Gary Neal

Report: Wizards signing Marcus Thornton

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The Wizards — despite dropping three straight and falling 2.5 games out of playoff position — continue their second-half effort to care about this season.

After trading for Markieff Morris just before the trade trade deadline, Washington is waiving Gary Neal and upgrading to Marcus Thornton.

 

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Wizards still have the $2,806,750 Martell Webster disabled-player exception available until tomorrow. But they’re just $581,094 below the the luxury-tax line. I doubt they’ll eclipse the tax for Thornton.

But Thornton should help Washington, which has needed more wings all season to play its desired spread style. That’s especially true now with Neal and Bradley Beal banged up.

Thornton, whom the Rockets waived seemingly as a favor after the Pistons voided the trade that would’ve sent him to Detroit, adds a little scoring punch. I’m not sure how much he can serve as a lead ball-handler anymore, but he’s still a solid outside shooter. That skill should prove useful when he plays with John Wall and other top Wizards.

 

Makeshift Bulls lineup outlasts Wizards 109-104

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CHICAGO (AP) —  Taj Gibson and E'Twaun Moore each scored 17 points, Tony Snell added 16 and a thrown-together roster of Chicago Bulls backups beat the Washington Wizards 109-104 on Wednesday night.

Three of the Bulls’ top four scorers missed the game and the fourth was sick.

Pau Gasol, who missed practice on Tuesday and was playing with the flu, narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 15 rebounds, 10 points and nine assists in the Bulls’ third straight victory.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 19 points. Garrett Temple scored 18 and Ramon Sessions and John Wall added 16. Markieff Morris had 10 rebounds for the Wizards.

Chicago’s Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch with right hamstring tendinitis, while the Bulls’ leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, missed a seventh game with a left knee strain. Nikola Mirotic is out because of appendicitis.

Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott each had 14 points for Chicago. Aaron Brooks finished 11.

The Bulls also have been without Joakim Noah because of a shoulder injury since Jan. 15.

The teams played fairly evenly in the first half with Chicago taking a 57-55 halftime lead. The Bulls then went on a third-quarter run that had them up by as much as 15 in the period.

TIP-INS:

Wizards: Alan Anderson returned to the lineup for the Wizards, playing for the first time this season after surgery on his left ankle. He finished with nine points in 16 minutes. … Gary Neal missed his seventh straight game with right leg soreness.

Bulls: Despite the makeshift starting lineup, all five Bulls starters scored in double figures. … Since Jan. 9, the Bulls have had eight players miss games for a total of 60 lost games, tied for second-most games lost to injury over that span. …The Bulls are 6-1 without Rose in the lineup.

 

Anthony Davis’ scoring drops by 50 from last game in loss to Wizards

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WASHINGTON (AP) John Wall had 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, helping the Washington Wizards beat Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 109-89 on Tuesday night.

Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, which pulled away in the second half of its season-high fourth straight home win. Jared Dudley scored 18 points on six 3-pointers and helped hold Davis in check after his monster game at Detroit.

Wall was 5 for 17 from the field in his second triple-double of the season and fifth of his career. He also had two steals in 31 1/2 minutes.

Davis grabbed 20 more rebounds, but was held to just nine points on 3-for-9 shooting. The All-Star forward had 59 points and 20 rebounds in a 111-106 victory against the Pistons on Sunday.

Jrue Holiday had 20 points and seven assists for New Orleans, which had won four of five to remain on the fringe of the Western Conference playoff hunt. Ryan Anderson scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Leading 54-51, the Wizards opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run.

Dudley hit a 3-pointer, fed Gortat for a layup and nailed another 3 from the wing on consecutive trips.

Three possessions later, Dudley struck again for his sixth 3. The crowd let out a collective groan when he missed from beyond the arc on the Wizards’ next trip, but Otto Porter rebounded and fed Wall, whose 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 68-51.

New Orleans was without starting center Omer Asik, who sprained his ankle Saturday against the Pistons.

HE COULD HAVE SCORED MORE

Coach Alvin Gentry was asked before the game what he liked best about Davis’ 59-point effort on Sunday.

“He’s still too doggone unselfish, to be honest with you, sometimes,” a chuckling Gentry said. “I said `I’m going to have to tell you, these games don’t come along all the time, and you’ve got to take full advantage of them when they do.’ But that’s just who he is.”

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Gentry said Asik will miss about two weeks. Alexis Ajinca started in place of Asik. . It was the first time this season Davis played over 20 minutes and didn’t score in double figures.

Wizards: G Gary Neal (sore right leg) was a late scratch and missed his sixth straight game.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host Oklahoma on Thursday.

