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Martin, Bucs race past Raiders 42-32

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Martin, Bucs race past Raiders 42-32

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Rookie Doug Martin broke through a few holes early only to stumble after a short gain on what he felt should have been big gainers.

A small tweak to his style at the suggestion of coach Greg Schiano proved to be just the trick to give Martin a record-setting day.

Martin rushed for a franchise-record 251 yards and four touchdowns, and Ahmad Black intercepted a Carson Palmer pass after Oakland had cut an 18-point deficit to three late in the fourth quarter as the Bucs beat the Raiders 42-32 Sunday.

``A few of those I got through the line and kind of stumbled and my head went down. Coach kept telling me, `Get your head up, get your head up,' because that will increase your balance,'' Martin said. ``So after that I kept my head up and kept my balance and I was on to the races.''

Was he ever.

Martin, who was born in Oakland and went to high school in nearby Stockton, had a memorable return home for the Bucs (4-4) by scoring on runs of 1, 45, 67 and 70 yards in front of more than 60 friends and family members.

``Everybody was there. It was awesome,'' he said. ``It's surreal right now. I'm just doing my job out there. I'm honored.''

Martin, the 31st pick in April out of Boise State, became the first back since at least 1940 to score on three TD runs of at least 45 yards in one game, according to STATS LLC.

He finished 45 yards shy of tying Adrian Peterson's single game record of 296 set in his rookie season in 2007 and joined Denver's Mike Anderson as the only backs with at least 250 yards rushing and four TDs in a single game.

``The way Doug is breaking tackles and having that top-end speed to make people miss and outrun people to the end zone, it's exceptional,'' quarterback Josh Freeman said. ``It's all about preparation with him. Doug doesn't get in the game and when the moment's not too big, he gets in the game, he knows what he's got to do.''

But Tampa Bay still struggled to hold onto an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead against an Oakland team that lost star running back Darren McFadden to an ankle injury late in the first half.

Palmer threw for 414 yards and had three of his four touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Oakland cut the Bucs' lead to 35-32 with 3:51 to go.

The Raiders then got a defensive stop and took over at their 38 with 2:42 to play. But on second down, Palmer threw off-target down the left sideline and Black came up with the second of Palmer's three interceptions.

``I can't throw that ball,'' Palmer said. ``You just need to take a sack sometimes if things are off of the same page and come back the next play.''

Martin then ran three straight times to score his fourth touchdown and put the game away.

Freeman threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns as Tampa Bay won for the third time in four games. The Bucs are averaging 477 yards and 36 points per game over the past four contests.

``We have a lot of different weapons,'' said receiver Vincent Jackson, who scored Tampa's first touchdown. ``The coaches do a great job of just giving teams different looks, spreading the ball around. ... It's fun to play in an offense like this that can be very explosive.

The Raiders, coming off two straight victories against one-win Jacksonville and Kansas City, had no answers for Martin and the Bucs, allowing the three long runs in the second half when Martin gained 220 of his yards.

``I really think we have to take this extremely seriously,'' linebacker Miles Burris said. ``For something like this to happen, it's not OK.''

Along with the loss, the Raiders had to deal with another injury to McFadden, who left in the second quarter because of his ankle. X-rays were negative, but McFadden did not return and his status was unknown. He missed 19 games in his first four seasons with foot, toe, shoulder, knee and hamstring injuries.

But McFadden would have been no help trying to stop Martin, who broke the franchise record of 219 yards James Wilder set in 1983 despite the absence of All Pro guard Carl Nicks, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a left toe injury.

Martin helped break open what had been a close game with his huge second half. He gave Tampa Bay the lead for good with a 45-yard TD run on the first possession of the second quarter and then added the two other long runs as he continually faked out the Raiders' front seven and outran their usually speedy secondary.

``He's turned into a heck of a player here these last two weeks,'' Bucs safety Ronde Barber said. ``He's really jumped onto the scene, just the way he's handled the pressure that he's had to be the main guy here in our offense these past couple of weeks. It's impressive, man.''

NOTES: Oakland DE Lamarr Houston blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Connor Barth in the first quarter to set up an Oakland field goal. ... Seattle's Shaun Alexander has the most yards rushing against Raiders, gaining 266 in in 2001.

