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Nets rout Magic 97-77 for 8th straight home win

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Nets rout Magic 97-77 for 8th straight home win

NEW YORK (AP) Deron Williams had 20 points and nine assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 97-77 on Monday night for their eighth straight home victory.

The Nets rebounded from their first two-game losing streak under P.J. Carlesimo, finishing off a four-game sweep of the Magic, who dropped their sixth straight.

Brook Lopez scored 16 points and Joe Johnson had 13 for the Nets, who tied a franchise record with their 11th victory in January and can break it when they host the NBA champion Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who lost for the 17th time in 19 games. Their last two losses had each been by two points, but they were blown out of this one early.

Routed by Memphis and Houston to end their four-game road trip, the Nets quickly got back on track at home against an overmatched opponent. But now comes a difficult stretch, with Chicago following Miami into Barclays Center on Friday and the improving Los Angeles Lakers visiting next Tuesday.

The Nets completed their first four-game sweep of the Magic since 2003-04, the season before Orlando drafted Dwight Howard. Brooklyn led by at least 20 points in all four games and is now 17-0 against teams that were under .500 when they played them.

Both coaches were quick to point out that Jameer Nelson didn't play in any of the first three meetings, but he made no difference thanks to another strong night from Williams, who set the tone with 13 points in the first quarter.

The Magic cut a 16-point halftime deficit to seven after three quarters, but the Nets responded with the first nine of the fourth quarter to push it back to 16. Brooklyn outscored Orlando 23-4 to open the final period.

Orlando starting forward Arron Afflalo was out with a strained left calf and Hedo Turkoglu was ineffective after missing nine games while getting back in shape after a broken left hand.

J.J. Redick, who tied a career high with 31 points Sunday against Detroit while making eight 3-pointers, finished 2 of 13 from the field but set a career high with 10 assists. Nelson was 3 of 12 for nine points.

The Nets closed the first quarter with a 10-2 run for a 30-20 lead. Williams was 5 of 6, hitting three 3-pointers, and the Nets made 11 of 17 shots (65 percent). They came out with the first eight points of the second, opening a 38-20 cushion on Andray Blatche's jumper with 9:17 left in the half.

Down 56-40 at the half, Orlando trimmed it to 70-63 after three but had to keep four starters on the floor the entire period. They rested to start the fourth and the Nets clobbered the Magic's below-average bench, with Keith Bogans hitting two 3-pointers in the 9-0 run to start the fourth, and though the starters came back less than 90 seconds in, the momentum was gone.

Bogans finished with 12 points.

Notes: The Nets also won 11 games in January of 1983 and 2002. ... The Nets on Monday recalled Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia from Springfield of the NBA D-League, where Shengelia was the player of the week last week. He averaged 31.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in two games while shooting 76 percent from the floor (25 of 33), and tied the Armor record with 39 points on 17-of-21 shooting and grabbed 18 boards in a victory over Maine. However, he was unavailable to the Nets because of concussion symptoms. ... The Magic are 0-13 when failing to score 90 points.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

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Associated Press

Wizards Tipoff podcast: What the Ramon Sessions signing means for Tomas Satoransky

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller offered their reaction to the Ramon Sessions signing and how it could affect Tomas Satoransky. Plus, how the Wizards match up with the new-look Cavs and how Kelly Oubre, Jr. broke out of his slump.

Chase also explained his epic fail with an Oubre interview and they revisited an Instagram post from months ago that foreshadowed much that has gone down this season.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.