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Johnson, Vanderbilt top Auburn 73-61

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Johnson, Vanderbilt top Auburn 73-61

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Kedren Johnson scored 15 points to lead Vanderbilt over Auburn 73-61 on Wednesday night.

Four players scored in double figures to help the Commodores (8-9, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) win consecutive games for the first time in more than a month.

The Tigers (8-10, 2-3) cut the deficit to five points twice in the second half before Vanderbilt used the long ball to sprint away. Kyle Fuller, Sheldon Jeter and Kevin Bright each drained 3-pointers during a 13-3 run. Rod Odom emphatically capped off the spurt with a two-handed dunk after Josh Henderson found him streaking to the basket for a 52-37 lead with 12:28 left.

Fuller scored 14 points, Bright added 12 and Jeter had 10 as the Commodores won their seventh straight against Auburn.

Rob Chubb and Frankie Sullivan each scored 14 points and Brian Greene Jr. added 11 for the Tigers, who have dropped three straight.

Two straight layups by Chubb sparked Auburn, which made its first five shots. A baseline jumper by Jordan Price put the Tigers up 12-4 just 5:01 into the game.

After missing seven of its opening eight shots, Vanderbilt responded with a run of its own thanks to the play of three former starters. Bright popped off the bench with a straightaway 3-pointer, Henderson followed with a layup and Fuller scored five straight points. He bounced in a 3-pointer to cap off a 10-1 run and give the Commodores a brief 14-13 lead with 11:58 left in the half.

The game tilted back and forth until Vanderbilt ended the half with seven straight points. Coach Kevin Stallings delivered high-fives to his team after Auburn called a timeout with 1:22 left in the half following an offensive rebound and layup by Shelby Moats, which gave Vanderbilt a 34-27 halftime lead.

After the break, the Commodores picked up where they left off as Jeter scored five straight points to stake a 39-29 lead. After Auburn sliced the deficit in half, Fuller answered with a 3-pointer to spark the rout.

Johnson sunk a 3-pointer for a 55-39 lead with 10:59 left but the Commodores went scoreless for nearly 5 minutes. Auburn failed to capitalize even a little, committing four turnovers and missing three shots during a 4-minute drought. After shooting 50 percent (11 of 22) in the first half, the Tigers made just 11 of 31 shots (35.5 percent) the final 20 minutes.

Vanderbilt also finally received a boost at the foul line. After entering as the second-worst free-throw shooting team (57.2 percent) in the country, the Commodores made a season-high 24 free throws out of 30 attempts. Johnson paced the team by making eight of 10. Fuller made six of seven and Odom sunk all six.

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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard out against Wizards

The Wizards will catch a break on Saturday night when they host the Toronto Raptors in the second game of their regular season, as Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard is being held out due to rest.

Leonard, who has been dominant so far for the 2-0 Raptors, is being limited in back-to-backs after he missed 73 games last season due to a quadriceps injury. The Raptors played the night before against the Celtics.

With Leonard out, the Raptors will likely rely on C.J. Miles and O.G. Anunoby at the small forward position. Shooting guard Delon Wright is also out with a shoulder injury.

Though Leonard and Wright are out of the mix, Toronto still has plenty of talent including All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry is averaging 21 points, seven assists and 3.5 rebounds through two games. 

Serge Ibaka has been their third-leading scorer with 15 points per game to go along with 6.5 rebounds. They also acquired Danny Green in the Leonard deal and he's off to a strong start with 12.5 points and five rebounds per game.

Leonard's absence may be noticed more on the defensive end, as he is one of the best in the NBA on the perimeter. That could make things a bit easier for Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr.

The Wizards and Raptors next play on Nov. 23. That game is in Toronto.

 

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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