Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal says he learned to be patient with injuries

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Last season Bradley Beal just wanted to be on the court — so much so that when he sprained his ankles he kept playing. But if you play injured the body will compensate, and that leads to worse issues. Say, a stress reaction in your lower leg.

That’s what Beal got and he spent much of this off-season letting it heal.

Now he is in the Wizards training facility getting ready for the season while Chris Singleton and Emeka Okafor have already gone down with injuries. Beal told J. Michael of CSNWashington.com if he is injured this season he knows better what to do.

“Hopefully I can learn my lesson, stop being hard-headed and just sit down when I need to sit down,” said Beal, 20, who missed 26 games. “And listen to older guys, know my body and hopefully this year I’ll be injury-free.

“I’ll definitely tell them (to be patient), especially Chris with his foot.”

Beal is slated to be the floor-stretching shooter who pairs with John Wall in the backcourt, but Beal said he’s been working on his game and can do more than that.

“They definitely put a lot of skill work in me, a lot of ball-handling, things I need to do off the dribble,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate on the floor.”

The Wizards see themselves as a playoff team in the East, but the injury to Okafor — out indefinitely with a neck injury — could dampen those chances. It’s puts a lot more pressure on Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker up front, but also on Wall and Beal to put up points.

Washington needs not only a healthy Beal but also an improved one to make the postseason.

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.

Spurs kick off rust from layoff to beat Clippers 105-97 in Chris Paul’s return

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.

Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.

Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.