Capitals

Celtics G Rondo suspended two games after fight

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Celtics G Rondo suspended two games after fight

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for the third time this calendar year on Thursday when the NBA told him to sit out two games without pay for starting a skirmish that sent players sprawling into the courtside seats.

Rondo will miss Friday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers and Sunday's against the Bucks in Milwaukee. He will also give up $200,000 in pay.

Celtics center Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for his role in the scuffle, and Nets forward Gerald Wallace was fined $35,000.

Rondo was thrown out of Wednesday night's 95-83 loss to the Nets in the second quarter when he shoved Nets forward Kris Humphries off the parquet to retaliate for a hard foul on Garnett. A shoving match ensued; Rondo, Humphries and Wallace were all ejected.

Rondo spoke with the league on the telephone on Thursday and made his case.

``I told them the truth,'' he said after practice at the Celtics' workout facility in suburban Boston. ``I don't think I did anything dirty. I didn't try to start a riot. I don't think it was more than just a pushing war.''

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said in the afternoon that he was hopeful Rondo would not be suspended because no punches were thrown - or at least none caught on camera. But he said he feared the fact that the scuffle went into the stands could lead to a suspension.

The decision was announced shortly before 6 p.m. by NBA disciplinarian Stu Jackson.

Nets general manager Billy King said on a conference call that he didn't agree with the penalties and told Jackson so. He noted that Humphries had scratches all over his left shoulder; the Nets forward posted a picture of them on Twitter with the caption, ``Anyone know where I can quick get a Tetnis shot in Boston?''

Earlier, Rivers said on a radio show that he blamed Humphries for the incident. But the referees disagreed, with crew chief James Capers saying in a pool report after the game: ``Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul.''

King also defended his player, who was not penalized on Thursday.

``I really could care less of what the Celtics say about Kris,'' King said. ``I just know what he does for us.''

Rondo was suspended twice last season after losing his temper - once when he threw a ball at a referee, and again during the playoffs when he chest-bumped an official while disputing a foul call. But, just as he did after those incidents, he insisted that he had learned his lesson about taking himself out of the game.

``I know I have to be out there with my teammates. That's the thing about it,'' he said. ``But I was sticking up for my teammates. I didn't try to start a fight.''

Rivers said he thinks Rondo now understands he is more valuable to his team if he can remain on the court.

``I don't think he went in there thinking, `We're going to get in a fight,''' Rivers said. ``It's snap, it's quick, and it could happen to any of us, and it has happened to me.''

Rondo is averaging 12.9 points and a career-high 12.9 assists per game. He entered Wednesday night with a streak of 37 consecutive games with double-digit assists; that streak ended with his ejection, leaving him tied with John Stockton for the second-longest in NBA history.

Rondo said he will work on controlling his temper but also denied that it was a problem.

``I play the game the right way. I'm not a dirty player. Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me, but I have no intention of hurting anybody,'' Rondo said. ``I go out there and compete every night, and that's how I play the game. I play the game hard; I play the game with an edge. I'm not a trash-talker. I don't play the game dirty. I play hard and when one of my guys are disrespected, I retaliated.''

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AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this story from New York.

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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.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197