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A massive third quarter was not enough for the Mystics in Game 4

A massive third quarter was not enough for the Mystics in Game 4

The third quarter of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals fully encapsulated the championship intensity that the Mystics have possessed in their “Run it Back” season. 

To get to that point, Washington had endured one of their worst first halves of basketball on the season. Only scoring 40 points in the first 20 minutes on Tuesday night was one of the five worst scoring first halves of the season. Facing a 16-point deficit in a WNBA Finals game had many scattering to buy tickets for Game 5 on Thursday.

Then, the Mystics displayed their potent offense in a 10-minute spurt. They outscored the Connecticut Sun 28-12 to level the contest at 68-68.

It was an implausible stretch for Washington. Up until that point, the Mystics had shown nothing to signal they could turn it around. Twelve fouls and six turnovers told the tale. Kristi Toliver had zero points. So did bench star Emma Meesseman. All the Mystics had to hang on was the prestige of their regular-season offensive accomplishments. 

The quarter started with the MVP, Elena Delle Donne doing all she could to light a spark. She scored their first four points out of the break. A steal at mid-court by Natasha Cloud led Ariel Atkins to a turnaround jumper. A quick 6-0 run out of the gate before Connecticut scored their first point. 

And a point is all they answered with. The Sun was rattled and missed their first seven shots of the period. Nearly every player for Connecticut tried something different, but all the momentum was in Washington’s hands. 

After a made free throw, Toliver got her first with a free throw of her own. An Atkins 3-pointer was then followed by back-to-back threes from Toliver. The point guard was unleashed and the lead had been narrowed to one. A 16-1 run got Washington back into the contest and it was a new ballgame. 

While that quarter gave Washington a chance to close out their first WNBA title, they came up short. Eventually, they took the lead in the fourth quarter and led by as much as six and set up an incredible back-and-forth stretch to close the game. Connecticut finally answered and won 90-86 to force a winner-take-all Game 5. 

But the third quarter showed how deadly the Mystics can be when rolling on all cylinders. In that frame, they took no prisoners and shot 10-for-17 (3-for-6 from deep). Toliver rattled off seven and Meesseman had six after neither scored in the first two quarters. 

Trailing by 16, it only took the Mystics a quarter to tie up the game. That’s the same offense that the Mystics employed in Game 3 and throughout the regular season. A championship-level comeback that a minute number of teams could ever achieve. 

Too bad it took a whole half to get that offense rolling. And through it all, that half is more the rarity than their impressive third quarter. Washington reached 30 points in a quarter 14 times in the regular season.

The final game of the series is Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C. 

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Wizards at Magic: TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards at Magic: TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

With the Wizards struggling to stop any opposing offense to start the season, a trip to Orlando to play the Magic may just be what this team needs. 

Washington currently holds the second-worst defense in the league statistically and a top-six offense, while the Magic have the second-worst offense and the third-ranked defense entering Saturday night, so Orlando certainly poses an interesting matchup for Bradley Beal and company.

The Magic came into the season with hopes of securing a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs but have struggled to start thanks most in part to their anemic offense. It won't be the easiest matchup, but this is a game Washington will have to win if they hope to get out of the East's cellar. 

WIZARDS @ MAGIC HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards @ Orlando Magic, Game 11

Where: Amway Center, Orlando, Fla. 

When: Sunday, November 17 at 6 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards @ Magic will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards @ Magic on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS @ MAGIC TV SCHEDULE

5:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

5:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

6:00: Wizards @ Timberwolves (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

8:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

9:00 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

WIZARDS @ MAGIC INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Ian Mahinmi (OUT, Right Achilles strain)

Magic: None

WIZARDS @ MAGIC PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards (28.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 6.4 apg): The Magic's defense will most likely work to take Beal away and force the Wizards' supporting cast to beat them. If Beal can get going anyway, the team will be in good shape. 

Rui Hachimura, PF, Wizards (14.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 apg): Washington's rookie standout will probably match up against Orlando's two best wings in either Jonathan Isaac or Aaron Gordon. A stiff test for Hachimura early in his pro career. 

Jonathan Isaac, PF, Magic (12.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 bpg): Isaac is starting to tap into his potential as a two-way star and has become one of the best defenders in the NBA. He can guard almost every position on the floor and will be a player the Wizards mindful of on that end of the floor. 

Nikola Vucevic (17.8 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.1 apg): This first-time All-Star is Orlando's main source of offense down in the post. If Thomas Bryant can contain his post moves and keep him off the glass, the Magic are going to have a difficult time scoring Sunday.

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Bradley Beal weighs in on the Myles Garrett, Mason Rudolph incident

Bradley Beal weighs in on the Myles Garrett, Mason Rudolph incident

Things got ugly Thursday night when Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett took off Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and swung at him, using the helmet as a weapon. Garrett was later suspended indefinitely, at a minimum of the remainder of the 2019 season, for his actions.

Several athletes took to Twitter to give their opinion on the incident, including Wizards guard Bradley Beal.

Beal, like pretty much everyone, agrees that Garrett's actions went way too far. But, the shooting guard also thinks that Rudolph should have been given some repercussions for his role in the incident.

From the video that Beal responded to, the footage shows Rudolph instigated the brawl by attempting to pull Garrett's helmet off first. While Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, the NFL did not suspend Rudolph.

Regardless, the incident was not a good look for the NFL, and the suspension to Garrett was the league putting their foot down to make sure an incident of such magnitude never occurs again.

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