Wall stands tall as Wizards seal spot in playoffs

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JOHN Wall made a successful return with a 15-point and 14-assist performance as the Washington Wizards defeated the Charlotte Hornets 107-93 to book their spot in the NBA playoffs.
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Reuters

Golden State Warriors guard Patrick McCaw is carted off the court in a stretcher after suffering an injury against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter of their NBA game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on Saturday. 

JOHN Wall made a successful return with a 15-point and 14-assist performance as the Washington Wizards defeated the Charlotte Hornets 107-93 on Saturday to book their spot in the NBA playoffs.

All Star Wall was appearing in his first game in two months for the Wizards who clinched their fourth playoff berth in the last five seasons.

“We don’t know who we play and we really don’t care who we play. We just want to play well going into the playoffs,” coach Scott Brooks said.

Otto Porter tallied 26 points and 11 rebounds and Bradley Beal nailed 6 of 8 shots from beyond the arc as the Wizards hit a franchise-record tying 18 3-pointers.

Wall last played in January when the American had left knee surgery. His impact was immediate as he made a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game and finished with 33 minutes of playing time.

“It was good to see my first shot go in,” Wall said.

Washington had lost four of the last five without Wall to drop into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, heading into the Hornets’ matchup.

Wall had averaged 19.4 points and 9.3 assists in 37 games before the injury.

“That Ferrari is pretty good,” Brooks said referring to Wall. “He got a lot of open shots for a lot of players. That’s what he does at the highest level in the league.”

The Hornets, who have now lost two straight, were led by veteran center Dwight Howard with 22 points.

Washington beat Charlotte for the first time in four tries this season.

In Sacramento, Golden State Warriors guard Patrick McCaw was taken off the court via stretcher after being undercut while scoring a basket during the team’s 112-96 win over the Kings.

McCaw was soaring high for a possible dunk with 41.8 seconds left in the third quarter when Sacramento’s Vince Carter bumped his right shoulder into McCaw’s left leg. McCaw fell to the floor in pain and rolled around on the ground before being tended to by teammates, trainers and Golden 1 Center medical personnel.

The 22-year-old McCaw was stabilized before being taken from the floor.

The team announced he was being taken to UC Davis Medical Center for further evaluation: Chest x-rays and a CT scan were clear.

McCaw will also have an MRI at a to-be-determined time, the team announced.

“It was really scary,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said afterward during a brief press conference. “He was in a lot of pain and he landed on his back. You saw what happened. They took him off on a stretcher and had to immobilize him. We’ll see. It is scary stuff.”

Carter appeared to apologize to Kerr during the five-minute delay. “Vince felt horrible,” Kerr said. “I was out there next to him. Vince felt awful. Patty was in extreme pain. Everybody felt bad.”

Golden State was leading 88-69 at the time of McCaw’s injury.

Elsewhere in the NBA, it was: Nets 110, Heat 109 (overtime); Celtics 110, Raptors 99; and Pistons 115, Knicks 109.


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