Nationals

Fever coach critical of Lynx counterpart

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Fever coach critical of Lynx counterpart

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indiana coach Lin Dunn criticized the coach of the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday, accusing her of a ``lack of respect'' for an outburst that seemed to spur the Lynx to a win in the WNBA Finals.

Dunn said she wasn't amused by Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve's meltdown on Wednesday night. Ignited by Reeve's technical foul and subsequent jacket toss, Minnesota turned up the intensity in the second half to pull away for an 83-71 win in Game 2 to even the series at a game apiece. Game 3 is in Indianapolis on Friday.

Dunn said she thought Reeve should have been ejected because the wildest part of the tantrum came after the technical.

``I guess the thing that concerns me is that after she got her first technical, then she proceeded to take her jacket off, throw her jacket,'' Dunn said. ``In my opinion, that should have been reason for a second technical and removal, and they (the officials) did not do that, and of course, she was able to incite the crowd.

``There's no doubt in my mind that her behavior after the first technical warranted ejection, and I was very disappointed that the officials allowed her to in some ways, you know, just kind of a lack of respect for the game and lack of respect for them. I was disappointed in the whole affair.''

After Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen tied Wednesday's game at 48 with a reverse layup, Minnesota's Maya Moore picked up her third foul on the other end. After Whalen's layup was blocked by Briann January, Minnesota's frustrations came out.

Whalen was issued a technical foul for complaining about the no-call by official Michael Price, then Price gave Reeve one, too. Reeve took her suit coat off and threw it so hard that she hurt her right shoulder and said she needed to see a trainer after the game.

Reeve wasn't available to reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday. Minnesota's Taj McWilliams-Franklin said her coach knew what she was doing.

``She wanted to light a fire under us,'' she said. ``She wanted to light a fire under the refs and everything else and the fans and energize us, which is what she did. She's very calculating in everything she does. You all think she's out of control but she's not, by far.''

Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who scored 27 points in Game 2, said Reeve's tactics worked.

``I think she was just trying to get her team fired up, and she did a good job in that moment,'' Catchings said. ``It seemed like after that, they really picked it up as a team and all of them played a little more motivated, a lot more physical from that point on.''

Catchings said her team failed to realize the importance of what was happening and didn't respond well.

``For us, we have to use that as a learning curve, too,'' she said. ``I should have pulled everybody over and said, `Now, they're going to start going at us, they're going to start attacking us.'''

Dunn also took exception to Reeve's halftime speech, during which she directed her players to use their elbows in the second half.

``When you go to the basket, I want an elbow out,'' Reeve said in a speech that was televised. ``I want them to collapse their arms on you because you're sticking an elbow in their chest.''

Dunn learned of the speech after the game and was shocked.

``I've never heard a coach say that publicly before - lead with your elbow, they're not calling it.''

Both January and Shavonte Zellous had concussions during a game at Minnesota late in the regular season. Now, Dunn wonders if there was intent behind the hits.

``I guess the thing that sticks in my mind now is I look back to those two concussions we had in the game up there that we played in the regular season, and it makes me think, hey, maybe that was attributed to that because that's how they teach their players to play, which I consider very dangerous and shouldn't be part of our game,'' she said.

Dunn said Minnesota's elbows and Reeve's outburst didn't cost Indiana Wednesday's game. The Fever were outrebounded 32-20, committed 24 turnovers and let Seimone Augustus score 23 of her 27 points in the second half.

``Just do your job, box out better, don't give so many second-chance points, take care of the basketball and you win the ballgame,'' Dunn said. ``So that's what we're focusing on tomorrow night, is doing the little things like that better.''

Indiana guard Katie Douglas isn't sure if she will play. The Fever's No. 2 scorer sprained her left ankle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals and missed both Game 1 and Game 2 of the Finals. Douglas said she's dealing with pain and instability and doesn't know how effective she will be if she plays. Indiana reserve guard Jeanette Pohlen left Wednesday's game with an injured left knee. Dunn said she doesn't expect Pohlen to play Friday.

Minnesota is at full strength and feeling good after playing its style of game and winning on Wednesday.

``I think for us, the vet team that we have, we can't dwell on anything,'' McWilliams-Franklin said. ``It's about sharpening what we do well, which is what we did. We are a fast breaking team, set up second, and I think we pushed it at them. We were up and aggressive and doing the things that Minnesota Lynx always do.''

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Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

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USA TODAY Sports

Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

WASHINGTON -- Presented with identical opportunities to ring up a big inning, the Washington Nationals took full advantage and Baltimore Orioles squandered the chance.

