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NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Carmelo Anthony scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping the New York Knicks top the Orlando Magic 114-106 on Saturday night.

J.R. Smith added 18 points for New York, and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Knicks have won two straight overall and four in a row over the Magic, dating to last season.

Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each had 29 points for the Magic, and Nik Vucevic contributed 11 points and 18 rebounds.

Orlando outrebounded New York 45-40, but had 14 turnovers as its longest losing streak of the season reached eight games.

The Magic flipped a four-point halftime deficit into an 89-81 lead entering the fourth. The Knicks rallied using their size, going up 99-97 on a dunk by Chandler with 5:14 left.

HORNETS 99, MAVERICKS 96, OT

DALLAS (AP) - Eric Gordon completed a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left in overtime and New Orleans spoiled Dallas' first game this season with Dirk Nowitzki in the starting lineup.

After a timeout, O.J. Mayo was beyond the 3-point line when Gordon went up the air and by him. Gordon's foot made contact with the ball, knocking it loose. Instead of a foul, officials called it a kicked ball. Dallas got one more chance but Vince Carter's shot from the right corner ricocheted off the rim.

Nowitzki had a team-high 20 points in 34 minutes, his most extensive action this season. He missed a free throw with 18 seconds left in regulation that would have put the Mavericks ahead by a point.

Greivis Vasquez had 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, but missed a final shot at the end of regulation. Vasquez also had nine assists.

PACERS 95, BUCKS 80

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Roy Hibbert had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Indiana past Milwaukee.

Hibbert grabbed a career-high 11 offensive rebounds as the Pacers won their seventh straight home game. George Hill added 14 points after missing Indiana's previous three games with a right thigh contusion.

The Bucks scored the first six points of the third to grab a 53-52 lead. But the Pacers responded with an 8-0 run and cruised from there.

Indiana, which lost in Boston on Friday night, hasn't lost consecutive games since falling to Denver on Dec. 7 and at Oklahoma City on Dec. 9.

Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points.

CELTICS 89, HAWKS 81

ATLANTA (AP) - Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat Atlanta.

Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the Celtics erased a 19-point deficit and went on to consecutive wins for the first time since late November against Oklahoma City and Orlando.

Boston, which beat Indiana 94-75 on Friday night, had lost four straight road games.

Lou Williams scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half for Atlanta, which has lost two straight.

NETS 113, KINGS 93

NEW YORK (AP) - Brook Lopez scored 18 points in 17 minutes to lead six players in double figures, and Brooklyn got a nice effort from their reserves for its third straight victory.

One night after needing two overtimes to escape with a 115-113 victory in Washington, the Nets made sure the starters weren't too taxed. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 15 points, but neither had to play even 30 minutes.

Reserves MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche each scored 15 points and Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 14 as the Nets scored a season-high 65 points in the first half and improved to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who had won four of five overall and two straight on the road but were defenseless in the finale of their four-game trip.

ROCKETS 112, CAVALIERS 104

CLEVELAND (AP) - James Harden scored 29 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and Houston beat Cleveland.

Jeremy Lin added 20 points for Houston, which has won 11 of its last 14.

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 30 points, including 11 in the final period, but the Cavaliers fell short of winning two in a row for the second time this season.

Harden, who had four points in the first half, made 6 of 17 field-goal attempts, but was 14 of 15 at the line and had a career-high seven steals. He came into the game averaging 26.3 points and has topped the 20-point mark in each of his last 16 games.

TRAIL BLAZERS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 97

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each made five 3s and scored 26 points to lead Portland past injury-depleted Minnesota.

The Trail Blazers made 16 3-pointers and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Timberwolves to win for the 10th time in 13 games and finish their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.

Nikola Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 21 points but left the game in the third quarter because of a left hip strain. Only hours earlier, Minnesota learned it lost star forward Kevin Love to a broken right hand for the second time this season when an MRI confirmed the injury.

The banged-up Timberwolves - who dressed only 10 players - also played without point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat out with back spasms.

Damian Lillard had 20 points for the Blazers.

SPURS 109, 76ERS 86

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker had 20 points and Manu Ginobili added 19 and San Antonio routed Philadelphia.

