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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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With Devante Smith-Pelly back in the Caps lineup, we look back at his four goals in NBC Sports Washington's Top 20 goals from the Caps' Cup run

With Devante Smith-Pelly back in the Caps lineup, we look back at his four goals in NBC Sports Washington's Top 20 goals from the Caps' Cup run

With Devante Smith-Pelly back with the Capitals following an injury to T.J. Oshie in Game 4, Washington is hoping that DSP will be able to perform similarly to how he did during last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. With seven goals last postseason, including one in the Stanley Cup-clinching game, Smith-Pelly was a vital part of the Capitals' success.

Before he takes the ice in Game 5 on Saturday night, let's revisit some of those goals that made NBC Sports Washington's Top 20 goals from the 2018 Stanley Cup run.

17. Devante Smith-Pelly's Game 4 goal vs. Vegas

Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the first period against the Golden Knights to put the Caps up 3-0 early and secure an eventual 6-3 win for a 3-1 series lead.

14. Smith-Pelly strikes in Game 6 against Columbus

Devante Smith-Pelly's series-clinching tally in Game 6 helped Washington advance to the second round of the 2018 postseason.

13. Smith-Pelly grows the lead in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. Vegas

Devante Smith-Pelly proved to be pretty clutch. He capitalized on a Golden Knights turnover to toss the puck top shelf over Fleury in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

4. Devante Smith-Pelly's game-tying goal in Game 5 against Vegas

About halfway through the third with the Caps down 3-2 in Game 5 of the Cup Final, Devante Smith-Pelly put the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to tie things up against Vegas.

Enjoyed that little trip to the past? Check out the full Top 20 here.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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