That goes a long way toward explaining why the Nationals are a contender and the Orioles own the worst record in the big leagues.

Trea Turner went 4 for 4 with a homer , Anthony Rendon drove in three runs and Washington extended its recent domination of the Orioles with a 9-7 victory Tuesday night.

The game was essentially decided in the fifth inning, which began with Baltimore leading 4-1.

In the top half, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs and scored only one run -- when Manny Machado hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Washington loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half and batted around, scoring four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Adam Eaton contributed a two-run single, Rendon hit a sacrifice fly and Bryce Harper chased starter David Hess with an RBI double.

"They did a lot better job cashing in their bases loaded, nobody out situation than we did," Orioles manager Buck Showalter conceded.

For the game, Baltimore was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals were 5 for 10.

"This team is starting to become relentless," manager Dave Martinez said. "They kept pounding and pounding and pounding, had a couple of big innings there and scored some runs."

The Nationals trailed 6-5 before getting six hits in a four-run seventh. Rendon delivered a two-run double off Tanner Scott (0-1) that made it 7-6, and Turner capped his four-hit night with a double.

Both teams noted that more than a couple of Washington's hits were bloopers and seeing-eye grounders, but the Nationals certainly weren't about to apologize.

"I feel like all year we've been hitting balls right at people," Turner said, "so it's nice to get a bunch of those in one game and come out with a win."

Washington has won six straight over its neighboring interleague rival, including four games this season by a combined 20-8.

Pitching in his second big league game, Nationals starter Jefry Rodriguez gave up five runs, four hits and four walks in five innings.

Justin Miller (5-0) pitched two innings of relief, newcomer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect eighth and Sean Doolittle gave up a solo home run to Joey Rickard while earning his 19th save.

Jace Peterson and Trey Mancini each hit two-run homers for the Orioles, who have lost 16 of 19.

This one can be blamed on an all-too-telling fifth inning.

"It's just one of those things where if they got hits they seemed to have found holes," Showalter said. "They hit some balls hard, too."

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Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 20, 36 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Emptying the notebook from the offseason practices

—Last week I wrote that Gruden expects Alex Smith to be ready to win in Week 1. Smith understands those expectations and plans to meet them. “No, I don’t think you can rely on the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s the first year here.’ Nobody cares,” he said when asked about his transition into the new offense. “It’s not like in the fall, you guys are going to be like, ‘Ah, well, this is his first year here. We’ll give him a break.’ It just doesn’t work that way.” Of course, Smith is right. If the Redskins are 1-3 in October, nobody is going to cut them any slack if their veteran quarterback who got a contract with $71 million guaranteed is struggling with the new offense. 

—I didn’t count reps during the practices that were open to the media, but it seemed that they were giving DL Jonathan Allen a light workload. “I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason,” said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. “We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.” The Redskins essentially will be adding two first-round picks to their D-line with Allen’s return and the addition of Daron Payne in the first round this year. I would look for Allen to get a full workload when training camp starts. 

—There are questions about Kevin Hogan making the 53-man roster as the third quarterback. Jay Gruden had some rather tepid praise for him last week. “He’s done good,” he said. “I like Kevin. He’s a smart kid and he’s got some deceiving escape ability to him. He can run a little bit. We saw one today, he popped out of there for about a 20-yard gain. I like where he’s at.” But near the end of that practice, Hogan threw a red zone pass right into the arms of rookie CB Greg Stroman. If we see much more of that, the Redskins may keep a sixth wide receiver or tenth offensive lineman rather than a third quarterback. 

—When he is asked about the performance of undrafted rookies, Gruden usually declines to praise specific players so when he does pick out individuals it’s worth paying some attention. On Wednesday he said that WR Cam Simms and CB Danny Johnson “stood out” at their respective positions. Looking at it right now, there don’t appear to be roster spots available for either of them. But one or two undrafted players break through and make the roster every year and Simms and Johnson are two to watch. 

— “In the second year, we expect major strides for all first-year guys. I’ve said it before. So just understanding pro football, what it’s all about in your first year, you have the four preseason games and 16 regular season games,” Gruden said when asked about RB Samaje Perine. “It’s a grind, mentally. It’s all-day football, not like college where you only get 20 hours a week, so I think he understands the grind and our system a lot better.” The answer obviously applies to all of the 2017 draft picks. In particular, they will be counting on next steps from OLB Ryan Anderson, CB Fabian Moreau, WR Robert Davis, and CB Joshua Holsey. History tells us that some will take big steps, others will not.

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

Timeline  

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was born on this date in 1978.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 36
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 50
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 73

The Redskins last played a game 171 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 81 days. 

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