Wizards

Balanced Panthers knock off No. 6 Syracuse, 65-55

201302021216441872571-p2.jpeg

Balanced Panthers knock off No. 6 Syracuse, 65-55

PITTSBURGH (AP) Tray Woodall had 13 points, four assists and three steals as Pittsburgh continued its mastery of Top 10 teams at home, pulling away from No. 6 Syracuse in a 65-55 win on Saturday.

Trey Zeigler added six points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench for the Panthers (18-5, 6-4 Big East), who improved to 13-1 against teams ranked in the Top 10 since the Petersen Events Center opened a decade ago.

C.J. Fair led Syracuse (18-3, 6-2) with 20 points and Brandon Triche scored 14 but the Orange never led in the second half while losing two straight games for the first time in nearly two years. Michael Carter-Williams added 13 points for Syracuse but the nation's leader in assists finished with just two - nearly seven below his average.

The Panthers needed a win over a bold-named opponent to boost their nice - but hardly overwhelming - resume. Pitt came in just 1-3 against ranked teams, the lone win a 25-point romp over Georgetown last month that sent the Hoyas tumbling out of the polls.

This one should have a little more resonance.

The Panthers controlled the final 20 minutes and never really allowed Syracuse to get going. The Orange, down to seven scholarship players because of injuries and other personnel issues, shot just 37 percent (18 of 49) and was dominated on the backboard. Pittsburgh outrebounded Syracuse 39-24. The Panthers had 14 offensive rebounds, allowing them to extend possessions and slow down the game.

The game was tied at 35 midway through the second half when Pitt took control for good. Cam Wright hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to put the Panthers in front. Lamar Patterson followed with a pullup jumper and Steven Adams put back a miss that allowed Pitt to push in front 41-35.

Freshman Durand Johnson followed shortly thereafter with a 3-pointer of his own. The ebullient swingman put his fingers over his eye in celebration and moved in front 48-39. Syracuse never got closer than five the rest of the way as Pitt made its free throws after going just 3 of 12 at the line in a loss at No. 12 Louisville on Monday.

It wasn't exactly the bounce back performance Syracuse needed after a long week to think about a 75-71 overtime loss to Villanova.

The Orange played without center DaJuan Coleman, who underwent left knee surgery on Tuesday that will sideline him for at least four weeks. Coleman's injury significantly shortened Syracuse's bench, though depth was hardly necessary during a methodical, hard fought first half in which neither team could muster any momentum.

Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone has never been much of an issue for Pitt under coach Jamie Dixon. The Panthers began the day 9-3 against the Orange during Dixon's tenure and, after a slow start, Pitt once again found the little creases in Syracuse's defense to get open shots. The Panthers started the game 1 of 8 but finished the half 12 of 26, with all but two of the buckets coming off assists.

The result was a 27-25 halftime lead, Pitt going ahead on a dunk by Talib Zanna after Zeigler slashed to the middle then fed Zanna sprinting to the basket from the corner. Pitt finished with 19 assists on 24 baskets, the kind of unselfish play Dixon insisted was necessary to give his team a breakthrough win.

Quick Links

Charlotte Hornets agree to trade Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets, per report

dwight-howard-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets agree to trade Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets, per report

Let the trades begin.

The Charlotte Hornets are trading Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov, cash and two future second-round picks, according to league sources of ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi

One of the two future second-round picks will take place in Thursday's NBA Draft, the other in 2021. 

Howard, who is entering his 15th season in the league, had a $23.8 million expiring contract. He is changing teams for the third time in three years. 

Mozgov, who did not see a lot of playing time in Brooklyn during the 2017-'18 season, had two years, $32.7 million left on his contract. The trade will save the Nets close to $17 million during the 2019-'20 season, opening up two max salary slots for free agency in 2019. 

The deal can not become official until July 6th when the moratorium period ends. 

MORE NBA NEWS:

Quick Links

Wizards will play against Knicks in London in 2018-19 regular season game

usatsi_10801687.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards will play against Knicks in London in 2018-19 regular season game

The Wizards will be heading across the pond next year to play a regular season game in London, England against the New York Knicks, the NBA announced on Wednesday.

The game is set for January 17 at the O2 arena in southeast London. It is usually used for concerts, but has become a popular location for NBA international showcase games. Last season, the Sixers and Celtics played there, also in January.

This will be the ninth NBA game played in England and the first for the Wizards. Washington point guard John Wall shared his reaction in the press release.

“It will be an honor to represent the Washington Wizards organization as we play our first game in the UK,” Wall said. “I look forward to connecting with our fans in London and using the experience to further bond as a team.”

The Wizards have several international players on their roster including Marcin Gortat (Poland), Ian Mahinmi (France) and Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic).

The Wizards last played overseas in 2013 when they had a preseason game in Brazil. This is the first international regular season game in franchise history.

Majority owner Ted Leonsis also reacted to the news via the team's website.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play our first overseas regular season game in London next year,” said Leonsis. “The Wizards have a long tradition of playing international exhibition games and we love the chance to be global ambassadors for the game. We’re looking forward to getting the chance to play in front of fans in the UK.”

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!