Nationals

Jennings scores 19, Bucks beat Raptors 107-96

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Jennings scores 19, Bucks beat Raptors 107-96

TORONTO (AP) Brandon Jennings had 19 points and 10 assists, rookie John Henson scored 19 and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 20-point first quarter deficit to beat Toronto 107-96 on Sunday, their eight straight victory over the Raptors.

Monta Ellis scored 17 points and Mike Dunleavy had 15 as the Bucks improved to 3-1 under new coach Jim Boylan.

Larry Sanders had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who won for the 12th time in 15 meetings with the Raptors.

Amir Johnson had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ed David had 20 and 12 for the Raptors, who led 32-12 early but lost their fifth straight home meeting with the Bucks.

DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Jose Calderon scored 15 of his 21 in Toronto's big first quarter, but the Raptors couldn't hold on, losing for the first time in three games.

Henson's hook shot with 6:54 to go gave Milwaukee its first lead of the fourth quarter at 87-86 and, after a three-second call on Toronto, Larry Sanders followed by tipping in a missed shot from Ellis.

But after Sanders missed a pair of free throws with 4:23 left, Davis answered with a slam dunk, giving Toronto a 91-90 lead.

Jennings restored Milwaukee's lead with two free throws and Sanders blocked DeRozan at the other end, leading to a fast break 3 by Dunleavy, giving the Bucks a 95-91 lead with 3:01 left.

Ellis made a layup, Sanders made two free throws and a dunk and Milwaukee led 101-91 before Fields ended a 2:45 drought by making one of two from the line.

Calderon, who scored 10 first quarter points in Friday's 99-78 win over Charlotte, was hot again to start this one. The Spanish guard hit six of seven field goal attempts in the first, including all three of his 3-point attempts, and poured in 15 points as Toronto opened a 34-16 lead after one.

Calderon left grimacing with four seconds remaining in the first and jogged back to the locker room for treatment on his right calf. With Calderon out, Milwaukee closed the gap with a 12-0 run to start the second quarter.

Calderon returned with 3:39 left in the half but the Bucks kept up the pressure, taking advantage of 10 Toronto turnovers. A fast break layup by Jennings tied at 47-all with 23 seconds left but two free throws by Quincy Acy gave the Raptors a narrow 49-47 edge at the intermission.

Johnson limped off with a sore right ankle with 1:02 left in the second, but both he and Calderon started the third for Toronto. DeRozan scored 10 points as the Raptors reclaimed the advantage and took a 78-74 lead into the fourth.

NOTES: Henson scored a career-high 20 points against San Antonio on Jan. 2. ... Milwaukee's bench outscored Toronto's 43-7. ... This was the first of a four-game road trip for Milwaukee. The three remaining games are at the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix and Portland. ... Sanders extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one blocked shot to 23.

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Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

When Sean Doolittle pitched Friday evening against the Milwaukee Brewers, he thought he'd made huge progress on his mechanics and felt good heading into Saturday's game.

But when things fell apart after Christian Yelich helped the Brewers rally to a 15-14 win in extra innings, Doolittle knew something was wrong.

"I thought I was every bit good enough to grind this out," Doolittle explained on Grant & Danny on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.  "It was kind of a helpless feeling coming off the mound."

That helplessness led to him being placed on the injured list with a knee injury.

"I kinda battle a little bit of knee tendonitis regularly. It's something I've managed throughout my career," Doolittle said.

He thinks he tweaked it playing in San Diego early June. Since then, he believes his mechanics have suffered trying to alleviate the pain.

"Trying to compensate for it maybe favoring it a little bit subconsciously, my mechanics eroded," Doolittle noted. "It's just this beautiful chaotic circle we have to just pause, get the knee right."

Doolittle says he's going to take the time off to re-work his mechanics. Specifically, he wants to work on a toe-tap and slight hitch he has in his throwing motion, which he described as a subtler version of Clayton Kershaw's famous leg kick.

"I think there's some things I can do mechanically to get my body in a better position," Doolittle said. "This is an opportunity to get it right."

His big goal is to get his body in "better position over the rubber before the kick."

That way, he can have more momentum over the baseball, especially with a powerful four-seam fastball. "You're basically falling down the mound rather than driving and getting behind the ball." 

Throughout the season, he noted he's had good communication with manager Davey Martinez, and that blaming anybody would be a waste of time.

Since being placed on the IL, he's had a few days to rest before he started some light pitching activities Tuesday.

"It'll be a good break to get my body ready for September and October," he noted. "I'm throwing myself into this process and I'm not hanging my head."

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Former Penn State stars Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders catch up after joint practice

Former Penn State stars Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders catch up after joint practice

Things this time last year were a lot different for Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley and Eagles running back Miles Sanders.

McSorley was entering his final year at Penn State, and not highly sought after as an NFL QB prospect. Many draft 'experts' predicted McSorley would have to change positions in order to play at the highest level of the game.

But McSorley, was profiled in NBC Sports Washingtons' I Am The Prospect' series, stuck with quarterback, and early on, it's paid off. The Ravens selected Penn State's all-time passing yards and touchdown passes leader in the sixth-round, and thus far, McSorley has shown promise. 

Sanders, a rising junior at the time, had just 56 career carries and less than 400 rushing yards in his first two seasons with Penn State. While that was not a reflection on Sanders (after all, he was the backup to some guy named Saquon Barkley), the junior had little film to indicate to pro scouts that he would be ready for the jump just a year later.

But after being the Nittany Lions workhorse in 2018, where he rushed for just under 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns, Sanders immediately became on the league's radar. The 22-year-old earned his way to All-Big 10 second-team honors and showed enough at the combine for the Eagles to invest their second-round pick in him.

The Ravens are set to face the Eagles in their third preseason game on Thursday, but Baltimore has been in the City of Brotherly Love for the past two days, competing in joint practices with the Eagles. These practices have given the former Penn State teammates time to catch up before they play each other in a couple of days.

"I think it's cool, just thinking that we were at Penn State a year ago," Sanders said. "Now we're all living our dream, just on different teams. When we get together for times like this, it's pretty cool."

"It's really cool. Spending years together in college, now we're all on separate teams now, but it's cool," McSorley said, echoing his former running back. "We're rooting for these guys. Turning on one of [Miles] games and watch him run, rooting him on. it's cool to come out and be on the practice field with him again. Haven't seen him in a while, being able to say 'what's up,' it's pretty cool."

Very few people know each other's skillsets the way McSorley and Sanders do of one another. So who better to ask than each of them as to what their respective team can expect out of each?

"They're getting a dawg, man, " McSorley said on his former teammate. "They're starting to figure that out now. He's a special player and Philly is going to love him."

"Same with Baltimore. They got a dawg," Sanders said on McSorley. "He's been showing it in the preseason games. They said he's not a quarterback, but he's proving everybody wrong. That's just how Trace is."

Besides checking in regularly to see how Sanders is doing, McSorley has found another way to follow his former running back's rookie season.

"[I'm going to] try and get him on my fantasy team," McSorley said, getting quite the chuckle out of Sanders.

Besides the loyalty aspect, McSorley could end up getting significant production from Sanders on his fantasy squad. After an impressive performance in the Eagles second preseason game, NJ.com reported that "it is increasingly hard to project him as anything less than this team’s No. 1 running back." 

Sanders may be a more than viable fantasy option as a rookie, but he doesn't play the popular game himself. But if he did, he knows one player he would snag.

"I don't do the fantasy stuff, but if I did, I would definitely put my boy on there," Sanders said on McSorley. "Watching everyone I played with in college, looking at their stats each week and seeing them. Just grow and be better players each week. The way we do it here, it's the same mentality because we all went to the same school."

The two will get to see each other in person for the first time at the NFL level on Thursday. 

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