Nationals

Fever rout Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of WNBA finals

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Fever rout Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of WNBA finals

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Shavonte Zellous scored a career-high 30 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.

Tamika Catchings added 17 points and Erlana Larkins had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who took a 2-1 lead in the series and can win their first title at home Sunday night.

Rebekkah Brunson, who scored 12 points, was the only Minnesota player to reach double figures.

It had been a tense series. Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was fined after a jacket-throwing tantrum in Game 2, actions that Fever coach Lin Dunn called ``disrespectful.'' Reeve spent most of the second half seated quietly with her hand on her chin.

The Fever's lead of 70-33 with 1:58 left in the third quarter was the largest lead by any team in WNBA Finals history.

Minnesota's previous playoff scoring low this season was 70 points against the Fever in Game 1 of the Finals. Maya Moore was held to eight points in Game 3 and Seimone Augustus, who scored 27 points in Game 2, had six on 3-for-9 shooting on Friday night.

Indiana did it all without No. 2 scorer Katie Douglas. She is still sidelined with a severely sprained left ankle. Reserve guard Jeanette Pohlen is out with a left knee injury.

The game was intense again, but in control. The only incident was a rare technical called against Catchings with the game well in hand for the Fever.

Indiana led 21-16 at the end of the first quarter, and the Fever extended their lead to 28-18 in the second quarter, forcing the Lynx to call a timeout.

A no-look pass by Catchings directly led to a 3-pointer by Zellous and gave the Fever a 33-20 advantage. On Indiana's next possession, Catchings drove through traffic for a layup to push the lead to 15. The Fever held Minnesota scoreless for 3:40 during a 12-0 run to take a 40-20 lead.

Indiana led 45-27 at halftime. Minnesota shot 5-for-19 from the field in the second quarter. Those tough, contested shots Minnesota made in the first quarter didn't fall in the second.

Indiana outrebounded Minnesota 20-15 in the first half, forced nine turnovers and committed just three.

The Fever didn't rest.

Catchings' baseline jumper pushed Indiana's lead back to 20 early in the third quarter. Erin Phillips was fouled on a 3-pointer by Monica Wright, and she fell to the ground in front of Reeve. Phillips made all three free throws to make it 54-29.

Indiana continued to pour it on and led 70-38 at the end of the third quarter.

The Fever went on cruise control in the fourth quarter as Minnesota tried to make the score more respectable. Zellous finally made Indiana's first field goal of the fourth quarter with 2:21 remaining, and the Fever still had a 20-point lead at that point.

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Victor Robles wins first career Play of the Week award

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Victor Robles wins first career Play of the Week award

For the first time in his young Major League career, Nationals rookie outfielder Victor Robles was honored with a Play of the Week award.

Thanks to his lightning speed and fearless playing style, it probably won’t be his last.

Tuesday night in Chicago, Robles found himself chasing down a Leury Garcia rocket to left-center off a Patrick Corbin breaking ball.

Robles, who had been playing Garcia in right-center, covered nearly 90 feet to make the catch, reaching a top speed of 29.9 feet per second. 

As a reference, 30.0 feet per second is considered elite. So, yeah, Robles was running pretty fast here.

The catch was so impressive it brought fans to their feet, showering Robles with a standing ovation. As a reminder, the game was being played in Chicago, not Washington, so for opposing fans to cheer it had to be a pretty special play.

Major League Baseball clearly agreed, awarding Robles for the effort.

Robles is just the second National to win the award, following Anthony Rendon late last month.

The rookie outfielder is enjoying an up-and-down season at the plate, slashing .234/.303/.402 with nine home runs and nine stolen bases.

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Tom Haberstroh: 'I just don't know if the timing is right' for Masai Ujiri to join Wizards

Tom Haberstroh: 'I just don't know if the timing is right' for Masai Ujiri to join Wizards

As soon as the clock hit zero in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and cemented the Toronto Raptors as the 2019 NBA Champions, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Wizards were preparing to make a lucrative offer to Toronto GM Masai Ujiri. 

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig confirmed that Washington was prepared to give the Raptors top front office executive a deal that would be hard to refuse.

The rumored interest in Ujiri became the topic of the most recent Wizards Talk Podcast discussion, and Monday, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh spoke on the potential pairing. 

"If you're Ted Leonsis and the ownership in D.C., you're hoping that the Raptors are out [of the playoffs] early so you can start the talks and you can try to lure Masai Ujiri over a few days or a week but they dont have that time before Thursday's draft," Haberstroh said.

"I just don't know if the timing is right for Masai to make such a huge decision in his career in the next couple of days."

Ted Leonsis' offer isn't the only factor trying to bring Ujiri to the nation's capital. The Raptors' executive has a relationship with former President Barack Obama, which could weight in the Wizards favor, and Ujiri's wife, Ramatu, attended high school in the D.C. area as well.

"If he takes this job, it is not about the basketball reasons, its all about the off-court reasons, whether it's Barack Obama recruiting him, or it's his wife who is from the area," Haberstroh added.

While Wizards fan would welcome Ujiri to Washington with open arms and hope that he is the missing piece to set the franchise in the right direction, Haberstroh isn't sure that Ujiri bolts from Toronto so soon.

"I just don't know if the timing is right for Masai Ujiri to leave a champion in Toronto," Haberstroh said.

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