George leads Pacers over Grizzlies


George leads Pacers over Grizzlies

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers are now finding ways to win on a regular basis with or without veteran players.

``I'm proud of them and the effort to be a really good basketball team,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

Paul George scored 21 points to lead the Pacers to an 88-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

D.J. Augustin had 17 points and David West added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who have won five of six. George also had six rebounds and five assists.

Zach Randolph had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Marc Gasol scored 13 for the Grizzlies, who have lost three of four.

``We played, I thought, really well in the first three quarters,'' Randolph said. ``But we have to learn how to close out a game.''

Indiana played without starting point guard George Hill, who injured his right thigh against the Phoenix Suns last week.

Coming from behind or winning the close games didn't happen early in the season when they fell in a hole early with a 3-6 record.

Still without star forward Danny Granger and with the injured Hill on the bench and even without center Roy Hibbert putting up the expected numbers, Indiana remains atop the Central Division and now a game up on the Chicago Bulls.

Augustin started at point guard for Hill, a decision that came right before tip off.

``We knew with George out, it would be a challenge,'' George said. ``But D.J. stepped up and made the game easy. Everybody had to step up and everybody did.''

Augustin hit shots when they were needed most, too, including four free throws down the stretch that kept Indiana ahead.

``It felt good out there tonight,'' he said. ``I wanted to come in and do my best to help the team win.I felt I got in a good rhythm tonight.''

He hit two to put the Pacers up 84-81 with 29 seconds left and two more to make it 86-83 after Mike Conley scored a lay-up to get back within two.

Lance Stephenson scored two more free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Grizzlies led 67-60 heading into the fourth quarter.

Ben Hansbrough hit two 3-pointers and the Grizzlies' Darrell Arthur scored a basket, but the Pacers trailed by just three, 69-66.

``I just thought we got a lot more active defensively,'' West said. ``We were much more precise in terms of our communication and what we wanted to do defensively. And guys stepped up and made shots.''

George had a key steal and dunk, and West's free throws gave the Pacers the lead for good. The Grizzlies turned the ball over and West made two more foul shots to make it 74-71 with 5:37 left.

``We had it in our clutches and our first four of six posessions in the fourth quarter were turnovers,'' Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. ``We quit pushing the ball once we got the lead. It wasn't pretty.''

The Grizzlies' ended a five-game winning streak over Indiana and wrap-up a two-game road trip at Boston on Wednesday.

NOTES: Stephenson was listed as day to day with a left orbital contusion, but started. ... Grizzlies F Quincy Pondexter didn't travel with the team because of a left MCL sprain. ... Hibbert's first offensive rebound of the night was his 800th career. ... Indiana Fever forward Katie Douglas attended the game and was recognized for the Fever's recent WNBA championship.

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of www.hockeydb.com.


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”