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Hornets shut down Griffin in win over Clippers

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Hornets shut down Griffin in win over Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Greivis Vasquez had 25 points and 10 assists and the New Orleans Hornets' defense took Blake Griffin completely out of the game en route to a 105-98 victory over the skidding Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, ending the Hornets' seven-game losing streak.

Griffin made only one of nine shots in 35 minutes, finishing with a career-low four points and six rebounds before fouling out with 2:36 left in the game. It marked only the fourth time he failed to reach double digits in scoring in 173 NBA regular season and playoff games.

Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith each scored 17 points for the Hornets and Austin Rivers added 14. Anthony Davis, the top overall pick in the June draft, missed his fifth straight game because of an injured left ankle.

Caron Butler made a career-high nine 3-pointers on 15 attempts and finished with 33 points, becoming the first Clipper this season to score at least 30. The two teams combined for 33 3-pointers on 62 attempts.

Paul had 20 points and eight assists. Willie Green, who played for the Hornets two seasons ago before spending last season with Atlanta as a free agent, had 10 points.

Anderson led New Orleans to a 51-44 halftime advantage with 11 points. Neither team led by more than five until the Hornets opened up a 39-28 lead with an 8-0 run capped by Anderson's 3-pointer with 5:58 left in the second quarter.

The Hornets took an 11-point lead into the fourth and stretched it to 94-77, their biggest of the game, on Vasquez's fifth and final 3-pointer with 6:41 remaining. The Clippers got as close as 101-95 with two free throws by Griffin, a 3-pointer by Paul and two more foul shots by Jamal Crawford with 1:38 left. But their perimeter shooting went cold after that.

Griffin missed his first seven shots before Green found him above the rim for an alley-oop dunk that cut the Hornets' lead to 68-65 with 4:34 left in the third quarter. Butler tied it 33 seconds later with a 3-pointer.

NOTES: Butler's previous career-high for 3-pointers was five, on three occasions - the last time Nov. 12, 2012 at Minnesota. ... The Hornets are 23-54 and the Clippers are 48-32 since Paul switched teams. He is averaging 23.5 points and 10 assists in the four games he's played against his former team, two of which the Clippers have won. ... Griffin missed all four shots he took in the first quarter, including a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. He is 9 for 43 lifetime from behind the arc in his NBA career. ... Lopez, who blocked four shots in each of his previous three games, had one against the Clippers to extend his streak to 16 games. ... The Hornets begin a five-game homestand Wednesday night against Utah.

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Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals don't get Penguins for home opener, but Penguins will host Capitals in theirs

The Capitals found out who their opponent will be for the home opener on Oct. 3 and it's not the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And you know what? That's OK. Winning the Stanley Cup was awesome and the banner raising will be an incredible scene regardless. 

Plus, the Penguins need that night off because they have to get ready for their own home opener on Oct. 4 against...the Caps?

Wait, what?

In 2016, the Capitals were in attendance as the Penguins raised their Stanley Cup banner. That had to sting considering Pittsburgh eliminated Washington in the playoffs.

It has not become a tradition to make rivals watch as teams raise banners and there's nothing that said the NHL had to schedule the Penguins for Washington's home opener. But it does seem odd that the NHL is going to make the defending Stanley Cup champions play a back-to-back right out of the gate with the second end coming against their archrivals in Pittsburgh.

Hey Caps, it's the NHL here. Congrats again. Vegas is a hell of a city, am I right? So, listen...we thought about it and decided you won't get to raise your banner against your rivals. Sorry about that. We tried and we couldn't get them for your first game. Good news though, we moved it all the way up to the second game, we just couldn't get it any sooner than that. You'll be playing them the second game of the season...the night after your home opener...in Pittsburgh...for their home opener. Anyway, good luck on the repeat.

Makes sense.

Look, if Washington can't have Pittsburgh for the home opener fine. It would have been nice, but it's really not a big deal. Raising the banner will be special regardless of who the opponent will be. But don't turn around and make the Caps play in the Penguins' home opener the very next day.

The schedule makers did the Caps no favors with this one.

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler