Capitals

Cousins helps Kings beat winless Pistons 105-103

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Cousins helps Kings beat winless Pistons 105-103

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings hold off the winless Detroit Pistons for a 105-103 victory Wednesday night.

The Kings took the lead for good early in the second quarter and won their second consecutive game. Strong bench play and the inside game of Cousins proved pivotal in the fourth when the lead was cut to one basket several times.

Greg Monroe had his first triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for the Pistons, who fell to 0-5. Brandon Knight made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Will Bynum had 14 points, and Kyle Singler added 12.

Knight took a pass from Monroe and made a 3-pointer, pulling Detroit to 102-100 with 23.3 seconds left. It was the 10th assist for Monroe, who became the first NBA player this season to record a triple-double.

Jimmer Fredette made two free throws and Cousins hit another to give Sacramento a 105-100 cushion with 10 seconds to go. Rodney Stuckey hit a 3-pointer as time expired.

Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas both had 15 points for the Kings (2-3), who had lost five straight to Detroit. Jason Thompson scored 13 points and Fredette had 12.

After Knight's 3-pointer and a free throw by Singler cut the Kings' lead to a basket, Marcus Thornton responded with a 3-pointer to put Sacramento ahead 100-95 with 1:134 left.

Leading by three, the Kings scored six straight to build a 90-81 advantage. Cousins had the first three points and Fredette followed with a long 3-pointer.

Following a quiet first half, Evans got going in the third quarter, thanks to several twisting drives to the basket in traffic. He had 11 points in the period and the Kings took a 79-71 lead into the fourth.

The early struggles continued for Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, who last season averaged 35.5 points in two games against the Kings. Stuckey opened the season shooting 1 of 23 in the first three games. He had five points against Sacramento, going 2 for 6 in 34 minutes.

Thomas scored 12 points and Cousins had 10 to help the Kings take a 55-46 lead into halftime. Led by the strong play of its bench, Sacramento outscored the Pistons 29-19 in the second quarter. Monroe had 10 first-half points for Detroit.

NOTES: Kings rookie forward Thomas Robinson hit Jonas Jerebko with a vicious elbow, knocking him to the floor early in the fourth quarter. Robinson was promptly ejected from the game. . Thomas made two 3s and scored 12 first-quarter points for the Kings, who trailed 27-26. . The Kings have assigned second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. He played in only 15 games a season ago and, after missing the preseason with an injury, has yet to see any action through the team's first five games. . Jason Maxiell was called for a flagrant foul on Cousins late in the second quarter.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What happens in Vegas....

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: What happens in Vegas....

It's almost here.

After a lengthy break between the conference finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, the Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are set to meet on Monday for Game 1.

Who will hoist Lord Stanley's Cup?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir give their keys to the series and their predictions for the Stanley Cup Final. Plus, JJ speaks with several member from the local media to get their insights and predictions.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 27, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Here is my sunrise view from this morning:

Looking at next year’s free agents

This post was originally published on March 18. 

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens. 

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard). 

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility. 

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon. 

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup. 

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight. 

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler