Redskins

Ilyasova, Jennings lead Bucks past 76ers, 110-102

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Ilyasova, Jennings lead Bucks past 76ers, 110-102

MILWAUKEE (AP) Brandon Jennings is trying to take over close games in the fourth quarter.

Jennings was very successful doing that Tuesday night as he scored nine of his 25 points in the final period to lead the Bucks to a 110-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He also added three assists in the quarter.

Jennings said he wants to be the key player late in games and has been focused on it in recent weeks.

``It is something that I've been working on, especially during the (recent) road trip, just trying to take over games,'' he said. ``I'm just trying to get the best possible shot for the team. That's just me growing and learning.''

Ersan Ilyasova also came up big again for Milwaukee as he had 27 points and 16 rebounds. He also had 27 points and 14 rebounds in Milwaukee's 110-104 win Saturday over Portland.

``Ersan gots his groove back,'' said Monta Ellis, who added 18 points and 10 assists for Milwaukee. ``He really has been playing well for the last few games and has given us a big boost.''

Bucks coach Jim Boylan credited Ilyasova for being a very active player.

``He has that knack for tipping the ball to himself rebounding and coming up with the basket,'' he said. ``When you look at Ersan, you don't really see a great athlete, but rebounding is just determination. When he's determined to get the ball, he's bound to get it.''

Milwaukee has won six of eight games since Boylan replaced former coach Scott Skiles, who parted ways with the team following a season-worst four-game losing streak.

Jennings said the team has had a lot of success under Boylan because he is letting them ``just play.''

``Everything is going well right now,'' Jennings said. ``We are playing with lots of confidence. This was a big win for us as in the past when we win a few games, we end up losing to a team we should not lose to.''

Evan Turner scored 23 points to lead the 76ers, Spencer Hawes added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Nick Young scored 20 points. Philadelphia lost its fifth straight on the road, and 15th in its last 21 overall.

Young said the 76ers have to figure out a way to win close games.

``Somehow we have to figure it out, come together and stay together as a team,'' he said. ``We know what the problem is. We've been in every game so far and fought back. If we can come out of the gate and get a couple shots to go in, get our blood going a little bit, it'll be a different ball game.''

Philadelphia hit just 2 of its first 16 shots, a point not lost on coach Doug Collins.

``First quarter again. We were down 10 so you play uphill the entire game again,'' he said. ``You've got to share the ball, you got to help each other out and you've got to talk on defense. We're not good enough to do it ourselves. We've got to do it collectively.''

The Sixers used a 17-7 run to start the fourth quarter, cutting the Bucks' lead to 90-86 when Thaddeus Young stole the ball and scored on a breakaway layup with 6:47 remaining.

Ilyasova made 1 of 2 free throws to extend Milwaukee's lead to 99-92 with 3:56 left. He then hit a jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes to go, stretching the advantage to nine points.

Hawes hit a baseline jumper to trim the lead to 101-94 with 1:39 remaining, but Milwaukee made 4 of 6 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Larry Sanders had two blocked shots, giving him at least one in his last 27 games, the second longest streak in the NBA behind Tim Duncan, who has blocked a shot in 29 straight.

NOTES: 76ers guard Royal Ivey made the start in place of Dorell Wright as Collins wanted more speed in his starting lineup to defend Jennings. ... Bucks F Marquis Daniels was sick and inactive for the game. Rookie guard Doron Lamb, who was recalled Monday from the NBA Development League, suffered a sprained ankle and was also inactive. ... 76ers guard Jason Richardson did not travel with the team due to left knee synovitis.

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

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USA TODAY Sports

In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."

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How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Things did not look good for the Capitals after two games.

Facing a 0-2 series hole after losing both games in Washington, it looked like it could be an early summer. The Caps were going to be the first team to ever lose a series in the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

HOW DID THE CAPS WIN THEIR SERIES AGAINST COLUMBUS? FIND OUT HERE

But the Caps rallied.

Washington won the next four games and turned what looked like it would be another postseason disaster into a postseason triumph.

Only once in franchise history had the Caps rallied from a 0-2 deficit and only once had the Caps won four straight games to win a series. They managed both against the Blue Jackets.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally to a first-round victory over Columbus.