Wizards: At Chicago on Wednesday.

John Wall, Wizards ruin Rambis’ Knicks debut with 111-108 win

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NEW YORK (AP) — John Wall had 28 points and 17 assists, Bradley Beal scored 26, and the Washington Wizards beat New York 111-108 on Tuesday night in the Knicks’ first game under Kurt Rambis.

Wall made four free throws in the final 6.6 seconds and the Wizards held on when Langston Galloway‘s 3-pointer at the buzzer was just short.

Carmelo Anthony had 33 points and 13 rebounds, but the Knicks lost their sixth straight in their first game since firing Derek Fisher on Monday. They have dropped 10 of 11 and started Rambis’ era the same way Fisher’s ended, by quickly falling in a huge early hole.

Rookie Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points, but just two after his 14-point third quarter.

Beal also took a charge against Arron Afflalo when a video replay overturned what had been ruled a blocking foul on a basket with 44 seconds left, a play that could have cut Washington’s lead to two.

Wall then kept the Wizards ahead with his free throws and they won for the third time in nine games. The All-Star made the go-ahead basket midway through the fourth, and later added a pair of jumpers before a 3-pointer that seemed to put it away at 106-96 with about 1:50 left.

The Knicks fired Fisher on Monday and appointed Rambis the interim coach through the remainder of the season. Drafted by the Knicks in the third round in 1980, Rambis said for the second straight day that it’s important for the Knicks to get into the playoffs, but that will take a huge turnaround after the All-Star break.

They allowed 63 first-half points, trying their most this season, after he said they had to toughen up their defense.

Porzingis hit a couple of 3-pointers early in the third, but his signature play came much closer to the basket, when he spun baseline around Jared Dudley and threw down a powerful dunk with Marcin Gortat nearby. That put a buzz in the building as only the rookie can and it stayed there as the Knicks caught up at 83-all to end the period.

But Porzingis was on the bench to start the fourth and the Wizards had just gone ahead for good before he returned.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington has won five straight at Madison Square Garden. … Guard Gary Neal missed the game with a sore right leg.

Knicks: Phil Jackson, during an interview with MSG Network, said the chances of a trade before next week’s deadline were “very slim” but that they would be looking. … Reserve forward Lance Thomas returned after missing two games because of a concussion. … F Thanasis Antetokounmpo rejoined Westchester of the NBA Development League after playing two games for the Knicks.

 

Banged-up Wizards cruise past Bulls for 114-100 win

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CHICAGO (AP) — John Wall had 17 points and 10 assists to help the banged-up Washington Wizards pull away from the Chicago Bulls for a 114-100 victory on Monday night.

Washington had seven players score in double figures in its second straight win after a stretch of five losses in six games. Ramon Sessions had 16 points, and Garrett Temple, Otto Porter Jr. and Nene scored 14 apiece.

The Wizards led by as many as 18 points while playing without key performers Marcin Gortat, Kris Humphries and Bradley Beal. Gortat was scratched with a sore left knee, Humphries missed his fourth straight game with a sore right knee and Beal remains out due to a stress reaction in his lower right leg.

Derrick Rose scored 23 points in the first of four games in five nights for the Bulls. Jimmy Butler had 19 points and seven assists, and Pau Gasol added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Bulls center Joakim Noah had no points and nine rebounds in a little under 19 minutes in his return from a left shoulder sprain. It was Noah’s first game since he got hurt in the third quarter of a 105-102 loss to Brooklyn on Dec. 21.

Noah was blocked from behind by Wall with 2:19 left in the third quarter, and then grabbed his shoulder after he hit the ground. But he stayed in the game.

Doug McDermott‘s four-point play got Chicago within four with 9:34 left, but Washington responded with a 13-2 run to put it away. Sessions capped the surge with a layup that made it 102-87 with 5:56 to go.

Gary Neal added 11 points for Washington, and Drew Gooden finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Jared Dudley made a 3-pointer and passed to a cutting Nene for a dunk early in the third, helping the Wizards open a 67-50 lead. But the Bulls ripped off 13 of the next 15 points.

Rose converted a three-point play and Butler had a steal and a dunk before Dudley got Washington back on track with a 3-pointer for a 72-63 lead with 6:48 left in the quarter.

 

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington also had a solid shooting performance in its previous game, matching a season high by connecting on 55.3 percent of its attempts in a 105-99 victory at Orlando on Saturday.

Bulls: Rose scored 13 in the first half to pass Ben Gordon (7,372 points) for 10th on the franchise’s career scoring list. Reggie Theus is ninth with 8,279 points.