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Bolts beat Raiders in Turner's expected finale

Bolts beat Raiders in Turner's expected finale

SAN DIEGO (AP) It's decision time for Dean Spanos, the president of the San Diego Chargers.

Norv Turner already is a step ahead of Spanos. The coach thinks he's going to be fired Monday morning.

Turner watched his San Diego Chargers beat the rival Oakland Raiders 24-21 on a wet, gloomy Sunday that seemed to sum up the state of the franchise.

The Chargers (7-9) will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. The only thing left is a final team meeting Monday morning.

``Obviously, we're going to meet with the team and I'm sure they'll start looking for a new coach,'' said Turner, who has one year left on his contract, at $3 million.

Spanos said he'd have something to say on Monday.

``I haven't talked to anybody,'' Spanos said as he left Qualcomm Stadium with his two sons.

General manager A.J. Smith also is expected to be fired Monday. Smith could be replaced by Jimmy Raye, the director of pro personnel. It's expected that John Spanos, the team's director of college scouting, also would be promoted. At some point, John Spanos will oversee the franchise's football operations.

Asked if this has been emotional, Turner said: ``In there with the guys, I was brief because I want to spend some time and talk to them (Monday). It's emotional. There is a lot going on.''

San Diego's Micheal Spurlock returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

San Diego linebacker Takeo Spikes and Oakland running back Mike Goodson were ejected following a skirmish in the second quarter.

If Turner does get fired, he'll finish 56-40 in six seasons with San Diego, but just 24-24 the last three seasons.

Turner's overall regular-season record as an NFL head coach is 114-122-1. He was 49-59-1 in Washington from 1994 until being fired with three games left in the 2000 season and 9-23 with Oakland, where he coached from 2004 until being fired after the 2005 season.

He was hired by the Chargers in February 2007 after Smith won a power struggle with Marty Schottenheimer.

Quarterback Philip Rivers was emotional as he spoke about Turner.

``It's tough You've played quarterback for a guy for 102 games. That's a lot of time spent. A lot of fun, a lot of hard work, plenty of disagreements and aggravations. It's hard,'' Rivers said. ``Other than my dad, I don't know that there has been a coach that you've had so much respect for and trust for. Six years is a long time.''

The Raiders finished 4-12.

Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor made his first career start, in place of injured Carson Palmer. Pryor threw his first career touchdown pass, a 9-yarder to Darrius Heyward-Bey early in the second quarter, and scored on a 3-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to pull the Raiders to 24-14.

The Chargers almost blew this one.

The Raiders blocked a punt by Mike Scifres, setting up Pryor's 5-yard TD pass to Denarius Moore with 1:52 left. The Raiders tried an onside kick but Spurlock recovered.

``Just when I saw that punt blocked I was like, `Geez, we're going to win this game. As ugly as it was on offense, we're going to win this game,' `' Pryor said. ``It didn't turn out that way. I just commend everybody for not stopping. Just keep going.''

Coach Dennis Allen said the TD pass to Moore ``was a heck of a football play. With Terrelle, like any young quarterback, you take a little bit of the good with the bad but overall I thought, not bad.''

Spurlock took the opening kickoff and ran up the middle of the field before cutting over to the right sideline to give the Chargers a lead they wouldn't give up.

He became the first Chargers player to have a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in consecutive weeks. He returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown a week earlier in a victory against the New York Jets.

Pryor's TD pass came two plays after Spikes and Goodson were ejected.

Goodson was blocking Spikes when the two locked up on a pass play in the second quarter. They remained locked up after the play ended and a larger scrum broke out.

Spikes and Goodson were flagged for personal fouls and ejected. Spikes had to be restrained by field judge Scott Edwards from going after referee John Parry.

As he was leaving the field, Spikes took off his helmet and flung it. Teammate Melvin Ingram caught it.

Backup tight end Randy McMichael walked Spikes off the field and the two hugged before Spikes disappeared up the tunnel.

Parry said the two players were ejected because they kept pulling at each other's facemasks after the referees tried to separate them.

After Oakland scored, San Diego took the ensuing kickoff and went on a long drive that resulted in Rivers' 11-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates for a 17-7 lead with 2:48 left before halftime.

Pryor made some big mistakes.

With Sebastian Janikowski warming up on the sideline for a possible field goal attempt in the final seconds of the first half, Pryor scrambled but didn't get out of bounds and the clock ran out.

Early in the third quarter, Pryor got too much air under a pass and was picked off in the end zone by Quentin Jammer.

Rivers also threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Danario Alexander. Rivers completed 13 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Pryor was 13 of 28 for 150 yards, with two TDs and one interception.

NOTES: Jammer, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2002 draft, believes he's played his final game with the Chargers. ... Raiders DE Lamarr Houston had nine tackles and four assists, plus 1 1/2 sacks and two QB hits. He also was whistled twice for offsides. ... The Chargers had 210 yards in offense. The Raiders had 265.

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

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

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

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

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers 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.

CAPITALS-SABRES 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.