Wizards beat Lakers to clinch division title

March, 28, 2017
Mar 28
10:00
PM PT
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LOS ANGELES -- John Wall scored 34 points and Washington rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 on Tuesday night, clinching the Southeast Division title for its first division crown in 38 years.

Wall shot 14 of 25 and Bradley Beal was held to 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting, but the Wizards ended the longest division-title drought in NBA history with their fourth straight victory.

"I didn't know that," coach Scott Brooks said before the game. "Now we're fighting for playoff positioning."

When the franchise last claimed a division title in 1978-79, it was known as the Bullets of the Atlantic Division and played in suburban Landover, Maryland. The team had won its lone NBA championship the previous season and went on to lose the 1979 Finals to the Seattle SuperSonics.

From 1979-80 on, Washington has had one of the worst winning percentages in the league, and while the team has made the playoffs 14 times in that span, it hasn't gotten past the second round.


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John Wall pickpockets D'Angelo Russell, breaks away to the basket and throws down a powerful, one-handed slam.
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Kelly Oubre Jr. tries to put up a layup, but Lakers guard David Nwaba rises up and emphatically swats the shot into the crowd.
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After the Wizards cause a Lakers' turnover, John Wall dribbles downcourt and lobs a pass up to Bradley Beal, who finishes with a two-handed jam.

Metta World Peace has played limited time but remains a leader for Lakers: It’s a white board that hangs on the wall at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, dressed in Lakers colors. Yellow-striped with a Lakers logo and the words “Los Angeles Lakers Winners Board” in purple block letters at the top. The name atop the list isn’t a name at all. It just says, “Queensbridge” -- a nod to Metta World Peace, who grew up in Queens, N.Y. -- Los Angeles Times

The Lakers are officially Jeanie Buss' team, so what will she do?: She is firmly in her father’s chair now, no more shadow, no more question. Four years after the death of the legendary Jerry Buss, his daughter finally, formally emerged Monday as the powerful leader of Los Angeles’ most powerful sports franchise. The Lakers are now Jeanie Buss’ team. It’s official, it’s indisputable, and it’s for as long as she wants. -- Los Angeles Times

Buss family feud over Lakers appears to end with Jeanie removing brother Jim as a trustee: The battle between Jeanie Buss and her brothers for control of the Lakers came to an official end Monday, with Buss remaining in charge of the legendary franchise. After a month of legal maneuvering, including a forceful attempt by Jim and Johnny Buss to seize the organization from their sister, the siblings asked a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Monday to issue an order that ensures Jeanie will remain the team’s controlling owner and on the board of directors. -- The Orange County Register

Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram 'doubtful' for Tuesday's game against Wizards: Lakers coach Luke Walton stressed that durability has not been much of a concern for Brandon Ingram. Among NBA rookies, no one has logged more minutes than Ingram, who has played more than 2,000 in his debut season. But the 19-year-old forward will likely miss a second consecutive game Tuesday against the Washington Wizards because of patellar tendinitis in his right knee. He is considered doubtful after he did not practice Monday. -- The Orange County Register

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Rachel Nichols reads Jeanie Buss's statement about looking forward to working with her sister as her implying she is relieved of having to work with her brother Jim.
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The legal battle to control the Los Angeles Lakers is essentially over as controlling owner Jeanie Buss has removed her brother Jim Buss as a trustee and replaced him with her younger sister Janie Buss, according to documents entered into Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday morning.

The court agreed that the three trustees are obligated to do everything in their power to ensure Jeanie Buss remains both the Lakers controlling owner and head of the Lakers board of directors for life.

"It's great that we were able to work this out so fast. We've resolved everything clearly and cleanly and now we can get back to work," Jeanie Buss told ESPN. "Laker fans deserve success -- and now we can focus again on bringing it to them.

"I'm also very happy that my sister Janie is becoming a trustee of my family's Trust. I love her, I trust her and I'm excited to work alongside her."

The three siblings are co-trustees of four trusts that own 66 percent of the Lakers. On March 2, Jeanie Buss had filed a lawsuit in probate court after her older brothers Johnny and Jim Buss appeared to stage a coup to oust her from the board of directors. The hearing to settle that lawsuit -- scheduled for May 15 -- has now been cancelled after Jim Buss agreed to step down as a trustee and signed documents to that effect last week, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

According to sources close to the situation, neither brother was given any additional financial settlement beyond what'd they'd be entitled to through yearly salaries and disbursements from the trust.

The addition of Janie Buss firmly tilts the balance of power and solidifies Jeanie Buss' position as the head of the franchise.


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Kobe Bryant reminds Max Kellerman that he doesn't work for the Lakers when probed about how to fix the issues in Los Angeles.
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Kobe Bryant hasn't hooped since retirement and makes no apologies for not missing the game of basketball.

Lakers one step closer to the NBA draft's top pick: With this loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers fell to 21-52, half a game worse than the Phoenix Suns. The team with the worst record in the NBA will have a 64.1% chance of having a lottery pick in the top three. -- Los Angeles Times

Trail Blazers go deep to defeat Lakers and sweep season series: When less than five minutes remained in the third quarter Sunday night, the Portland Trail Blazers began to drown the Lakers in three-pointers. Suddenly an eight-point lead became 21 points, and the Lakers never recovered. Portland beat them, 97-81, at Staples Center to sweep the four-game season series. -- Los Angeles Times

Lakers collapse in third quarter against Portland, keep hold on NBA's second-worst record: Early in the first quarter, the Staples Center scoreboard flipped the teams’ scores and gave the Lakers a five-point edge over Portland. A valiant attempt, indeed, but not one that will fly at NBA headquarters. Before long, the numerals returned to their rightful places and so did the Lakers, who missed shots throughout the game and played increasingly poor defense. Portland also struggled early but still had enough for a 97-81 victory over the Lakers on Sunday night. -- The Orange County Register

Draft lottery could be heads-or-tails situation for Lakers if they tie Suns: What if a coin flip costs the Lakers their prized high first-round draft pick? It’s unlikely, but it’s statistically possible. It’s been fairly well-chronicled that if the Lakers finish with the NBA’s second-worst record, they enter the draft lottery with a 55.8-percent chance to land a top-three pick, and thus avoid having to send it to Philadelphia. Finish with the third-worst record, and the Lakers’ retention chance drops to 46.9 percent. -- The Orange County Register

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LOS ANGELES -- Damian Lillard scored 22 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 97-81 on Sunday night to pull even with Denver in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Both the Blazers and Nuggets are 35-38 with nine games left in the regular season. They play each other Tuesday in Portland.

Denver lost at home to the New Orleans Pelicans earlier Sunday night.

Portland took control by outscoring the Lakers 37-24 in the third quarter and led by as many as 26 points. Los Angeles shot 39 percent from the field and was outrebounded 61-42.

Allen Crabbe added 18 points off the bench for the Blazers, and Noah Vonleh grabbed 14 rebounds.

D'Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 22 points, and Tyler Ennis scored 14 off the bench.


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Jordan Clarkson dishes it back to Julius Randle who flies in for the two-handed throwdown.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
D'Angelo Russell
PTS AST STL MIN
15.5 4.7 1.4 28.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Randle 8.7
AssistsD. Russell 4.7
StealsD. Russell 1.4
BlocksI. Zubac 0.9