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Davis scores 29, Magic hold off Nuggets 102-89

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Davis scores 29, Magic hold off Nuggets 102-89

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Glen Davis scored 29 points, J.J. Redick added 21 and the Orlando Magic sprinted out to an early lead before holding off the Denver Nuggets 102-89 Friday night.

Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 23 points, with Ty Lawson chipping in 12. But Denver struggled offensively, unable to dig out of a 20-point first-half hole.

Friday marked the Magic's season-opener and first one in eight seasons without All-Star Dwight Howard, who was traded this summer in a multi-team deal involving Denver. The win was also new Magic coach Jacque Vaughn's first regular-season NBA victory.

Orlando did suffer a setback, though, with forward Hedo Turkoglu leaving the game with a broken left hand.

The Nuggets dropped to 0-2 on their season-opening three-game road trip.

Denver trimmed a 21-point first-half Magic lead to eight points late in the third quarter, but struggled in the fourth as their offensive sets stalled and the Magic were able to get some easy shots on their end.

Gallinari was also the only Denver player to consistently make it to the free-throw line, as Orlando's defense was able to contain the usually active Andre Iguodala, who was held to nine points on 3 of 10 shooting.

Injuries were a problem in the preseason with several Magic players missing part or the entire exhibition schedule with various ailments.

Turkoglu's injury means Vaughn will have to get creative to fill his slot in the starting lineup, with no true small forward healthy enough to immediately fill-in.

Rookie Maurice Harkless, who was acquired in the Howard deal, would seem to be the obvious candidate. But Vaughn said that he only recently was cleared for full-contact practice following sports hernia surgery and will need a few before he's ready for game action. He is currently day-to-day.

Orlando led 58-37 at the break, sparked by Davis and Redick, who each had 15 first-half points.

Despite a roster dealing with several early-season injuries, Vaughn substituted liberally in the early going, playing nine different players.

The fresh legs helped the flow of the offense, with the Magic moving the ball well and getting assists on 16 of their 24 field goals for the half.

The Nuggets, who scored just 38 first-half points in their season-opener, managed only 37 in the opening 24 minutes on Friday.

Their early shooting woes were also present for the second straight game, connecting on just 36 percent (16 of 44) as Orlando built as much as a 21-point lead before halftime.

Notes: North Carolina coach Roy Williams sat courtside Friday to support Vaughn, who is the first former Williams' player to become an NBA head coach. Vaughn played for Williams in college at Kansas. ...Orlando opened the season without backup big man Gustavo Ayon (sprained left thumb), swingman DeQuan Jones (strained hip muscle) and F Al Harrington (knee). ...Nuggets coach George Karl said C Timofey Mozgov (left knee strain) ran during shoot around on Friday, and could be ready for their home opener Tuesday against Detroit...The Magic improved to 15-9 all-time in season openers.

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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

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USA Today Sports

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to raise their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

With one team being a first-year expansion project that turned out beautifully and the other a franchise that had not appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1998, there was obviously a lot on the line.

Those away from the ice had 'a lot' on the line, too.

Prior to the start of the series, each city's mayor agreed on a bet that would force the losing team's member to wear an opposing jersey at the conclusion of the Cup.

Well, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman followed through on her end of the bargain.

Here is proof of her wearing the jersey of a man who led what was arguably the greatest post-championship celebration in sports history.

 

The Capitals announced Wednesday that the team's home opener and Stanley Cup banner unveiling will be played on October 3 against the Boston Bruins.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

MORE ALL-STAR NEWS: