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Love's 36 and 13 lift Wolves over Cavs, 91-73

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Love's 36 and 13 lift Wolves over Cavs, 91-73

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kevin Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 91-73 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Luke Ridnour had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, and Andrei Kirilenko had eight points, seven rebounds and six assists after missing the previous four games with back spasms.

Alonzo Gee scored 16 points and Anderson Varejao grabbed 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have lost four in a row and eight of their last nine while star guard Kyrie Irving has been out with a broken left index finger.

The two teams combined for 41 turnovers and shot 25 percent from 3-point range in an ugly offensive game.

Love missed most of the first month of the season with a broken right hand, and he's been struggling to regain his shooting touch since returning nine games ago.

``I know I haven't been the 25 (points) and 10 (rebounds) guy that I usually am. ... I haven't been quite putting up the numbers and helping the team as much as I can,'' Love said at the shootaround on Friday morning.

He looked a little more like the All-Star and Olympic gold medalist the Wolves have come to expect against the woeful Cavs, hitting 10 of his 19 shots. He entered the game shooting just 19.6 percent from 3-point range, but made two of his five attempts and also went 14 for 18 at the free throw line.

While Love was terrific in the matchup of two of the game's best rebounders, Varejao managed just four points on 2-for-10 shooting and lost a streak of 10 straight games with at least 15 boards.

C.J. Miles scored 13 points for Cleveland.

Both teams were missing their playmaking point guards, and it showed in the disjointed mess that was the offense on both sides of the court. Irving missed his 10th straight game and Dion Waiters was out again with a sprained left ankle, robbing the Cavaliers of one of the promising young backcourts in the league.

Once again, the Cavs struggled to create space for easy jumpers, turned the ball over 18 times and really were relegated to hoping for a dunk from Gee on offense. Gee threw down a soaring jam and then knifed through the lane for another two-hander that cut Minnesota's lead to nine points late in the third quarter. He made seven of his 12 shots, but his teammates went 23 for 75 from the field.

The Timberwolves were similarly sluggish as they wait for Ricky Rubio to play for the first time this season. Luke Ridnour had a couple of nifty Ricky-like behind-the-back passes for easy shots in the first quarter, but it dried up after that. They were shooting under 40 percent until late in the third quarter and missed 12 of their first 14 3-pointers.

NOTES: Varejao did limit Wolves C Nikola Pekovic to four points and one rebound on 0-for-3 shooting. ... Cavaliers rookie Kevin Jones made his NBA debut. He had two points and four rebounds in eight minutes. ... Former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams did not play again for the Wolves, with coach Rick Adelman preferring to give the bulk of the minutes to Love, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma up front.

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.