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Bengals beat Eagles 34-13

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Bengals beat Eagles 34-13

PHILADELPHIA (AP) So long, Eagles.

Up ahead for the Cincinnati Bengals, the only Pennsylvania team that truly matters.

Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, an opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and Cincinnati beat the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night.

The Bengals (8-6) took a half-game lead over the Steelers for the last playoff spot in the AFC. But their game at Pittsburgh next week is far more important in the standings than this one.

The Bengals would clinch their second straight playoff berth with a win over the Steelers if Pittsburgh loses at Dallas this Sunday. A loss to the Steelers, though, likely would ruin Cincinnati's chances because it would lose the tiebreaker.

``We control what we can control,'' coach Marvin Lewis said. ``We want to win in December, so we have a chance to win in January.''

Can they beat the Steelers? Probably not if they play like they did for most of their 60 minutes at Lincoln Financial Field. They committed 10 of their 11 penalties through the first three quarters. Dalton was sacked six times by one of the worst lines in the league.

Dalton was an unimpressive 13 of 27 for 127 yards and a touchdown. No receiver had more than 63 yards.

Funny how a playoff push can make those stats meaningless as long as the Bengals win.

``We're playing for something now,'' Dalton said. ``That's great and that's what makes it fun this time of year.''

The Eagles' season was lost a long time ago. They fell to 4-10, losing double-digit games for the first time since 2005, the year after losing the Super Bowl to New England.

There were plenty of empty seats at the Linc, where fans are hoping this is Andy Reid's final season as coach. Reid led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five NFC championship games in his first 13 years. But the Eagles will miss the playoffs for the second straight year and owner Jeffrey Lurie already said 8-8 would be ``unacceptable.''

``I thought the effort was there and guys played hard,'' Reid said, ``but you just can't have those turnovers. That's a problem.''

An interception by Leon Hall set up Dalton's go-ahead 11-yard TD run in the third quarter. Then Wallace Gilberry picked up Bryce Brown's fumble and ran it back 25 yards for another score and an 11-point lead.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 106 yards, including a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter for Cincinnati. Dalton tossed a 5-yard scoring pass to A.J. Green in the fourth to cap a 24-point outburst in a span of 3:23.

``Our goal is to win games. Period. We did that. Doesn't matter how we got there,'' cornerback Adam Jones said. ``We can be better. We can be higher. And that's what we take from this game. Listen, we all know we need to play better as a defense next week. Because we have ourselves a big one next week.''

The Eagles committed three turnovers on three straight possessions at one point and then fumbled a kickoff when defensive lineman Cedric Thornton let the ball fall through his hands on a short kick.

After beating Tampa Bay on a last-second TD last week to snap an eight-game losing streak, the Eagles tried to make it two in a row. Turnovers got in their way again. They've committed an NFL-high 34 and forced just 12 all season.

The Eagles snapped a drought of 22 quarters without a turnover by recovering two fumbles in the second. Both led to field goals by Alex Henery, helping Philadelphia to a 13-10 halftime lead.

Rookie Nick Foles made his fifth straight start for Michael Vick, who just returned to practice this week after sustaining a concussion on Nov. 11. Foles threw for 182 yards, one TD and one interception. Reid said Foles is still the starter.

Down 13-10, the Bengals started their rally with a turnover.

Hall intercepted Foles' deep pass and returned it 44 yards to the Eagles 40. Foles underthrew Jeremy Maclin, who was a few steps behind Hall.

``I feel really good anytime I have one of our receivers vertical on a guy,'' Foles said. ``I just have to get the ball out there and make a better throw.''

Green made an acrobatic catch for an 11-yard gain on third-and-9 a few plays before Dalton ran for the score to put the Bengals up 17-13.

Foles, who threw for 381 yards to lead that comeback against the Bucs, hit Riley Cooper on an 11-yard TD pass to cut it to 10-7. Foles connected with Maclin on a 46-yard pass during the drive.

The Eagles then forced their first turnover since Nov. 5 against New Orleans. Brandon Graham sacked Dalton, the ball popped loose and Trent Cole recovered at the Bengals 29.

Just two plays in, Maclin fumbled after a 6-yard catch. Carlos Dunlap recovered and the Bengals started at the Eagles 44. Green-Ellis ran 29 yards on first down and scored a few plays later for a 7-0 lead.

It got uglier for Philadelphia on the next possession. Mat McBriar punted into his own blocker, Daniel Herron picked it up and ran 3 yards to the Eagles 11. But Graham sacked Dalton and Cincinnati settled for Brown's 24-yard field goal that made it 10-0.

The Bengals would get their act together and put a playoff berth in sight.

``We're in control right now of where we end up,'' Dalton said. ``And that's how you want it to be. We have two tough games ahead of us. But I know we will be ready to go.''

NOTES: Green-Ellis surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for second time in his career. He did it with New England in 2010. ... The Eagles had a season-high six sacks. They have eight in two games since defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired, and had 20 in first 12 games. ... Bowles confirmed he interviewed for the coaching vacancy at Temple, his alma mater. ... Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and TE Brent Celek also sat out. Both players also are recovering from concussions. McCoy missed his fourth straight game, but returned to practice this week with Vick.

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Davis Bertans reinforces status as Wizards' best offseason addition in win over 76ers

Davis Bertans reinforces status as Wizards' best offseason addition in win over 76ers

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-113 on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The Wizards entered this season with the understanding they probably wouldn't make the playoffs. They wanted to play hard and be a team capable of pulling off upsets on nights their effort and scrappy play caught opponents off guard.

They wanted to have games like they had on Thursday night. For the first time this season, the Wizards jumped all over a very good team and held on for a victory.

The Wizards took out the Sixers 119-113 for what is so far their signature win of the season. Philly is one of the best teams in the East at 15-7 and it was mostly healthy, unlike the Wizards.

Washington snapped a three-game skid as it now flies to Miami for battle with the Heat, who may be the surprise team of the NBA so far this season with a 15-6 record.

2. Though it's not showing in the standings, the Wizards did a nice job in the offseason in flipping their roster and creating long-term financial flexibility. Their most impressive move may have been trading for Davis Bertans.

Bertans was essentially stolen from the San Antonio Spurs for Aaron White, who was likely to never play for the Wizards. And all Bertans has done is thrive in an expanded role with the green light to shoot as often as he wants.

Bertans was lights-out on Thursday with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. He set a career high with seven threes, going 7-for-13 from the perimeter. Bertans had 20 points and was 6-for-6 from three in the first half, tying his previous career high for makes.

As I've mentioned before, Bertans is going to be a commodity come the trade deadline and that is going to force a tough decision for the Wizards, whether to trade him or keep him and try to work out an extension in the offseason. If they are offered a first-round pick, it will be hard to pass up.

But there is an argument either way to hold on to him because he is such a good shooter. Just imagine how well he would fit with John Wall.

3. Rookie Rui Hachimura also had a huge game in what was his first career meeting with the Sixers. He popped off for 15 points in the second quarter and ended up with 27 points and six boards.

Hachimura did all of this while dealing with Al Horford and Joel Embiid down low and guarding those guys on the other end. He also spent some time checking Tobias Harris, so there was a lot on his plate.

Hachimura got many of his points with his bread-and-butter midrange game. He made one three and found trouble getting around Embiid at the rim. 

Hachimura took what the defense gave him and it worked. There were several occasions where defenders just let him take long twos and he made them.

Head coach Scott Brooks was just talking pregame about why the Wizards are okay with him living in the midrange, if that's what he is most comfortable with at this point. Good timing with those comments.

Hachimura, by the way, is averaging 22 points over his last four games while shooting 54.4 percent from the field (37-for-68).

4. The Wizards shared some good news on the injury front before the game as both of their backup centers returned. Moe Wagner, who was nursing a left ankle injury, came back after missing two games. And Ian Mahinmi made his season debut after missing two-plus months with an Achilles strain.

Wagner was put in the starting lineup due to Thomas Bryant's absence and, though he did not have his usual scoring numbers, he did what he could to bother Embiid and give the Wizards energy. Wagner finished with five points and 11 rebounds.

Mahinmi played surprisingly well, all things considered. He had some bad moments, some due to rust. Be he did a solid job guarding Embiid, which is no easy task. The Wizards also helped him out with double teams.

The best part of Mahinmi's night, though, was right when he checked in. He has developed a reputation for getting in foul trouble and, sure enough, he got one on his very first play.

5. Though the Wizards got two players back from injury on Thursday, they also lost two. Jordan McRae will be out a few weeks after having a second surgery on his right ring finger. And, in a bigger surprise, starting point guard Isaiah Thomas was a late scratch with a left calf strain.

The Thomas one is a newly disclosed injury and at this point it's unclear if he will miss any more time. But it was enough for him to sit after he had played in 17 straight.

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Win of the season? Undermanned Wizards beat 76ers

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Win of the season? Undermanned Wizards beat 76ers

The Wizards pulled off their best win of the season Thursday night by defeating on of the top teams in the East in the Sixers at home. 

On the backs of a superb first half by Davis Bertans and great defense on Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak before they head to Miami. 

Here are the top moments from the game:

Bertans goes nuts from three

Davis Bertans set a career-high in three-pointers made Thursday night by hitting seven of his 13 attempts from deep. 

Six of them, however, came in the second quarter without a miss. 

Bradley Beal struggled in the game with Ben Simmons defending him, so Bertans giving the Wizards a lift helped them build a 10-point lead into the break and maintain it late into the second half. 

Chiozza with the steal, Mahinmi follows up the miss

With Isaiah Thomas out with a calf strain, the Wizards turned to two-way guard Chris Chiozza for some minutes off the bench.

He didn't score in his 11 minutes, but he provided a key steal of Joel Embiid that led to two points from Ian Mahinmi. 

Mahinmi's hustle here was not something we've much from the Wizards this season, so it's plays like these that led Washington to their best win of the season. 

Bertans misses? Wizards still get three points

As we stated already, Bertans was the star of the night shooting the ball, but the second half brought a few ugly misses from three. 

On his first shot since going 6-6 in the second quarter, Bertans fired a three off the side of the backboard. Luckily enough, Beal came up with the ball and drained a wide-open three. 

When it's your night, it's your night. 

The Wizards will look to keep the momentum going Friday night as they travel to Miami to take on Jimmy Butler and the Heat. You can watch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. 

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