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DeRozan scores 23 as Raptors top Suns to snap skid

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DeRozan scores 23 as Raptors top Suns to snap skid

TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Amir Johnson added 16, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 101-97 to snap a six-game losing streak on Friday night.

Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, and Jose Calderon had 13 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who ended Phoenix's seven-game winning streak in Toronto. The Suns hadn't lost there since Jan. 4, 2004.

Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley all scored 14 points for Phoenix. Goran Dragic had 13, and Michael Beasley chipped in with 12.

It was the second straight loss for the Suns, who were routed 117-77 at Detroit on Wednesday. That marked their third-biggest margin of defeat in franchise history.

Phoenix's Luis Scola scored the first basket of the fourth quarter, but the Raptors answered with a 7-0 run - including five points from Johnson - to lead 87-78 with 9:04 left.

A 3 by Calderon made it 92-85 with 6:54 remaining before back-to-back baskets by Scola cut it to 92-89. Mickael Pietrus, in his Raptors debut, made a 3 from the corner before Sebastian Telfair and Jermaine O'Neal answered for the Suns to make it 95-93 with 3:53 to go.

Phoenix trailed 96-95 with just under two minutes left when Dragic committed a turnover. Johnson finished the breakaway with a running dunk, putting the Raptors ahead by three points.

Brown's layup made it 98-97 with 1:07 left, but the Suns couldn't take the lead. Gortat missed a shot, and Scola failed on the next two possessions. Lowry grabbed the rebound on Scola's second miss and was fouled. He made one of two from the line to put Toronto up 99-97 with 14 seconds to play.

Brown tried to drive for the tying basket but missed a layup. Andrea Bargnani was fouled on the play and sealed the Raptors' win by making two free throws with 3 seconds left.

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, Toronto went ahead for the first time on a breakaway dunk by Terrence Ross at 6:42 of the second. Johnson followed with a running dunk, putting the Raptors up 40-36.

Dudley scored 11 points in the second to put the Suns back on top, but Lowry's 3 pointer at the buzzer got the Raptors within 52-51 at halftime.

Beasley scored eight points in the third quarter, but DeRozan rebounded his own blocked shot and made a buzzer-beating jumper. He then converted the free throw to put Toronto up 80-76 heading into the fourth.

After signing with Toronto earlier Friday, Pietrus had six points and two rebounds in 30 minutes.

NOTES: Bargnani returned to Toronto's lineup after sitting out Wednesday's loss at Memphis because of a sore left ankle. ... Toronto waived F Dominic McGuire to make room on the roster for Pietrus. ... Singer Drake watched from a courtside seat. ... Toronto's losing streak was the longest current skid in the NBA.

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Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards vs. Hornets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 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 overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198