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Bradley Beal nearly leads Wizards to stunning comeback over Heat

Bradley Beal nearly leads Wizards to stunning comeback over Heat

The Wizards' four-game road trip began with a thriller against the Heat Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. 

Washington fought back from a 21-point deficit, but it wasn't enough to overcome an incredibly poor three-point shooting performance from the first half. 

There was no shortage of big-time plays from either team, so here's a look at some of the best plays the Wizards made down in Miami. 

Beal catches another big man slipping

Remember Monday when Bradley Beal crossed Andre Drummond out of his shoes before hitting a three at the end of the shot clock? 

Now it looks like Beal's acquired a taste for embarrassing big men who dare to switch on him. Early on in this one, Beal broke Meyers Leonard's ankles with a nasty step-back jumper to send the Washington bench into a frenzy. 

Ever since returning to the floor from a leg injury, Beal didn't quite look like himself against the Jazz, Bulls and Raptors. The last two games have been a different story, which is great news for the Wizards if they want to push for a playoff spot. 

A poster dunk for the lead

The Wizards trailed by as many as 21 in this game but used a 24-6 run in the third quarter to get the deficit all the way down to one. 

Then, Beal picked the best way possible to give his team a lead: A thunderous dunk on Kelly Olynyk. 

Beal was the best player on the floor for either team and seemed to be on a mission from the opening tip.

Young players tend to take their cues from the star, and the Wizards' wherewithal to come back from 21 down started with Beal's effort. 

Moving up the Wizards' history books again

This has turned into a Bradley Beal appreciation post, but that's just how this game went for the Wizards. 

Beal entered the game tied with Gilbert Arenas for the sixth-most assists in Wizards history. It took him until the third quarter to tally the assist, but his teammates were missing open looks throughout the first half. 

Beal is known more as a scorer than a distributor, so the fact that he's climbing the Wizards' all-time assists list speaks to how complete an offensive player he is. 

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On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

The Michigan Wolverines were down two points to the North Carolina Tar Heels with 19 seconds to play in regulation in the second half of the 1993 NCAA National Championship game.

After grabbing the rebound off the missed free throw attempt, Michigan star Chris Webber (23 points, 11 rebounds) established his pivot foot, re-angling his body towards the basket, locked in a one-possession game with the championship on the line. 

Webber attempted to dish the ball off to a teammate, but after seeing a lurking Tar Heel, the future No. 1 pick continued his dribble towards halfcourt. 

The travel call was missed by the officiating staff, but not by the broadcast crew.

"Oh, he walked," Bill Packer exclaimed on the broadcast. "He walked and the referee missed it!"

CBS announcer Jim Nance continued on with the gameplay, as only 12 seconds remained on the clock in regulation.

"Webber brings it into the frontcourt," Nantz said. "They have no timeouts remaining."

If only someone had told him.

Webber, trapped in the left corner by a UNC double-team, signaled for time, resulting in a technical foul shot for the Tar Heels as well as possession.

"He called a timeout," Nantz said. "Michigan doesn't have any!"

At the opposing foul line, UNC's Donald Williams (25 points) knocked down both free throws, increasing their lead to four points with 11 seconds remaining. 

From there it was all over.

North Carolina 77, Michigan 71.

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On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

Before he departed on a very successful NBA career, former Wizards center Emeka Okafor was a standout member of the UConn Huskies.

In 2004 the Huskies went on to win their final nine games of the season before they captured the Big East championship.

After making their way through the NCAA Tournament bracket, the only team standing in coach Jim Calhoun's way were the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, lead by future Wizards guard Will Bynum (17 points, five assists).

Georgia Tech didn't back down early, taking a 12-11 lead over the Huskies with 13:41 to go in the first half. 

Okafor (24 points, 15 rebounds) scored to give UConn the lead right back, and they never trailed again.

At halftime, the Huskies lead the Yellow Jackets by a staggering 15 points and they kept their foot on the gas to start the second half.

The Huskies were able to extend their lead to 25 during the second half before Bynum at Georgia Tech came roaring back, but by then, the game was out of reach.

UConn emerged with an 82-73 victory over the Yellow Jackets, led by Okafor and future NBA journeyman Ben Gordon (21 points).

Okafor was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

UConn's women's basketball team would go on to win its national championship a day later against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Connecticut became the first school ever in Division I to win NCAA titles in men's and women's basketball in the same season. 

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