WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall had 24 points and 13 assists, Markieff Morris scored 18 points and the Washington Wizards held New Orleans scoreless for the final 5:52 of the fourth quarter to beat the Pelicans 105-91 Saturday night for their seventh straight win.
Washington has its longest winning streak since a seven-game stretch from Jan. 2-15, 2005. The Wizards extended their home winning streak to 17 games, second-longest in franchise history.
Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which lost its fourth straight. The Pelicans were held scoreless after Tyreke Evans hit a 3-pointer to take a 91-90 lead with 5:52 to play.
Morris’ dunk 12 seconds later put the Wizards ahead and started a game-closing 15-0 run.
The Wizards (30-20) moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014-15 season.
Pelicans: G Buddy Hield, held scoreless on Sunday in the team’s last meeting, shot 3 for 10 and had six points. Coach Alvin Gentry isn’t worried about Hield, who was a highly heralded player in college a year ago. Hield was recently moved into the starting lineup. “I think he’s making progress. I think he’s going to be a really good player in this league,” Gentry said. … G Jrue Holiday had 10 rebounds and six turnovers, both season-highs.
Wizards: F Danuel House, who has played in just one game this season, is nearing a return from his fractured right wrist. “You’ll probably see him in the next 10 days or so. Maybe he plays in the D-League,” coach Scott Brooks said. … Wall moved into 10th place on the team’s all-time scoring list. … C Marcin Gortat had 17 rebounds – 10 in the first quarter. … Washington has won 22 games at home this season – equaling its 2015-16 home win total.
DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.
Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.
Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.
Justin Verrier of ESPN:
Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.
Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.
Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.
That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.
Evan Daniels of Scout:
Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.
Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.
Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.
Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.
There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.
But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.
Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.
In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.
Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.
Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:
“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”
Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?
Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.
Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.
Could Anthony be at peace with that?