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Wizards edge Celtics in double overtime after 20-point comeback

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Wizards edge Celtics in double overtime after 20-point comeback

The Washington Wizards beat the Boston Celtics 125-124 in double overtime on Wednesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Crazy game: Nothing has come easy for the Washington Wizards in recent weeks and Wednesday night was no exception. It took a 20-point comeback, but the Wizards snatched a win away from the Celtics in double overtime.

Boston was missing nearly their entire regular rotation including Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, yet they built a sizable first half lead and nearly held off the Wizards. Washington had other ideas and earned a much-needed victory after losing five of their previous seven.

Jodie Meeks of all people hit the big shot to force the first extra period. Meeks has had a frustrating season with his shot not falling for months to begin the year. It was so bad he was looking for a trade back in February.

On Wednesday, he had his best moment of the season. Otto Porter (18 points, 11 rebounds) drove to the rim and found Meeks for a corner three.

Meeks was understandably pumped after it went in:

The Wizards snapped a two game losing streak and moved to 39-30 on the season with 13 games left on the schedule. They are 13-8 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury.

Beal took off: The tide was already turning for the Wizards late in the first half. In the third quarter, Bradley Beal added some gasoline to the fire.

Beal erupted for 16 points in the frame on 10 shots. He found his groove and once he did there wasn't much Boston could to do contain him.

Beal feasted on mismatches off screens, at one point zipping past Aron Baynes for an up-and-under layup. On another play he turned Greg Monroe around on a stepback and dropped in a swish from about 20 feet out.

Beal was the only All-Star on the court between the teams and he sure looked like it at times. He finished with a game-high 34 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. It was a masterpiece performance.

The only problem for Beal was his four turnovers. Giveaways have been an issue for him at times recently, but in his defense he is the primary focus of opposing defenses. They are trying to force the ball out of his hands and turnovers have often been the result.


Horrible start: The Wizards dug themselves quite the hole in this one. Despite facing a Celtics team missing nearly their entire rotation, the Wizards came out sluggish and found themselves down 19-6 just a few minutes in. They trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half.

Again it was points in the paint that were an issue. The Wizards allowed 60-plus point paints in their last four games and gave up 18 in the first quarter in Boston, the same amount they allowed in the first frame against the Timberwolves the night before.

Jayson Tatum (19 points) was a big reason for that. He was blowing by the Wizards' perimeter defense and finishing well above the rim. That was all despite battling back tightness, an injury that almost kept him out of the game.

Tatum's production was expected, but there were plenty of surpriseds from the Celtics early. Monroe, for instance, had eight points (4-for-4 FG), seven rebounds, a steal and a block in 12 minutes by halftime. He ended up with 16 points and 10 boards.

It took the Wizards a while, but they woke up. By halftime they were only down seven points as Markieff Morris (20 points, seven rebounds) got hot to lead a 10-0 run.


Bench boost: The Wizards wouldn't have had a chance in this game if it weren't for their bench, who gave them a lift at times when their starters were lagging. Ian Mahinmi (14 points, 11 rebounds), Meeks (eight points), Mike Scott (nine points) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. (eight points, two steals) were the standouts.

Scott and Oubre did most of their damage in the first half. Meeks got hot in the second half. Mahinmi was great for most of the game.

Mahinmi followed up a big game of 10 points and nine rebounds against Minnesota with his strong night against the Celtics. Mahimmi's 11 rebounds were a season-high.

This was, in fact, the first double-double for Mahinmi since he signed a four-year, $64 million free agent deal with the Wizards in the summer of 2016.  It was arguably his best game in a Wizards uniform.

It's also worth noting that Mahinmi didn't play at all two games ago against the Heat. He has rebounded impressively with two strong games. 


Up next: The Wizards are off the next two days before hosting the Indiana Pacers in a big game on Saturday night. That will determine the season series and therefore the playoff seeding tiebreaker between the teams. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Wizards HangTime.

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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves


Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks Dwyane Wade, still undecided on offseason moves

WASHINGTON -- Ted Leonsis had a front row seat to two converging storylines.

The Wizards owner was among throngs inside Capital One Arena appreciating Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade’s final game in Washington.

Leonsis also recognized the likely last gasp for his team’s playoff hopes came up short.

“They’ll make the playoffs. It doesn’t look like we’ll make the playoffs now,” Leonsis said to NBC Sports Washington following the Wizards’ loss Saturday night.

 “Hope [Dwyane] plays well,” Leonsis continued. “We’ll have to figure out what to do in the off-season.”

The loss dropped the Wizards (30-44) 6 ½ games back of the Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington only has eight regular-season games remaining.

Earlier this season Leonsis said organizational changes are in play should the Wizards fail to reach their goals, which included reaching the postseason for the fifth time in six seasons.

Asked for his current thoughts on any off-season changes, Leonsis told NBC Sports Washington, “Don’t know yet. Let’s see how they do out West. It was disappointing. We were trying to catch [Miami].”

The Wizards embark on a four-game Western Conference road trip starting Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite any frustration with the game’s conclusion and the season at-large, Leonsis appreciated Wade’s gusto on his way out. 

The 16-year veteran and 13-time All-Star announced his retirement before the season. Wade, 37, looked anything but over-the-hill late against the Wizards.

Having turned into Miami’s closer after the All-Star break, Wade scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat (36-37) fended off several Wizards rallies.

“Kind of historic, right? (Wild) that Dwyane Wade beat us tonight,” Leonsis said. “What a career, what a game. Just everything about the way he plays is beautiful. He’s really great.”

Leonsis remarked the referees overlooked an apparent traveling violation from Wade in the third quarter.

“We wanted to beat them. They played better. The no-call on Dwyane on the travel was apropos. I thought he took five steps. You say, ‘Well, that’s when you’re a Hall of Famer you get that respect,” Leonsis said respectfully. “But, good for him.”

Miami moved one game ahead of idle ninth-place Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings.


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Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

Scott Brooks jokes that the Heat should be fined for letting Wade call it a career

On most occasions, elite athletes decide to finish their careers way after their skills have declined. It is uncommon for most icons to go out on their own terms. When you train your entire life to play professional basketball, it's a tough task to realize that your time has passed, and its time to move on to another venture. 

Dwyane Wade is not grouped into that category. Tonight's performance against the Wizards justified that. 

After announcing publicly last September that the 2018-19 NBA season would be his last, the news left the sports world nostalgic. Once a bright young star out of Marquette, "Flash" was must-see television.

After announcing last September that this would be his last ride in South Beach, Wade, albeit the face of the franchise, knew that this team wasn't the one he had joined when he was drafted fifth overall in June of 2003. It wasn't the squad he won his first title with in '06, or the bunch that started the "Super Team" movement. This was a collection of young prospects, journeymen, and he was a veteran presence, and no longer the marquee option. He welcomed the move to the bench and to be the veteran presence in the locker room that the team needed and has had quite the resurgence of sorts that has the sports world questioning whether retirement is really the best option, and whether he should come back another year. 

Scott Brooks is one of many who thinks Wade should reconsider.

In his final appearance at Capital One Arena Saturday evening, the veteran star lead his group to victory, showing flashes of the player he once was, and carrying his squad to a crucial road win. 

Brooks joked that "the NBA needs to fine the Miami Heat for letting him retire".

It appears that Wade's contemporaries are of the mindset of Brooks. Wizards forward Jeff Green, who exploded for 25 points off the bench in the tough loss, discussed postgame that despite his efforts to get Wade to change his mind, the latter knows that it's time to move on.

"He's playing amazing," Green said. "I've tried my convincing, I've been trying for the last six months, it didn't work."

Green expressed that he's glad his friend is choosing to leave the game before it leaves him.

"I'm happy for the guy." Green said. "He's going out the way he wants to."