Nationals

Dave Johnson: Blatche Leads Wizards Past Bulls

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Dave Johnson: Blatche Leads Wizards Past Bulls

Monday, February 22, 2010 9:48pm

Bulls vs. Wizards Game Highlights

By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comWashington---For the Washington Wizards it was another night at home, another standing ovation, and another victory. Fighting through theloss of Josh Howard to injury in the first quarter and a bad second quarter, the Wizards persevered for a 101-95 win over the Chicago Bulls.Andray Blatche led the Wizards in scoring with game-high 25-points including nine in a pivotal third quarter when the Wizards outscored the Bulls 31-16 to erase a ten-point half time deficit. In short Blatche is playing like an All-Star.Let me tell you one thing, it was just so crazy. When all these guys (players acquired in trades) got here the chemistry was like weve been together since the beginning of the season, Blatche explained. We all have one thing in mind and thats winning. We all are working hard together competing and everything is paying off well for us.Blatche also had 11-rebounds and James Singleton, one of the newcomers Blatche referred to, pulled in a season high 12 rebounds as the Wizards won the battle of the boards 43-36 against the NBAs best rebounding team.Derrick Rose tried to rescue the Bulls in the fourth quarter when he scored nine of his 22 points, but the Wizards were able to hold the Bulls scoreless the final 1:55 of the game. Flip Murray added 16 points including a three pointer to punctuate a 15-3 run to bring the Bulls to with one-point at 95-95.For the Wizards it was their third-straight win at home and their fourth consecutive game scoring at least 100-points. The teams ability to thrive was marked by its resilience after Howard suffered a strained left knee just eight minutes into the game.Howard had sprinted up court on the break and landed awkwardly when he tried to catch an outlet pass from Mike Miller. Hampered by ankle problems in Dallas, Howard had showed renewed bounce in his step with the Wizards and was off to another strong start with seven points and intensity on defense including one blocked shot.After Howards forced exit the Wizards seemed unsure. The Bulls closed the first quarter on a 9-6 run and then seized control in the second quarter. At one point in the second the Bulls made eight consecutive shots while the Wizards committed seven turnovers that led to nine Bulls points and a 56-46 deficit at the break.To be down 10 and lose Josh (Howard), who was on a roll when we lost him, for these guys to fight the way they did shows character and how hard they play, noted Wizards head coach Flip Saunders .That energy was perhaps never more evident than in the third quarter when the Wizards used a 14-0 run to turn the game around. The Bulls missed twelve straight field goals while the Wizards held them scoreless for 6:08 Blactche and Thornton each had nine points for the Wizards in the third quarter. Blatche was even bloodied on a foul by the Bulls Brad Miller. Despite a cut on his right eye brow that required time out for treatment, Blatche still made both of his free throws.The Wizards did almost blow a 13-point fourth quarter lead and were in trouble when they were clinging to a 96-95 lead with 1:55 remaining. The Wizards then got just enough on offense while shutting out the Bulls on defense,On a night defined by hustle, it was fitting the Wizards pulled away on second chance points. Randy Foye, who had 16 points and nine assists, hit an 18-foot jumper to make it 100-95 after Thornton secured a loose ball. The ball was knocked loose from Singleton after he had just grabbed a rebound on a Thornton miss.With 26 seconds on the clock the Bulls had possession and a chance to close the gap. Instead the Wizards defense swarmed and did not allow the Bulls a good look at the basket. The defensive stand was complete when Singelton brought in his final rebound with six seconds left and most of the crowd of 14,113 on their feet.A lot of people dont know where some of these guys went to school. These are guys that have been behind the eight-ball and so they are used to being an underdog, added Saunders. No matter what weve had from a team standpoint, weve played our best four games our last four games.

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Phillies are 2-for-2.

Tuesday night's game was postponed following a two-hour rain delay. Monday's game was postponed after a three-hour rain delay.

Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a split day-night doubleheader Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., bumping a four-game series to a five-game series. The Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to also play a split day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

The day was not without news. Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose in batting practice when a ball bounced off his bat and struck him in the face. Scherzer was attempting to bunt at the time.

Scherzer's injury and the multiple postponements throw the Nationals' pitching plans into disarray. They're not sure if Scherzer will pitch as expected Wednesday. It appears Austin Voth, who was scratched from his Thursday start for Triple-A Fresno, will be available to pitch in one of the Wednesday games -- should they be played. More rain is expected Wednesday.

The Nationals will bump Patrick Corbin, who was slated to pitch again Tuesday, into a Wednesday spot. Wednesday's other starter is TBA. It could be Scherzer if he is ready. It could be Erick Fedde, and Voth could be used in the bullpen as the 26th man. That would provide Scherzer a chance to pitch Thursday and Strasburg on Friday against Atlanta. 

Or, Scherzer could be provided more time off. There's a lot to sort out once again thanks to the rain.

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Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

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USA Today

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

This summer is shaping up to be lucrative for NBA free agents and big man Bobby Portis is well-positioned to cash in. After spending the final three months of the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, Portis is already seeing a healthy market develop ahead of the June 30 start of the league's negotiating period, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Wizards are likely to first extend a qualifying offer on June 30 to make him a restricted free agent. According to Spotrac.com, it will be about $3.6 million and that will give the Wizards the right to match an offer sheet from another franchise.

But teams are already indicating they want Portis, who is just 24 and coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. That market includes 5-10 teams and could grow once free agency opens.

Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks among others, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Despite restricted free agency, Portis has a few things working for him. For one, there are a lot of teams with cap room. Spending won't reach 2016 levels, when the new CBA spiked the salary cap, but there will a lot of money to go around.

Also, guys in Portis' tier will only be helped if the top free agent options continue to dwindle. Klay Thompson looks more likely than ever to stay in Golden State after tearing his ACL. Winning a title could increase the odds Kawhi Leonard re-signs in Toronto, according to reports. And Kevin Durant's torn Achilles has thrown a wrench into the plans of teams with the most money to spend.

There is also the possibility Kemba Walker stays in Charlotte. And Kyrie Irving signing with Brooklyn, if it happens, would leave others exploring backup plans.

Portis isn't directly competing with any of those players, but could benefit if the top options are off the market. His name will only move up the list if that is the case.

Portis also has a unique selling point going for him. He shot 39.3 percent from three this past season and held a 40.3 percent clip to close the year in his 28 games with the Wizards. Three-point shooting is more valuable than ever and he brings that to the table at 6-foot-10.

Portis, who averaged 3.8 three-point attempts per game this past season, was one of only six players 6-10 or taller to shoot at least 39 percent on 3.5 attempts or more (min. 50 G). 

The question for Portis will be whether he gets the money he wants. He turned down an extension with the Chicago Bulls last fall just hours before the deadline to sign one. According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal was worth about $50 million and he wants to be paid in the range of $16 million annually. His asking price was partly why the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February.

Even if the Wizards clear money, and they are expected to free up some by declining Jabari Parker's $20 million team option by the June 29 deadline, Portis could price himself out of Washington. It might not even take $16 million per year for that to happen.

The Wizards are set to operate through free agency with interim team president Tommy Sheppard at the helm, as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Sheppard making the call increases Portis' odds of staying, but that doesn't mean the price will match for both sides.

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