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Beal wise beyond years

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Beal wise beyond years

When Jason Kidd first entered the NBA as a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks in 1994, Bradley Beal was literally in diapers.
 
Thursday night at Verizon Center, the two guards were on the same court – one approaching the end of a brilliant 18-year NBA career, the other hoping to achieve the same greatness.
 
“It was weird, actually, knowing he’s a future Hall of Famer,” Beal, 19, said of his first NBA game against Kidd, 39.
 
“He’s probably one of the best point guards who ever played.  It’s a great feeling, but at the same time I’m playing against him so I just have to attack him and get the best of him.”
 
For the record, Beal and Kidd both came off the bench on Thursday. In 25:35, Beal recorded 15 points, five assists, one steal and one turnover. In 22:56, Kidd had four points, four assists, three steals and three turnovers.
 
One of those steals came against Beal.
 
“That’s a vet move,” Beal said of his one turnover. “I should have seen that coming. That’s how smart these guys are and how experienced they are. I just have to catch up to them and be two steps ahead of them.”
 
With 17,071 career points, Kidd has proven why the Mavericks took him with the second pick overall of the 1994 draft. Beal has the next 15 years to prove why the Wizards made him the third pick overall last June.
 
Wizards teammate Martell Webster says that after two preseason games Beal already is starting to show glimpses of greatness.
 
“He says he wants to compare himself to Ray Allen, but he’s a little more flash than Ray Allen,” Webster said. “I’d say he has a little of the flash, D Wade, in him.
 
“He can slash, put it on the floor, and make contact. That’s big. When you can establish yourself at the free throw line, seven, eight times a game, that’s a big difference.
 
“He’s got it. He’s still a rookie. He’s learning the basics. If he keeps watching the players that he admires, takes little bits and adds them to himself, he’ll be a star in this league.”
 
Wizards point guard Jannero Pargo says what impresses him most about Beal is his ability to play a calm game when the pace is furious.
 
“I'm very impressed,” Pargo said. “I think he's poised beyond his years. He's aggressive, but he’s not moving too fast.. He plays the game at his own pace. He's not rattled by anything. He takes the game as it comes to him and that's very refreshing for a rookie.”

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Morning tip: Bradley Beal laments Wizarrds losing so many games in crunch time

Morning tip: Bradley Beal laments Wizarrds losing so many games in crunch time

It's easy to point to the disparity in foul shots or foul calls after a loss, but the Wizards did everything possible to win at the San Antonio Spurs for the first time in 17 years. 

They just didn't. They had plenty of blunders at the end of quarters to keep the Spurs in the picture. 

"We didn't even play a great game," said Bradley Beal, who had a team-high 23 points on 11 shots in limited minutes of a 107-105 loss. "We get tired of saying we played hard, we did enough to win the game. We didn’t win the game."

The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead and had a 43-37 rebounding edge. But they took 15 fewer foul shots (18) than the Spurs, who benefitted from getting nine more fouls called (26) in their favor.

Beal shot six free throws, but his backcourt mate John Wall didn't attempt any despite 37 minutes of attacking the basket rather than settling for jumpers. 

The NBA office determined in its last two-minue report, made public when games are within five points or less in the final two minutes and overtime, there weren't any incorrect or missed calls in the game. 

Beal didn't get to take the last shot. It was called for him, but instead the broken play on the inbounds ended up in the hands of Otto Porter as he had a good look at the rim in the lane that could've forced overtime. 

After just 18 games, Beal sounds a lot like he did towards the end of a 41-41 season in 2015-16. They had Wednesday's game at the Oklahoma City Thunder won, but allowed that to go into overtime in what became a loss for the Wizards, too. 

"We know what to do. We’re just not doing it," he said. "Until we do, we’re going to keep losing."

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Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Instead of looking at the final play of the Wizards' 107-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when Otto Porter got the ball from Markieff Morris on the double-team and turned the corner for a good look at the basket that didn't go down, it's the way quarters ended that hurt them most. 

The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead in the first half that evaporated and came back to take the lead 103-102 on a three-point shot by Bradley Beal with 53.4 seconds left. But the one thing the Wizards had done a good job of all game, rebounding (43-37 edge), backfired late.

LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed an offensive rebound on a miss by Patty Mills and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout and re-inserted Danny Green in the lineup. His three-pointer, his only made shot of the game, put them up 105-103 and after John Wall tied it for the Wizards with a strong drive it was Kawhi Leonard knocking down the game-winner for San Antonio. 

"Getting that first-quarter shot and (the one) they got at halftime, that's five points," Wall said. "That's a big swing. ... The ways they ended the quarter gave them some momentum."

With 46.7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wizards allowed an open three-pointer from Mills and allowed Manu Ginobili to bank in a 14-foot bucket at the buzzer. A 28-19 lead melted to 28-24.

They'd force a miss again to end the second, with David Lee not converting two layups, only to have Ginobili steal the outlet pass with 1.9 seconds left to nail a 33-foot three-pointer. A 60-54 lead became 60-57 at halftime.

Then an inefficient ending to the third quarter is where the Wizards finally lost the game, getting three turnovers in the last 2:14 and allowing a 7-1 run to trail 80-74 entering the fourth. 

These are the botched spots when the Wizards could've secured their first win in San Antonio since 1999. 

"Pissed," Wall said of the locker room mood. "Let another one go. ... There are about seven games already this season for us that can haunt us (in regards to playoffs)."

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the final play called out of the timeout was for Beal on a curl to the basket but the passing lane wasn't there. Still, it goes back to how they ended quarters in the first three 12-minute sessions that set the table for disappoinment at the end.

"They scored every possession down the stretch of every quarter," Brooks said. "I'm happy that we're playing hard, playing together. But I'm not happy we're not getting wins."

[RELATED: The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Spurs]