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Losing Lakers limp into Cleveland

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Losing Lakers limp into Cleveland

CLEVELAND (AP) Pau Gasol's got sore knees. Steve Nash's broken leg isn't completely healed. The Lakers' record is hurting.

But Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni, still learning about his disappointing and currently disjointed team, sees bigger issues than key injuries, shaky transition defense and suspect foul shooting.

``Collectively,'' he said, ``our spirit is just not there to win and we're going to have to get over that real quick.''

The star-studded-but-struggling Lakers (9-12) have lost seven of 10 as they open a four-game road trip Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will have back star point guard Kyrie Irving after he missed 11 games with a broken left index finger.

The Cavs went just 2-9 without Irving, last season's rookie of the year.

Gasol was not at the Lakers' morning shootaround and will likely miss his fifth straight game with tendinitis in his knees. D'Antoni doesn't know when one of his starters will be back in the lineup. He said Gasol will be evaluated on a daily basis.

As D'Antoni met with reporters, Nash, who has missed 19 games since fracturing his left fibula in a collision with Portland's Damian Lillard on Oct. 31, shot jumpers and worked on his ballhandlng at the far end of Quicken Loans Arena with a member of the Lakers' training staff.

Nash has not yet been cleared to practice and D'Antoni doesn't know when the two-time league MVP will be available.

``When he's ready to go, he's ready to go,'' D'Antoni said, ``and I don't think he knows totally. Hopefully, it's sooner than later. I'm like a kid at Christmas, man. I'm trying to get to the presents.''

D'Antoni said Nash will have to play some 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 before he can play in games.

Nash's return may settle things down a bit, but the Lakers, who entered the season expected to waltz toward a title after adding center Dwight Howard and Nash to a lineup featuring Kobe Bryant, have plenty of problems. D'Antoni was brought in after coach Mike Brown was fired after five games to fix them, but to this point the purple and gold remain an enigma.

The Lakers aren't clicking and D'Antoni pointed to his team's inability to slow down opponents as a chief reason.

``We're losing now because we're 30th in fast-break points for the other team,'' he said. ``A lot of that is turnovers and a lot of that is not getting back. We've got to be much more aware of boxing out at the foul line, much more aware of getting to our men and our defense right now is compromised a little bit by turnovers and a lot by leak outs and us not getting back.''

D'Antoni believes the Lakers' current woes are correctable.

Bryant, too, said he and his teammates can make things easier by buckling down on defense.

``The thing that's really kicking our butt and that we're extremely weak at is our transition defense,'' Bryant said, sitting on the scorer's table following the morning shootaround. ``Physically we're just not a very fast team, so we have to be very smart about our positioning on the floor and get back on defense. Our half-court defense is pretty good.''

Nash won't heal the Lakers on defense, but his presence on the floor can't hurt.

``It will help,'' Bryant said, ``because our team is built to have him on the floor with myself and Pau and Dwight and we haven't had that yet.''

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Capitals at Ducks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals at Ducks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Coming off of the adrenaline-pumping 5-1 win over the Sharks on Thursday, the Capitals (32-19-7) will face off against the Anaheim Ducks (22-27-9) Sunday evening. The Capitals hope to maintain their energy with a win over the Ducks, the second-worst team in the Pacific Division.
 
The Ducks broke a seven-game losing streak (which began towards the end of January) to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, but lost again to the Boston Bruins on Friday. The Ducks are seventh in the Pacific Division, only slightly above the Los Angeles Kings.


Here is everything you need to know about the Sunday night, which takes place at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.


CAPITALS at DUCKS HOW TO WATCH


What: Washington Capitals at Anaheim Ducks, Game 59 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
When: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Capitals at Ducks game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder Link)
Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Ducks 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 at DUCKS TV SCHEDULE


8 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
8:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
9 PM: Capitals at Ducks
11:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
12 AM: Caps Overtime Live


CAPITALS at DUCKS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: 
No injuries to report.

Ducks: 
Ryan Miller -- knee injury as of Feb. 15. 
Nick Ritchie -- illness as of Feb. 15.
Chad Johnson -- head injury as of Feb. 13. 
John Gibson -- back, neck and head injuries as of Feb. 8. 
Patrick Eaves -- flu-like symptoms as of Feb. 7. 
Ondrej Kase -- torn labrum in his right shoulder as of Jan. 18. 

CAPITALS at DUCKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (39 goals, 27 assists, 66 points): Ovechkin is the leading goal scorer in the NHL. In the Caps’ last game against the Sharks, the team captain contributed one goal and one assist in the team’s blowout 5-1 win.

T.J. Oshie, F, Capitals (18 goals, 18 assists, 36 points): Oshie scored his 500th career point in his second goal against the Sharks on Thursday. He’s been a key player on the ice this February, scoring three goals and contributing with five assists. 

CAPITALS vs. DUCKS SERIES HISTORY


Number of all-time Meetings: 36
All-Time Series Record: Ducks lead 18-17-1
Last Meeting: Ducks win 6-5 (12/2/18)

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Former Nationals GM thinks the Bryce Harper sweepstakes are almost over

Former Nationals GM thinks the Bryce Harper sweepstakes are almost over

Another day, another favorite in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

It’s not a completely new team this time around, but former baseball executive and current analyst Jim Bowden feels pretty confident in the Philadelphia Phillies landing the services of the star outfielder.

“I keep hearing there’s a lot of momentum and traction here on him going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies,” Bowden shared on CBS Sports HQ. “And he could be rounding third and heading home shortly.”

Bowden appeared on the program to help react to the most recent betting odds on Harper, specifically those that have the San Francisco Giants as the clear favorites. Bowden disagrees with that projection, especially considering the length of the offers involved. 

It’s clear the Giants are hoping to sign Harper to a short term deal, but the former Nationals general manager is convinced the outfielder will end up getting a significantly longer deal.

10 years, $300 million is of course the terms of the deal the Nationals reportedly offered Harper months ago as the offseason was getting underway, so if he’s been holding out for a better contract then the Phillies may be forced to top it.

One point Bowden made during the interview was how badly Harper wants to win “right now.” The Giants, Padres, and White Sox don’t appear ready to truly compete for another few seasons, which is why he so emphatically endorses Philadelphia or Washington as the ultimate destination. 

The Phillies and Nats look like the only two competitors who can feasibly win the World Series as early as 2019, and if that’s truly important to Harper, it helps weed out the competition.

Of course, as with the litany of Bryce Harper rumors we’ve heard all winter long, this comes with a baseball-sized grain of salt. 

Various teams have taken turns atop the leaderboard when it comes to guessing where Harper will end up, and while the Phillies are probably the most consistent favorite of the offseason, there’s obviously a reason why they and/or Harper have yet to pull the trigger on a deal. 

The fit seems clear, and the money is there, but for now, Harper is still unemployed, which means every team still has an opportunity to wow him with an offer. It wouldn’t too be surprising if he ultimately ends up in Philadelphia, and if Jim Bowden is to be believed, that news could be coming sooner rather than later.

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