Capitals

Harden gets triple-double as Rockets beat Bobcats

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Harden gets triple-double as Rockets beat Bobcats

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double in the Houston Rockets' 109-95 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken off the court on a stretcher in the fourth quarter after teammate Jeff Taylor collided with him going for a rebound. Kidd-Gilchrist was fitted with a neck brace and taken to the hospital.

Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said after the game that Kidd-Gilchrist was moving his extremities and talking as he was wheeled off the floor. Dunlap did not know if Kidd-Gilchrist would be kept in Houston overnight.

Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson scored 24 points apiece for the Rockets.

Kemba Walker scored 24 points and Ramon Sessions had 20 points for Charlotte.

The Rockets scored 28 fast-break points and shot 51 percent (42 of 82) from the field.

Parsons sank two 3-pointers, and then finished another breakaway with a layup as the Rockets repeatedly beat the Bobcats down the floor for easy baskets early.

Charlotte held Harden to four points in the opening quarter and cut the deficit to 32-27 heading to the second.

Parsons swooped in for a putback dunk after Omer Asik missed a free throw early in the second quarter as the Rockets started stretching the lead again. Parsons already had 17 points with eight minutes left in the half, then zipped a cross-court pass to Harden for a layup and a 44-32 Rockets lead.

Houston had 16 assists on 24 first-half field goals and led 62-51 at the break.

Harden scored seven points, including a 3-pointer, in the first five minutes of the third quarter. He also earned a technical foul for mouthing off at a referee over a call.

The Bobcats rallied late in the third quarter, cutting a 15-point deficit to two by the end of the third quarter. Walker sank a 3-pointer and Taylor finished the quarter with a dunk to make it 79-77 heading to the fourth.

The Rockets led 81-80 early in the fourth when Kidd-Gilchrist was injured. He was trying to block Toney Douglas' driving layup and Taylor came in behind him going for the rebound.

Taylor's right hip connected with the back of Kidd-Gilchrist's head and Taylor came down on top of his teammate. Kidd-Gilchrist lay motionless for several minutes and medical staffs from both teams came out to check on him.

With the entire Charlotte bench huddling around him, medical personnel lifted Kidd-Gilchrist onto a stretcher. He was wheeled off the floor to applause from the crowd and taken to a local hospital for tests.

The Rockets took control again over the final nine minutes. Patterson sank a pair of 3-pointers and Harden finishing them off with a layup and a long jumper.

Notes: The Bobcats have lost their last eight games in Houston. ... Sessions scored at least 20 points for the fourth time in five games. ... Rockets F Carlos Delfino strained his right elbow in the second quarter and did not return to the game. ... The Rockets has scored at least 60 points in 18 first halves this season. ... Asik had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Houston.

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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