Capitals

Bills' D finally shows in 19-14 win over Dolphins

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Bills' D finally shows in 19-14 win over Dolphins

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) It might be time to consider calling off the search party for Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills' long-lost defense.

For one week at least, the high-priced, much-maligned unit wasn't missing in action.

Williams - Buffalo's $100 million defensive end - had one of the team's three sacks, and safety Jairus Byrd recovered a fumble and had an interception in a much-needed, long-awaited stifling performance that produced a 19-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

``That's how it's supposed to be,'' Williams said. ``It was definitely a must win. With the way things turned out earlier in the season, we had to come out and play like it's the playoffs.''

A defense that entered the game ranked 31st in the NFL in yards allowed and dead last in giving up an average 31.67 points, limited the Dolphins to 184 yards and 16 first downs. Buffalo held Reggie Bush to a mere 20 yards - or 183 fewer than the Dolphins running back in his previous trip to Orchard Park last December.

Just as important, the defense closed it out by forcing turnovers on Miami's final two drives.

Byrd intercepted rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's pass with a diving catch at Buffalo's 35 with 1:54 left. And Bryan Scott followed a little over a minute later, jumping in front of Tannehill's pass intended for Davone Bess at midfield.

``Seeing the predicament we're in, it was a must win,'' Byrd said. ``We dug this hole for ourselves.''

And here was the first step in attempting to dig out of it.

The Bills (4-6) snapped a three-game skid and won for only the second time in seven games to stay on the fringe of the AFC playoff hunt. Buffalo also ended several other inglorious skids, by beating a division rival for the first time in nine meetings, and snapping an 11-game prime-time drought that dated to 2001.

Leodis McKelvin opened the scoring 90 seconds in by returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in a game the Bills never trailed.

That made up for an offense that lacked finish. Rian Lindell hit four field goals, including a 42-yarder, as Buffalo failed to score an offensive touchdown despite four trips inside the Miami 20.

The outlook is suddenly much different for the Dolphins (4-6), who have lost three straight and whatever momentum and hope they had generated after getting off to a better-than-expected start.

``Couldn't run the ball, and we couldn't throw the ball either,'' Bush said. ``We just have to do a better job as a team, and find a way to better game-plan, better way to execute, offense and defense, and all phases of the game.''

Tannehill continues to show signs of regressing. A week after throwing three interceptions in a 37-3 loss against Tennessee, he added two more against a Bills defense that hadn't forced a turnover in three previous games.

``It's really frustrating, especially with the success earlier in the year,'' Tannehill said. ``Being in situations where we're going three-and-out or six-and-out, it's frustrating. We have to be able to find a rhythm and get things going early on.''

The player drafted eighth overall out of Texas A&M finished 14 of 28 for 141 yards with 2-yard touchdown to Bess.

Marcus Thigpen accounted for the other score, a 96-yard kickoff return that cut the lead to 10-7 in the first quarter.

It wasn't all Tannehill's fault.

The Dolphins' usually sturdy defense gave up 120 yards rushing, including 91 to C.J. Spiller, who took over the bulk of the rushing duties in place of Fred Jackson (concussion). After allowing 307 yards rushing in its first five games, Miami has given up 661 in its past five.

Cornerback Nolan Carroll had a particularly dreadful outing. He was penalized four times for 56 yards, including a 31-yard pass-interference penalty while defending Bills wideout T.J. Graham.

Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 17 of 27 for 168 yards. Spiller also had three catches for 39 yards, while Stevie Johnson had six catches for 79 yards.

Fitzpatrick gave much of the credit to how well the defense played.

``The defense has been working so hard,'' Fitzpatrick said. ``There's been a lot of criticism on them, but tonight was a dominating performance and something we can build on.''

NOTES: The 184 yards allowed were a season-low for Buffalo, and the fewest the defense has allowed since limiting Washington to 178 in a 23-0 win Oct. 30, 2011. ... Miami had 50 yards and two first downs in the first half. ... Thigpen and McKelvin scored 8:05 apart in the first quarter. The last time there was a punt return touchdown by one team and a kickoff return touchdown by the opposing team in the same quarter was December 1999 in a game between Washington and Detroit, according to STATS LLC. Washington's James Thrash had a 95-yard kickoff return and Detroit's Desmond Howard had a 68-yard punt return in the second quarter.

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Online:http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 58: Capitals at Blackhawks Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.

When: 8:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blackhawks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Blackhawks game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals (33-17-7) take on the Blackhawks (24-26-8) Saturday, February 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Chicago.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 7:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 8:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 11:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 12:30 a.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
8:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:30 p.m. — Capitals at Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
12:30 a.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Blackhawks game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Alex Chiasson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS GAME?

The Capitals-Blackhawks game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-BLACKHAWKS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Saturday night: TV and live stream info, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Saturday Night is here with the three-point contest, dunk contest and skills competition set for Los Angeles.

Here is all you need to know: TV and live stream info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

2018 NBA ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Skills competition

Participants: Lou Williams, Clippers; Jamal Murray, Nuggets; Al Horford, Celtics; Spencer Dinwiddie, Nets; Joel Embiid, Sixers; Buddy Hield, Kings; Lauri Markkanen, Bulls; Andre Drummond, Pistons

What to know: This year's crop has a fascinating mix of guards and big men and don't sleep on the seven-footers. Embiid in particular has a unique skillset for his size. Still, it's tough to beat the guards. Watch out for Dinwiddie, who is the best passer of the bunch.

RELATED: BETTING ODDS FOR DUNK CONTEST, THREE-POINT CONTEST

Three-point contest

Participants: Klay Thompson, Warriors; Eric Gordon, Rockets; Devin Booker, Suns; Paul George, Thunder; Wayne Ellington, Heat; Bradley Beal, Wizards; Kyle Lowry, Raptors; Tobias Harris, Clippers

What to know: Thompson and Gordon enter the contest as past champions, as Thompson won it in 2016 and Gordon took it home last year. Thompson has the best three-point percentage among the group and is the favorite, but watch out for Beal, a past runner-up, and George who has the second best percentage. Also, Booker is one of the game's best young players and has a very smooth stroke from three.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Dunk contest

Participants: Dennis Smith Jr.; Mavericks; Donovan Mitchell, Jazz; Larry Nance Jr., Cavaliers; Victor Oladipo, Pacers

What to know: This is all about the rookies, Smith and Mitchell, who most are predicting to win. Oladipo has been in the contest before, but didn't win. He's also the only All-Star of the bunch. Nance is the only guy who isn't a guard and his father won it back in 1984. It will be interesting to see if he does some sort of nod to his old man, now 34 years later.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS