AP

Bojan Bogdanovic hits eight 3-pointers, Wizards beat Magic 115-114

Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) Bojan Bogdanovic scored 15 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and made a career-high eight 3-pointers as the Washington Wizards came back from 17 down to defeat the Orlando Magic 115-114 on Sunday.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 32 points, and John Wall had 19 points and 10 assists as the third-place Wizards moved a game ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings.

Otto Porter scored 11 points, and more importantly spotted Bogdanovic in the corner for his final 3 to give the Wizards the lead for good with 48.6 seconds left.

Terrence Ross scored 20 points to lead seven players in double figures for the Magic.

Aaron Gordon had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Bismack Biyombo had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Orlando, which settled for a 2-2 season series split with Washington.

In his sixth game since joining Washington from Brooklyn in a trade last month, Bogdanovic hit five 3s in the final quarter. He finished 8 for 10 from beyond the arc, including 5 for 6 in the fourth.

Washington led for the first time in the second half when Wall converted a three-point play to make it 97-96, beginning a dramatic final six minutes.

Out of a timeout, Bogdanovic hit his fourth 3 of the fourth period from the top the arc to make it 112-111 off Wall’s kick-out.

Evan Fournier drove baseline, drew a foul and converted a three-point play to put Orlando back on top by two, before Bogdanovic put the Wizards ahead again 11 seconds later.

Gordon missed a jumper with 30 seconds left and a contested floater at the buzzer that would’ve won it for the Magic.

TIP-INS

Magic: Shot 14 of 35 from 3-point range. . Surpassed their season average of 8.4 3-pointers a game by halftime, hitting 10 of their first 20 attempts. . Biyombo’s performance came in his first start since Jan. 8, while Nikola Vucevic sat out with a sore right Achilles.

Wizards: Only led once before halftime, 17-15, on Beal’s step-back jumper. After that, he exited the game for several minutes with a mild left ankle sprain. . Marcin Gortat picked up his second personal foul with 6:46 to play in the first quarter.

COAST TO COAST

With only 21 games left on their schedule, the Wizards depart for the first of two five-game road trips that include West Coast stops. Their second one begins on March 25, just 12 days after the first one ends. Washington is 11-15 away from home.

UP NEXT

Magic: Close a back-to-back set at home against the New York Knicks on Monday.

Wizards: Begin their road trip at Phoenix on Tuesday.

Report: Duke guard Frank Jackson undergoes foot surgery before NBA draft

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
1 Comment

Duke guard Frank Jackson declared for the 2017 NBA draft with an outside shot of going in the first round and a likelihood of getting picked in the second-round.

This won’t help his stock.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Duke’s Frank Jackson, a well-regarded point guard in the 2017 NBA draft class, underwent right foot surgery and is expected to be fully recovered sometime in July.

When Jackson recovers will determine whether he plays in summer league, and that can affect transition to the pros as a rookie.

The bigger questions: Will this hinder his athleticism long-term? Does this put him at greater injury risk?

Jackson, a 6-foot-4 scoring guard, relies on a strong first step to attack the basket and high elevation on his jumper.

Report: 76ers, with No. 3 pick in NBA draft, like PGs De’Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith Jr.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
3 Comments

If there’s consensus on the top prospects in the 2017 NBA draft, it’s:

1. Markelle Fultz

2. Lonzo Ball

3. Josh Jackson

That squares nicely with the Celtics picking Fultz No. 1 and the Lakers taking Ball No. 2.

But what about the 76ers, who pick No. 3? They already have a playmaking forward with a shaky jumper in Ben Simmons. Jackson isn’t the cleanest fit. Even if they plan to deploy Simmons at point guard, they could still use a traditional point guard for support/insurance.

Enter De'Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith Jr.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

https://twitter.com/SBondyNYDN/status/867526157184491521

The 76ers could also get a workout with Ball. There will be point guard options.

I’m just unsure any of them, assuming Ball is off the board, trump Jackson.

Philadelphia’s starting small forward is Robert Covington – a nice player, but not someone who should influence draft decisions. We can lightly pencil Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons into the 76ers’ starting lineup the next time the team gets good, but the rest of the lineup is open. Pondering Jackson’s fit into a half-blank canvass is overthinking. Embiid is an excellent outside shooter for a center, and Philadelphia’s eventual guards (or shooting guard and power forward if Simmons plays point guard) could be good shooters.

The 76ers’ should draft the best prospect available. If that’s Jackson, so be it. They should consider Fox’s and Smith’s fit only if those point guards are in the same tier as Jackson.

That said, don’t rule out the possibility of Fox and Smith working their way into that level. They’re intriguing players.

Thunder’s Enes Kanter: ‘I don’t like Golden State, so I want Cleveland to win the championship’

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
2 Comments

When Kevin Durant left the Thunder for the Warriors, Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter jumped fully on board the pro-Russell Westbrook, anti-Durant bandwagon.

That ride doesn’t stop with his former teammate facing the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Kanter, via Fox Sports Radio:

I don’t like Golden State, so I want Cleveland to win the championship.

Kanter never misses an opportunity to take a shot at the Warriors – except when Zaza Pachulia laid out Westbrook and stood over him.

Dwane Casey: Masai Ujiri assured me I’ll return as Raptors coach

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Galit Rodan
1 Comment

Raptors president Masai Ujiri didn’t mince words at his season-ending press conference: Toronto’s playing style had become unacceptable.

It sounded as if he might have been planting the seed for firing Dwane Casey.

But the coach says Ujiri assured him he’d return next season.

Casey on TSN (hat tip: Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic):

I think people mistook Masai’s comments for that. We had a good meeting before that meeting, and we’ve had meeting since then – with all the coaches – as far as plans for next year and the culture reset, which I think every corporation and every team should do periodically to get the culture back in focus and that type of thing. It’s not like we’re in total chaos or anything like that. It’s just good to have roles defined, things we can do better in each of our roles.

We’re doing some good things and some things we can do much better with. And that’s what we’ll plan on doing this summer and also this fall, when we go to training camp.

The Raptors’ offensive rating has dropped from regular season to the playoffs by 8.5, 7.2 and 11.7 the last three years. Their isolation-heavy style is just easier to stop when defenses see it in consecutive games.

The big question: What does Toronto do about that?

It’d be difficult to move on from the two players most responsible for the style, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. DeRozan is signed long-term, and if the Raptors don’t re-sign Lowry, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, they won’t have the cap space to land a comparable replacement.

The best bet is probably changing schemes from the bench and hoping the players can adjust – and maybe Casey can handle that responsibility. Hiring a new coach obviously would been the clearest path to a shake up, but maybe Casey can evolve. I’d want to see a plan from him before committing to keeping him, but maybe Ujiri got that.

Casey has played a key role in Toronto’s improvement, it’s nice to give him an opportunity to coach differently before hiring a different coach.