Nationals

Lakers beat Knicks 100-94 to get to .500

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Lakers beat Knicks 100-94 to get to .500

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant engineered a second-half comeback, helping the Los Angeles beat the New York Knicks 100-94 on Tuesday and extend the Lakers' winning streak to five games while lifting them to .500.

Bryant scored 34 points in his NBA-record 15th Christmas Day game and Metta World Peace added 20 points and seven rebounds while defending Carmelo Anthony, whose 34 points led the Knicks. Bryant, the league's leading scorer, has topped 30 or more points in nine straight games.

The Lakers improved to 14-14 - 9-9 under new coach Mike D'Antoni - and upped their holiday record to 21-18, including 13-9 at home.

The Knicks controlled most of the game behind Anthony and J.R. Smith, who had 24 points. But they struggled offensively in the fourth, when Anthony was limited to seven points and Smith had five.

Smith's 3-pointer pulled New York to 96-94. After Pau Gasol made one of two free throws, Smith missed another 3 that would have tied the game at 97 with 32 seconds left.

Gasol dunked with 12 seconds to go, punctuating a win that sent Lakers fans, frustrated by the team's struggles and coaching change, home happy. The Lakers avenged a 116-107 loss in New York on Dec. 13.

Steve Nash had 16 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in his second game in nearly two months. He missed 24 straight games while recovering from a small fracture in his lower left leg. Dwight Howard had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Gasol had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Bryant had eight of the Lakers' first 10 points to open the fourth during a run that provided their first lead since the opening quarter in a game matching the two teams that have played the most on Christmas Day.

They took the lead for good on Bryant's basket with 7:38 remaining. Anthony and Tyson Chandler were in foul trouble in the fourth, with Chandler fouling out late.

The Knicks opened the third on a 15-5 run, with Anthony setting up on the perimeter and hitting two 3-pointers as part of his 10 points that stretched their lead to 61-53. His jumper provided the Knicks' largest lead of the game, 69-60.

Bryant and Nash ignited the quiet atmosphere by leading a 17-9 run that drew the Lakers to 78-77 going into the fourth. They combined to score 15 points, although Bryant missed two free throws to end the third that would have given the Lakers their first lead since early in the game. The Knicks' earlier roll dissolved in missed shots and a technical on Chandler for arguing a call.

World Peace scored 16 points in the second quarter, including eight in a row, when the Lakers played catch-up most of the way. His 3-pointer gave the Lakers their first lead of the period with 1:10 remaining. Smith tied it up with a free throw before Nash's jumper sent the Lakers into halftime leading 51-49.

Bryant scored the Lakers' final nine points of the first quarter to give them a 25-23 lead. D'Antoni's plan of having Darius Morris guard Anthony didn't last long after he scored five of the Knicks' first seven points.

NOTES: Bryant surpassed Oscar Robertson as the league's all-time Christmas Day scorer with 383 points. Robertson had 377. ... Knicks F/C Amare Stoudemire shot some before the game. He's been out all season after left knee surgery. ... ... Knicks C Marcus Camby had four points and four rebounds in 8 minutes. He's been sidelined by a sore left foot and barely played this season. ... Asked about Bryant as an MVP candidate, D'Antoni said, ``You can't put anybody MVP if you're below .500.'' ... In their only other Christmas Day meeting in 1963, the Lakers beat the Knicks 134-126 behind 47 points by Jerry West and 27 from Elgin Baylor. ... Several Lakers had unopened gift bags in their lockers with the tag, ``From Kobe Merry Xmas 2012.'' ... The Lakers were all in white, while the Knicks were all in orange down to their socks in a color similar to Syracuse. ... Howard spent time before the game explaining to his teammates a snake chant he wanted them to do during Bryant's pre-game introduction, in honor of his ``Mamba'' nickname. ... Among the celebs holidaying at Staples Center were Rihanna and Chris Brown, Adam Levine, Samuel L. Jackson, George Lopez and Richard Lewis. Vanessa Bryant and her two young daughters sat courtside opposite the Lakers bench.

