From Comcast SportsNetINDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Andrew Luck sure didn't play like a rookie Sunday afternoon.He looked like a new, younger version of Peyton Manning.The Colts rookie threw two touchdown passes, took advantage of several key Minnesota penalties and marched Indianapolis 45 yards in 23 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for a 53-yard field goal with 8 seconds left, which gave Indianapolis a 23-20 victory over Minnesota in Luck's home debut."It's just amazing that the guy's able to go out there and do the things he does as a rookie," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He certainly had to put the ball on them, and he did."Many of those wearing No. 18 jerseys in Sunday's crowd had probably forgotten it took Manning a little longer to win his first game. He started 0-4, including two home losses, before finally beating Ryan Leaf and the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 4, 1998.Luck's older teammates couldn't be happier to get this early win, either, especially after last season's 0-13 start spurred speculation about going winless for the regular season.The No. 1 draft pick made sure it didn't happen again. Indy's new quarterback finished 20 of 31 for 224 yards on a solid, not spectacular day.He played the entire second half without three starters on the offensive line, yet managed to move the Colts into field-goal position twice. Luck actually did his most impressive work eluding pass rushers and throwing on the run.Time after time, he managed to escape trouble including twice on Indy's winning drive, to complete passes. And when the Vikings made mistakes, he made them pay.He got a field goal out of a roughing the kicker penalty and a personal foul call, penalties that kept one second-half drive alive, and when the Vikings blew a coverage just before halftime, Luck hooked up with Reggie Wayne for a 30-yard score.The Vikings (1-1) were frustrated all afternoon."We were rushing him. He moved around a lot. It (stinks), missing sacks," Jared Allen said. "He did a good job. If the guy is not as mobile, we probably have six sacks.Sure, Luck made a few miscues -- such as taking the 17-yard sack on third-and-5 with 3:00 to play. Or spiking the ball when the clock was already stopped just before Vinatieri came onto the field for his field goal.But, like Manning, Luck didn't let the miscues bother him."I guess some people were under the impression that the clock was going to run, so I guess we looked a little foolish killing the clock when it was already stopped ," Luck said, laughing as he explained why he spiked the ball with 12 seconds to play. "Oh well."The Colts (1-1) have won three straight home games dating to last season and improved to 10-0 in home games against the Vikings.After settling for two field goals in the first 54 minutes, quarterback Christian Ponder rallied the Vikings late and got the big break he needed when defensive end Cory Redding batted his fourth-down pass up into the air. Kyle Rudolph got his hands on the ball, too, tipping it up again and toward teammate Stephen Burton, who hung onto the ball for a 7-yard TD. That made it 20-13 with 5:07 to play.Ponder was 27 of 35 for 245 yards with two TDs, but was sacked four times. Percy Harvin caught 12 passes for 104 yards."We had opportunities. We just didn't capitalize on them," Adrian Peterson said after running 16 times for 60 yards and catching three passes for 20 yards.The Vikings were just getting started, though.Following the big third-down sack on Luck and a poor punt, Minnesota took over at the Indy 47 with 2:29 to play. The Vikings finally tied the score when Rudolph hung on for a 6-yard TD reception to tie the score with 31 seconds left."You want to score and the defense has to go out there and hold in that situation," coach Leslie Frazier said. "That's our league. In that situation where we were, we needed to get the ball in the end zone and we got to go out and play defense."But 31 seconds was too much time for Luck.He started the last Colts' series by rolling to the left and hooking up Donnie Avery for 20 yards. Then he stepped up in the pocket and threw to the right, a 20-yard strike to Wayne. Then he got the Vikings to jump offside, moving the ball to the Minnesota 35, and after the spike, Vinatieri lived up to his nickname as the best clutch kicker in league history."The kid's got poise," Wayne said. "He's got some winning in the blood."Notes: Avery tied his career high with nine receptions. He also had 111 yards. ... Colts center Samson Satele left the game in the third quarter with an undisclosed knee injury. Right tackle Winston Justice and left guard Joe Reitz (knee) were inactive. ... During one stretch Sunday, the Colts ran 31 plays, compared with four for the Vikings -- including a kneel down at the end of the first half. ... Colts have won all three home games (two in preseason) this year, but has lost all three on road. ... Blair Walsh has made all six of his field-goal attempts in his first two games including a 51-yarder to open Sunday's scoring.
