk for the Wizards.

The Blazers seem like they could use him and the Raptors could also be interesting. He would also fit well with the Rockets, though they probably don't have enough trade assets to get him.

What about the Timberwolves? They have disappointed this year and need to find Karl-Anthony Towns some help. Love wouldn't be joining a contender, as he probably hopes to, but it could be an interesting story if he goes back to the team he started with. And him and Towns would be a tough duo to stop given how well they rebound and stretch the floor.

Speaking of Love, he had the viral moment of the night when he pretended to resuscitate Beal. 

5. Backup center Anzejs Pasecniks was back in the mix after missing two games due to a left ankle injury. And not only was he available, he actually got some burn.

Pasecniks played 15 minutes and scored four points to go along with three rebounds. So, even with Bryant and Bertans back from injury, and Johnathan Williams III still getting minutes, Pasecniks maintains a role in the rotation.

That could change once other players come back. Moe Wagner, in particular, will probably take minutes away from him at the backup center spot. But Pasecniks still hanging around in the rotation is a testament to him and the way he has played. No one predicted he would play this much of a factor this season.

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