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NBA Capsules

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul had 30 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin added 24 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers 107-102 on Friday night.

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost for the second time this season to their Staples Center co-tenants.

Bryant carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 on his 23-foot jumper with 1:29 left. But Paul scored the Clippers' final eight points to seal the victory and drop the Lakers two games below .500. The Clippers lead the Lakers by 10 games in the standings.

The Lakers continue to struggle under new coach Mike D'Antoni. They've lost three of their past four games.

The Clippers shot 50 percent and dominated the paint, 52-36.

Bryant scored 16 points in the fourth, when the Lakers rallied from 19 points down. The Clippers fouled for much of the final 5:51. Howard missed two free throws but then made two to get the Lakers within four before Bryant's jumper left them trailing 99-97.

BULLS 96, HEAT 89

MIAMI (AP) - Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and Chicago dominated on the boards to become only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season.

Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat.

The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home losses came against the Knicks and Warriors.

Miami's LeBron James scored 30 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year's playoff run. He has scored at least 25 in eight consecutive games.

The first meeting between the teams this season was a bruiser, and the Bulls repeatedly outfought and outfoxed Miami on the boards. The Heat had won four games this season when outrebounded by 15 or more, but this time the disparity beat them.

NETS 115, WIZARDS 113, 2OT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Joe Johnson's jumper with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Brooklyn over Washington.

Bradley Beal's two free throws tied the score at 113 with 9.1 seconds to play before Johnson, who had 18 points, hit the shot that improved Brooklyn to 4-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, and Deron Williams added 24 points and 10 assists.

Beal had a career-high 24 points. Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and Nene, who fouled out in the first overtime, had 20 for Washington, which lost its fourth in a row and is now 4-27.

After Martell Webster's jumper gave the Wizards a 106-104 lead to begin the second overtime, Gerald Wallace made a layup and Keith Bogans converted a three-point play and a layup for a 111-106 lead with 3:21 to play.

Beal hit a 3-pointer as the first overtime ended to tie the score at 104. It was the second time Washington extended the game at the horn. Nene hit a hook shot to tie it at 93 in regulation.

THUNDER 109, 76ERS 85

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 and Oklahoma City bounced back from a rare home loss to beat Philadelphia.

Oklahoma City made eight of its first 10 3-point attempts in the second half and never trailed after scoring the final five points before halftime.

Serge Ibaka chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder, who haven't lost consecutive home games since dropping two of the first three to start the 2010-11 season.

Nick Young led Philadelphia with 21 points, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points and nine assists. The Sixers fell to 2-5 on their eight-game road trip, which started before Christmas and concludes Saturday night at San Antonio.

CAVALIERS 106, BOBCATS 104

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift Cleveland over Charlotte.

Irving had 14 of his team's final 16 points and 26 points in the second half as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak.

Irving was 10 of 21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws while scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.

Tristan Thompson added 19 points and C.J. Miles added 18 for the Cavaliers.

Ben Gordon led Charlotte's second-half charge, finishing with 27 points.

Ramon Sessions added 20 points and Gerald Henderson had 17, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of 20.

CELTICS 94, PACERS 75

BOSTON (AP) - Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak.

Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.

Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.

The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.

PISTONS 85, HAWKS 84

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points and Detroit earned its fourth consecutive victory.

The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had the ball in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams' jumper at the buzzer to preserve the win.

The Pistons have won six of seven overall, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Atlanta. The second unit has powered the surge, outscoring the starters in several games, and the reserves outscored Atlanta's backups 41-14, led by Daye.

Josh Smith had 20 points for Atlanta, while Al Horford had 18 points and 15 rebounds.

TRAIL BLAZERS 86, GRIZZLIES 84

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat Memphis.

Rudy Gay's jumper from near the top of the key was off the mark, allowing the Trail Blazers to escape a closely played game that saw nine ties and 21 lead changes.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, while Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 11 points apiece, Lillard also handing out eight assists.

Marreese Speights had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies in place of Zach Randolph, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Gay had 19 points, but was 8 of 21 from the field.

Marc Gasol scored 12 points and had a career-best eight blocks. Darrell Arthur contributed 10 points off the Memphis bench.

KINGS 105, RAPTORS 96

TORONTO (AP) - DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds, John Salmons scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Sacramento beat Toronto.

Jason Thompson scored 14 points and Isaiah Thomas had 11 as the Kings won their second straight road game. Sacramento had gone 1-13 away from home before winning at Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Kings have won six of eight overall following their second five-game losing streak of the season.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 and Ed Davis had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who came in having won eight of nine and a season-best five straight at home.

Alan Anderson scored 20, DeMar DeRozan had 14 and Jose Calderon added 13 for the Raptors.

JAZZ 87, SUNS 80

PHOENIX (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Paul Millsap added 19 to lead Utah past slumping Phoenix.

Gordon Hayward added 14 points off the bench for the Jazz, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 5-12.

Utah was without center Enes Kanter, who sprained his right ankle in a win Wednesday against Minnesota.

Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Goran Dragic added 17 points, but only six after the first quarter.

ROCKETS 115, BUCKS 101

MILWAUKEE (AP) - James Harden scored 29 points to lead Houston over Milwaukee.

Harden shot 11 of 18 from the floor to go with seven assists and four steals for Houston, which has won 10 of its last 13 games.

The Rockets, who shot 54 percent from the field, also got 22 points from Carlos Delfino in his return to Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2009-12 before signing with Houston as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

The Rockets' Jeremy Lin was taken to the locker room with 10:34 left in the third after the left side of his head was slightly bloodied after he collided with the right cheek of Milwaukee's Larry Sanders as the two scrambled for a loose ball near half court. He returned to the bench with just under 3 minutes left in the period and started the fourth quarter.

Milwaukee equaled a season worst by losing its third game in a row despite 16 points from Brandon Jennings.

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

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Need to Know: Tandler's Take—Drafting a running back early not a cure-all for Redskins' ground game

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 18, 24 days before NFL free agency starts.

Tandler’s Take

The topic for today’s post comes from Twitter:

When I asked for topics for this post, the subject of the running game came up with several of them. And since John brought up the draft, let’s look at that as a potential solution.

Let’s first establish that the Redskins’ running game was not good enough last year. I don’t need to spend a bunch of time on this but here are some numbers. They were 28th in rushing yards and 29th in yards per carry. If you like to weigh more complete metrics, they were 28th in rushing DVOA. If you want to look at a key situation, they were last in the league in yards per first-down rushing attempt. Last year a team gained 100 yards rushing or more 274 times. The Redskins got there five times.

I’m going to leave it at that here since, again, if you’re reading this you probably watched a lot of their games and you don’t need to be persuaded that the running game was largely unproductive. Yes, there were injuries that had the offensive linemen playing snaps just days after being signed and the broken leg suffered by Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley’s various ailments. But the Redskins haven’t ranked higher than 19th in rushing yards since Jay Gruden became the head coach. Rushing game struggles are an ongoing issue.

I am going to work on the premise that those who advocate having the Redskins improve their running game via the draft are talking about drafting a running back in the first or second round. That may be overgeneralizing but that gives me a good-sized chunk of data to work with and still be able to analyze it in the 1000 words or so I am allotted here.

I’m also going to call a 1,000-yard season the minimum that would be expected out of a back drafted in the first two rounds. There are other ways a back can contribute, of course, and we can deal with them separately.

From 2010-2017, there were 45 thousand-yard rushing seasons by players who entered the league during those years (all data via the indispensable Pro Football Reference unless noted). Twelve of them were accomplished by players drafted in the first round. Six came from second-round picks, six from third-rounders, four from the fourth, three from the fifth, four from the sixth and none from the seventh. Oh, and there were 10 thousand-yard seasons that came from undrafted players.

It should be noted that four of those seasons from undrafted players came from the Texans’ Arian Foster. And two each came from LeGarrette Blount and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. So those 10 thousand-yard seasons should not be seen as an indication that there is a treasure trove of running back talent going undrafted every year.

Back to the first and second rounders, the combined 16 thousand-yard seasons doesn’t mean much in isolation. How many backs were drafted in the first two rounds in that time? How many opportunities have they had to post big seasons?

In the past eight drafts, 34 running backs were drafted in the first and second round. That group has had 170 opportunities to post a 1,000-yard season. What I mean by opportunities is the number of seasons that have elapsed since the player was drafted. The six backs drafted in the first two rounds in 2010 have each had eight chances to gain 1,000 yards in a season so they have combined for 48 opportunities (6*8). There were five backs drafted in the first and second seven seasons ago, so there have combined for 35 opportunities, and so on. Through the eight years that adds up to 170 seasons.

The combined 16 thousand-yard seasons in 170 opportunities comes to a success rate of 9.4 percent when it comes to reaching the bar that most fans would set as the minimum.

A couple of things need to be pointed out here. There are some backs like Giovani Bernard, Shane Vereen, and Christian McCaffrey who do not have any big rushing seasons on their resumes but have been valuable catching passes out of the backfield. And some like Dalvin Cook, who was injured after a promising start last year, and McCaffrey seemed destined to have 1,000-yard seasons in their futures. So all of the backs who have not gained 1,000 yards in a season are not necessarily draft busts or failures.

But here are first-round running back busts, just like there are busts at every position. There were 12 running back picked in the first round of the past eight drafts. Javid Best, David Wilson, and Trent Richardson clearly were disappointments (the former two struggled with injuries). Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, and C.J. Spiller have had some success but perhaps not enough to justify being first-round picks. It took Mark Ingram a while, but he got rolling in his sixth NFL season. I want to see more out of McCaffrey before judging him and Melvin Gordon needs to continue his upward trajectory. It’s safe to say that even with small sample sizes of data in the books on Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette they were home runs. So was Todd Gurley.

So out of 12 first-round backs in the last eight years, you have three clear busts, three moderate disappointments, four top-level performers (including Ingram) and two TBD.

In any case, it’s clear that just drafting a back early is not a panacea for a struggling running game. Blocking (from both the line and the receivers and other backs), play calling, scheme, and some intangible factors like attitude (as Brian Mitchell will tell you) all play into the success and failure of moving the ball on the ground.

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.

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2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

2018 NBA All-Star Game: TV and live stream info, rosters, things to watch for dunk contest, three-point contest

The 2018 NBA All-Star Game is here with the annual showcase set for Los Angeles.

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

2018 NBA ALL-STAR GAME

Where: Staples Center
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT
Online with no cable TV: fuboTV (try for free)

ROSTERS

TEAM LEBRON:

Coach: Dwane Casey, Raptors
LeBron James, Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Warriors
Kyrie Irving, Celtics
Anthony Davis, Pelicans
LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs
Bradley Beal, Wizards
Goran Dragic, Heat
Andre Drummond, Pistons
Paul George, Thunder
Victor Oladipo, Pacers
Russell Westbrook, Thunder
Kemba Walker, Hornets

TEAM STEPHEN:

Coach: Mike D'Antoni, Rockets
Stephen Curry, Warriors
James Harden, Rockets
Joel Embiid, 76ers
DeMar DeRozan, Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves
Draymond Green, Warriors
Klay Thompson, Warriors
Al Horford, Celtics
Damian Lillard, Blazers
Kyle Lowry, Raptors
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves

PODCAST: ALL-STAR WEEKEND PREVIEW, WIZARDS AT THE BREAK 

Three things to watch...

New format

The NBA switched it up this season by doing away with the traditional matchup between the East and West. The teams were instead chosen by captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry, the two top vote-getters in All-Star fan voting. The idea was to breath new life into the All-Star Game and hopefully make it more competitive. The league also installed a system where the winners each get $100,000, $75,000 more than the losing team. 

All pro sports leagues struggle drawing interest with their All-Star showcases. They are always trying to get ratings up and this is the latest ploy by the NBA. The new format is definitely intriguing, but whether it will have a major impact on the competition itself is hard to tell. We'll see how the fans respond.

RELATED: JOHN WALL GIVES UPDATE ON HIS REHAB

Reunion time

The teams picked by James and Curry will give fans some throwback combinations with former teammates back together again. Team LeBron is full of them. James will reunite with Kyrie Irving, who essentially forced his way out of Cleveland over the summer after the two combined to reach three straight NBA Finals and win one title.

We will also see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play together again. They of course teamed up to win a lot of games with the Oklahoma City Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors. Westbrook will also be reunited with Victor Oladipo, who was traded from OKC to the Pacers over the summer.

RELATED: WIZARDS/BULLETS HISTORY ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

Beal's All-Star debut

Wizards fans will of course be focused on Bradley Beal, who is making his first All-Star appearance. He is Washington's lone representative, as John Wall is still recovering from left knee surgery.

Beal may not get many minutes on a stacked roster of guys who have been in the game before. If that happens, it's probably for the best. Beal is currently fifth in the NBA in total minutes played. He needs the rest if he can get it.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS