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George leads Pacers over Grizzlies

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George leads Pacers over Grizzlies

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers are now finding ways to win on a regular basis with or without veteran players.

``I'm proud of them and the effort to be a really good basketball team,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

Paul George scored 21 points to lead the Pacers to an 88-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

D.J. Augustin had 17 points and David West added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who have won five of six. George also had six rebounds and five assists.

Zach Randolph had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Marc Gasol scored 13 for the Grizzlies, who have lost three of four.

``We played, I thought, really well in the first three quarters,'' Randolph said. ``But we have to learn how to close out a game.''

Indiana played without starting point guard George Hill, who injured his right thigh against the Phoenix Suns last week.

Coming from behind or winning the close games didn't happen early in the season when they fell in a hole early with a 3-6 record.

Still without star forward Danny Granger and with the injured Hill on the bench and even without center Roy Hibbert putting up the expected numbers, Indiana remains atop the Central Division and now a game up on the Chicago Bulls.

Augustin started at point guard for Hill, a decision that came right before tip off.

``We knew with George out, it would be a challenge,'' George said. ``But D.J. stepped up and made the game easy. Everybody had to step up and everybody did.''

Augustin hit shots when they were needed most, too, including four free throws down the stretch that kept Indiana ahead.

``It felt good out there tonight,'' he said. ``I wanted to come in and do my best to help the team win.I felt I got in a good rhythm tonight.''

He hit two to put the Pacers up 84-81 with 29 seconds left and two more to make it 86-83 after Mike Conley scored a lay-up to get back within two.

Lance Stephenson scored two more free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Grizzlies led 67-60 heading into the fourth quarter.

Ben Hansbrough hit two 3-pointers and the Grizzlies' Darrell Arthur scored a basket, but the Pacers trailed by just three, 69-66.

``I just thought we got a lot more active defensively,'' West said. ``We were much more precise in terms of our communication and what we wanted to do defensively. And guys stepped up and made shots.''

George had a key steal and dunk, and West's free throws gave the Pacers the lead for good. The Grizzlies turned the ball over and West made two more foul shots to make it 74-71 with 5:37 left.

``We had it in our clutches and our first four of six posessions in the fourth quarter were turnovers,'' Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. ``We quit pushing the ball once we got the lead. It wasn't pretty.''

The Grizzlies' ended a five-game winning streak over Indiana and wrap-up a two-game road trip at Boston on Wednesday.

NOTES: Stephenson was listed as day to day with a left orbital contusion, but started. ... Grizzlies F Quincy Pondexter didn't travel with the team because of a left MCL sprain. ... Hibbert's first offensive rebound of the night was his 800th career. ... Indiana Fever forward Katie Douglas attended the game and was recognized for the Fever's recent WNBA championship.

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Alex Ovechkin's son, Sergei, makes an appearance during Capitals practice

Alex Ovechkin's son, Sergei, makes an appearance during Capitals practice

The Capitals had a special guest during their morning skate on Friday.

Alex Ovechkin's son, Sergei, got to pay his father a visit at the Medstar Capitals Iceplex.

Ovechkin carried his one-year-old around the ice and even put him down on the ice to practice his skills. Sergei had a mini stick of his own, almost like he was ready to play if needed.

No word yet on whether Sergei plans on declaring for the upcoming NHL draft, but the kid has already got some skills--and not to mention pretty good genes.

If you were having a bad day, this moment between Ovechkin and his son will certainly cheer you up!

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Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Thus far during the 2020 offseason, several NFL experts have debated whether the Redskins should keep or trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Some believe that Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young is a generational talent and the opportunity to select him is a no brainer. Others, like Peter King and Chris Simms, think the Redskins could significantly alter the trajectory of the franchise by trading the pick and acquiring assets.

Add NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah to those who think the Redskins should keep the pick and take Young, unless they get an offer they simply cannot refuse in return.

The analyst was asked during a pre-Scouting Combine conference call on Friday whether it would be a mistake for the Redskins to consider moving back from No. 2, and his response was strong.

"I just don't trade off of elite edge rushers," Jeremiah said. "You have a need there at the position, those guys are hard to find. So to get a player like that you would have to blow my doors off to get me to trade off that pick, if I was the Washington Redskins."

If the Redskins traded back, even a couple of spots, it's highly unlikely Young would still be on the board.

Jeremiah said the Redskins should not consider moving back past picks No. 5-7, and even if they were to pull the plug on a deal with one of the teams with those picks, they would need "multiple [first round picks] plus some Sugar."

Picks No. 3-5 in the draft currently belong to the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, respectively. Jeremiah suspected that any team inquiring about trading up with the Redskins would be looking to take a quarterback.

Detroit has Matt Stafford at quarterback, an established signal-caller. Last week, rumors surfaced that they might explore trading him. Should that happen, Detroit could simply stay at No. 3 and take the QB of their choice. They wouldn't need to trade up with Washington.

Miami is in the quarterback market at No. 5 and may inquire with Washington to move up, especially if the Lions are considering moving on from Stafford. The Chargers at No. 6 and the Panthers at No. 7 are teams to keep an eye on as well.

But the Giants have pick No. 4 and their quarterback of the future is set in Daniel Jones. If Young is on the board when the Giants pick comes around, the Ohio State product is heading to the Big Apple. No questions about it. 

"You've got to get a lot to get out of there, because even if you get to five, you won't see Chase Young at that point in time," Jeremiah said.

Behind quarterback, pass rushers are arguably the most valuable position in the sport. The Redskins have the chance to take a generational talent at the position, and according to Jeremiah, should not look back unless they get an incredible offer in return.

"So you're trading off a premier player at the second most valuable position in the sport," Jeremiah said. "You're going to have to get a heck of a haul to do that."

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