On Monday morning, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal shared his respect for Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, a big man who can stretch the floor to the perimeter. Beal even falsely believed that Cousins attempted more 3-pointers per game this season than he has.
"I got to start shooting a little bit more," Beal concluded.
By game time, Beal lived up to his words.
As the Wizards held off Sacramento, 101-95, in overtime, Beal scored 31 points and reached career-high figures with seven 3-pointers on 13 attempts. After the game, Beal joked how "Boogie" Cousins served as his inspiration.
"I found out Boogie shoots about six threes per game. So I came in tonight [saying] there's no way he can shoot more than me," Beal said in mock angst, though Cousins's actual attempts figure is closer to four.
"But no, it's just being aggressive," Beal said. "I was open a lot and shooting with confidence. Even the ones I had contested it's just a matter of playing with ultimate confidence and believing in myself."
Though Cousins performed as a dominant presence — 36 points on 16-of-34 shooting and 20 rebounds — he missed five of his six 3-pointers. Even better for the Wizards, Cousins did not find the touch at the foul line and blew seven of 10 attempts including consecutive free throws with 23.4 seconds remaining in overtime.
Even so, with the exception of Beal's big night and second-year forward Kelly Oubre Jr. with his best production of the season (10 points and a career-high 10 rebounds), Monday's game lacked rhythm.
Against the Kings, John Wall, with the ball in his hands, performed equally like a conductor as well as a train wreck. On one play, Wall located Beal for a 3-pointer. However on the next scoring opportunity, he lost the ball to center Willie Cauley-Stein. By halftime, Wall had nine assists but also created eight turnovers. For the game, Wall finished with a triple-double he'd rather forget: 19 points, 11 assists and 11 turnovers.
Though Wall took a blow to his inner knee early in the game and described his knee as "pretty sore," he did not blame the discomfort for his turnovers.
"Just over-dribbling and trying to make passes," Wall said, "and those guys are pretty athletic and have length. They deflected some of my passes."
As a team, Washington committed 24 turnovers that led to 21 points for the Kings. And when the Wizards weren't gagging up possessions, they were fouling and complaining — a lot.
In the first quarter, Wall's constant dialogue with official Eric Lewis led to a technical foul. Near the halfway point of the second quarter, Marcin Gortat was called for his third personal foul and responded by falling to the floor and holding his hands to his head. Official Tony Brothers didn't care for the dramatic act and called Gortat for a technical.
The frustration spread around the Wizards' sideline and coach Scott Brooks picked up the team's third technical foul — his coming after Andrew Nicholson had clearly committed a hard foul against Sacramento's Matt Barnes, wrapping an arm around Barnes's shoulders to stop another fast break after a Washington turnover.
"It was eight to 10 minutes straight of just fouls, fouls, fouls," Wall said. "It's hard to get into a rhythm. We did a great job of trying to find Brad. He had a rhythm going for us. The past couple games he's been pretty hot and keeping us into games."
Between the long stretches of play without field goals (a problem for both teams) and engaging in a losing battle against the three men with whistles (just the Wizards), Monday night needed a redeemer.
And Beal provided one.
With the Wizards behind 78-76 and almost three minutes expired in the fourth quarter, Beal returned to the floor and started shooting. Beal knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Then, after Trey Burke missed a layup, the ball bounced to Beal who was standing behind the left arc.
Following his career-high-tying sixth three-pointer, Beal jogged back to the Wizards' sideline and raised his palms toward the ceiling. Beal's hands remained bare, however, during Washington's final possession of regulation as Wall did not give up the ball for 10 seconds then missed a fading jump shot to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, the Wizards held the Kings to three points and Beal drilled his seventh from beyond the arc. By the end, Washington had turned an ugly game into a win and Beal highlighted the true inspiration behind his strongest three-point shooting night.
"My teammates," Beal said. "I've got to give credit to them because they did a terrific job of screening for me and John did a great job of finding me."
NHL: Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie practiced with his teammates again Monday, seemingly making progress on an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered Nov. 18 against the Detroit Red Wings. Oshie indicated it was a shoulder injury, and he didn't participate in contact drills.
"I guess the next step for me really is to be in a position where, when I'm on the ice, my injury is not going to affect the outcome of the game negatively for the team," Oshie said. "I'm not going to come back and play if there's an instance in a game when I think that I'm not going to be able to defensively make a play or offensively make a play because of my shoulder injury and hinder our chances of winning. That's really my only step that I want to go."
When Oshie first got hurt, the team announced he was week-to-week, indicating the injury was serious. Oshie said Monday was a "big step" for him. Coach Barry Trotz said after practice that Oshie, who has missed four games thus far, won't play this week.
"He's doing a little bit more and more, but like I say, it's an upper-body injury, so the lower body still works," Trotz said. "But I don't anticipate him playing this week."
Oshie had been having a strong start to the season, scoring eight goals and four assists in the first 17 games. He also played on the top power-play and penalty-kill units, averaging 18:06 before getting hurt. He missed just two games last season, and both were because of illness, not injury.
"We're just kind of testing it out and seeing what I can handle," Oshie said. "If I get too sore, we'll step back a little, but we're pushing, we're staying positive and so far everything has been moving in the right direction. We've been moving forward every day."
— Isabelle Khurshudyan, The Washington Post
Baltimore native, 5-star defensive end Kaindoh decommits from Terps
Joshua Kaindoh, a Baltimore native, former Mount Carmel standout and one of the best defensive end recruits in the nation tweeted Monday night that he was decommitting from Maryland and would be announcing his "final decision" Jan. 1 at the Under Armour All-America Football Game. "Thank you to Maryland's coaching staff for their belief in me and for a great opportunity," Kaindoh wrote. "I wish Maryland nothing but the best. Thank you to everyone who understands." In April, Kaindoh, rated as a five-star by 247Sports.com composite rankings, announced that he was committing to the Terps, and included a photo with the words "THE FUTURE IS SET. MY COMMITMENT IS MADE." Over the summer, his mother, Diane, affirmed that despite Kaindoh's long list of suitors he was College Park-bound. "My son is a man of his word. My son has chosen the Terps … He is a Terp for duration of his College career," she tweeted in July. In August, he told 247Sports.com that his recruitment was "done." After taking his official visit to Maryland on Oct. 1, Kaindoh traveled from IMG Academy (Fla.), where he has played for the past two seasons, to Florida State for an official visit two weeks later. This past weekend, Kaindoh took another official visit, to State College, where the Nittany Lions on Saturday defeated Michigan State, 45-12, and celebrated their shared Big Ten East Division title.
— Jonas Shaffer
More college football: Syracuse redshirt senior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, a graduate transfer from Maryland, was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team offense after a vote of 48 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Virginia junior linebacker Micah Kiser (Gilman) was named to the first-team defense, and Wake Forest freshman punter Dom Maggio (Boys' Latin) received honorable mention. Etta-Tawo was also named ACC Receiver of the Week. … Morgan State senior linebacker Greg Gibson and junior defensive lineman Jai Franklin earned second-team All-Mid Eastern Athletic Conference honors, while sophomore defensive back Carl Garnes and senior tight end Willie Gillus III were named to the third team. North Carolina Central redshirt junior Mike Jones (Milford Mill) was selected to the first-team defense as a defensive back and return specialist and Bethune-Cookman redshirt junior defensive lineman Kevin Thompson (Benjamin Franklin) was picked to the third-team defense.
Men's college basketball: Mount Saint Mary's sophomore guard Elijah Long was named one of the Northeast Conference's Prime Performers of the Week.
Men's college soccer: Maryland's coaches received the Midwest Regional Staff of the Year award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
College wrestling: Maryland sophomore Brendan Burnham (174) won both of his matches at the Mat Town Open at Lock Haven on SundayCochise WanzerRay Berot before medically retiring. Freshman Niko Cappello (174) also won twice in the 174-pound divisionCameron CaldarelliJarek Gozdieski, while Ryan Diehl (149) won twice before defaultingDavid Kelly Sam Martino . Michael Doetsch (141) won a pair of matchesMikey Obrien Bradley Bihler in the consolation ladder.
College field hockey: Salisbury seniors Hannah Miller (Severna Park) and Becca Rinaca were named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-South Region first team, while senior Annah Brittingham and junior Tressie Windsor earned second-team honors.
Minor league basketball: The Baltimore Shuckers announced Llewellyn Smalley will return for his fourth season as coach. The Shuckers are entering their sixth season and first in the Central Basketball Association. In three seasons, Smalley has a 27-21 regular-season record.
Horse racing: A quartet of horses came within a head of sweeping four out-of-town stakes, three of them graded, in Canada and on both U.S. coasts for Maryland-based horsemen. On Saturday at Santa Anita Park, trainer Graham Motion captured the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) with Ring Weekend and the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) with Journey Home, just hours after their Fair Hill Training Center stablemate Bellows broke his maiden at Laurel Park. The same day, fellow Fair Hill-based trainer Arnaud Delacour's Grade 3 winner Divining Rod, third in the 2015 Preakness (G1), dueled with Connect the length of the Aqueduct stretch before finishing a head short at the wire in the Cigar Mile (G1). On Sunday, MMG Stables' Undulated rallied from last to first under jockey Alan Garcia to win the Swynford Stakes over the all-weather surface at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario. It was the first race outside of Maryland for the 2-year-old son of Curlin, who won his Aug. 7 unveiling at Laurel before returning to finish second in the Laurel Futurity on Sept. 10. … Jockey Victor Carrasco sat out Monday's card at Laurel Park with a sore knee but is expected to return to action when live racing resumes Friday, agent Tom Stift said. … There will be carryovers in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 and $1 Super Hi-5 for Friday's program. First race post time is 12:30 p.m. … Meet-leading rider Jevian Toldeo swept the early daily double with Lanier in the first race at Laurel Park and Tiz a Diamond in the second, and added a third win with Cho Time in the ninth. Tiz a Diamond and fourth-race winner Double Whammy are from the barn of Mary Eppler, who took over the lead in the trainer standings. Jockey Brian Pedroza had a pair of winners with Rockin in the fifth and Foxhall Drive in the eighth.