John Wall scores 33 to lead Wizards over Lakers 116-108 (VIDEO)

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) John Wall scored 33 points and had 11 assists, Bradley Beal added 23 points and Marcin Gortat tied his season high with 21 to lead the Washington Wizards to their sixth straight win, 116-108 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

It marks Washington’s first six-game winning streak since Dec. 8-19, 2014. The Wizards have also won 16 straight at home – the second-longest run in franchise history.

Jordan Clarkson led Los Angeles with 20 points.

Washington had a 14-point lead, 86-72 with 2:37 to play in the third quarter, but the Lakers, who have lost nine of 11, tied it at 91 with 9:10 to play.

Wall, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including the Wizards’ final eight, sealed the win with a steal with 1:18 to play. He converted a jumper with 1:06 left, another with 38 seconds remaining and added four late free throws.

TIP INS

Lakers: Coach Luke Walton was happy to hear that Magic Johnson was returning to the team as an adviser. “I’m excited, obviously. He’s Magic Johnson. Not only one of the all-time great Lakers, but one of the great all-time NBA players. He’s a champion. It’s a nice piece to have on your side,” Walton said. … G Nick Young will participate in the 3-point contest on Feb. 18 during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. … F Julius Randle returned after missing two games with pneumonia.

Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks said C Ian Mahinmi, who has missed all but one game this season with a knee injury, participated in drills the last two days and is getting closer to a return. … Wall was selected as a participant in the Skills Competition on Feb. 18. … Gortat had 14 rebounds.

UP NEXT:

Lakers: At the Boston Celtics on Friday for the second game of a five-game road trip.

Wizards: Play the second of a season-high four-game homestand against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.