Nationals

Harris, Smith lead Hawks past Bobcats 113-90

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Harris, Smith lead Hawks past Bobcats 113-90

ATLANTA (AP) Devin Harris scored 20 points, Josh Smith added 18 and the surging Atlanta Hawks beat Charlotte 113-90 on Thursday night to hand the Bobcats their 10th straight defeat.

Gerald Henderson finished with 17 points and Ramon Sessions had 16 for Charlotte.

The Hawks are 12-3 since losing three of their first five games this season. Atlanta has won two straight and five of six.

Lou Williams had eight of his nine assists in the first half for Atlanta. Williams, who finished with 13 points, matched his career high in assists, and Ivan Johnson added a season-high 16 points.

Hawks center Al Horford finished with 11 points and three rebounds, ending his streak of seven consecutive double-doubles.

Atlanta got off to a strong start offensively, hitting nearly 63 percent of its first 35 shots before Horford and Williams missed jumpers to end the first half.

Charlotte shot 35.9 percent and trailed by 17 at the break.

Since winning in double overtime at Washington on Nov. 24 and improving to 7-5, the Bobcats have looked similar to the Charlotte team that finished last season 7-59 for the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

The Bobcats were coming off a dispiriting home loss Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers in which they blew a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.

When Charlotte last visited Philips Arena on Nov. 28, the game was decided on Horford's late free throws and a missed 3-pointer by Hornets forward Byron Mullens.

The Hornets were led that night by Ben Gordon, who scored 20 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. On Thursday, Gordon had just seven points on 2-for-9 shooting.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver, playing for the second straight night after returning from a five-game absence caused by back spasms, finished with 13 points in 22 minutes.

Williams hit consecutive 3-pointers to give Atlanta its first double-digit lead at 26-14 late in the first quarter. Harris hit a 3 midway through the second that made it 45-28.

Smith's third-quarter dunk gave the Hawks a 66-43 lead early in the third.

NOTES: Hawks starting F DeShawn Stevenson scored nine points after missing Wednesday's win at Orlando with a knee injury. ... Atlanta improved to 4-0 on the second night of back-to-backs. ... The Hawks have won seven straight against Charlotte, including three meetings this season.

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Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

The sports world was shaken on Sunday after hearing the news that legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash earlier that morning.

As the somber evening wore on, more information came out regarding the victims of the tragedy. One of the passengers on the helicopter was longtime Orange Coast College and Cape Cod League manager John Altobelli.

Altobelli's daughter was a teammate of Bryant's daughter, Gianna, and the helicopter was traveling to one of their youth basketball games. Altobelli's wife, Keri, was also on board. There were no survivors.

On Monday, the Nationals Twitter account shared their condolences for Altobelli and his family.

The Nationals were one of the multiple teams to share their sympathy for the Altobelli family. Both New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge played under Altobelli in the Cape Cod League.

Orange Coast was expected to begin its season on Tuesday.

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Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Terrible news hit America on Sunday when word came out that basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. 

A tragic event for a man and a player that made an impact far beyond basketball. Bryant was known for many things, but more than any, it might have been his competitive spirit. A five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All-Star, Bryant's play was defined by a fluid game and an unstoppable spirit. 

For Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, he got to see some of Bryant's spirit up close. Last year, before the NFL Draft, Haskins trained at Bryant's gym in Los Angeles, and their encounters made an impression on the signal-caller. 

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

Haskins is one of many young athletes that grew up watching Bryant, and for plenty, idolizing Bryant. 

After the news broke Sunday, Haskins reacted on Twitter.

Haskins said it well: RIP to a legend. Gone too soon. 

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