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Lawson, Chandler lead Nuggets past Rockets

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Lawson, Chandler lead Nuggets past Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) Ty Lawson scored 21 points, Wilson Chandler had 20 and the Denver Nuggets pulled away in the third quarter of a 105-95 victory over the mistake-prone Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Danilo Gallinari sank three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Nuggets, who converted 28 points off 23 Houston turnovers to beat the Rockets for the fifth straight time.

James Harden scored 23 points and Omer Asik grabbed 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who've lost eight of their last nine games.

Denver took control with a 21-5 burst late in the third quarter, turning a flurry of Rockets' turnovers into easy baskets. Houston coach Kevin McHale took point guard Jeremy Lin out of the game with 3:27 left in the quarter, but the Nuggets continued their surge.

JaVale McGee turned in the highlight of the night in the last minute of the third quarter, flipping the ball off the backboard and then dunking the putback with one hand for an 80-64 lead.

The Nuggets shot 62 percent (13 of 21) in the third quarter and scored 12 points off seven Houston turnovers.

Denver poured it on in the fourth quarter, stretching the lead over 20. Chandler drove down an open lane for an easy layup with 9:18 left and fans headed for the exits.

McGee and Andre Iguodala scored 14 points apiece for the Nuggets, who've won eight of their last 10 games.

Lin, meanwhile, watched the fourth quarter from the bench for the second straight game. McHale also yanked him at the end of Monday's 100-94 win in Charlotte in favor of newcomer Patrick Beverley. Lin is 7 for 24 from the field in his last three games.

Houston gave away five turnovers in the first six minutes and fell behind early. Iguodala finished a Denver fast break with a dunk after another Rockets' turnover for a 25-14 lead.

The Rockets cut into the deficit by hitting six of their first 12 shots from 3-point range. Carlos Delfino's first 3-pointer of the game came early in the second quarter and pulled Houston within 31-29.

Harden got poked in the right eye trying to block Corey Brewer's 3-point attempt from the corner midway through the second quarter. Rockets trainer Keith Jones came out to check on Harden, and they walked to the bench together. Harden checked back into the game at the next whistle, then converted a three-point play after a steal to trim Denver's lead to 40-35.

The Nuggets went cold late in the half, and Houston rallied to take a 44-40 lead. McGee dunked an alley-oop pass from Andre Miller and Denver led 46-44 at halftime despite missing 14 of 20 shots in the second quarter.

The teams were tied at 57-all when Denver went on the decisive spurt in the third.

Notes: The Rockets trailed by double digits for the 12th consecutive game. ... Harden led the Rockets in scoring for the 21st straight game. Moses Malone holds the team record, going 23 straight games as Houston's top scorer during the 1981-82 season. ... Denver scored 52 points in the paint. ... The Nuggets open a season-high, six-game homestand against Sacramento on Saturday. Denver played 22 of its first 32 games on the road.

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Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

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USA TODAY Sports

Machado homers as Orioles beat Rangers 6-5

For well over six seasons, Manny Machado's value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.

All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.

Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.

Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"Obviously there's a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that," Showalter said. "That had a lot to do with it."

Plain and simple, the Orioles can't afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.

"A month ago he wouldn't have come out of the game," Showalter acknowledged. "We know that. You know it."

After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.

"I don't know why (Showalter) did it or not," Machado said. "He just told me, `I'm going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.'"

Machado is Baltimore's lone representative for Tuesday's showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don't appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.

"I'm going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It's just always a blessing," Machado said. "I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization. I mean it's just been very incredible."

In a matchup between two teams staggering into the break, Texas got a first-inning grand slam from rookie Ronald Guzman but quickly gave the lead away in losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Machado ignited the comeback with his 24th homer, and Jones' bases-clearing double in the third off Mike Minor (6-6) put Baltimore ahead to stay.

"I'll be fine," said Minor, who yielded five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. "I'll reflect a little bit and then get back to it."

The game ended when Texas pinch-runner Carlos Tocci was thrown out at the plate on a double by Elvis Andrus. Running from first base, Tocci was tagged out by catcher Caleb Joseph following throws by right fielder Mark Trumbo and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"Textbook," Showalter said.

Texas manager Jeff Bannister called it a "situation where they had to throw it on line to throw Tocci out. They executed well."

Tanner Scott (1-1), the first of four Baltimore relievers, earned his first big league win.

Zach Britton, another Oriole supposedly on the trading block, worked the ninth for his fourth save, the second in two days.

Texas broke on top when Miguel Castro issued three straight walks and Guzman sent a one-out drive over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

It was 4-1 in the third when Joseph hit an RBI double and Jones doubled down the left-field line following a walk to Machado.

Shin-Soo Choo homered in the seventh to get the Rangers to 6-5.

STREAKY

Choo opened the game with a walk, extending to 51 his single-season club record streak of games reaching base via a hit, walk or HBP. ... Texas' Delino DeShields went 0 for 3, stretching his hitless drought to 28 at-bats. ... Jones snapped a 1-for-16 skid with his third-inning double.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RF Nomar Mazara was given the day off after hurting his hand Saturday night in the outfield.

Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman (back) was set to make his final rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk. ... INF Steve Wilkerson (oblique) and OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) likely won't come off the DL before August, Showalter said. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (neck strain) will be activated from the DL on Saturday or Sunday to face Toronto, Showalter said.

UP NEXT

Rangers: The rotation after the All-Star break, beginning Friday against visiting Cleveland: Martin Perez, Bartolo Colon, Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo and Minor.

Orioles: After the All-Star break, Dylan Bundy will start at Toronto on Friday night.

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

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Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner each hit a two-run single in Washington's five-run seventh inning, helping the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-1 on Sunday.

Matt Adams added two hits and scored a run as Washington salvaged a split of its four-game set against New York. A preseason favorite to win the NL East and contend for a World Series championship, the disappointing Nationals hit the All-Star break with a 48-48 record, good for third in the division.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) pitched six crisp innings in his second straight win. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out six and walked two.

Jose Reyes drove in Michael Conforto with a fielder's choice in the second, tying it at 1, but Washington grabbed control in the seventh.

Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon opened the inning with walks against Anthony Swarzak (0-2). Tim Peterson then came in and surrendered singles to Adams and Murphy, who came off the bench to hit for Michael A. Taylor.

Jerry Blevins replaced Peterson with two out and runners on second and third. But he hit Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton before Turner's single gave Washington a 6-1 lead.

New York wasted a solid start by Corey Oswalt, who allowed two hits in five innings. The Mets got off to a fast start this year, but hit the break last in the division with a 39-55 record, a percentage point behind fourth-place Miami.

WAITING

A steady drizzle delayed the start by 47 minutes.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one. Strasburg has been on the disabled list since June 10.

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to play five simulated innings in left field at the team's facility in Florida on Monday. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 32-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined by a right hip flexor and strained quadriceps, could return as the designated hitter next weekend against the Yankees If he is able to play on consecutive days.

MAKING MOVES

The Nationals recalled right-hander Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Austin Voth, who took the loss in his big league debut Saturday, was sent back to Syracuse.

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