NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Pau Gasol added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown's firing earlier Friday with a 101-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers had just a few hours to absorb Brown's dismissal after just 18 months on the job. Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

Stephen Curry scored 18 points for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall.

The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers' victory total for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days in recent history for a franchise that's never short on drama. General manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning shootaround.

Bickerstaff ran the Lakers as the interim coach, but the veteran NBA bench boss isn't likely to be a candidate for the full-time job. The crowd quickly made its choice known: A chant of ``We want Phil!'' rose out of the stands while Bryant shot a free throw in the third quarter.

Phil Jackson, the 11-time NBA champion coach who won five rings in two previous stints running the Lakers, is near the top of Kupchak's list again, the GM acknowledged.


ATLANTA (AP) - LeBron James scored 21 points, including the clinching jumper with 13.6 seconds remaining, and the Heat picked up their fourth straight win.

Jeff Teague hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Hawks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But Josh Smith, on an awful night, missed two free throws with just over a minute remaining, and James finished off Atlanta after the teams traded turnovers.

Everyone in the building knew James would shoot, but it didn't matter. He muscled away from DeShawn Stevenson, swished a 15-footer and hopped along the sideline in front of the Atlanta crowd. The Heat won without Dwyane Wade, who didn't play because of a cold.

Chris Bosh led Miami with 24 points. James just missed a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Teague paced the Hawks with 20 points and 11 assists.


NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and the Knicks improved their best start in nearly two decades to 4-0.

Reserve JR Smith added 22 points for the Knicks, the only unbeaten team in the NBA. They hadn't been perfect after four games since the 1993-94 team started 7-0 en route to the NBA Finals.

The Knicks averaged 104.7 points and allowed just 85.3 per game while routing Miami and sweeping a home-and-home series from Philadelphia to start the season, but didn't seize control of this one for good until nearly the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

O.J. Mayo scored 23 points for the Mavericks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks for just the fourth time in the last 22 meetings.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in his first game back after a concussion, and the Hornets handed the Bobcats their third straight loss.

Ryan Anderson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points for New Orleans, which has won three of its first five games despite being without injured star guard Eric Gordon.

Ben Gordon scored 34 points for Charlotte. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis' former Kentucky teammate and the second overall draft pick, had 12 points and six rebounds.

Davis came alive after getting tangled up with Charlotte big man Byron Mullens late in the second quarter, an altercation that sent teammates running to separate them and sent official Bill Kennedy somersaulting backward into the front row, where he landed in the lap of Dennis Lauscha, president of the Hornets and NFL's Saints. (Both clubs are owned by Tom Benson, who was sitting next to Lauscha and narrowly avoided Kennedy.)

Davis scored 18 following the feud on an array of driving layups, putbacks and even a smooth baseline jumper from about 10 feet.


PHOENIX (AP) - Shannon Brown scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and helped key a late 14-4 run as Phoenix rallied from a 26-point deficit to get the win.

P.J. Tucker hit a 20-foot jumper from the left corner to give the Suns a 103-102 lead with 1:32 to go. After the teams traded misses, Marcin Gortat blocked Daniel Gibson's shot and Goran Dragic found Brown streaking down the right side for a fast-break dunk and a 105-102 lead with 37.4 seconds remaining.

Dragic made one of two free throws but Gibson connected on a 3-pointer with 13.1 seconds to play to get the Cavaliers within one. Sebastian Telfair dribbled the clock down to 5.1 seconds and made one of two free throws to make it 107-105.

Kyrie Irving had a chance to win it for Cleveland as time expired but his 3-pointer from the top of the key bounced off the back of the rim.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Chase Budinger converted a layup on a feed from Andrei Kirilenko with 0.8 seconds to go, lifting Minnesota to the victory.

Budinger scored 18 points while subbing for the injured Brandon Roy. Alexey Shved had 11 points and seven assists and Nikola Pekovic added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Roy left the game at halftime with a sore right knee. The former three-time All-Star is attempting a comeback after chronic knee issues forced him to retire from Portland before last season.

George Hill had 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds and David West had 19 points and 13 boards for the Pacers.

The Wolves (4-1) are three games over .500 for the first time since they were 20-17 in 2006-07.

76ERS 106, CELTICS 100

BOSTON (AP) - Evan Turner scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday added 21 and Philadelphia held off several fourth-quarter rallies.

The Celtics cut the lead to four twice in the final period, 83-79 and 102-98, but couldn't get any closer and fell to 2-3 with their only victories coming over winless Washington. The 76ers won their second game in three nights to improve to 3-2.

Turner had 11 rebounds and Holiday had 14 assists. Dorell Wright and Thaddeus Young scored 15 points apiece.

Paul Pierce scored 24 for Boston, and Kevin Garnett finished with 19. Rajon Rondo had 14 points and assisted on 20 of the Celtics' 37 baskets.

NETS 107, MAGIC 68

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Andray Blatche had 15 points, Brook Lopez added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Brooklyn never trailed while snapping a 10-game losing streak to Orlando that dated to 2009.

E'Twaun Moore led the Magic with 18 points, and Arron Afflalo finished with 12.

The Nets dominated inside, with Lopez and Blatche pushing around Orlando's young front line. They also got a lift from their bench, with Brooklyn's reserves outscoring their counterparts 55-18 for the game.

Orlando lost its third straight game after starting 2-0. It also tied a franchise-low with four made free throws, compared to 16 for Brooklyn.

The teams play each other again Sunday in Brooklyn.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Tim Duncan had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to power San Antonio to the road win.

The Spurs played without Stephen Jackson, who was out with the flu, and Duncan and several other players were a bit under the weather. But they led for much of the game in defeating the Kings for the ninth straight time in Sacramento.

Reserve Patty Mills gave the Spurs a huge lift, making 8-of-9 shots and scoring 18 points. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points.

Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson scored 17 apiece for the Kings, who had won two straight.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Serge Ibaka scored a career-high 25 points, Kevin Durant chipped in a season-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Oklahoma City broke in its new alternate jerseys by beating winless Detroit.

The Thunder scored nine straight points soon after Durant checked back into the game midway through the fourth quarter, stretching their lead to 93-77 after the three-time NBA scoring champion hit two free throws with 5:47 to play.

Detroit never got closer than nine after that, falling to 0-6 on the season - one loss shy of matching the worst starts in franchise history in 1962 and 1980. First-round draft pick Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 22 points.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rudy Gay had 21 points and a key basket with 1:03 left that helped Memphis defeat Houston for its fourth straight victory.

Zach Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies.

Houston was within 87-85 in the final 2 minutes, but Memphis scored the last five points of the game, including Gay's rebound bucket, to win its 13th consecutive regular-season game at home.

Mike Conley had 14 points for Memphis, including a 3-pointer down the stretch, and Jerryd Bayless added 12. The Grizzlies are 4-1 for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when they played in Vancouver.

Chandler Parsons led the Rockets with 19 points. James Harden had 18 points, but shot only 4 of 18 from the field.


DENVER (AP) - Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, hitting four 3-pointers, and Denver pulled away for the win.

Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their third in a row after an 0-3 start.

Gordon Hayward scored 15 for the Jazz, who remained winless in four road games this season. Randy Foye and Enes Kanter each added 13 points.

Andre Iguodala connected on a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 69-49 lead with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Monta Ellis scored 22 points, and the Bucks quickly erased an early deficit before pulling away with a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.

Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Washington's Bradley Beal were ejected in the final minute.

Washington fell to 0-4 despite 22 points from Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in June's NBA draft, and a combined 26 from veterans Trevor Ariza (15) and Emeka Okafor (11), matching their output from the team's first three games.

With the outcome no longer in doubt, Beal was called for a flagrant foul when he knocked Ellis to the court on a breakaway. As Beal leaned over to offer Ellis a hand to help him up, Jennings ran up and shoved Beal down.

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Who ya got? Trotz faces tough choice in net after Holtby's strong return

USA Today Sports

Who ya got? Trotz faces tough choice in net after Holtby's strong return

Braden Holtby has made Barry Trotz’s weekend very difficult, but in a good way.

Back-to-back games against the New York Islanders offered the Capitals an opportunity to play both Philipp Grubauer and Holtby. Grubauer stayed hot earning another win for Washington. On Friday, Holtby got his first start since March 6 and played very well.

“A win is good,” Holtby said after the game. “I felt pretty comfortable. Some things to build off of and things that I want to get better at. It was a step in the right direction.”


A 22 save effort on Friday was bookended by two big saves. The first shot Holtby faced was a turnover on the power play that led to a dangerous shorthanded scoring opportunity for John Tavares early in the first period. Then in the third, with the Capitals leading 5-3 and the Islanders trying to mount a comeback, Holtby turned aside a breakaway opportunity for star rookie Mathew Barzal.

“I thought he was pretty solid,” Trotz said. “He looked really confident.”

“I felt a lot better,” Holtby said. “Not that I was feeling horrible before, it's just you get refreshed. It's like anything, you have a week off work, a holiday or something, you come back a little refreshed.”

And that brings us to Sunday.

On Sunday, the Capitals play the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are a team in playoff position in desperate need of points after seven of their last eight games.

When asked on Wednesday who he thought would start Sunday’s game, Trotz said, “We're in a result business and we need some results so we'll see who is looking the sharpest and gives us the best chance to win.”

Both Grubauer and Holtby were impressive in their starts over the Islanders. You can’t argue Holtby is suddenly the hotter hand after one win considering how well Grubauer has played of late, but if Holtby remaisn the team’s No. 1, shouldn’t he get the next start after a strong winning performance?


Trotz was asked after the game who would start on Sunday after Holtby’s win.

“They're both playing well so I can't even answer that right now to be honest with you,” he said. “I do know that we have a number of games this week and whatever way go, obviously I'm going to sit down with the coaches and whatever way we go, I think they're both going to get some time this week.”

“I think you have to take it game-by-game,” Trotz added. “Bottom line is that you've got to make a decision and go with it and if your decision is that goalie A is a little hotter or you've just got a gut feel then you go with it and you have to live with it good or bad.”

So for now, it sounds as if we will see a rotation in net as Trotz continues evaluating which netminder gives the team the best chance to win in the playoffs. It is a tough position for the Caps’ bench boss, but, if both goalies continue to perform, having to choose between a hot Grubauer and a resurgent Holtby is a good problem to have and much preferable to having to choose between backup Grubauer and slumping Holtby.

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Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

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Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone the graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.