Wizards

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Doug McDermott scored 30 points for No. 16 Creighton, which broke away late in the first half and beat Akron 77-61 on Sunday.

McDermott made a career-high six 3-pointers, and Gregory Echenique added nine points and seven rebounds for Creighton (9-1).

Zeke Marshall and Nick Harney had 12 points apiece for Akron (4-3), which is 0-25 against ranked opponents since becoming a Division I program in 1980-81. The Zips, who came in averaging almost 10 3-pointers a game, made a season-low four in 17 attempts and were held to their lowest point total of the season.

Creighton's Grant Gibbs had eight assists and no turnovers to go along with his seven points and six rebounds. Gibbs has 27 assists and one turnover in his last three games.

NO. 21 UNLV 76, CALIFORNIA 75

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Quintrell Thomas grabbed Anthony Marshall's air ball under the basket and scored on a short hook shot with 1.2 seconds remaining to lift UNLV to the win.

The Runnin' Rebels led for most of the second half but trailed 75-74 following two free throws by California's Justin Cobbs with 11.9 seconds left. Marshall then rushed a long jumper that Thomas alertly grabbed and flipped in. Thomas was fouled on the play but missed the free throw. Justin Hawkins then blocked a 3-point attempt by Cobbs from midcourt as the buzzer sounded.

Anthony Bennett had career highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds while leading UNLV (7-1) to its sixth straight win. Bryce Dejean-Jones also had a career-best 22 points.

Allen Crabbe scored 18 for California (6-2), which has lost two straight after opening the season 6-0.

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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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