Capitals

Hayward's 17 lift Jazz over T-Wolves 106-84

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Hayward's 17 lift Jazz over T-Wolves 106-84

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Gordon Hayward scored 17 points, Enes Kanter had 15 and the Utah Jazz beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-84 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Paul Millsap started 7 of 7 for Utah and finished with 14 points, and Jamaal Tinsley had 12 on 6-of-8 shooting.

Tinsley started in place Mo Williams, who learned earlier in the day he will be out six weeks after opting for surgery on his right thumb.

The game marked the return of Andrei Kirilenko, who played 10 seasons for the Jazz before being allowed to leave via free agency two years ago.

The crowd warmly welcomed the small forward nicknamed AK-47 with a round of applause during introductions. He hit his first three shots but finished with just 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Alexey Shved and Kevin Love led Minnesota (14-14) with 13 apiece and Love added 10 rebounds but neither shot well. Love was 4-of-14 shooting and Shved shot 3 of 10

Nikola Pekovic had 11 points for Minnesota.

The Timberwolves made just 29 of 84 shots, including 2 of 17 from beyond the arc. The made only 12 of 40 shots in the second half. They were outscored 56-36 in the paint and 25-8 on the break.

Utah (16-17) trailed by one after the first quarter but opened the second on a 15-4 run and the third on an 11-0 run.

They led by as many as 20 in the third quarter, and unlike last week when they blew a 19-point lead against the Los Angeles Clippers, they kept pouring it on.

Six Jazz players scored in double figures, the kind of effort they will need if they hope to climb back into the playoff picture.

Millsap, who has seen his playing time decrease with the emergence of Derrick Favors, missed his only shot midway through the fourth quarter before exiting for good.

Marvin Williams added 11 points and five rebounds for Utah.

The Jazz were reeling before the game after learning Mo Williams would be out for so long.

But coach Tyrone Corbin and his players expressed confidence in veteran backups Tinsley and Earl Watson.

Tinsley showed his leadership, making 5 of 6 shots in the first half, including one where he bounced the inbounds pass off the backside of Pekovic for an easy layup.

Watson finished with nine assists, including five in the first half when the Jazz led by as many as 10.

The Jazz opened the second quarter on their first big run, with reserves Kanter and Watson providing the biggest punch.

Kanter hit an outside jumper, jammed after a long pass from Watson and went coast-to-coast on a steal for another dunk.

The heady Watson fed players for alley-oops and pushed the ball up the court with long passes, including one that resulted in a Hayward dunk and 40-30 Jazz lead.

Utah dominated on points in the paint, holding a 32-18 first-half advantage.

The Timberwolves also shot just 38.6 percent in the first half, including 1 of 8 from beyond the arc as they trailed 53-45 at the break.

Kirilenko, who was drafted in 1999 by the Jazz (24th overall pick), acknowledged he wasn't sure what kind of a reception he would receive.

While the fans were kind, the opposing players were too much for the T-Wolves.

Utah was motivated after enduring tough back-to-back losses against the Clippers to close out 2012.

They started 2013 on a much better note.

NOTES: Utah's roster is full at 15 because guard Raja Bell counts even though he is not with the team. The Jazz failed to trade him following a nasty dispute with Corbin last season. ..Kirilenko still has his home in Salt Lake City and his Kirilenko's Kids charity. .. Love received a technical during Utah's big third-quarter run. Jazz PF Favors had perhaps his best move of the season when he spun around Greg Steimsma during Utah's big second-quarter run. . Former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was in the stands again to see Kirilenko's return.

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3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

3 Caps who impressed against the Blues in preview of the season opener

Nicklas Backstrom scored with less than seven seconds remaining to give the Capitals the 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday in a preseason preview of the regular-season opener. Radko Gudas and Richard Panik also scored.

Here are three players who impressed for the Caps.

1. Richard Panik

Panik got plenty of practice on the penalty kill with 4:16 of shorthanded ice time shorthanded. In that time he gave a glimpse of why he was so coveted by the Caps as a free agent.

In the first period, Panik pounced on a loose puck at the top of the faceoff circle in the defensive zone. Seeing he had room to work with, he did not just clear it down the ice and instead elected to skate up with it. He fought off the backcheck from Tyler Bozak through the neutral zone, drew an additional two Blues players to him, then drew a holding call from Bozak because he would not give up the puck.

