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Isner, Querrey to play Davis Cup singles for US

Isner, Querrey to play Davis Cup singles for US

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) John Isner and Sam Querrey will join Bob and Mike Bryan on the U.S. team to play Brazil in the first round of Davis Cup World Group matches from Feb. 1-3.

U.S. captain Jim Courier announced the team in a statement Wednesday from Melbourne, where he is working at the Australian Open.

The match against Brazil, the first tie at home for the U.S. team since the 2011 quarterfinals, will be played on an indoor hard court in Jacksonville, Fla.

Isner pulled out of the Australian Open with a right knee injury, while Querrey lost in the third round.

The Bryan brothers, the Olympic doubles gold medalists, won their quarterfinal match Wednesday at the Australian Open.

According to the USTA, Brazil has announced its team as singles players Thomaz Bellucci and Thiago Alves, and Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in doubles for its first World Group tie since 2003.

The winner of the match will face either Serbia or Belgium in the quarterfinals from April 5-7.

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Otto Porter Jr.'s strong history against Warriors may give Wizards fighting chance

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USA TODAY Sports

Otto Porter Jr.'s strong history against Warriors may give Wizards fighting chance

The Wizards have shown no indication recently they are willing to bow down to anyone and accept their fate as a team depleted by injuries with the odds stacked against them. So, even as they get set to face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, they can't be counted out, even if it seems a near impossible task for them to upset the two-time reigning champs.

In order to pull off the win, they will need many guys to step up, but perhaps none more than Otto Porter Jr., regardless of whether he's currently a bench player or not. For whatever reason, Porter has had some of the best games of his career against Golden State. 

Porter has scored 29 points or more in five career games and two of them came last season against the Warriors. He had nearly identical games of 29 points and 10 rebounds and shot a combined 10-for-18 (55.6%) from three. 

In five games against the Warriors going back to Feb. of 2017, Porter is averaging 19.4 points while shooting 56.8 percent from long range. He has nine steals compared to just two turnovers during that stretch.

The Wizards won just one of those games, as they have one win against the Warriors since 2014 and only two since 2010. But the Warriors have had no answer for Porter while his teammate Bradley Beal has been a much different story.

In their last meeting on Oct. 24, Beal had 23 points in 19 minutes but bruised his sternum and was limited in a 22-point defeat. In their final match-up last year, Beal was held to only eight points in 37 minutes on 3-for-15 from the field with five turnovers. It was one of the worst offensive nights Beal has had in years.

The other game between the teams last season featured Beal getting ejected for a fight with Draymond Green. He left with only four points.

Beal may find better luck this time around, now that he's reached another level as a scorer. He's averaging a career-best 24.7 points on the year and 29.6 points in his last eight games.

But it could very well come down to Porter leading the way. He has been on fire lately, shooting 47.7 percent from three while averaging 16.8 points during the Wizards' recent stretch of seven wins in 10 games. He also leads the team in defensive rating (99.1) since this run began on Dec. 29, while the Wizards' bench has posted the best +/- in the NBA.

In order to beat the heavily-favorited Warriors, the Wizards will need a collective effort and probably a big game from Beal. But if history is any indication, Porter will hold up his end of the bargain.

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Bruce Allen answered every question at the Senior Bowl, but he didn't say all that much

Bruce Allen answered every question at the Senior Bowl, but he didn't say all that much

MOBILE — Bruce Allen stood in the pocket and watched as the pass rush came, but like a veteran quarterback, he avoided the pressure and sidestepped the blitz. 

Allen got asked about the low attendance figures at FedEx Field, and maneuvered his explanation into the injured Redskins squad that took the field Week 17.

Allen got asked about the #FireBruceAllen movement and deftly turned the conversation into a discussion on the passionate Redskins fan base. 

Allen did not provide much of an update on injured quarterback Alex Smith or any real contract talks with pending free agents Jamison Crowder, Preston Smith or Adrian Peterson. 

Allen did not provide much of an update on a new Redskins stadium, and there wasn't much information about additions or changes to the front office. 

Pressed why he was the right person to run the Redskins, Allen explained that his passion for the team puts him in the same line as the fans. 

He wants what they want. 

It's true, Allen loves the Redskins and has since he was a child and his father famously coached the team. That still doesn't explain why he deserves to run the team. There were questions about the front office structure and the coaching staff, but the answers were mostly endorsements of the status quo. 

It's also fair to point out that on many contractual matters, Allen might not be able to say much, or it might be wise for him to provide as little information as possible. 

Give Allen credit. 

He's quite good at talking without providing real insight into what he's thinking. That's not on accident, and it is a skill. 

In fact, many executives and coaches around the NFL deploy the same strategy. Coach-speak is famous for providing no information, and few GMs like to give their opposition the slightest clue about their next move. 

What amplifies the situation is the rarity upon which Allen speaks, particularly in group settings. 

Want some good news Redskins fans? Allen said he would talk again at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

That's about a month away — and maybe then, there will be more answers. 

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