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Wizards fall victim to 61 combined points from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Wizards fall victim to 61 combined points from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

The Wizards cut into multiple big leads built by the Clippers Sunday, but nothing was stopping LA from pulling away in this one. 

Troy Brown, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans each scored over 20 points and Rui Hachimura added 17 of his own while Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined to score 61 points. 

It was a winnable game for Washington, they just couldn't get it done against one of the best teams in the NBA. 

Here are some of their best moments in the 135-119 loss. 

Great ball movement leads to a Wagner three

With Thomas Bryant out, Moe Wagner has added an interesting new flavor to the starting lineup. He's not the prolific shooter Davis Bertans is, but his ability to stretch the floor has opened things up nicely for players like Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura.

Early in the game against the Clippers, Washington took advantage of the extra space with their dribble-drive game. It was a promising start against one of the best teams in the league. 

Wagner will continue to start at the five with Bryant out for at least the next two weeks. If he can knock down threes with regularity off of ball movement like the play above or off pick and pops with Beal, it'll make things much easier on the Wizards' slashers. 

Mahinmi's block party

In his second game all year, Ian Mahinmi lifted the Wizards' second unit with the kind of interior defense this team has lacked all season long. 

Mahinmi finished with nine points, six rebounds and three blocks on the game and it was clear the Wizards' defense was better with him in the game. 

Washington has been the NBA's worst paint defense all year, so perhaps Mahinmi's return could spark some progression in that department. 

Troy Brown's save energizes Wizards

The Clippers were coming off a blowout loss to the Bucks in this game, so they came out firing after only leading the Wizards by one at halftime.

LA built a 16-point lead and seemed to be well on their way to an easy win, but then Troy Brown kickstarted a comeback. 

Brown saved the ball from going out of bounds, somehow found Chris Chiozza who then dished it to Mahinmi for an and-one finish.

It helped the Wizards flip momentum and keep the game close all the way to the final buzzer. 

The Wizards' first-round pick from a year ago had struggled as a starter and had recently been relegated to the bench, but Brown has looked much better with the reserves. 

He gets to play with the ball in his hands more and that's really seemed to positively impact his activity on defense. It also helps to be running an offense with Davis Bertans giving teams nightmares with his three-point shooting. 

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NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

NBA Rumors: Davis Bertans trade inquiries have reportedly gone nowhere as deadline nears

There's been no shortage of teams who've expressed interest in Wizards forward Davis Bertans, but it appears many attempts to trade for the Latvian sharpshooter have been rebuffed by Washington's front office. 

According to Chris Mannix, several Davis Bertans trade inquiries have gone nowhere. In those conversations, executives told Mannix that the Wizards wouldn't even discuss a deal. 

Bertans is making $7 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Wizards have unlocked the sniper's full offensive potential after three seasons in San Antonio. He's averaging career-highs in minutes (29.2), points (15.3), rebounds (4.6), field goal attempts (11.4) and three-point attempts (8.7). 

Bertans' break out season has resulted in a number of contenders expressing interest in his services. Based on a report by Chase Hughes earlier this month, the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers and Nuggets have all emerged as potential suitors. 

 

The Wizards remain consistent on their intention to keep Bertans past the trade deadline even if that may mean losing him in free agency. While the Wizards may be in the midst of a rebuild this year, Bertans is a better fit for John Wall and Bradley Beal's contention window. 

The key with Bertans this summer is his bird rights. Bird rights allow a team to re-sign a player to any amount without using cap space. After the spending-spree that was the 2019 free agency period, there are about seven teams who could realistically create enough cap space to give Bertans the $12-15 million salary Berants is believed to fetch. The Hawks, Hornets, Cavs, Grizzlies, Knicks, Suns and Trail Blazers. 

Whoever has Bertans on their team at the end of the year will naturally be able to outbid any team on a contract offer since they won't have to use cap space to retain him. That's probably why Mannix believes the Wizards can get at least a first round pick for Bertans and why Tom Haberstroh thinks the Wizards' asking price might be too high to get a deal done. 

Contenders can get desperate at the deadline though, especially for the kind of shooting and bench scoring a player like Bertans can provide. If the Wizards are comfortable keeping Bertans and dealing with the uncertainty of free agency, they can sit back and wait for a team to offer everything they want and more. 

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Wizards vs. Hawks: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

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Wizards vs. Hawks: Time, TV Channel, Live stream, how to watch

The Wizards head to Atlanta Sunday evening for their third straight road game, part of a four-game trip. All-Star hopeful Bradley Beal will go head-to-head with All-Star starter Trae Young in the backcourt.

Young and Beal are two of the NBA's most prolific scorers, with Young averaging nearly 30 points per game and Beal scoring at least 36 points in back-to-back games.

Washington is coming off a convincing win in Cleveland after dropping an overtime heartbreaker in Miami.

Can the Wizards win back-to-back road games against two of the league's worst teams? Tune in to find out.

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards at Altanta Hawks, Game 45

Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

When: 6:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Wizards vs. Hawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Hawks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS TV SCHEDULE

5:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

5:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)

6:00 PM: Wizards vs. Hawks (LIVE)

8:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)

9:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Wizards Talk (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: John Wall (OUT, Left Achilles rehab), Garrison Matthews (day-to-day, ankle), Rui Hachimura (OUT, groin), Moe Wagner (OUT, ankle)

Hawks: Trae Young (day-to-day, thigh), Alex Len (day-to-day, back), Chandler Parsons (OUT, concussion), Jabari Parker (day-to-day, shoulder)

WIZARDS vs. HAWKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, G, Wizards (27.8ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.4 apg): Beal has caught fire in recent days, scoring 36, 38 and 29 points in his last three games as he makes his bid to be an All-Star for te second consecutive season.

Davis Bertans, F, Wizards (15.3ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 apg): Bertans has made at least four three-point field goals in back-to-back games, finding his stroke as he makes a case for the 3-point shooting contest.

Trae Young, PG, Hawks (29.2ppg, 4.7 rpg, 8.6 apg): Young was just named to his first All-Star Game as a starter, thanks to his incredible statline that jump off the page. He is one of just two players averaging more than 29 points and eight assists per game. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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