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New app designed for sports fans on Twitter

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New app designed for sports fans on Twitter

From Comcast SportsNet
CHICAGO (AP) -- When Philip Sanford goes to his favorite bar to watch his beloved Seton Hall Pirates, he brings along his phone charger so he also can follow the game on Twitter. Heather Carleton looks to the social media website for clarification when there's a disputed call involving the San Francisco 49ers. David Foreman likes to communicate with West Virginia fans across the country. More and more these days, when the game is on, so is the computer. Or tablet. Or cellphone. Sports fans around the world are following along on Twitter while they watch their favorite teams in person or on TV, and a new application from a San Francisco startup is designed to make that experience even easier for them. "Since I can't really listen to it since I'm at a sports bar, I like to read about what's going on from a journalistic point of view," said the 29-year-old Sanford, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. "I can learn about what's going from several different sources." There are signs all over that sports fans are using Twitter even while the game is going on in front of them. Sporting events are responsible for the majority of the top moments measured in tweets per second. The Champions League match between Barcelona and Chelsea on April 24 peaked at 13,684 tweets per second, second only to the 2011 showing of a movie in Japan. According to a study by the Perform sports media group, 26 percent of U.S. fans use social media platforms to follow their favorite sports, up from 15 percent in a similar survey in 2011. One-third of those fans say they use Twitter to follow sports, trailing Facebook (89 percent) and YouTube (65) -- based on 1,002 online interviews of adults conducted during February and March. Colleges and professional sports are paying attention to those numbers. Sunday's Pocono 400 Presented by (hash)NASCAR marked Twitter's first official partnership with a sports league. There are all sorts of official hashtags that allow fans to zero in on everything being said about their hometown teams at key moments. "It's really interesting to get more perspective on the game or whatever, whether it's golf or football, because I get to learn more about the players maybe the announcers aren't talking about," Carleton said. "So I think it's becoming more of a tool or resource than the social media part." Carleton, 34, a stay at home mom in Portland, Ore., goes to Mike Pereira whenever there is a questionable ruling in a 49ers game. Pereira was NFL vice president of officiating from 2001-09 and will weigh in on some controversial whistles on Twitter. "It's kind of nice to have that third party to see if you're being biased or not and then you feel vindicated if he says you're right," she said. Foreman, 40, of Lewisburg, Pa., likes the community aspect found on Twitter during sporting events. "I'm sort of an expatriate so a lot of time as I'm watching the Pirates game I am communicating with people in California and other far-flung locations, especially watching WVU," said Foreman, who works in development at Bucknell University. Will Hunsinger knows exactly what Foreman is talking about. Hunsinger, 42, is a proud Georgetown alum and avid follower of the men's basketball team. He was watching a game with his wife last year while communicating with a friend from Switzerland over Facebook and receiving text messages from his father when he came up with an idea. "I was like God, if I could just have this in my hand, where I was watching the game and do all this and see what people were talking about on Twitter ... it would make the game even more fun because now I'm connected with all the people I care about being connected with while I'm in the moment,'" he said. That was the beginning of SportStream, a free application for the iPad that was just approved by Apple and is expected to go live on Thursday. The new program offers curated Twitter feeds for major games that focus on posts from the most popular users based on an evolving credibility database. Fans also can check into games on Facebook and invite friends, as well as talk trash with others in another area of the app. "The concept is to enhance the live sports viewing experience rather than replace it," Hunsinger said. "Sports are inherently social. We want to connect friends, fans and foes, if you will, around the game action and enhance the viewing experience by allowing people to connect on whatever and socialize and consume the game conversation at whatever level that they're comfortable with." Hunsinger received a big lift from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen right after he came up with the idea for SportService. The billionaire owner of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and NFL's Seattle Seahawks funded the new company with a 3.5 million investment through his firm, Vulcan Inc. Hunsinger and Allen are betting on sports becoming even more intertwined with social media in the future. "I think actually we're just on the front edge of a wave," Hunsinger said. "I think that it's going to continue to explode."

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4 reasons why the Caps lost to the Flames

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USA TODAY Sports

4 reasons why the Caps lost to the Flames

After winning five straight at home a confident Capitals team was dealt a tough blow in a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. Lars Eller scored 62 seconds into the game, but the Flames scored the next four straight goals for the win.

Here's why the Caps lost.

