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Super fan travels over 8,000 miles to see Elena Delle Donne play for the Mystics

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Twitter: @CBSSportsNet

Super fan travels over 8,000 miles to see Elena Delle Donne play for the Mystics

There’s an inseparable connection that fans build with their favorite teams and athletes. And while some fans will never deviate from their fandom, other fans use that connection to drop everything just to be close and see their teams and athletes in their reality.

One of those fans is Wai Chi Yip, who is a huge Elena Delle Donne fan and traveled over 8,000 miles to see Delle Donne play.

Yip endured a 16-hour flight and then drove all the way from New York just to see the Washington Mystics and, more specifically, Delle Donne play on Wednesday night. Timing her work just right, Yip planned her trip perfectly for this one night.

“[I planned the trip] when I knew I got annual leave from my work. I just check if there were any games during that period and boom, I got one chance and I just come,” Yip told NBC Sports Washington.

Through her fandom, she’s grown to love Delle Donne’s attitude and her teamwork-first mentality. She’s been a fan of the Mystics star for several seasons and anticipated herself doing this at some point.  

Up until Wednesday, the only time that Yip saw Delle Donne was on television in Hong Kong. This time she was in the front row, behind the Mystics bench.

Of all the games to come to, this was not the best showing for the former WNBA MVP. In 22 minutes, Delle Donne put up 12 points on 4-for-14 shooting in a 103-85 blowout victory over the Chicago Sky, sitting for the entire fourth quarter. 

Still, Yip was jubilant about seeing the forward play and could not contain her excitement after the game.

“It was priceless. Yes, I love to be here and watch her play a lot. It’s great,” Yip said.

After the final buzzer, Delle Donne made time to see her international fan and share the postgame interview with her. Yip got Delle Donne to sign her poster, shirt, and received a signed game-used towel, encapsulating a “surreal” night for the Hong Kong native.

Even Delle Donne was impressed with Yip’s dedication to seeing her play.

“That was awesome. For her to travel this far to come see us play, me play, it’s super humbling and I was glad I was able to meet her,” Delle Donne told NBC Sports Washington postgame. “She’s probably one of our greatest fans.”

For years, the NBA has been known to have a great presence in Eastern Asia. Basketball has been rooted in the local communities and grown exponentially over the years. Now, the WNBA is seeing the benefit of that growth and Delle Donne wants to capitalize on it.   

“I think we should take a couple of games over [to Hong Kong]. It would be a huge thing for the league. It would be a huge thing for them to see us over there. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to do that too."

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Wizards vs. Spurs Game 12: TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

Wizards vs. Spurs Game 12: TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards host the Spurs Wednesday at Capital One Arena with both teams looking to get back into the win column.

Scott Brooks' squad was unable to grab the victory on the road in Orlando Sunday as the Wizards (3-8) fell to Magic, 125-121. Bradley Beal put up 34 points and eight assists in the effort but that was not enough. C.J. Miles and Davis Bertans contributed 21 and 15, respectively.

The Spurs fell to the Mavericks on Monday night, 117-110. The Spurs have now lost eight of their last nine games and are sitting at 5-9 in the Western Conference. DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 36 in the losing effort. 

In their last matchup on Oct. 26, the Spurs came out on top of D.C. with a 124-122 victory. 

Here is everything you need to know: 

SPURS @ WIZARDS HOW TO WATCH

What: San Antonio Spurs @ Washington Wizards, Game 12

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

When: Wednesday, November 20 at 7 p.m. ET

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

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

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

SPURS @ WIZARDS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

6:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

7:00: Spurs @ Wizards (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

9:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

10:00 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE) [NBC Sports Washington Plus]

SPURS @ WIZARDS INJURY REPORT:

Spurs: Dejounte Murray (Day-to-day, illness)

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

SPURS @ WIZARDS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards (30.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.9 apg): Over Beal's last three games, the star shooting guard is averaging 40.7 points, 8.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds.

Rui Hachimura, PF, Wizards (13.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg): Hachimura struggled against the Magic, shooting 3-for-7 in the losing effort. 

DeMar DeRozan, SG, Spurs (19.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.8 apg): DeRozan's season-high 36 points was not enough to put the Spurs ahead of the Mavericks on Monday night. Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 42 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists. 

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Loss to Magic shows how Wizards have few ideal options on defense

Loss to Magic shows how Wizards have few ideal options on defense

Wizards assistant coach and defensive specialist Mike Longabardi referred to them as "dare shots" on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast. Head coach Scott Brooks said after the game the Wizards were "playing the percentages." Basically, they gave Markelle Fultz and the Magic distance when playing defense, asking them to earn respect for their range. Orlando, to be fair, entered the game shooting 29 percent from three, dead-last in the NBA, and Fultz is a career 20-percent three-point shooter.

But the whole plan backfired. The Wizards instead met an unintended consequence in their 125-121 loss to the Magic on Sunday night. Fultz and his teammates not only made threes early, they kept it up all night, apparently finding a rhythm as a result of taking what the defense was offering. 

Fultz, the former No. 1 pick maligned for his so-called broken shot, sank two from the perimeter to tie a career-high. The Magic as a team made 15 threes, tying a season-high, and shot 39.5 percent from long range.

The Wizards went under screens and played off of Magic players they felt were unlikely to beat them with outside shooting, and it cost them. On one hand, it is easy to kick the Wizards while they are down. They didn't properly respect an opponent that, after all, is still an NBA team. 

Even guys who supposedly can't shoot can make them if left open. Even non-shooters practice and make threes all the time outside of games. Show up early to any NBA game and watch warm-ups and you can see that for yourself. 

But in a sense, the Wizards' reasoning can be understood. Even against a team like the Magic, a team that entered Sunday night averaging only 100.3 points per game (29th in the NBA), they may have to get creative.

That is because the Wizards have been and likely will continue to be a bad defensive team. They currently rank 29th out of 30 teams in defensive rating (114.4) and are dead-last in points allowed (120.1/g.). 

Without prototypical defensive personnel, the Wizards will need to think outside the box to get stops. Overloading one way or the other based on percentages may be the answer on a given night. 

The problem is that the Wizards didn't do their job in other areas. In addition to giving up too many threes, they didn't shore up things on the backend, either. Even with their manpower shifted closer to the rim, they still couldn't protect it.

The Magic had 42 points in the paint and outrebounded the Wizards 52-38. That included Orlando center Nikola Vucevic pouring in 30 points to go along with 17 boards all by himself.

The early goings of this season have demonstrated how the Wizards have no easy answers on the defensive end. The good news is that they do have a high-powered offense. While their defensive rating ranks second-worst in the league, their offensive rating is the best of any team and they are third in points scored.

Right now, the only way the Wizards can win is if they score a ton of points, as even broken Metro cars make more stops than them.

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