NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden scored 20 points, Omer Asik had 14 and the Houston Rockets beat the winless Detroit Pistons 96-82 on Saturday night in their first game without coach Kevin McHale.

The team announced earlier Saturday that McHale was taking an immediate leave of absence to deal with a family matter. Assistant Kelvin Sampson took over, and said before the game he hoped the team would come together to win for McHale.

The Rockets did just that, using a third-quarter run to build a big lead and break a three-game losing streak with their first victory at home.

The Pistons fell to 0-7. Brandon Knight scored 16 points, and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Marcus Morris added 12 points for Houston and Toney Douglas had 11. Jeremy Lin helped out with seven points, eight assists and four rebounds.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bobcats snap a 16-game losing streak against the Mavericks.

Kidd-Gilchrist was 8 of 12 from the field and had a pair of key offensive rebounds off missed foul shots late in the game.

Kemba Walker added 26 points and seven assists for Charlotte and Ramon Sessions made some big shots down the stretch and in overtime, finishing with 12 points.

Dallas lost for the second straight night on the road after a 3-0 start.

O.J. Mayo scored 22 points and Vince Carter had 19 points for the Mavericks. Carter, who was 5 for 8 from 3-point range, missed an opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation when his fallaway jumper was short.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Gary Neal had 27 points for the Spurs, and Manu Ginobili hit two big free throws in the final seconds.

The Blazers made four straight 3-pointers to tie it at 109 with 40.5 seconds left, but Portland stumbled from there and was saddled with its third consecutive loss. Nicolas Batum had a career-high 33 points.

Tim Duncan added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs, who snapped a seven-game losing streak at the Rose Garden.

San Antonio played without Tony Parker because of a flu bug that has been making its way around the team. Patty Mills started in his place.

The Spurs trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter but opened the final period with a 14-0 run to go up 87-79.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Danilo Gallinari scored five of his 21 points in the final 36 seconds and Denver closed with an 11-0 run to beat Golden State in double overtime.

Andre Iguodala added a pair of late free throws and the Nuggets, who didn't arrive in the Bay Area until 3:30 a.m. following a late flight from Utah, held on for their fourth consecutive victory after opening the season 0-3.

Kenneth Faried added 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Iguodala had 19 points for Denver.

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 23 points, but the second-year guard missed a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left. Carl Landry added 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench, but the Warriors went scoreless over the final 2:47.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George scored 20 points and Indiana stopped a three-game slide.

Roy Hibbert added seven points, 12 rebounds and two blocks for the Pacers (3-4). Gerald Green had 15 points and Lance Stephenson scored 12 in his first start of the season.

Washington carried a 72-70 lead into the fourth quarter, and Jordan Crawford promptly made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five. But the Pacers then grabbed control with a 10-0 run.

Emeka Okafor and Bradley Beal had 17 points apiece for the Wizards (0-5), and A.J. Price finished with 12 points and 14 assists.


CHICAGO (AP) - Nate Robinson scored 18 points and the Bulls ended the Timberwolves' three-game winning streak.

Chicago lost starting point guard Kirk Hinrich to a right hip strain in the second quarter, and Robinson helped pick up the slack by playing 31 minutes.

Joakim Noah added 17 points and seven rebounds and Luol Deng had 16 points and seven boards for the Bulls (4-2). Chicago beat Minnesota for the sixth straight time.

Nikola Pekovic led the short-handed Timberwolves (4-2) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko added 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

The Timberwolves had just 11 players available. Ricky Rubio (left knee surgery) and Kevin Love (fractured right hand) have been out all season. J.J. Barea missed his second straight game with a sprained left foot, while Brandon Roy missed his first game of the season with a sore knee.

JAZZ 94, SUNS 81

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Al Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Utah held on for the win.

Michael Beasley's follow dunk after a Jazz turnover cut Utah's lead to 79-74 with about 5 minutes remaining.

But Jefferson's steal and a 19-footer by Paul Millsap halted a nearly 6-minute scoreless streak for the Jazz and started a 7-0 run, capped by Marvin Williams' 3-pointer.

Millsap added 18 points and 13 rebounds for Utah.

Luis Scola led the Suns with 21 points and Jared Dudley scored 16.

The Suns were down 22 points with 2:45 remaining in the third, but opened the fourth with a 9-2 run to close to 79-70 on Sebastian Telfair's driving layup with 9:24 left.

76ERS 93, RAPTORS 83

TORONTO (AP) - Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and Nick Young scored 16 points apiece, helping the 76ers pick up another road win.

Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Dorell Wright added 15 points and Philadelphia won its third straight, with all three victories on the road. It's the first time the 76ers have done that since February 2003.

The Sixers, who won 106-100 at Boston on Friday night, knocked off another Atlantic Division opponent thanks to a huge second quarter that saw them turn a six-point deficit into a 19-point lead.

Andrea Bargnani led Toronto with 23 points, while DeMar DeRozan had 19. Jose Calderon had 14 points and 11 assists, but the Raptors lost their third straight.


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Paul Pierce scored 25 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 and the Celtics rallied for the victory.

Boston (3-3) got even with the Bucks after Milwaukee knocked off the Celtics 99-88 in Boston on Nov. 2.

Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 32 points, while Samuel Dalembert added 14 points and eight rebounds.

Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, giving him 30 straight games with 10 or more assists, the third-longest streak in NBA history. Magic Johnson has the longest streak at 46 games from April 1983 to February 1984.

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Wizards vs. Nuggets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Nuggets: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Special night

It will be an emotional night for many as the Wizards get set to retire Phil Chenier's No. 45 jersey. Chenier was not only a great player for the franchise during their heyday in the 1970s, but he was a legendary broadcaster of Wizards and Bullets games for decades and has been an ambassador for the organization for a long, long time. 

His jersey will be raised during a halftime ceremony hosted by Chenier's former broadcast partner and good friend Steve Buckhantz. Chenier will have many friends and family on hand. All fans will also receive emoji signs with Chenier's face on them.


Harris is out

Like the Wizards and John Wall, the Nuggets will be without one of their best players as star guard Gary Harris is dealing with right knee soreness. Harris, just 23, is Denver's leading scorer with 17.7 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field and 39.9 percent from three. 

The Nuggets still have plenty of firepower beyond him. Nikola Jokic is one of the game's brightest young stars with averages of 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He shoots a ridiculous 39.3 percent from three as a big man. Guard Jamal Murray, just 20, is averaging 16.5 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three. Then there is Paul Millsap, a four-time All-Star who is averaging 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season.

The Wizards' defense will be put to the test, as the Nuggets are one of the best scoring teams in basketball. They boast the seventh-best points per game average (109.8) and the sixth-best offensive rating (112.4). 


Last time was interesting

The first time these teams squared off, back on Oct. 23 in just the third game of the season, things got a little weird. In the final minute, Jokic was assessed a technical for bumping into Wizards head coach Scott Brooks.

It was a bizarre sequence that helped the Wizards come away with a win. Given it was an incident between a player and coach, nothing will happen in the way of retaliation, but it's something to keep in mind as these teams go at it again.


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

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