Nationals

Dave Johnson: Blatche Nets Career High In Win

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Dave Johnson: Blatche Nets Career High In Win

Sunday, February 28, 2010, 8:50PM

By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comEast Rutherford, NJ----Post All-Star break the Washington Wizards Andray Blatche is playing like an All-Star. Blatche scored a career high 36-points and added 15-rebounds to help lift the Wizards from a sluggish first half to an 89-85 win over the New Jersey Nets.I got hot early and my teammates kept looking for me, said Blatche who played through early foul trouble and only had three turnovers despite being double-teamed at times late in the game.Quiet most of the night, Randy Foye made noise when it counted the most by hitting two shots in the final minute to help the Wizards pull away. Foye, who was 2 of 11 from the field before his final shots, effectively sealed the game with a 14-foot fade-away jumper with 13.5 seconds left to give the Wizards an 87-83 edge.That was the two biggest plays of the game, Blatche said of Foyes final four points. Great players always step up in the end even if they are having a bad game and he is a great player.The emphatic finish by the Wizards was in stark contrast to the first-half when the Wizards were out-hustled by the Nets and were slow to get back on defense. In that opening half, the Nets enjoyed a 16-9 advantage on fast-break points and outrebounded the Wizards 27-19Coach (Flip Saunders) got on us real bad about rebounding in the first half, Blatche pointed out. All the guys just started crashing the boards and I think that turned it around for us. The Wizards commitment on the boards really came through in the closing minute of the game. Mike Millers ability to secure a rebound in traffic after a Devin Harris miss from seven-feet preserved the Wizards 85-83 lead with 32.9 seconds remaining.To get that rebound Miller, who had 8-rebounds for the game, had to fight off the Nets Yi Jianlian who had been a force all the night on the offensive boards. Yi led the Nets with 20-points but had 19 rebounds including 12 offensive boards to help compensate for the Nets shooting 35 percent from the field as a team.With 5.8 seconds on the clock Al Thronton also snared a critical rebound for the Wizards. Thornton was able to secure the ball after a Blatche block of a layup attempt by Yi as the Nets were desperately trying to stay alive. Thornton finished with 20-points and eight rebounds.Down twice by as many as 14-points in the first-half, the Wizards were able to seize the game in the third quarter when they had a 14-10 edge on the boards. Blatche had six of those rebounds and scored 14 of his points in the third.We realized we came out slow and soft, Blatche noted. Second half we wanted to pick it up and be more aggressive and get to the rim.The Wizards were also effective in using a 2-3 zone defense on the Nets in the second half. The Nets Brook Lopez and Devin Harris were dominant in the first two quarters, but combined were 4 of 22 from the field shooting over the final two quarters.Harris scored 18 points and had 14-assists for the game but eleven of those assists were in the first-half. Lopez added 16-points, but only had two points in the second half.The Wizards won despite only four points from their benchall from Earl Boykins. James Singleton, who suffered a sprained left ankle Friday against the Knicks, only played a little over two minutes in the first-half.The victory stopped the Wizards two-game losing streak and prevented the Nets from building on their win against the Celtics on Saturday.

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

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USA TODAY Sports Images

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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