Capitals

Clippers beat Suns to run win streak to 13 games

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Clippers beat Suns to run win streak to 13 games

PHOENIX (AP) Blake Griffin scored 23 points, Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers extended a franchise record with their 13th consecutive victory, 103-77 over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

Reserve Jamal Crawford added 22 points for the Clippers, who won in Phoenix for the first time since April 17, 2007. Los Angeles' overall win streak is an NBA season best and its six straight road victories are also a franchise best.

Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Luis Scola had 11 and Markieff Morris added 10 for the Suns, who have dropped two straight after winning four in a row.

Suns coach Alvin Gentry was ejected with 2:33 left in the first half when he received a pair of technical fouls seconds apart. The teams combined for six technical in the game's first three quarters.

Phoenix kept it close for the first quarter and half of the second. Shannon Brown sank an 11-foot pull-up jumper on a fast break as the Suns trimmed an eight-point deficit to 43-40 with 5:36 left in the first half.

That would be the Suns' next-to-last field goal of the half.

Crawford, meanwhile, hit a long 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to key a 15-3 run that helped give the Clippers a 58-43 lead at halftime.

Los Angeles continued to extend its lead in the third, aided by five Phoenix turnovers in the first three minutes of the period, and used a 16-3 run to end the quarter for a 91-60 lead.

The Suns had 17 turnovers against the Clippers, who lead the NBA by forcing an average of 17.5 per game.

NOTES: Paul either scored or assisted on all but one basket over the final five minutes of the first quarter. . The Clippers matched a franchise record by holding their eighth straight opponent below 43 percent shooting. . The Clippers' prior best road winning streak was set in 1974-75 by the then-Buffalo Braves. . Suns C Jermaine O'Neal and Clippers C Ronny Turiaf also received technical for an altercation in the second. Marcin Gortat and DeAndre Jordan also were handed technicals. . Suns F Michael Beasley was inactive with the flu.

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

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NBC Sports Washington

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

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USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.