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Juan Soto's Wild Card game-winning hit broke Eric Thames’ heart

Juan Soto's Wild Card game-winning hit broke Eric Thames’ heart

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Eric Thames felt like something bad was about to happen last fall after Michael A. Taylor reached first base next to him.

Milwaukee held a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Taylor was awarded first base after a review determined the call of hit by pitch would stand. The ruling was dubious. Regardless, Taylor was on first and the unraveling process for Josh Hader and the Brewers had begun.

“The playoffs is all about mojo and there’s certain plays you’re [like] oh, it's not looking good,” Thames told NBC Sports Washington. “And it was the hit by pitch to Taylor, reviewed it, hit off the knob, they reviewed said hit by pitch. We were all pretty upset about that. Once [Ryan Zimmerman] got the broken-bat single, it was like, oh, man here we go.”

Anthony Rendon sidled up to Thames after his walk loaded the bases later in the inning. Juan Soto was next, a left-on-left fight with Hader pending. He singled to right, sending the ball past Thames and toward Trent Grisham, who overran the ball after an odd hop.


 
“You know Juan is a passionate player,” Thames said. “You know he’s hungry to get the big hit. Once that ball went over my head, I was like, all right, here we go. Let’s hold it. Once that ball got past Grisham, my heart just like… the crowd was quiet the whole game until that moment. It was like bombs went off. We couldn't hear anything. I was leading off that next inning. It was the weirdest feeling. It was like my heart was in my stomach. It was heartbreaking.”

Thames struck out. The Brewers lost, beginning the Nationals’ stomach-churning run toward the World Series.

He was bitter for about four or five days. But, he watched. The Nationals kept coming back, he watched more. Stationed in a bar, still a bit upset by the idea this could have been the Brewers’ run, Thames began to develop an affinity for what Washington was doing, one that eventually landed him in the clubhouse this spring to split time at first base and provide left-handed, pinch-hit power.

“We all would have been pissed if the Astros or the 'powerhouse team,' if they won, but these guys came from the bottom, they scratched their way up, the way the games finished was exciting,” Thames said. “Like Howie’s home run off the poll -- I watch that replay all the time. To see the entire stadium in Houston just get quiet. Oh, it was awesome.

“I watched every game at a bar with a bunch of beer drowning my sorrows with nachos.”

Thames spilled his beer when Kendrick homered against Will Harris. Three-plus months later, he and Kendrick were sitting two chairs apart in West Palm Beach, Thames’ heart presumably back into his chest.

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Washington Capitals vs. Winnipeg Jets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to watch

Washington Capitals vs. Winnipeg Jets: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to watch

The Caps take on the Jets Thursday night for a rematch, this time in Winnipeg's territory, after the Caps won 4-3 in overtime win at Capital One Tuesday.

After Alex Ovechkin's 700th goal pre-game ceremony, he got goal No. 701 just minutes into the contest.

Here is everything you need to know about Thursday night's game, which takes place at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. 

CAPITALS VS. JETS GAME 64: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Winnipeg Jets
Where: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Canada
When: Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Jets game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Jets on NBC Sports Washington’s live stream page and on the NBC Sports App. 
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS VS. JETS TV SCHEDULE

7:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
7:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
8:00 PM: Capitals vs. Jets (LIVE)
10:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live 
11:00 PM: Chasing Greatness
11:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS VS. JETS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: No injuries 
Jets: Josh Morrissey, D, upper body, day-to-day
Sami Niku, D, undisclosed, day-to-day
Luca Sbisa, D, upper body, injured reserved
Brian Little, C, upper body, injured reserved

CAPITALS VS. JETS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (43-17-60): Ovi is always one to watch on the Caps. With goal No. 701 against the Jets Tuesday, he'll look to keep the momentum going with more goals Thursday night.

Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Jets (23-29-52): Ehlers had a goal and an assist on five shots against the Caps in Tuesday's game. The Caps will need to put the pressure on Ehlers on defense.

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