Nationals

Knicks beat Nets in tuneup for season opener

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Knicks beat Nets in tuneup for season opener

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) Steve Novak made two 3-pointers in overtime, including the go-ahead shot with 1:26 left, and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 97-95 on Wednesday night in their final tuneup before they meet in their regular-season opener.

Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton each scored 15 points for the Knicks before leaving things to the reserves, who blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter but pulled out the victory to finish 3-3. Rookie Chris Copeland, who has played well in the preseason, led New York with 16 points.

Deron Williams scored 22 points for the Nets, who dropped their final three games and also finished 3-3.

Brooklyn had a chance to force a second overtime, but reserve MarShon Brooks missed a runner in the final seconds.

The local rivals - now residing in the same city - play their hyped, nationally televised opener Nov. 1 at Barclays Center. The Nets, who have watched their home games against the Knicks feel like road contests for years in New Jersey, are hoping the blue jerseys will turn to Brooklyn black-and-white, with their new arena giving them a real home-court advantage.

They sure didn't have one here.

The Nets were technically the home team, playing in an arena they once called home when they were a power in the ABA. But the court was surrounded by fans in Knicks jerseys, and the Nets were booed during pregame introductions and early in the game.

Part of the anger could have been left over from the press conference earlier Wednesday that the NHL's New York Islanders will be leaving this arena to begin playing with the Nets in Barclays Center starting in 2015. An announcement during the game about the move was greeted with scattered boos.

Already without injured big men Amare Stoudemire (ruptured cyst, left knee) and Marcus Camby (strained left calf) the Knicks watched starting center Tyson Chandler fall to the court after a collision on the first possession. He got up and walked to the locker room, but the Knicks said there was no reason to risk his return in calling his injury a sore left knee.

Another forward, Rasheed Wallace, still isn't ready to play as he works himself back into shape following a two-year retirement. Without them, the Knicks could choose to use Anthony as a power forward, especially since Nets coach Avery Johnson said last week his team struggles to defend teams when they go small at that spot.

The Nets jumped to a 23-16 lead after one quarter behind 12 points from Williams, but the Knicks shot 9 of 14 (64 percent) in the second, outscoring Brooklyn 30-20 to take a 46-43 advantage into the half.

The Knicks were ahead by six after three and pushed the lead into double digits early in the fourth as both teams went mostly with bench players in the final period. The Nets rallied to grab an 86-84 lead on Brooks' three-point play with 1:01 left before Copeland's free throws tied it with 47 seconds to go and neither team scored again in regulation.

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Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

WASHINGTON -- With a broken nose, pronounced black eye and seven shutout innings, Max Scherzer provided a striking capper to the Washington Nationals' day-night doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Scherzer himself? He shrugged off his work in the Nationals' 2-0 victory Wednesday night as business as usual.

"Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it actually is," Scherzer said. "I felt zero pain. There's been plenty of other injuries where I felt a lot of pain and I've had to pitch through. I'll hang my hat on those starts, but tonight I felt zero pain. This is part of what you have to do. You take the ball every fifth time.

"That's my responsibility to the team, to make sure I always post, and I knew I could post tonight."

Brian Dozier and Victor Robles hit solo homers to support Scherzer (6-5) as Washington won for the 16th time in 23 games. Philadelphia has dropped seven of its last nine and 12 of 18.

In the first game, Patrick Corbin struck out eight while allowing one run over seven innings as the Nationals earned a 6-2 victory in the delayed series opener after the teams were rained out Monday and Tuesday.

Scherzer bunted a ball off his face during batting practice Tuesday, but it didn't stop him from making his scheduled start. His injury may have provided an extra layer of intimidation in the form of a black eye more worthy of a boxing ring than a baseball diamond.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner sported a pronounced bruise arcing beneath his right eye, adding another hue to a glare that already featured one blue eye and one brown eye.

"Going out there and throwing, the only thing I had to deal with was the swelling underneath the eye," Scherzer said. "It was kind of jiggling around, and so in warmups I just had to get used to knowing what it was feeling like to throw the ball and just have that swelling."

While he wasn't at his most efficient on a humid night, piling up 117 pitches, Scherzer was rarely threatened. He struck out 10, yielded only four hits and permitted just two runners to reach scoring position. And he finished strong, striking out three in a row after Cesar Hernandez led off the seventh with a double.

"It really is one of the most impressive things I've seen in a while," Dozier said. "He's probably the best pitcher in our generation, and you don't get that status unless you take the ball every fifth day, no matter if you're doing good, doing bad, you got a broken nose. You always want the ball."

Bryce Harper, Scherzer's former Nationals teammate, was 0 for 4 with four walks in the doubleheader and was loudly booed before each plate appearance -- especially in the better-attended nightcap. This series is his second trip back to Washington, where he played from 2012-18, since signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia in March.

Dozier belted a two-out solo shot in the second off Jake Arrieta (6-6), who allowed two hits and struck out three over six innings and had the misfortune of matching up with Scherzer on the wrong day.

"Max is just one of the best to ever toe the rubber, honestly," Arietta said. "We have ran into him a couple of times. That's just what he does. He is tough to square up, and he is throwing three or four pitches for strikes with electric stuff. Just a tough one."

Robles homered off reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth. Neshek departed two batters later with a left hamstring strain, and manager Gabe Kapler said he was likely to land on the injured list less than a week after returning from an absence of more than three weeks caused by a shoulder strain.

Wander Suero pitched a perfect eighth for Washington, and Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 tries.

Philadelphia was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position between the two games.

Corbin (6-5), whose start was pushed back twice this week, allowed a solo homer to Scott Kingery in the first inning of the opener. But he let just one other runner to reach third while ending a personal three-game skid.

"It's not ideal, but you have to deal with it to make sure you are ready," said Corbin, who is one strikeout shy of 1,000 for his career. "I was glad we got that one in today."

Dozier and Gerardo Parra had RBI doubles against Phillies starter Zach Eflin (6-7). They later hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning off Cole Irvin to seal the victory.

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Ovechkin voted an NHL first-team All Star for the eighth time

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Ovechkin voted an NHL first-team All Star for the eighth time

Las Vegas always treats the Capitals well.

One year after winning the Stanley Cup at T-Mobile Arena, Alex Ovechkin was once again named a first-team All-Star at the annual NHL Awards ceremony and John Carlson took second-team honors. The event was held at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.  

The Pro Hockey Writers Association voted Ovechkin onto the first team for the eighth time – seven of those at left wing and one at right wing in 2012-13. He had 63 first-place votes and 459 total points to beat out Boston’s Brad Marchand (402) and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau (324) at left wing. It is his first appearance on the first team, however, since the 2014-15 season. Ovechkin has four times been named to the second team.  

Carlson’s second-team selection was the best showing of his career. He received the third-most points (428). Only San Jose’s Brent Burns and Calgary’s Mark Giordano, the Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defenseman, received more to garner first-team honors. Carlson finished fourth in the Norris Trophy voting. He was fifth in 2018. 

Ovechkin was seventh in the Hart Trophy voting for league MVP. He has won that award three times. He was presented with his eighth Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer. Ovechkin had 51 goals in 81 games. No other player has led the league in goals eight times. His eight 50-goal seasons trail only Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy, who accomplished that feat nine times during their Hall-of-Fame careers.  

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