Bears' defense keeps racking up points


Bears' defense keeps racking up points

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) How's this for an oddity?

Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs have more touchdown catches than Calvin Johnson and as many as Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne.

Well, sort of.

Tillman and Briggs actually have two interception returns for touchdowns, and the Chicago Bears' defense has been racking up points of late at a rate that would make any high-powered offense envious.

Coach Lovie Smith says the Bears (4-1) simply ``need to keep it going.''

The defense has five touchdowns - all on interceptions in the past three weeks - and has allowed just five TDs by opposing offenses this season. Tillman and Briggs made history in Sunday's 41-3 blowout at Jacksonville, becoming the first teammates to return interceptions for TDs in consecutive weeks.


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Capitals vs. Islanders: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Islanders: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Making his return to Capital One Arena, Barry Trotz will lead his New York Islanders against the Washington Capitals. 

It will be the first time Trotz sees the Stanley Cup banner in person and the second time that he will go at odds with his former team. 

But as things stand for both teams, they are going in opposite directions. The Isles are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of 12 of their last 16 contests.  Washington quite possibly has hit their post-Stanley Cup hangover, and is 4-4-2 in their last 10. 

These two teams met up earlier this season and they already gave Trotz his ring, but the Caps got the victory. With the way the two teams are trending right now in the Metro division, Trotz may get his revenge. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.


What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Game 47 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Islanders game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Islanders on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM


6:30 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals vs. Islanders
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
11:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live


Capitals: Christian Djoos (leg, Injured Reserve)

Islanders: Thomas Hickey (upper body, day-to-day), Andrew Ladd (lower body, Injured Reserve)


Braden Holtby, G, Capitals (17-10-2, 2.80 GAA): Holtby missed the past two games for Caps due to an eye injury he suffered on Jan. 12 against Columbus. His status is still up in the air for this matchup, but in the past 150+ minutes (2.5 games) without Holtby the team has allowed 12 goals.

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (33 G, 19 A, 52 Pts): As much as the defense has struggled, so has the offense. Four goals in the past three games is all the Caps can muster, with one of the four coming off of the stick of Ovechkin. He has not been the reason for the lack of the offense, but Ovi needs to get them out of the funk. 

Robin Lehner, G, Islanders (13-7-3, 2.16 GAA): Dominating is all that Lehner has been doing for the Isles as of late and is a huge part of their comeback. When he's made it on the ice, the team has won nine of their last 10. His GAA is tops in the NHL and his save percentage (.928) is second. Not a good recipe for a Caps team that has trouble finding the net. 


Number of all-time Meetings: 252 (37 postseason)

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead 124-115-13

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead 108-94-13

Playoff Record: Islanders lead 21-16

Last Meeting: Caps win 4-1 OT (11/26/18)

Last 10: Capitals lead 6-4


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Wizards show toughness, resiliency in crazy comeback win over Knicks in London

Wizards show toughness, resiliency in crazy comeback win over Knicks in London

The Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks 101-100 in London on Thursday afternoon. Here are five observations from the game...

1. The Wizards' trip to London, England as global ambassadors for the NBA was close to being remembered for a disaster of a game. They came out sluggish and trailed by as many as 19 points to a Knicks team they had won 17 of 19 against entering the day.

But the Wizards once again showed resilience, as they have so often lately despite missing key players due to injury. They locked down on defense to allow only 11 points in the fourth quarter and that helped them overcome a 12-point hole entering the final frame, their largest deficit after three quarters in a win since the 2016-17 season.

Late-game defense proved the difference, but it was a key play in the final seconds that sealed the victory. Down one, Thomas Bryant drew a goaltending on Allonzo Trier with 0.4 seconds left to put the Wizards ahead for good.

The play nearly failed as Bradley Beal slipped around halfcourt. But he got the ball to Bryant, who was cutting through the lane and Trier made a mistake trying to save the game.

The Wizards, of course, will not complain. They now head back to the States having won six of their last nine.

2. Beal ended up with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, but this was another game where he started slow and heated up late. He began the game 1-for-7 and shot just 10-for-29 (34.5%) overall.

Beal continues to show an ability to adjust midgame to counter defenses. And much like Sunday's loss against the Raptors, he began by missing outside shots, switched to attacking the rim and then everything else fell into place.

3. Three-point defense has been an issue for the Wizards all season, even after the acquisition of Trevor Ariza, and it was once again a problem in this one. The Knicks, who entered the game ranked 22nd among 30 teams in three-point percentage (34.4), got hot early from long range.

The Knicks made nine threes in the first half, nearly what they average for full games this season (10.2), and on 18 attempts. They finished 12-for-29, good for 41.4  percent. No one killed them more than Luke Kornet, who went 4-for-6.

The Wizards may have underestimated the Knicks' ability to shoot, as some of their early looks were uncontested. By the time the Wizards woke up and made closing out a priority, several Knicks players had found a rhythm and kept knocking them down despite good defense.

The Wizards, though, did hold New York to 3-for-11 from three in the second half.

4. It took until midway through the third quarter, but Troy Brown Jr. again got some run. That is now two straight games where head coach Scott Brooks has turned to Brown for a spark when he needed it.

Brown once again was impressive. He made some nice passes, including a no-look dime to Sam Dekker for an easy slam. He even had his first career poster-dunk:

Much of the criticism from fans and others who didn't like the Wizards taking Brown at 15th overall centered around his perceived lack of athleticism and low ceiling on offense. But he can get up high enough to make plays like that.

5. This game was always going to have extra importance for the players from Europe like Tomas Satoransky and Ian Mahinmi, who each had a host of friends and family in attendance. Satoransky, in particular, rose to the occasion.

The Wizards guard had one of his most efficient games of the season. He had 14 points in 30 minutes on 6-for-8 from the field. He dished five assists and added two steals and a block.

The Knicks had major trouble staying in front of Satoransky, who drove into the lane with ease. He made a series of plays in the lane including a putback slam and a nice up-and-under move around Kevin Knox. It was a post move you don't often see from guards, the type of three-step combination Ben Simmons has made a living off of.

Satoransky has a lot of potential in posting up smaller guards. He's 6-foot-7 and has nice touch around the rim. That move may have been a glimpse of more to come as Satoransky continues to develop his offensive game.

Satoransky, though, didn't play much down the stretch. As the Wizards gained momentum, especially on defense, Brooks went away from Satoransky to roll with what was working.