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Previewing Mystics vs. Storm WNBA Final Game 2

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Previewing Mystics vs. Storm WNBA Final Game 2

Jewell Loyd took a cue from NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Loyd broke out of a shooting slump Friday night with a game-high 23 points as the host Seattle Storm defeated the Washington Mystics 89-76 in Game 1 of the best-of-five WNBA Finals. Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at KeyArena.

Loyd, the former Notre Dame star who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 WNBA draft, made 9 of 12 shots from the field, including making all three of her 3-point attempts.

"When you're a shooter, you've got to have short-term memory," Loyd said. "I think I saw a post where Kobe (Bryant) was like, 'If you're not open, still shoot the ball,' and I was like, I made that my screen saver, because I'm like, I need to be able to shoot and just have short-term memory."

Loyd also scored 23 points in Game 1 of the Storm's semifinal series against Phoenix. But she had only 32 points in the next four games, going 9 of 36 from the field and 2 of 12 from behind the arc.

"As basketball players, as athletes, you're going to have off nights, you're going to have tough stretches, and what I've seen from Jewell from Year 1 to Year 4 is you know the bounce back will come," teammate Sue Bird said. "She understands she had a rough series (against Phoenix), she knows it, we all know it, everyone knows it.

"I'm sure people have been talking to her about it. But I was pretty confident to be honest, not like I knew this would happen, but I was pretty confident that she was going to come out and just be herself."

League MVP Breanna Stewart added 22 points for the Storm, who led by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter.

Washington's Elena Delle Donne, playing with a large brace on her left knee after suffering a bone bruise in the Mystics' semifinal series, had 10 points and seven rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter. Guard Kristi Toliver was limited to five points on 2-of-11 shooting, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range.

"We can talk about my knee after this series," Delle Donne said. "Excuses are for losers. If I wanted to be 100 percent, I wouldn't have come back. I knew coming into this thing I was going to have to figure out a different way to play. It might not be the same basketball I've been playing all season, but I still feel like I can impact this game."

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Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

Capital City Go-Go

Wizards' Bryant, McRae hope to make most of second chance in G-League

The NBA's G-League for many represents a second chance and that is the case for two Wizards players entering the 2018-19 season, the first for the Capital City Go-Go.

Center Thomas Bryant is on the Wizards' roster, but will likely spend much of his time with the Go-Go. Guard Jordan McRae is on a two-way contract and will also be there plenty. The two were in Congress Heights on Saturday representing the Wizards' G-League affiliate as their new arena was introduced to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bryant, 21, joined the Wizards organization back in July on the second day of free agency. He had been cut by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Wizards claimed him, adding another young prospect to their roster.

"If you get waived by a team, you don't feel too good about it. But when the Wizards picked me up right after, I felt great about it," Bryant said.

The 6-foot-10 big man was a second round pick last summer. He played in 15 games with the Lakers at the NBA level and 37 games with their G-League affiliate.

Bryant was one of the standouts for the Wizards' Summer League team in Las Vegas. In the time since, he has been working out with Rico Hines in L.A.

Bryant said he hopes his improving outside shot and physical conditioning can help him succeed with the Wizards this season.

McRae, 27, is just eight months removed from having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He also spent all of last season away from the NBA, either playing overseas or working his way back from injury.

He sees the Wizards as an opportunity to revive his career.

"After taking a year off, the Wizards are believing in me and trusting me to be the player that I was or be better. I'm just looking forward to it and I'm honored to be here," he said.

McRae has been training in Atlanta at P3 Peak Performance Project. They oversaw his rehab from surgery and have helped him get ready for this season.

Like Bryant, McRae has been in Washington getting to know his knew teammates in recent days. McRae, though, has a history with some of them having played against Bradley Beal going back to college and having played with Markieff Morris with the Suns. He has also worked out with Otto Porter, Jr. during the offseason.

McRae sees the Wizards as a decent chance to earn playing time, or at least better than his previous stop. He played the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Cavaliers and won a championship ring in 2016.

McRae earned some hardware and got to see LeBron James, Kyrie Iriving and Kevin Love make history, but he was in a reduced role.

"I'm just looking forward to a consistent opportunity. Being in Cleveland for two years was tough. Now I feel like here will be more of an opportunity and I want to make the best of it," he said.


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Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

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Former Wizards PG Tim Frazier joins Bucks training camp roster

Former Wizards point guard Tim Frazier has joined the Milwaukee Bucks' 20-man roster for training camp.

Frazier, who spent last season in Washington, might actually have a shot at making the full 15-man roster behind Milwaukee's two true point guards, Eric Bledsoe and Matthew Dellavedova.

With Washington, he appeared in 59 games - 11 starts - and averaged 3.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. 

Frazier played at Penn State, and over the course of his NBA career, has averaged of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 186 career games, per a team relase.

At 6-foot-1, Frazier is joining his fifth team in five seasons.

The Bucks will hold their first day of training camp Tuesday, and their first preseason game is scheduled for Oct. 3 against the Chicago Bulls.

The Wizards host the Bucks on February 2, and then travel to Milwaukee four days later.