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Heat beat Bucks, 113-106 in OT

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Heat beat Bucks, 113-106 in OT

MIAMI (AP) LeBron James had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 28 more points and the Miami Heat scored the first six points of overtime on the way to beating the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 on Wednesday night.

Chris Bosh scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, his most in a Heat uniform. James also had eight assists and Ray Allen scored 17 points for the Heat, who moved to 5-0 at home.

Allen's 3-pointer with 1:07 left sealed it for Miami, giving the Heat a 109-100 lead.

John Henson came off the bench to finish with 17 points and 18 rebounds for Milwaukee. Brandon Jennings scored 19 on 9-for-25 shooting for the Bucks, who got 16 from Mike Dunleavy, 11 from Tobias Harris and 10 from Samuel Dalembert.

Miami outscored Milwaukee 15-8 in overtime, meaning the last run - on a night filled with back and forth - belonged to the Heat, who survived despite wasting an early 18-point lead.

In fact, it was Miami which had to rally just to extend the game late.

Down seven late in the fourth quarter, the Heat reclaimed the lead with a 10-0 run. James played quarterback for much of the burst, hitting a 3-pointer, setting up Wade for a score that tied the game and eventually finding Allen in the right corner for another 3 and a 94-91 lead.

Milwaukee took the lead twice more and Miami tied it quickly both times. The Bucks went for the win late, but Monta Ellis missed a jumper, Henson couldn't score on the rebound, and the Heat eventually controlled the ball and got a stoppage with 1.4 seconds left. They just didn't get a shot off - Ellis knocked the ball from Wade's hands before he could fire off a chance at the win, and the teams went to overtime tied at 98.

The Heat ran out to an early 37-19 lead, and the margin still seemed more than comfortable at 44-28 with 4:10 left in the half, when the Bucks seemed to be coming completely apart.

Larry Sanders committed a personal foul, didn't like the call and let everyone know his feelings. Sanders slammed the ball toward the basket for one technical, started complaining, kept complaining, picked up the second technical and then appeared to even have a few choice words for his own bench as he departed for the Milwaukee locker room.

For whatever reason, the game changed in that instant.

Milwaukee scored the next 13 points and closed the half on a 16-2 run - the last three of those points coming in the most unexpected way, with Dalembert connecting from about 27 feet. Dalembert had missed all 10 of his previous 3-point tries in his career.

The Bucks finished the third quarter with another flurry, a 13-5 run, the last basket being a gift after Mike Miller tried to grab a defensive rebound and inadvertently deflected the ball through the rim as time expired with Milwaukee taking a 73-71 lead into the fourth.

NOTES: Heat F Udonis Haslem became the franchise career leader in rebounds, grabbing the 4,808th of his career, one more than Alonzo Mourning, late in the first quarter. ... Jennings and Ellis combined to miss their first 10 shots. Jennings scored with 3:28 left in the half, the first points of the Bucks' 13-0 run. ... With Thanksgiving on Thursday, Wade and James revealed some of their must-have side dishes. James said he's ``not participating'' in Thanksgiving if he doesn't have candied yams and macaroni and cheese on his plate; Wade said he needs ``some good stuffing to set me right.'' ... Bucks coach Scott Skiles said he expects F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (offseason knee surgery) at practice ``within the next week or so.'' ... The game was the first in a stretch where Miami has 10 of 11 contests at home.

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Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

It is almost time for NHL free agency to begin, and the Capitals certainly have needs to fill and a limited budget. Who would be the best fit? Who would be the best free agent target for Washington to pursue? That’s what NBC Sports Washington wants to find out!

Our experts got together and made a bracket of the 16 best free agent fits. The bracket is divided into four regions: Third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Caps’ free agent. Now we want you to tell us who you want to see rocking the red next year!

Every weekday we will match two free agents up against one another and present a case for each player. Then you get to vote and decide who advances!

Check out today’s matchup:

Region: Fourth line forwards

Noel Acciari vs. Marcus Kruger

 

2018-19 stats

 

Noel Acciari (27 years old):72 games played with the Boston Bruins, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, 12:59 TOI

 

Playoffs: 19 games played with the Boston Bruins, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, 13:10 TOI

 

Marcus Kruger (29 years old): 74 games played with the Chicago Blackhawks, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, 10:25 TOI

 

Playoffs: None

 

Hockey-Graph contract projections

 

Noel Acciari: 2 years, $1,180,934 cap hit

 

Marcus Kruger: 1 year, $861,030 cap hit

 

The case for Noel Acciari

Plays a lot bigger than his 5-foot-10, 205-pound frame. A perfect fit at right wing on the fourth line for Washington. The native New Englander, who played at Providence, is a home-grown Bruin and might not want to leave home, but Boston also might not have the cap space to give an obvious fourth-line player a decent raise. The Capitals might not, either, but for now, they really only have to add in RFA Jakub Vrana’s new contract and figure out what they’re going to do with RFA Andre Burakovsky. 

