NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

CLEVELAND (AP) Kyrie Irving scored 35 points, including 13 in the final 2:52, and the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110 on Saturday.

One night after saying he was ``disinterested'' during a loss in Detroit, Irving was simply spectacular down the stretch. He single-handedly closed out one of the NBA's best teams, making his last five shots and showing why he's an All-Star at 20. Irving's biggest shot was a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to make it 113-108.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 28 for the Thunder, who came in 35-11 and with the league's best road record. Durant left briefly in the third quarter with an apparent back injury.

Marreese Speights scored 21 points, including eight straight in the fourth when Cleveland's reserves opened a lead.


SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tim Duncan sprained his left knee and right ankle in the first half of the Spurs' victory.

Tony Parker scored 19 points, Danny Green added 15 and Tiago Splitter had 12 for San Antonio (38-11), which has won 18 straight at home.

John Wall scored 21 points and Martell Webster had 14 for Washington (11-35), which has lost 13 straight to San Antonio.

Webster rolled into the back of Duncan's legs while fighting for a rebound with 3:54 left in the second quarter, and there were audible gasps in the crowd while the All-Star was on the floor holding his left knee for several minutes.

Duncan left the locker room without speaking to reporters, but Parker said he talked to his fellow All-Star after the game.

``He's fine, he's fine,'' Parker said. ``It's nothing big.''


NEW YORK (AP) - Amare Stoudemire was 10 for 10 from the field for 21 points, and the Knicks unleashed a 38-4 run on Sacramento in the first half and went on to their fourth straight victory.

The Knicks actually trailed by 10 when Stoudemire entered in the first quarter, then went on to challenge the franchise-record victory margin of 48 points.

It was an awesome display by New York in front of some special guests: 150 children, their families and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Knicks didn't even need much from Carmelo Anthony, who tied a season low with nine points and had his run of 20-point games snapped at 31, the longest single-season streak in franchise history.

J.R. Smith scored 25 points and Steve Novak added 15 as the Knicks made 19 3-pointers.

DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.


HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double, leading the Rockets to the victory.

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.

The team said late Saturday night that Kidd-Gilchrist would be hospitalized overnight with a concussion. The X-rays and a CT scan were negative, the Bobcats said.

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.


ATLANTA (AP) - Luol Deng had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the short-handed Bulls used their stifling defense to shut down the Hawks.

Playing without injured starters Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, Chicago dominated near the basket and got a lift from the frenetic play of Nate Robinson. The Bulls used only eight players for the second straight night, but it was more than enough for an impressive road win.

Taj Gibson had 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Jimmy Butler added another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson scored 20 points.

Josh Smith led Atlanta with 19 points and 13 rebounds but he scored only three points in the second half. Jeff Teague had 16 points, and Al Horford collected 14 points and 12 rebounds.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Damian Lillard had 23 points and the Trail Blazers salvaged the second half of back-to-back games between division rivals.

Utah beat Portland 86-77 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

J.J. Hickson added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won four of their last six after a season-high six-game losing streak. Nicolas Batum had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Randy Foye scored 23 points for the Jazz, who led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter.

The Blazers led 88-83 on Nolan Smith's reverse layup with 4:59 left in the game. He added a 3-pointer that made it 93-87 and Portland held off the Jazz the rest of the way.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry returned after missing two games with an ankle injury and scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, leading Golden State to its fourth consecutive victory.

Harrison Barnes matched his season high with 21 points for the Warriors, who have won seven of nine overall. David Lee had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Klay Thompson added 17 points and Andrew Bogut finished with 11.

Curry, who twisted his right ankle in the third quarter of Monday night's win over Toronto, was 6 for 10 from 3-point range as Golden State beat Phoenix for the fourth straight time.

Michael Beasley scored 24 points for the Suns, who have dropped four of five. Jared Dudley added 16 points.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Dante Cunningham scored a season-high 18 points, Nikola Pekovic added 14 and Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak.

Cunningham hit all nine of his shots to set a franchise record for most consecutive field goals without a miss.

Anthony Davis scored 18 points for the Hornets, who played without Eric Gordon and finished their five-game road trip with four straight losses. Team doctors still haven't cleared Gordon to play in back-to-back games while recovering from knee surgery.

A night after committing 22 turnovers, New Orleans turned it over 23 times against the Wolves, who recorded their largest victory margin this season.


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Monta Ellis had 21 points and 11 assists as the Bucks handed the Magic their ninth straight loss.

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points and Larry Sanders had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for Milwaukee. Ersan Ilyasova added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Nikola Vucevic had 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Orlando, and Maurice Harkless had 19 points and 14 rebounds.

The Bucks scored more than 100 points after failing to crack 90 in their two previous games, scoring 86 against New York on Friday, and 88 versus Chicago on Wednesday.

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

It's hard to tell after three games how the Wizards and Pacers would match up in the playoffs

The Wizards crossed off an important goal on Saturday night by beating the Indiana Pacers and therefore securing the season series. If the teams tie with the same regular season record, the Wizards will get the higher playoff seed. As of today, that would mean home court advantage in the first round.

Though the Wizards have beaten the Pacers in two of their three matchups this season, we only know so much about how they would match up in the playoffs. The first game between them didn't feature Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo and John Wall didn't play in any of the three games. The Pacers were without both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis on Saturday night.

Given the Pacers underwent so much change over the summer, there is no real data to go off of from before this season. They are a completely different team with Oladipo leading the way and Paul George now in Oklahoma City.


There are reasons to believe, however, that the Wizards would fare well against the Pacers over the course of a seven-game series. For one, they figured out how to slow Oladipo and his teammate Bojan Bogdanovic on Saturday night. Both had killed the Wizards in previous matchups.

Oladipo was held to 18 points, over five points below his season average of 23.5. He had four turnovers, shot 7-for-16 (43.7%) and finished a -18 in a game the Pacers lost by seven.

The Wizards had some success with Tomas Satoransky guarding Oladipo. Satoransky is 6-foot-7 with long arms. He was able to recover on several occasions to alter Oladipo's shots.

Satoransky and Bradley Beal also did a good job keeping pace with Oladipo on the fastbreak. The Pacers had only four fastbreak points in the game. Oladipo is especially dangerous in the open court.

“We just made sure that we were aggressive with him and made sure he saw a lot of bodies in the paint," Beal said. "The last game, he got a lot of easy ones in transition. We just made sure that we got back on the shot, loaded to the ball and forced the other guys to attack.”

For Bogdanovic, it was about limiting open shots from the perimeter. Bogdanovic had 11 points, three below his season average and had four turnovers. Beal and Otto Porter stripped Bogdanovic for steals and Marcin Gortat took a charge on one play in the third quarter.


But it was all about taking away the outside shot. Bogdanovic only hit one shot in the first half and it was a three. The only reason he got it off is because Kelly Oubre, Jr. lost his balance backing up. That gave Bogdanovic the window he needed. Otherwise, Oubre helped frustrate the former Wizards small forward. So did Gortat and Ian Mahinmi, who did a good job covering their teammates off screens.

The Pacers are an average offensive team, ranking 16th in points per game and 14th in offensive rating. They are better defensively, ranking ninth-best in opponents points per game and 12th in defensive efficiency.

If the Wizards can limit Oladipo and Bogdanovic, the Pacers' two leading scorers, they should have a good shot at beating the Pacers in the playoffs. Beyond them, the Pacers are thin in the scoring department. Turner only averages 13.6 points and no one else beyond him can consistently make an opposing defense pay for mistakes. Conversely, several Wizards players have given the Pacers major trouble through three games this season.

Gortat, who had 18 points and eight rebounds on Saturday, has averaged 13 points and eight rebounds on 57.7 percent shooting against Indiana. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who had 16 points in 18 minutes, has averaged 15.5 points and is shooting 50 percent from the field.


In addition to those guys, Markieff Morris, Porter, Mike Scott, Mahinmi and Satoransky are all shooting over 50 percent against the Pacers. Satoransky is shooting 71.4 percent through three games.

The Wizards have the pieces to counter what the Pacers do best. Indiana is seventh in three-point percentage, but the Wizards are the best team in basketball in opponents three-point percentage. The Pacers are built around an All-Star guard, but the Wizards have two All-Star guards. The Pacers have a collection of talented wing players, but so do the Wizards.

"Hypothetically, I do like Indiana," Beal said. "I like how we match up with Indiana and I feel like there is a lot of stuff that we can take advantage of. In a lot of categories, I think we can win them."

Add it all up and the Wizards have every reason to feel confident if they see the Pacers in the posteason. Keep that in mind because they very well could meet up in the spring.

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