Tim Duncan added 16 points, Danny Green had 13 and Gary Neal had 12 for San Antonio, which has won 10 straight at home. Tiago Splitter had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Spencer Hawes had a game-high 22 points for Philadelphia, which has lost three straight and five of six.

Evan Turner added 12 points and Thaddeus Young, Jason Richardson and Jrue Holiday each added 11.

San Antonio rebounded from a blowout loss Thursday against the New York Knicks to improve to 14-2 at home.

NUGGETS 110, JAZZ 91

DENVER (AP) - Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points and Denver rebounded from a rare home loss to beat Utah.

Andre Iguodala added 18 points and Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who improved to 11-2 at home this season after their eight-game winning streak at the Pepsi Center was snapped Thursday in a loss to Minnesota.

The Nuggets extended their recent success against Utah at home, winning for the eighth time in the past 10 meetings between the teams at the Pepsi Center.

Paul Millsap had 15 points to lead the Jazz, who were without center Enes Kanter (ankle) and guard Mo Williams (right thumb surgery).

CLIPPERS 115, WARRIORS 89

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chris Paul had 27 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin added 20 points and the Los Angeles Clippers set a franchise record with their 12th straight home victory.

The Clippers lead the NBA with a 27-8 record, a half-game ahead of Western Conference rivals Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Clippers won a club-record 17 straight overall before back-to-back road losses at Denver and Golden State, then beat the Lakers 107-102 on Friday. Their previous best home winning streak was set in 1978-79, their first season in San Diego after the franchise left Buffalo.

DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Clips, who built a 23-point lead through the first quarter and won for the 19th time in 21 games overall.

Klay Thompson had a team-high 14 points for the Warriors, who had won 12 of their previous 15.

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With Burakovsky out, is Chandler Stephenson the next man up?

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USA TODAY Sports

With Burakovsky out, is Chandler Stephenson the next man up?

With Andre Burakovsky out for the remainder of the first round at least, someone will have to replace him in the top six. Originally, it looked like Jakub Vrana was the man for the job. Based on Game 4, however, it now looks like Chandler Stephenson is the "next man up" for the Caps.

While Vrana may have top-six skill and a high ceiling, it was Stephenson who stepped into the second-line role on Thursday playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. Stephenson finished with two shots on goal in 17:28 of ice time. Vrana, meanwhile, played for only 6:40.

On Friday, Barry Trotz praised Stephenson's hockey IQ for allowing him to adjust to the top-six in a complementary role.

"[Stephenson's] an intelligent player," Trotz said. "He played with [Backstrom] a lot [Thursday]. If you talk with the real top-end guys, he has the ability to think like a top-end guy in terms of play with them. He’s a very intelligent player. He skates extremely well. He’s got some strength to his game. He can complement people. I think his ability to play those different roles and his hockey IQ when you play with those skill guys, he plays more of a give-and-go game than an individual game. When you play with those high skill guys, you’re able to compliment them very well."

Stephenson has spent the majority of the season on the fourth line. He was drafted as a natural center, but has played primarily wing since coming to the NHL. The ability to play both positions gives Stephenson more versatility than most forwards which Trotz credits for helping him see the game so well.

"The great thing about Chandler is he’s played multiple positions over the years. I think it’s allowed him to play a fourth-line role and with high-skill guys. At center-ice, you distribute the puck a little more.  He’s turning into a well-rounded player for us."

On the surface, having Stephenson on the fourth line over Vrana makes little sense. Vrana is highly skilled and has great speed, but he is also prone to giving up turnovers and his production can be inconsistent. Trotz has clearly put a premium on responsible play this postseason which gives Stephenson the edge.

But Game 4 was only one game. If you are going to get top-six minutes, Stephenson will be expected to produce offensively as well. Despite the limited ice time he has gotten, Vrana has shown he can have a major impact on games. In Game 1, he set up the team's only 5-on-5 goal and drew a penalty. In Game 3, he drew two penalties in less than two minutes, giving Washington a two-man advantage.

Stephenson had a fantastic game in Game 4 when he was given the chance to play in the top-six. The next step will be finding a way to have a bigger impact on the game.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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