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Horford leads Hawks to 101-91 win over Bobcats

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Horford leads Hawks to 101-91 win over Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Al Horford had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-91 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Horford was 13 of 17 from the field. Kyle Korver hit 4 of 6 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for Atlanta. Jeff Teague added 13 points and 12 assists, and Josh Smith had 10 points and eight assists.

The Hawks (7-4) led most of the game. The Bobcats (6-5) got within six in the fourth quarter, but the rally fizzled from there.

Charlotte was led by Ramon Sessions, who had 22 points. Kemba Walker added 16 points and nine assists. Walker and Sessions have scored in double digits every game this season.

Charlotte trailed by 10 with two minutes remaining, but Byron Mullens hit a jumper from the corner and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist beat Horford to the basket on a strong drive to make it 97-91.

Smith then found Horford for a dunk to put the Hawks back up by eight and Horford knocked down a 16-footer to put the game away.

Bobcats rookie Jeffery Taylor, the team's second-round draft pick, set a career high for the third straight game with 16 points. Kidd-Gilchrist had 11 points and seven assists.

The Bobcats were one of the hottest teams in the NBA, having won five of six, but they committed 15 turnovers leading to 19 Atlanta points in a sloppy game for both teams. Atlanta turned it over 22 times, leading to 22 points.

The Hawks built a 57-51 lead at the break behind Horford, who had 16 first-half points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.

The Bobcats struggled to find anyone who could guard Horford, using four different players in an attempt to shut down the 6-foot-10 center.

But Horford still found ways to score and the Hawks shot 57.1 percent from the field in the first half.

The Hawks came in leading the league in forced turnovers and their defense gave the Bobcats fits early on.

Charlotte turned the ball over 10 times in the first half leading to 15 Atlanta points. The Hawks also blocked seven shots during that span.

NOTES: The Bobcats visit Washington on Saturday night, while the Hawks host the Los Angeles Clippers. ... The Bobcats came into the game unbeaten in conference play at 4-0.

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This Caps Stanley Cup tattoo has everyone's beat

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Twitter/@PeachOmania

This Caps Stanley Cup tattoo has everyone's beat

Since the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time over one month ago, Caps fans, (and players), have rushed to their local tattoo parlor to get some ink commemorating the win.

We've seen the classic Capitals logo with the Stanley Cup, but nothing that comes close to the masterpiece that is Shane Peacher's tattoo.

Peacher tweeted to Joe B and Courtney Laughlin the finished tat: a work of art featuring Alex Ovechkin kissing the Stanley Cup for the first time as it's hoisted over his head.

Joe B replied making sure Shane had enough room on his other tricep for next year.

Shane replied that he's thinking of Evgeny Kuznetsov's iconic celebration that has since been dubbed the "birdman."

Shane got his Caps tattoo at the Helix Tattoo Lodge in Rising Sun, Maryland, by tattoo artist, Justin Holcombe.

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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USA Today Sports Images

Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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