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The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards dominated Game 3 because everybody ate ... literally

The Wizards returned to Washington, D.C. on Friday down 0-2 to the Raptors in their best-of-seven 2018 NBA Playoffs first-round series

The team lost a close one in Game 1 and was run out of the building in Game 2. Game 3 was must-win, and the Wizards knew what needed to happen in order for them to secure the victory.

"Everybody eats." 

That's the phrase that has defined the Wizards throughout much of the season They are at their best when John Wall is making players and feeding his teammates.

On Friday night, the Wizards beat the Raptors 122-103 to force at least a Game 5. Wall finished with 28 points and 14 assists.

Bradley Beal finally broke out of his slump for 28 points and  Marcin Gortat, Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre all chipped in with at least 10 points.

But the stat sheet wasn't the only place where everybody eats.

Here's Marcin Gortat from Game 3. 

But if pantomiming isn't your thing, here is Bradley Beal actually eating popcorn during Game 3.

So what did we learn in Game 3? Well, for starters: "Everybody Eats" is not just a motto, it is a way of life.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

GORTAT DITCHES MOHAWK, TEAMMATES APPROVE

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

BEAL GOT AN APOLOGY FROM SCOTT BROOKS

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With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

With Playoff Beal back, the Wizards are revitalized in playoff series vs. Raptors

The Toronto Raptors were only going to hold Bradley Beal down for so long. After two so-so games to begin the Wizards-Raptors playoff series, the All-Star shooting guard was bound to find his way offensively and that arrival came in a Game 3 win on Friday night.

Beal was brilliant and much more in line with what he's shown in the postseason throughout his career. Game 2 was his worst playoff game as an NBA player, he scored only nine points. Game 3 was one of his best on the postseason stage, or at least one of his most timely and important.

The Wizards needed more from Beal to give themsevles a chance in this series. An 0-3 deficit would have been a death sentence. His production is so key to their success that head coach Scott Brooks and point guard John Wall met with Beal in between Games 2 and 3 to figure out how to get him going.

Whether that was the catalyst or not, the results followed. Beal poured in 28 points in 10-for-19 shooting with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. He hit four threes, more than he had in the first two games combined.

Beal wasted no time to make an impact scoring the ball. His first points came on a quick burst to the basket where he stopped on a dime, turned around and banked it in. By the end of the first quarter, he had 12 points in 11 minutes.

“I just wanted to be aggressive, get shots that I wanted which is what they were going to force me to take," Beal said.

After Game 2, Brooks and Beal described how physical the Raptors were defending him. They were holding on to him and staying close, even when he wasn't moving off the ball.

Brooks saw a difference in how Beal responded to that in Game 3.

"Brad came out and was looking to go towards the basket and not just letting them hold him and going along with it. He didn’t want to dance with his opponent, he wanted to get away from them. That was a critical part of his success," Brooks said.

Beal's 28 points were as much as he scored in Games 1 and 2 together and just about what he averaged through four games against the Raptors during the regular season (28.8). By halftime of Game 3, Beal had 21 points on 8-for-11 from the field.

Beal hit two threes in the first quarter and another two in the second quarter. Several of those threes were set up by Wall, who used the meeting with Brooks and Beal to ask how he can set him up better as the point guard.

In Game 3, they were on the same page.

"I do think this man [John Wall] next to me, he creates and facilitates for the whole team and gets everybody easy shots," Beal said. "I talk to you guys all the time and I can’t tell you the last time I actually got a regular catch and shoot three just in a regular half court set. When he came back, I got like three or four off the bat."

What Beal did in Game 3 is what the Wizards are used to seeing from him this time of the year. Despite being only 24 years old, he has a strong track record in the playoffs.

Through 37 career postseason games, Beal is averaging 22.3 points, more than his career average of 18.7 in the regular season. In each of his previous three postseason runs, he has averaged more points during the playoffs than he did in the regular seasons leading up.

That production has earned him the nickname 'Playoff Beal' and when he goes off like he did in Game 3, good things usually happen. The Wizards are 10-6 in the playoffs during his career when he scores 25 points or more.

Wall also boasts impressive career numbers in the playoffs. When the Wizards have both of their stars playing at their best, they are hard to beat. With peak Beal on board, this series looks a lot different than it did not that long ago.

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

GORTAT DITCHES MOHAWK, TEAMMATES APPROVE

MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WILD GAME 3

BEAL GOT AN APOLOGY FROM SCOTT BROOKS

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