Redskins

George, Hibbert lead Pacers over Hornets in OT

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George, Hibbert lead Pacers over Hornets in OT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Paul George scored 33 of his career-high 37 points after halftime and Roy Hibbert had a triple-double to help the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Hornets 115-107 in overtime on Wednesday night.

George made a team record nine 3-pointers, all after halftime. Hibbert had 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-best 11 blocks, and David West and George Hill each scored 16 points for the Pacers (6-7), who have won three of four.

Robin Lopez had 21 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans, but he made just 3 of 17 field goals. Jason Smith added 18 points for the Hornets (3-7), who lost their fifth straight.

Number one overall pick Anthony Davis missed his second consecutive game for New Orleans with a stress reaction in his left ankle.

The Pacers trailed 90-83 in the fourth quarter before back-to-back 3-pointers by Lance Stephenson and George cut the deficit to a point and forced New Orleans to call timeout with 3:05 remaining.

George hit another 3-pointer with 1:17 left in regulation to give Indiana a 97-93 lead.

Al-Farouq Aminu's high-arching baseline jumper with 22.3 seconds left tied the score at 97.

Indiana had several chances to win it in the closing seconds. West missed, Hibbert missed a putback dunk, then Hill missed in close and, finally, Stephenson missed from near the 3-point line at the buzzer.

Indiana kept rolling on offense in overtime. Back-to-back 3s by George and Hill gave the Pacers a 103-97 lead one minute into the extra period. A layup by West and a pair of free throws by George gave Indiana a 10-point lead.

New Orleans rallied one more time. A 3-pointer by Roger Mason trimmed Indiana's lead to 107-103, but George hit another 3-pointer at the other end to give the Pacers control again.

New Orleans led 47-43 at halftime as Jason Smith scored 10 points off the bench. The Hornets led by 10 points late in the first quarter, lost the lead, then regained it before the break.

The Pacers came out of the break with a quick 5-0 run. A 3-pointer by George and an acrobatic layup by Stephenson gave Indiana a 48-47 lead. Another 3 by George pushed the Pacers' lead to four.

The Hornets rallied, and Ryan Anderson's 3-pointer gave the Hornets the lead back at 56-53.

Aminu's alley-oop dunk on a lob from Greivis Vasquez gave New Orleans a 72-65 lead, but Indiana rallied late in the third quarter. A layup by George tied the score at 72, and a three-point play by Sam Young gave the Pacers a 75-74 lead at the end of the quarter. George scored 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting in the period.

NOTES: Former Pacer Haywoode Workman was one of the officials. ... Earlier in the day, the Pacers assigned rookies Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson to their D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. ... Anderson fouled out with 17 points for the Hornets. ... The teams combined to make 21 of 37 3-pointers. Both teams shot much better from 3-point range than they shot overall.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.