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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pacers

5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pacers

Here are five plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 111-98 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night that are worth revisiting...

1. The Wizards came out on fire once again with 34 points in the first quarter. It was another strong start for John Wall who had five assists in the frame. That's the fourth straight game Wall has had five or more dimes in the first quarter and the 19th time this season overall he's hit that mark.

One of Wall's assist was on a pick-and-roll that ended with this powerful Marcin Gortat dunk:

2. The star of the first quarter, though, was not Wall or Gortat. It was Otto Porter, who hit five threes, including four on four attempts in the first five minutes. 

His fifth three came at the buzzer and Porter had to ignore a shot clock malfunction to hit the shot:

Porter finished with six threes to tie a career-high and a game-high 25 points.

3. Bradley Beal had 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Two of his points came on this steal and dunk:

Did you catch that smile Beal flashed while hanging on the rim? Here's another look:

4. Porter made most of his money on threes on Thursday night, but his best shot was this circus layup on an and-1. It was absolutely ridiculous:

5. Wall had 20 points, 12 assists and also two blocks, including this one late in the fourth quarter on Rodney Stuckey. Markieff Morris first turned the ball over and Wall bailed him out with this chasedown swat:

Speaking of Wall, here is an honorable mention. Earlier in the game, Wall scored an and-1 over his former Wizards teammate Kevin Seraphin:

Seraphin had quite the facial expression when he watched Wall point to his bicep as he walked past him:

All of those plays were great, but this was the moment of the night. Right after the game ended, Wall found two young Wizards fans in the crowd and gave them his jersey.

First, here's the kids dancing on camera:

And here is Wall giving them the jersey:

That's great stuff.

[RELATED: Should Beal have been an All-Star over Carmelo?]

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Film study: 1st All-NBA selection should be in John Wall's immediate future

Film study: 1st All-NBA selection should be in John Wall's immediate future

Kyle Lowry and Damian Lillard have made the All-NBA team before John Wall, and two years ago Kyrie Irving beat out the Wizards’ point guard when he didn’t really have the better individual season.

This year, Wall should reach his self-stated goal of being a four-time All-Star (accomplished) and first-time All-NBA player. It's just a question of if it'll be on the first, second or third team.

It’s not just about Wall's individual accomplishments – career highs of 23 points, 10.8 assists and 2.0 steals  – it’s his team’s success that should help him achieve that recognition. 

Saturday night, he dominated his matchup with Irving for the second time in three meetings and put on display why as a two-way player there's not much of a debate to be had about it. Irving, who plays next to LeBron James which inflates his credibility and his marks in the team success category, was voted the All-Star starter but if it were a spot that was solely merit-based Wall again was better this season.

He not only had game highs of 37 points and 11 assists in the 127-115 win for Washington, Wall isolated Irving in plain sight, posted him, shot over him and defended James himself 1 vs. 1 with tremendous success.

Wall is doing all of this despite coming off surgeries to both knees May 5 and a slow start to the season. His conditioning wasn’t always there. He still can gamble a lot defensively and allow the ball in the lane because he’s going for steals. He still can be better. 

When Wall is disciplined the way he was Saturday, not Irving, not Lillard, not Lowry, not Steph Curry and not even Russell Westbrook can be his peer on defense (Yes, Westbrook has a reputation for being a lockdown defender but there's ample evidence to show he's not and is in fact extremely undisciplined).

The Wizards (45-28) haven’t had an All-NBA player since Gilbert Arenas was second team in 2006-07 and third team in 2005-06 and 2004-05. Rod Strickland made it as a second-team selection for Washington in 1997-98.

And based on the way Wall's backcourt mate Bradley Beal is closing the season -- and being mistakenly omitted from his first All-Star apperance though he's no worse than the second-best shooting guard in the conference with DeMar DeRozan -- there's an argument to be made for him as All-NBA, too. Defensively, Beal has been more steady for longer stretches of the season than Wall.

Let's steamline the topic, however, and stay focused on Wall:

When isolated vs. Wall with no help, Irving has no chance of stopping Wall. Not good enough defensively and not nearly strong enough. And team defense isn't good, either, as Irving usually does  a lot of reaching in and getting lost on the weak side of the floor:

When is the last time you've ever seen Irving defend like this?

And for all Irving's talents, his speed and handle that produce an array of offensive moves, he usually creates for himself. Wall creates for others even when it appears he has nothing:

There's far more evidence than this and it goes beyond one game and one matchup. Irving will have his moments where he gets the better of Wall. If you're in a situation when you need one bucket with the game on the line like in Game 7 of the NBA Finals?

Irving is a better option than James in that situation. But he's still not a better player than James.

Over an 82-game season/big picture, this represents the primary differences between the two and why Wall deserves to be rewarded because he's just better of the two. And the same applies to many others who have gotten the recognition that Wall has not in his seventh season.

It's time.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards sky high after dominating Cavs

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Sore spots for Bogdanovic, Mahinmi aren't expected to limit them on road trip

Sore spots for Bogdanovic, Mahinmi aren't expected to limit them on road trip

CLEVELAND – Short-handed with Bojan Bogdanovic unable to play because of a sore lower back and Ian Mahinmi sore but available because of his left hip, the Wizards still had more than enough firepower to deal the Cleveland Cavaliers a resounding defeat.

Before tipoff Saturday, coach Scott Brooks didn’t expect to miss anyone but that quickly changed. Bogdanovic, who has averaged 14.8 points and 40.5% three-point shooting, is their best scorer off the bench since being acquired in a trade last month. 

The Wizards have Sunday off after a back-to-back set in which they went 2-0 with a game Tuesday at the L.A. Lakers. Bogdanovic should be able to return to the lineup. 

“He went through some warmups and his back tightened up on him,” Brooks said. “It was news to me. But we’re building the culture, like a lot of teams are, next man up. Our guys stepped up and played well. You can’t worry about what you don’t have.”

Kelly Oubre received extened time with 26 minuttes to post 16 points and seven rebounds ss well as some tenacious defense. 

Mahinmi had a collision with Richard Jefferson in the first half that sent him to the floor in pain. Mahinmi stayed down for a while because Jefferson's knee caught him. He told CSNmidatlantic.com after the game that it was a hip pointer and that he could've returned.

Mahinmi only played nine minutes and didn't score. Brooks opted to use a small lineup with Markieff Morris at the five instead of Mahinmi or starter Marcin Gortat as they pulled away in the fourth.