Panik's 4:16 of penalty kill time was more than top penalty killer Carl Hagelin's 2:26, though the fact that Hagelin took two minors on the night probably had something to do with it.

Late in the game, Panik was also added to the power play as a sixth attacker with the goalie pulled. He would score the game-tying goal with just 1:09 left in regulation.

2. The goalies

Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov both played about a half of the game. It is really hard to evaluate a goalie on just 30 minutes of work, so I will give a shoutout to both as both played very well.

Vanecek got the start. He looked a little awkward at first, but settled in as the game went along for a solid performance. He stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced with the only goal he allowed a weird deflection off of Brett Leason’s skate.

Samsonov took over about halfway through the second period and within minutes found himself defending the net on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. The penalty killers helped out their young netminder allowing only one shot on goal, but it was a good one. Colton Parayko one-timed a slap shot, but Samsonov was there to stop with no rebound. Soon after the penalty was over, Vladimir Tarasenko was all alone in front of the net, but was denied by Samsonov’s who stretched the blocker to deny the high shot.

Sanford scores on the PP. Samsonov wasn't tight against the post. Showed him too much daylight and Sanford made him pay.

Samsonov finished with 11 saves on 12 shots.

3. Connor McMichael

Boy, somebody got a confidence boost from Monday’s game. 

McMichael was given a second preseason game as a reward for his solid performance on Monday and he definitely showed off the confidence that comes along with being a first-round draft pick.

In the first period, McMichael found himself all alone with the puck on a mini-breakaway on Jordan Binnington. Just a reminder, this is the Binnington who was the starting goalie for the Stanley Cup champions.

So what did McMichael do? He skated to the front and tried the stick between the legs shot. It may not have worked, but you have to respect the confidence this kid had just to try, though no doubt the coaches probably had a few words for him in the locker room about it.

There was one area in which McMichael struggled, however, and that was on the faceoff where he lost all five draws he took on the night.

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WNBA Semifinals: Aces at Mystics - Game 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream how to watch

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WNBA Semifinals: Aces at Mystics - Game 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream how to watch

After a thrilling back-and-forth contest to start the WNBA Semifinals, the Washington Mystics and Elena Delle Donne are back in action to host the Las Vegas Aces for Game 2.

Washington took Game 1 97-95 over Las Vegas in their first game in nine days to start the series. Rusty and stuttering out of the gate, the Mystics were able to gut out a win after an explosive run in the third and early fourth quarter. 

Emma Meesseman (27 points) led the charge for Washington. In the third quarter, she took over the game totaling 13 of the team's 26 points and got the Mystics back in control of the contest. Elena Delle Donne finished with 24 points and hit the game-clinching basket in the final minute of regulation.

A'ja Wilson had 23 points in a losing effort, despite playing all but three minutes. Off the bench, Kelsey Plum emerged with 16 points to give the Aces an additional spark. 

Game 2 is on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The best-of-five series features the high-powered and No. 1 seeded Mystics against the most defensively sound squad in the No. 4 seeded Aces.

The Aces entered the series with a ton of momentum, fresh off one of the craziest wins in WNBA history. They gut-punched the top seed in the opening half and nearly stole it in the closing seconds. Nevertheless, it appears the Mystics with the third-best offense in the WNBA's existence found their footing and will be better prepared for Game 2. 

ACES VS. MYSTICS GAME 2:

Who: Las Vegas Aces at Washington Mystics

What: WNBA Semifinals Game 2

When: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington D.C.

TV Channel: ESPN2

Live Stream: WatchESPN

MYSTICS vs. ACES WNBA SEMIFINALS SCHEDULE:

Game 1: Mystics 97, Aces 95 (Mystics lead 1-0)

Game 2: Thurs, Sept. 19: Aces at Mystics, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Game 3: Sun, Sept. 22: Mystics at Aces, 5:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Game 4: Tue, Sept 24: Mystics at Aces, Time TBD, ESPN2 (if necessary)

Game 5: Thurs, Sept. 26: Aces at Mystics, Time TBD, ESPN2 (if necessary)

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