Calgary's quick response to the first goal

The Capitals took the lead just 1:02 into the game, but it lasted only 3:47. The Caps are a team that seems to thrive off early energy. They looked lethargic in the first period in both Nashville and Colorado and they lost because of it. The quick response by the Flames did not allow Washington to take advantage of the energy, the momentum or the crowd after taking the early lead.

RELATED: SEE TARIK'S THREE STARS OF THE GAME FOR CAPS-FLAMES

A bad defensive lapse in the first period

Covering only half of the ice is an inadvisable defensive strategy. In the first period, John Carlson and Brooks Orpik were both caught on the right side of the ice leaving nothing but open ice for Johnny Gaudreau to work with.

From the replay, it did not appear the Caps’ defensemen were caught on a bad line change, it was just a bad defensive lapse. Unfortunately for Washington, Gaudreau is the wrong player to leave wide open and he was able to score Calgary’s first goal.

The second period

The Caps were outshot 13-6 in the middle frame and three of Washington’s six shots came in the final three minutes of the period. Calgary completely dictated the play in the second and took the 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Sean Monahan.

MORE CAPITALS: SEE THE LATEST NHL POWER RANKINGS HERE

Special teams

Calgary had the worst penalty kill in the NHL coming into Monday’s game with a kill rate of just 70.6-percent. Advantage Washington, right? Not so much. Washington had three power play opportunities and did not score on any of them. The Caps were also called for five minor penalties of their own. Of Calgary’s four goals, two of them came on the power play and another came one second after a penalty had expired. What should have been an advantage for Washington turned into a disadvantage as the Flames outscored the Caps 2-0 on special teams.

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Wizards continue dominance of Bucks with huge road win

Wizards continue dominance of Bucks with huge road win

The Washington Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks 99-88 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Statement win: Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks still have a ways to go if they plan on catching up to the Washington Wizards.

In what has become a five-year trend, the Wizards continue to have Milwaukee's number. The Wizards have now won 15 of their last 20 meetings going back to 2012. There is no question the Bucks are one of the most talented young teams in the NBA, but John Wall and the Wizards have absolutely owned them.

Wall was able to return after missing Sunday's game and that was a big storyline, but Kelly Oubre, Jr. stole the show. He came through with 18 points in 22 minutes on 6-of-8 shooting. That included 10 points in the fourth quarter. He was 3-for-5 from three-point range.

All five Wizards starters reached double figures and the same was the case for the Bucks. Marcin Gortat (10 points, 15 rebounds) took advantage of the Bucks being the NBA's worst rebounding team. Otto Porter (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Bradley Beal (23 points) also came up big.

Antetokounmpo had 23 points, but shot just 38.1 percent from the field. The Wizards were playing the second game of a back-to-back, but it was the Bucks who looked sluggish.

Wall played: After missing Sunday's game against the Raptors with a swollen left knee, Wall returned to the Wizards lineup on Monday in time to face one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. Wall's presence certainly helped, though it didn't appear like he is fully back to 100 percent.

Wall didn't have the same burst we are used to, and he didn't shoot well, but he was productive. He finished with 15 points and six assists.

Wall looked to be more cautious than he was on Friday night against the Heat, when he was held back by the injury.

[RELATED: BUCKS COACH JASON KIDD MISSES GAME VS. WIZARDS]

Beal makes history: With his first three of the game in the third quarter, Beal made history as the youngest player ever to hit 700 threes in the NBA. Naturally, it was assisted by Wall.

Here's the play:

The list of players with the most three-pointers before their 25th birthday is a great one an dit includes another Wizards:

1. Gilbert Arenas: 24 years, 316 days (779)
2. J.R. Smith: 24 years, 149 days (777)
3. Kyrie Irving: 24 years, 364 days (701)
4. Kevin Durant: 24 years, 198 days (701)
5. Bradley Beal: 24 years, 145 days (700)

Some fireworks: Anytime these teams face each other these days, it's worth recalling how the Wizards didn't like Antetokounmpo staying in late in a game last December to chase his career-high. Though there were no major dustups in this one, there were two moments that suggested the Wizards do not care much for the Greek Freak.

This first one was instigated by Antetokounmpo. Early in the first quarter he drew a foul on Markieff Morris and then talked some trash. The play earned both players technical fouls:

Then, in the second quarter Beal caught Antetokounmpo with a chasedown block. Aftewards, Beal gave him a nice stare as he walked by:

A playoff series between these teams would be fun to watch.

Up next: The Wizards have a day off before heading to Charlotte to see the Hornets for the first time this season. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

[RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS]