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Morris battles foul trouble to put in one of his best games for Wizards

Morris battles foul trouble to put in one of his best games for Wizards

Markieff Morris put in a box score line on Tuesday night that you just don't see very often. He fouled out in just 21 minutes, yet scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting - including 3-for-3 from three - and grabbed three steals.

No NBA player has had that many points and steals in a game they fouled out after playing less than 22 minutes since at least the 1983-84 season, as far as Basketball Reference's play index can go back. Part of the reason why that is the case, is that usually when a player gets in early foul trouble, as Morris did, they play more cautiously. They dial back their aggression on offense in fear of getting whistled for an offensive foul.

That's what usually happens. Not for Kief, apparently.

"When you have fouls like that, sometimes you are tentative to attack the basket. But he attacked the basket and got to the rim," coach Scott Brooks said. "That's what I like about Kief from night to night. He had foul trouble it seemed right from the jumpball. Right after they threw it up, he was battling foul trouble. But he kept playing aggressive."

Morris picked up his first foul just 1:23 into the first quarter. His sixth and final foul came with 3:58 left in the fourth, right after he hit a pair of three-pointers, and right after he had a big putback slam on a fastbreak to help the Wizards complete their comeback. They stormed back from 18 points down to secure their ninth victory this season after trailing by double digits.

"I can't get anymore techs. So, there was nothing I could do," Morris said of his fouls. "But when I was on the bench I told coach to put me back in the game."

Morris has now scored 15 points or more in three straight games and has reached double digits in his last nine. His three three-pointers matched a career-high.

"He did a really good job of just staying aggressive and not worrying about his fouls. The game rewarded him at the end," guard Bradley Beal said.

With the win, the Wizards moved to 19-18, above the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 24, 2015. That was a short-term goal for the team, but a milestone for Morris, who joined Washington in a trade last February.

"It was a real big win to be over .500. We haven't been over .500 since I got here actually, so it just feels good," Morris said.

[RELATED: Wall to Bulls' Valentine after dance: 'You woke a monster']

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Wizards at Pistons: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Pistons: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards play Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris and the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at DETROIT PISTONS

Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills
Tip-off: 6 p.m.
TV: CSN
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wizards are red-hot

The Wizards head to Detroit on Saturday in the middle of their best stretch of the season. They have won a season-high four straight games and six of their last seven overall. On Thursday, they even won a road game and the second of a back-to-back, two problem areas for them this season. It was the first time in four tries they swept a back-to-back set.

Now they face a Pistons team that has disappointed so far this season at 20-24, but has won two straight games. The Wizards beat them handily on Dec. in 16 in D.C. by the score of 122-108. Only two teams - the Warriors and Blazers - have scored more against Detroit this season than the Wizards.

[RELATED: Wizards take stock at midpoint of season]

Can Otto keep it up?

The Wizards have been on a roll in recent weeks and lately no one has been hotter than Otto Porter. The 23-year-old set a career-high with six three-pointers on Wednesday at home against the Grizzlies, then did the same on Thursday night at the Knicks. He dropped 25 points vs. Memphis and 23 vs. New York, respectively.

If Porter can reach the 20-mark again on Saturday, it will the first time he has done so this season. He has accomplished that feat once before in his career, from Dec. 28 of 2015 through Jan. 1 of 2016.

KCP may not play

The Wizards could see yet another team missing a top player on Saturday, as Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to deal with a Grade-2 rotator cuff strain in his left shoulder. 

Pope, 23, is third on the Pistons in scoring at 14.5 points per game and led Detroit in scoring with 24 points in the first meeting between the teams. He's missed three straight games and without him the Pistons could have a tough time scoring, already being one of the NBA's worst offensive squads.

[RELATED: Wall gives his Eastern Conference All-Star starters]

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NBA concludes Wizards assistant should've been given tech but Knicks benefit from no-calls, too

NBA concludes Wizards assistant should've been given tech but Knicks benefit from no-calls, too

The 113-110 win over the New York Knicks might've ended differently for the Wizards if game officials had assessed a technical foul for assistant coach Sidney Lowe with 7.6 seconds left, according to the last-two minute report released Friday.

The Knicks inbounded the ball to Carmelo Anthony wtih 13.7 seconds left and were attempting to send the game into overtime. As Anthony drove on Markieff Morris, he kicked to Courtney Lee for a three-pointer in the corner. Kelly Oubre was closing him out strong and the play broke down.

They didn't end up getting off a shot as Brandon Jennings turned over the ball and Bradley Beal ran out the clock. John Wall did not foul Jennings on the strip of the ball.

According to the L2M report, it was an incorrect no-call by the officiating crew of Brent Barnaky, Bill Kennedy and Gary Zielinski. Lowe was standing to the left of Barnaky as the play unfoled in front of Washington's bench. 

The league also concluded that Lee picked up his pivot foot on his move and it should've been ruled a traveling violation and that at 1:44 Anthony camped out in the lane more than three seconds when defended by Oubre. Instead, Anthony was able to get an offensive rebound on the play amd draw a foul. He made 1 of 2 foul shots because of the oversight to trim the Wizards' lead to 109-108.

When Wall grabbed a rebound of Anthony's miss with the Wizards up 111-110, he took the rebound and went end-to-end for a dunk that shouldn't have counted. The reason? Wall, who has been dealing with a right pinkie injury and a bad left wrist, touched the ball with both hands on the final dribble before he elevated to dunk. In real time and depending on the camera angle, it's difficult to pick up in real time. 

UPDATE:

Fines are immiment.

The NBA has handed out fines following the incidents.

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards clicking on all cylinders under Scott Brooks