Wizards

Cunningham scores 18 as Timberwolves beat Hornets

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Cunningham scores 18 as Timberwolves beat Hornets

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Dante Cunningham scored a season-high 18 points, Nikola Pekovic added 14 and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets 115-86 on Saturday night to stop their six-game losing streak.

Cunningham hit all nine of his shots to set a franchise record for most consecutive field goals without a miss.

Anthony Davis scored 18 points for the Hornets, who played without Eric Gordon and finished their five-game road trip with four straight losses. Team doctors still haven't cleared Gordon to play in back-to-back games while recovering from knee surgery.

Gordon played 25 minutes at Denver on Friday, and the Hornets badly missed their star shooting guard's energy. A night after committing 22 turnovers, New Orleans turned it over 23 times against the Wolves, who recorded their largest victory margin this season.

One of the worst-shooting teams in the NBA, the Wolves shot 58 percent (45 for 77) using a simple formula: Get to the paint. Minnesota went hard to the basket early and often - 15 of its scoring possessions in the first quarter were either drives or free throws. The Timberwolves led 33-14 after one, and their lead was never seriously threatened.

Ricky Rubio, who took the blame for Minnesota's lackluster start in a 111-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, set an aggressive tone early by driving to the basket and finding open teammates with his usual flashy assists. The biggest highlight came late in the third quarter, when Rubio lobbed an alley-oop to Cunningham for a two-handed jam that stretched the Wolves' lead to 74-46 and brought the crowd to its feet.

Rubio had nine points and seven assists, and Minnesota outscored the Hornets 58-32 in the paint.

NOTES: New Orleans is 8-7 when Gordon plays and 7-26 in games he's missed. ``It's tough when you have a guy who can put up 20 points and you've got to sit him,'' Hornets coached Monty Williams said before the game. Much like Williams has done with Gordon this season, Wolves coach Rick Adelman has had to limit Rubio since returning from knee surgery. ``I understand the deal with Rubio,'' Williams said. ``He's such a great young player that you don't want to damage him for the future.'' Adelman, though, joked that he didn't believe early reports that Gordon wouldn't play. ``I'm just very pessimistic at this point,'' he said. ``He'll probably play 40 minutes.'' ... The Hornets are 9-4 in their last 13 against Minnesota. ... The Hornets matched their season low of 14 first-quarter points, which previously came against the Wolves on Jan. 11.

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More good injury news for Wizards, this time with Troy Brown Jr. and C.J. Miles

More good injury news for Wizards, this time with Troy Brown Jr. and C.J. Miles

WASHINGTON -- With their regular-season opener set for Wednesday, the Wizards keep getting positive news with the injuries that have plagued them throughout training camp and the preseason. On Monday, both Troy Brown Jr. and C.J. Miles made their practice debuts and Moe Wagner also practiced after getting hurt in the team's last preseason games.

Brown has been out all of preseason due to a strained left calf. Miles has also missed all of preseason after having surgery on his left foot in July. Wagner has been dealing with a bruised back after a collision with Joel Embiid of the Sixers. It sounds like he could be fully cleared soon.

Head coach Scott Brooks tempered expectations on Brown and Miles, noting they did not participate in a full practice and that the regular season is just two days away.

"They went through parts of practice, but not the meat of it, not the bulk of it. But it's a good step," Brooks said.

When asked if Brown and Miles would play on Wednesday when the Wizards battle the Dallas Mavericks, Brooks said he doesn't "anticipate that happening." But for them to get out there at all is a good sign given they are slated to be the top two small forwards on the roster.

With Brown and Miles likely still out for the opener, Brooks may have to go with a big lineup including Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans, or with someone with little NBA experience like Isaac Bonga. He had Bonga start in several preseason games with them out.

For Brown, this has been the longest injury absence of his young career. He had never missed this much time previously at any level.

He was just happy to be back on the court Monday, even if he wasn't yet cleared for contact.

"It's just one of those things where I was itching to get back. A lot of time off, it can be good and back. I just tried to use it as a learning lesson," he said. 

Brown and Miles practicing came one day after point guard Isaiah Thomas practiced fully for the first time since his left thumb surgery in September. With so many players out, Brooks wasn't able to get a full read on his new-look roster during the preseason.

But slowly and surely his players are coming back and it may not be long before the Wizards can suit up with the roster they had in mind during the offseason.

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Redskins running back Bryce Love is headed for another knee surgery, per sources

Redskins running back Bryce Love is headed for another knee surgery, per sources

Redskins rookie running back Bryce Love is expected to undergo another surgery on his previously injured right knee on Tuesday, sources tell NBC Sports Washington.

Love, currently in Pensacola, Fla., to see famed knee surgeon Dr. James Andrews, tore his right ACL last December while he was a senior at Stanford University. The Redskins selected Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft but he has yet to play this season. He landed on the Physically Unable to Perform list before training camp opened and many believed the 2019 season would be lost for the runner. 

Asked about Love’s status last week, Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan was non-committal. 

“We’ll just see where he’s at,” Callahan said. “He’s still in the rehabilitation process.”

Love's injury-riddled 2018 season really damaged his standing in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a junior at Stanford in 2017, Love rushed for more than 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. He averaged an absurd 8.1 yards-per-carry that year. 

Many expected Love to turn pro after his junior year, but he elected to stay at Stanford. Playing on a worse team as a senior, Love was not as explosive even before the knee injury and his stats dropped. In 10 games, he had 739 rush yards but his YPC dipped to 4.5, the lowest of his four-year career and the only time his average fell even below 7. 

That decision and the subsequent torn ACL probably cost him significantly in draft status. 

Moving forward, it’s unclear what Love’s rehab schedule will look like. NFL Network reported back in April that some teams had concerns over Love's injury and lingering knee stiffness. One source explained that Love's medicals from the NFL Scouting Combine revealed that some doctors believed another surgery would be necessary. 

Even without Love, the Redskins have other injury concerns at running back. Derrius Guice is on injured reserve but on track to return to the team after their Week 10 bye. Adrian Peterson hurt his ankle in a loss to the 49ers and his status is unknown. Chris Thompson is dealing with turf toe. 

As a player on the PUP list, Love became eligible to return to practice after the Redskins' win in Miami. He does not have to play or practice all year, though, and can remain on the PUP for the entire season. The Redskins retain his rights for four years on his rookie contract. 

A Redskins spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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