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Wizards edge heat in overtime to snap three-game losing streak

Wizards edge heat in overtime to snap three-game losing streak

The Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 117-113 on Tuesday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Gutsy win: The Wizards earned themselves a much-needed breather amid a hectic Eastern Conference playoff race on Tuesday night.

By beating the Miami Heat, Washington snapped their season-long three-game losing streak. It has been a tough few days with losses to the Warriors, Raptors and Pacers, but the Wizards are finally back in the win column.

With the win, the Wizards took a 2-1 lead on the Heat in their season series. They will play for a fourth and final time on Saturday. If the Wizards win that game, they will own the playoff tiebreaker for seeding purposes.

The Wizards moved to 37-28 on the season and 11-6 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury.

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Beal balled out: There was a lot of talk over the previous 48 hours about how tired Bradley Beal looked in the Wizards' loss to the Pacers on Sunday night. He admitted after the game that he was and Pacers guard Victor Oladipo remarked that Beal was "exhausted." Tired legs were blamed in part for Beal missing his final five shots, including two that could have tied the game in the final seconds.

Beal did not look tired in this one. He came out swinging with 10 points in the first quarter and had 15 by halftime. For the game he scored 30 and shot 12-for-16, including 6-for-7 from three.

Due to overtime, Beal wasn't able to get a break in his minutes. He still logged 43, just like he did against the Pacers. But now he has two days off to rest.

Markieff Morris was also a key contributor. He had 16 points and 13 rebounds in his first double-double in about a month, since Feb. 5. Tomas Satoransky's 19 points and seven assists are also worth mentioning.

Otto got hurt: Otto Porter's hip is giving him problems again and this time it is due to a fluke play. Porter collided with Dwyane Wade in the open court as both jumped for a loose ball. Porter took the hit right on his hip and went down writhing in pain. Porter remained in the game for a few plays, but then left for the locker room. He will be evaluated further on Wednesday.

Bench mob: The Heat wouldn't have been able to make this one interesting if it weren't for their second unit, which has clearly improved over the course of this season as guys have gotten healthy and due to the addition of Wade at the trade deadline. The Heat's bench outscored that of the Wizards 64-32 and did most of the damage on the Wizards' 18-point lead in the first half.

Tyler Johnson blew up for 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting. Wade had 22 points, including some big shots in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Justise Winslow added 15 points off the bench and Kelly Olynk had nine rebounds.

The Wizards put Kelly Oubre, Jr. on Wade in the second half, but Wade wasn't slowed one bit down the stretch. Wade pulled out all of his veteran tricks with pump fakes and shimmies to get Oubre off balance. Oubre has every advantage athletically at this point, but Wade is an NBA legend and still has some left in the tank.

Meanwhile, the Wizards' bench had some moments. Oubre had 14 points and Mike Scott had eight. But collectively, the Heat's bench was much better.

The WIzards' bench has been up-and-down recently due to the domino effect of Wall's absence, a shooting slump for Scott and a foot injury to Oubre, which kept him out of Sunday's game. Tuesday was also a mixed bag, but the Wizards had enough to win.

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Sessions debuted: It took two 10-day contracts, but Ramon Sessions finally made his 2017-18 debut with the Wizards on Wednesday night. He didn't play at all on his first deal and signed his second one on Monday. 

Sessions checked about eight minutes into the first quarter and was the Wizards' backup point guard for a night. Tomas Satoransky got the majority of the minutes, but Sessions got the rest. Tim Frazier did not play for the first time since Feb. 14 when he sat out with a broken nose.

Sessions didn't play very well. He had six points in 13 minutes, but shot 1-for-5 from the field, had two turnovers and registered a -17 net rating. He did, however, go 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He is known for attacking the rim and drawing fouls.

One game does not mean Frazier lost his job, of course. What it likely means is that the Wizards actually need to see Sessions in a real game before deciding whether to keep him. Now that he's on his second 10-day contract, they will have to choose at the end of it whether they want to sign him for the rest of the season or release him to free agency. 

Up next: The Wizards are off both Wednesday and Thursday before heading to New Orleans for a Friday night matchup at the Pelicans. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. Pregame coverage begins with Wizards HangTime at 7 p.m.

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

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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."

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