 

Acciari is renowned for his character and toughness. He was a college captain for Providence and helped the Friars win an NCAA title in 2015. There’s never been a shot he’s unwilling to block. Acciari sustained a broken sternum in the second round against Columbus and a blocked shot with his right foot in Game 7 of the Cup Final left him in a walking boot.  

 

Acciari’s offensive upside is limited, but he did have 10 goals in 2017-18. He was a key player for the Bruins in the past two Stanley Cup playoffs and chipped in two goals in this year’s playoff run that came within a game of a championship. Acciari would help on Washington’s penalty kill, too. In 111:52 he was only on the ice for 11 power-play goals against. Only two Boston forwards were on the ice more short-handed.  

 

The case for Marcus Kruger

 

A different skill set here for the smaller Kruger (6-foot, 186 pounds). Don’t expect even double-digit goals from him, either. But Kruger will likely cost less than $1 million and can be a valuable penalty killer, where Washington needs help. That’s huge for a team that is now dealing with an $81.5 million salary cap, which is $1.5 million less than expected. Add in the overage bonus for defenseman Brooks Orpik from last season and you’re in trouble at just over $80 million.   

 

Kruger played seven seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and one disappointing one with the Carolina Hurricanes. Kruger has plenty of Stanley Cup experience, too, playing for Chicago’s 2013 and 2015 Cup winners. He has 87 postseason games and a triple-overtime game-winner in the Western Conference Final to his name in 2015 in Game 2 of that series against Anaheim. 

 

A defensive specialist, only two Blackhawks forwards played more short-handed minutes than Kruger (132:46) last season. There is risk here. Kruger was traded to Carolina in 2017-18, but was placed on waivers after 48 games and spent the rest of the season in the AHL before being traded to Arizona and then back to Chicago. But part of that stemmed from how much he was making on a $3.08 million cap hit. At a bargain-basement price, Kruger is more palatable. 

 

Who’s your pick? Vote here.

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Rui Hachimura is a 'late bloomer' in basketball, but the Washington Wizards like that

Rui Hachimura is a 'late bloomer' in basketball, but the Washington Wizards like that

Rui Hachimura was introduced to the sport of basketball at 13 years old after spending his childhood on the baseball diamond, emulating Ichiro Suzuki, as many kids in Japan do. Just eight years later, Hachimura has charted his own path as the first Japanese-born lottery pick in the NBA after the Washington Wizards drafted him at No. 9 overall.

That trajectory is important to note when considering Hachimura's age. He is 21 years old, which is on the older side for an NBA draft prospect in the age of one-and-dones. But, you could say he's only eight in basketball years.

That's not a technical term used by NBA front office executives, but the fact Hachimura is a "late bloomer" was one of the biggest selling points for the Wizards. That's how interim team president Tommy Sheppard described him on several occasions the night of the draft and the day after. And even majority owner Ted Leonsis referenced it when asked about the pick in an interview with the Washington Times over the weekend.

While reason may suggest a younger player has higher upside, the Wizards are looking beyond simple age. In Hachimura, they believe they have a player who could benefit from not having the year-round strain of AAU basketball in his past.

"When you come to the game a little bit later, maybe you don't have some bad habits that you accumulate. You don't have a lot of extra miles," Sheppard said. 

"Those kinds of things resonate with us. You have to be healthy to play in the NBA, and there are so many players in this particular draft that for whatever reason, there are a lot of sad faces tonight because I think medical held a lot of people back. He has a clean bill of health, and that's exciting to us."

Sheppard could have been referencing any number of prospects who carried the label as an injury risk into draft night. With the ninth overall pick, the Wizards took Hachimura over Duke's Cam Reddish, who has several red flags, injuries among them. In the second round, they passed on Oregon's Bol Bol, who had a stress fracture in his foot, in favor of Admiral Schofield.

But health isn't the only potential benefit of picking up the game at a later age. Sheppard alluded to the development of bad habits. He thinks Hachimura is more of a blank canvas for the coaching staff and that could work in their favor long-term.

Sheppard made a comparison for Hachimura that was interesting for several reasons.

"With [Raptors forward] Pascal Siakam, you see what happens when guys come to the game a little late and what he was able to do. It's not the same, but if you ask me of someone who's story his reminds me of, it could remind you of something like that," Sheppard said.

Siakam's name was invoked over and over during the pre-draft process but more often to draw a parallel for Sekou Doumbouya of France. Sheppard was more so comparing the development track for Hachimura than the playing style, but it holds some weight.

There have been some famous cases of late bloomers in NBA history. Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and Joel Embiid reportedly didn't start playing basketball until high school.

Duncan may be a good example of avoiding bad habits, as he is considered one of the most fundamentally sound players of all time. Olajuwon might be the most skilled big man in NBA history, and Embiid has a chance to become an all-time great.

What gives the Wizards hope that Hachimura will reach his potential and someday enjoy breakout success like Siakam has is his work ethic. The Wizards did deep background research on Hachimura, including through discussions with his college coach, Mark Few of Gonzaga.

They believe they found something in Hachimura that other teams may have overlooked.

"The things that you hope for and that you're optimistic about, they seem to be there. So, we're excited about that," Sheppard said. "It's really up to Rui and how bad do you want to be good?"

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