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NEW YORK (AP) Paul Pierce scored 23 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 102-96 on Monday night in a heated first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals.

Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who even without the suspended Rajon Rondo won their third straight and finally are playing like the team that has ruled the division for the last half-decade.

The Knicks want that title now, but Carmelo Anthony and his teammates were reminded how tough the Celtics can make it.

Anthony had 20 points but shot 6 of 26 while battling his temper, Garnett and foul trouble. J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points.

BULLS 118, CAVALIERS 92

CHICAGO (AP) - Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a rout of the Cavaliers.

It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.

Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.

Chicago (19-13), which posted a season-high in points, moved to 11-1 when Boozer and Noah have double-doubles.

Dion Waiters led Cleveland (8-28) with 18 points. C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving had 15 points apiece.

WIZARDS 101, THUNDER 99

WASHINGTON (AP) - Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Wizards beat the Thunder.

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (26-8) with 29 points.

The Wizards (5-28), playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led the Washington with 22 points each.

Kevin Seraphin added 19 points, and Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Thunder missed 16 straight shots from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter.

HORNETS 95, SPURS 88

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Eric Gordon scored six straight points in a fourth quarter spurt and had 24 overall to lead the Hornets to a victory over San Antonio.

Anthony Davis added 17 points, Greivis Vasquez 14 and Ryan Anderson 13 for the Hornets, who have won two consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2-3.

Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead the Spurs, who had won eight of their previous nine, dating to a 99-94 victory over the Hornets in San Antonio on Dec. 21.

Tony Parker had 16 points, Tim Duncan 13 and Kawhi Leonard 10 for San Antonio. Duncan was 5 of 14, at one point missing five consecutive shots in the third quarter.

The Spurs committed 19 turnovers, leading to 23 points for New Orleans.

JAZZ 100, MAVERICKS 94

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Jazz defeated the Mavericks.

Alec Burks added a season-high 13, including eight in the fourth quarter when Utah held Dallas (13-22) to 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 20 points. He had six straight late, but also was called for a charge with 32 seconds remaining as he tried to get Dallas within two.

The Jazz made 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Al Jefferson added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Utah (18-18), which has won both meetings with Dallas this season.

The Mavs (13-22) have lost three straight and 12 of their last 14.

GRIZZLIES 113, KINGS 81

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 26 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to help the Grizzlies rout the Kings.

Zach Randolph scored 17 points and had seven rebounds for Memphis. Mike Conley had 15 points and eight assists and Marc Gasol had 13 points for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Kings 36-20 in the third quarter to blow the game open.

John Salmons led the Kings with 17 points, Jason Thompson had 12 and DeMarcus Cousins had 10 and eight rebounds.

Tyreke Evans returned to the Kings after missing the previous 11 games with a sore left knee. He had five points in 12 minutes.

Besides playing well offensively, the Grizzlies did a nice job of containing Cousins. In the previous four games, Cousins had averaged 24.5 points and 15.2 rebounds.

TRAIL BLAZERS 125, MAGIC 119, OT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the Blazers handed the Magic their ninth straight loss.

Wesley Matthews finished with 24 points, including a dunk that all but sealed it with less than a minute to go in overtime, and J.J. Hickson added 20 points and 15 rebounds for his 20th double-double this season.

Portland has won three straight and 11 of its last 14 games.

Aldridge hit a layup and a free throw that put Portland ahead 112-108 with 3:38 in overtime. After the Magic tied it at 112 on J.J. Redick's hook shot, Blazers rookie Damian Lillard made a pull-up jumper to reclaim the lead.

Redick led the Magic with 29 points, while Arron Afflalo had 24. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 13 rebounds.

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. CHARLOTTE HORNETS

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

On a roll

The Wizards have some serious momentum going right now. With an impressive win over the Cavs on Thursday, they have now won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall went down with a left knee injury. They had a week off due to the All-Star break, but didn't show any rust at all in their first game back.

The Wizards are now 34-24, 10 games above the .500 mark. They are fourth in the East and could move into third on Friday if they win and the Cavaliers lose. Even with Wall out, things continue to look up for Washington.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Hornets have had their number

The Wizards haven't done so well against the Hornets so far this season. Charlotte has taken both meetings and that includes a 24-point win on Jan. 17. That game featured Dwight Howard taunting the Wizards late in the fourth quarter.

Howard has killed the Wizards through two games with averages of 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds. Jeremy Lamb (20.0 ppg vs. Wizards) has been a big factor as well as All-Star Kemba Walker (21.5 ppg vs. Wizards).

The last time these teams played about a month ago frustrations boiled over in an incident that got Tim Frazier ejected. Michael Carter-Williams picked a fight with Jason Smith and Frazier went off:

RELATED: BEAL IMPRESSED BY LEBRON AT ALL-STAR GAME

Hornets coming in hot

The Hornets are outside the playoff picture at the moment at eight games below .500, but they have won two straight games and Walker and Howard are coming off huge games. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, Walker dropped 31 points and Howard grabbed 24 rebounds.

Those guys will be riding a high coming into Washington on Friday. But it should be noted that Howard complained after the game how tired he is at this point in the season. That exhausion could affect him more in the second game of a back-to-back.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198