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No. 4 Arizona defeats Oregon State 80-70

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No. 4 Arizona defeats Oregon State 80-70

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Solomon Hill had 16 points, including five 3-pointers, to help the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats bounce back from their first loss of the season with a 80-70 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

The Wildcats (15-1, 3-1 Pac-12) were coming off a 70-66 defeat Thursday night just down the road against the Oregon Ducks. Arizona, which had made a habit of pulling off late wins, couldn't manage another against the Ducks.

The Beavers (10-6, 0-3), who trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half, didn't give the Wildcats much trouble. Ahmad Starks had 18 points to lead Oregon State, which dropped its third straight.

Mark Lyons added 16 points for the Wildcats, who were plagued by 16 turnovers but made 10 of 25 3-point attempts.

The Wildcats pulled ahead 13-6 early on Grant Jarrett's 3-pointer, but Oregon State did its best to keep up and pulled to within 17-16 on Starks' 3-pointer with 12:18 to go in the first half.

The Beavers pulled to within 24-23 on another 3 from Starks, but Hill answered with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats.

Lyons hit a layup that put Arizona up 32-27, but Langston Morris-Walker hit on a long jumper and Devon Collier dunked on a fast break to keep Oregon State close.

Trailing 34-33, the Beavers had a chance to go ahead but Jamal Reid missed a pair of free throws. The Wildcats finished out with a 9-2 run to lead 43-34 at the break.

Brandon Ashley's layup early in the second half pushed Arizona's lead to double digits, 47-37. Kevin Parrom's 3-pointer made it 60-45 with 12:22 left and Hill's 3 extended the lead to 67-50 midway through the half and the Wildcats cruised the rest of the way.

It was somewhat unusual for the Wildcats to win by such a margin.

The Wildcats defeated then-No. 5 Florida 65-64 back in mid-December on senior Mark Lyons' heavily contested layup with 7 seconds left. Arizona got another 1-point win over a ranked opponent when they beat San Diego State 68-67 at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.

To start the new year, a banked-in 3-pointer by Colorado's Sabatino Chen at the end of regulation was waved off by the officials after a replay and the Wildcats went on to beat the Buffaloes in overtime. Then Arizona lucked out when what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer by Utah bounced off the rim for a 60-57 Wildcats win.

Oregon State played for the second straight without sophomore forward Eric Moreland, who had started Oregon State's first 14 games before he was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules along with teammate Victor Robbins.

Moreland, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, was averaging 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds while Robbins played about 63 minutes off the bench in nine games this season. Moreland sat on the bench for Saturday's game dressed in street clothes.

Collier finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Beavers.

Arizona is the highest ranked team Oregon State's Craig Robinson has faced as head coach of the Beavers. Oregon State has upset a top five-ranked team 10 times, with the last two victories coming against Arizona in 2000 and 1989.

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Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

There appears to be at least some chance the Wizards will be without starting small forward Otto Porter when they host the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their first round playoff series on Friday night in Washington.

Porter, 24, continues to deal with a right lower leg strain. The injury is located on the outside of his calf and will require further testing from the Wizards' medical staff to determine his status.

Head coach Scott Brooks addressed the media on Thursday and did not rule out an MRI.

"We don't know as of yet, but he's banged up. So, hopefully we will find out some good news and see how he feels tomorrow," Brooks said.

Porter first suffered the injury on April 10 against the Celtics in the Wizards' penultimate regular season game. He missed the regular season finale, but has appeared in all five games of the Wizards-Raptors series.

Brooks did not make it seem likely that Porter will miss Game 6, but expressed uncertainty.

"Anything is possible," he said. "We hope for the best."

Porter appeared hobbled in Game 5 and has at other times this series as well. After the first two games of the series, Brooks was asked about Porter's health and said that he was "100 percent." It's unclear if Porter suffered a setback in the time between, but clearly that isn't the case anymore.

Porter is averaging just 10.0 points in this series, down from his 14.7 per game season average. Ideally, the Wizards would be getting more than that from their third scoring option.

"We need Otto," Brooks said. "We need Otto to be more of a nine or 10-point scorer for us to win this series."

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If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

In last year’s playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals won two out of the last three games and three out of the last five…and still lost the series. That’s because they lost both Game 1 and Game 2 to fall into a 0-2 hole, much like they did against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round this season.

The Caps know if this year is going to be different, they cannot afford to fall into a similar hole again.

“It's always harder to dig yourself out of a hole,” head coach Barry Trotz said after Thursday’s morning skate. “You're room for error is a lot less and it wears on you.”

“If we've learned anything from last year, you lose two it's tough to climb out of that,” Jay Beagle said. “Then this year first round, lose two, it's tough to climb out. It makes the series really hard. You always feel like you're chasing and no room for error.”

It did not cost them against Columbus as Washington was able to rattle off four straight wins to advance to the second round. Overcoming a two-game hole against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, however, is a taller task.

For only the second time in franchise history, the Capitals were able to overcome a 0-2 series deficit when they did it against the Blue Jackets. That means it doesn’t happen very often.

Chances are you won’t be able to overcome a deficit like that against Sidney Crosby and Co.

And that’s what makes Game 1 so important.

Washington is at home, opening a series against their arch rival, the Penguins will be without both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin and the game will be played with the memory of how a 0-2 hole cost the Caps the series last year.

To call it a must-win would perhaps be an overstatement. It is a best of seven after all. But it’s still not that far off.

“We've got to just make sure we're looking at game one, we're not looking ahead,” Beagle said. “We've got to go after them in this first game and really try and take it to them in our rink.”

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