The play of Kelly Oubre, Jr. over the past calendar year had made the Wizards picking up his contract option an increasingly easy decision. On Saturday, they opted to keep him for the fourth year of his rookie contract, the 2018-19 season, and did so with a week to spare before the deadline.
Oubre, 21, has emerged as a key contributor for a Wizards team with expectations of a deep playoff run. He is still finding his trule role in the NBA, but with his youth and potential, and the fact he's still on a rookie deal, Oubre has a unique place on their roster.
John Wall and Bradley Beal have already emerged as stars. Otto Porter still has room to get much better, but has already arrived and earned a max contract. Oubre, though already established in their rotation, has plenty of room to grow.
Oubre, the 15th overall pick in 2015, doubled his minutes last season to 20.3 per game under head coach Scott Brooks with averages of 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game. He earned Brooks' trust mainly on the defensive end with his versatility and high motor.
Consistency is where Oubre needs to improve, but through two games this season he appears to have taken another step. Oubre added two inches to his vertical leap over the summer despite rehabbing from platelet-rich plasma treatment on his right knee. He also gained some muscle, allowing him to make strides as a rebounder. Oubre has 15 rebounds through two games and said it's specific focus of his.
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The Wizards are a good enough offensive team currently to where Oubre can focus on defense and rebounding. But his growing confidence on offense has been evident so far this year and especially in the preseason. He has worked on dribbling with his right hand and the result is more aggression attacking the rim. Though still not a polished product, Oubre is taking small steps to emerge as a more dangerous scoring threat.
The Wizards will have another decision to make on Oubre this time next year. One day before the 2018-19 regular season begins, they will have to choose whether to hand Oubre a rookie scale contract extension. They weren't able to beat that deadline with Porter and the next summer he received a $106.5 million max deal after hitting the market as a restricted free agent.
Oubre at this very moment wouldn't command that type of money in free agency, but the same was said about Porter at this point in his career. Porter was able to improve significantly in his fourth season.
Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis said this summer that he would love to have Oubre force the issue with his performance on the court.
"He's going to come back and work really, really hard and challenge us to pay him a lot of money, too, which I'm glad to do," Leonsis said.
It's early in the season, but Oubre may be on his way towards making the Wizards ponder his long-term future.
The Washington Post first reported Oubre's contract option getting picked up.
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Clippers guard Patrick Beverley made a point to embarrass Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball in the latter's NBA debut. After dominating him on the court, Beverley said he had to "set the tone."
On Wednesday, Wizards point guard John Wall will get a crack at Ball when Washington plays the Lakers at the Staples Center. Wall knows why Beverley went after Ball like that, but says he doesn't blame Ball himself.
"I think his dad put him in a situation where guys are going to target him," Wall said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast, referencing LaVar Ball. "Lonzo is one of those kids that is very talented. He's been a good player for years, he just don't say much. I think his dad does all the talking for him."
Ball, 19, was the second overall pick in this June's NBA Draft. He had just three points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Clippers on Wednesday, but bounced back for 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists against the Suns on Friday.
Wall thinks Ball will be fine as long as he can keep up his production on the court to back up his dad's trash-talking.
"He's a great kid from what I've seen on the outside looking in," Wall said. "A lot of people in this league are going to take it personally. It's not the son's fault. He went back and had a better game [vs. the Suns]. That's all he's gotta do is go out there and play. He's not gonna do any talking anyways. If he gets killed or don't get killed or kills somebody, he's not going to be the guy talking."
Wall is as competitive as they come and will give Ball a tough challenge on Wednesday night, but it doesn't sound like he plans to pull a Beverley and overtly embarrass him.
Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: