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Wizards and Thunder tonight on TNT
The Wizards head to Oklahoma City for a national TV game against the Thunder.
Chesapeake Energy Arena | 8:00 p.m. | TNT | 1500 AM
Wizards (26-21): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Thunder (27-20): G - Westbrook, G - Roberson, F - George, F - Anthony, C - Adams
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out)
Wizards Back in Action
Over the last five days, the Wizards have played just one game and it was a blowout loss in Dallas, which should have this team itching to get back on the court tonight. The Wiz are 3-0 this season after losing by 20+ points, which includes their win last Friday in Detroit. It's been a tough start to the trip, with two blowout losses in Charlotte and Dallas with that win in Detroit sandwiched in between those two games. But, the Wiz still have a chance to make this a winning trip and while they've struggled this season against the sub .500 teams, that won't be an issue tonight as they'll get a chance to play a hot Thunder team on national TV. The two teams will meet again next Tuesday in D.C.
Thunder Hot Since December
Since December 1st, the Thunder have gone 19-8 and they are currently the hottest team in the NBA, winners of five straight. They got off to a tough start, but have turned things around and enter tonight with a record one game better than the Wizards. They have really started to click on the offensive end, which included a franchise-high 148 points against the Cavs last Sunday. The reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, was just named an All-Star reserve in the Western Conference and this will be the first time the Wizards play against this Thunder team with former All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the front court. Besides their big three, it may be Steven Adams who presents real problems inside, as he's had double digit rebounds in five straight games and has had 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in two of his last three. Despite coming close a few times, the Wizards have never beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City, going 0-8 over the last decade. Scott Brooks, who coached the Thunder for many of those games, will return as the visiting coach for just the second time in his career. He received a standing ovation last year when he returned and will likely get a nice hand from the crowd again tonight.
Wall and Beal's First Game as All-Star Backcourt
While they've been called an All-Star caliber backcourt for quite some time, tonight John Wall and Bradley Beal will play their first official game as an All-Star backcourt as both were named All-Stars on Tuesday night. Wall will be heading to his fifth All-Star game, while Beal will be making his All-Star debut in February. It's the first time the Wizards will send a pair of teammates to the All-Star game since 2008, when Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler were selected. Wall leads the Eastern Conference in assists with 9.2, while Beal is averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game.
Up next, the Wizards close out their longest road trip of the season when they play the Hawks in Atlanta. (7:30 p.m.)