Capitals

Mario Chalmers goes on a 3-point spree for Heat

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Mario Chalmers goes on a 3-point spree for Heat

Mario Chalmers' teammates were yelling at him again, as were a few coaches. Dwyane Wade threw a towel his way, and LeBron James even placed the Miami Heat point guard in a headlock.

This was all good.

Chalmers put on a shooting display to remember in Sacramento on Saturday night, making 10 3-pointers - the most in the NBA this season and good enough to tie a 20-year-old Heat franchise record, part of his career-best 34-point effort as Miami topped the Kings 128-99, the biggest point total put up so far this season by the reigning NBA champions.

``Rio had it goin', man,'' James said. ``And we kept finding him. It was awesome.''

Chalmers' final numbers: 12-for-16 from the floor, 10-for-13 from beyond the arc, and one of those misses was a 45-footer that bounced off the rim just before the halftime buzzer. He's long been the player that teammates love to chastise on the floor when things aren't going right for the Heat, though moments like that have become increasingly rare this season.

And on Saturday, no one could have thought of any complaints, anyway.

``I got started early,'' said Chalmers, who had made 10 of his last 33 tries from 3-point range before his barrage against the Kings. ``I started off with two easy layups, and then my teammates did a good job of finding me open behind the 3.''

Sure enough, Chalmers' first two baskets Saturday were at the rim, and then everything else was from long range.

For the Heat, it was a bounce-back game after two straight losses.

For Chalmers, it was a bounce-back effort after a chance to be a hero in Portland one game earlier went awry.

The Heat trailed by two with 10.4 seconds left Thursday night against the Trail Blazers, and on a final possession where Wade, James and Chris Bosh all touched the ball, the last shot went to Chalmers - wide open from the right wing. His 3-pointer looked so good that Wade prematurely started to extend his arms in celebration, but the shot hit the back of the rim, then the front, then bounced away as time expired.

Chalmers walked off the floor, his head down.

One game later, he was back, and in a big way.

``I just wanted to get back into a good rhythm,'' said Chalmers, who is still perhaps best identified with hitting the overtime-forcing 3-pointer in the NCAA title game where his Kansas team topped Derrick Rose and Memphis for the national championship in 2008. ``I feel like I've been struggling all season. Especially missing that last shot in Portland, I wanted to get my mind on things, come out here and redeem myself a little bit.''

Miami plays at Utah on Monday night.

Chalmers became the fourth Heat player to score at least 34 points in a game this season - no other team in the league has more than three who can say that, and eight teams haven't had a single player reach 34 entering Sunday's play. And according to STATS LLC, Chalmers became just the third player since 1990 to make 10 3-pointers on 13 attempts or less in a game.

Ty Lawson was 10-for-11 for Denver against Minnesota on April 9, 2011, and George McCloud went 10-for-12 from long range for Dallas against Phoenix on Dec. 16, 1995.

The only other Heat player with 10 3-pointers in a game was Brian Shaw in 1993.

``This is a classic one for Mario,'' Wade said. ``I liked it because he just had an opportunity in the last game to hit a game-winner and he missed it. I liked that he came back aggressive. Credit to him for tying a Heat record, hitting 10 3's, I mean, that's just a phenomenal feat. We all know that Mario, no matter what goes on, he's a big-game type player.''

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said there was some thought of giving Chalmers a chance to break the team record and try for an 11th 3-pointer. But his 10th came with 3:12 remaining in what was then a 33-point game, and Chalmers was subbed out for the remainder of play 20 seconds later.

With that, the celebrating on the bench began.

``Everything came within the flow,'' Spoelstra said. ``Obviously, the last one, he was going for it, but everybody was rooting him on. It came from a lot of good ball movement, a lot of great spacing, guys were very unselfish and there were a lot of wide-open shots because of that. And it was great to see him knock those down.''

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5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

The Caps gave up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead, but ultimately came away victorious on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers thanks to an overtime goal from Matt Niskanen.

Here are five reasons why the Caps won.

1. Djoos saves a goal

With the Caps already trailing 1-0 in the first period, they were about an inch away from going down by two. Luckily, Christian Djoos was there to make the save.

Yes, Djoos, not Braden Holtby.

A diving Jesper Fast got to a loose puck before any of the Caps defenders and beat Holtby with the shot. Djoos, however, was there to sweep the puck off the goal line and out, saving a goal.

That play turned out to be a two-goal swing as less than two minutes later, the Caps scored to tie the game at 1.

2. Carlson off the faceoff

The Caps emphasized the importance of the faceoff this week and worked on it specifically in practice on Tuesday. That practice turned out to be very prescient as Washington’s first goal of the night came right off the faceoff.

Nicklas Backstrom beat Ryan Spooner on the draw cleanly in the offensive zone, feeding the puck back to John Carlson. With the players all bunched up off the draw, Carlson benefitted from Brady Skjei standing right in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Carlson teed up the slap shot and beat Lundqvist who never saw the puck.

Of the five combined goals scored in the game, three were directly set up off a faceoff.

3. Hand-eye coordination

With the Caps on the power play, Fast tipped a pass meant for Carlson that looked like it was headed out of the offensive zone. Carlson reacted to the puck then stretched the stick and somehow managed to control the bouncing puck and keep it in the zone.

Fast charged Carlson at the blue line so he chipped the puck to Ovechkin in the office. Ovechkin managed to hit the puck just as it hit the ice and somehow beat Lundqvist with the shot.

Ovechkin was by the boards at the very edge of the circle. It was an amazing shot and it was set up by the great hustle play from Carlson. Both showed tremendous hand-eye coordination to control that puck.

4. Braden Holtby

Lundqvist entered this game with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he was outplayed by his counterpart from Washington.

Holtby had himself a night. He was particularly strong down low with the pads as he made a number of key pad saves throughout the game, particularly in the second period when he recorded 17 saves including a shorthanded breakaway save on Kevin Hayes as time expired.

Of the three goals Holtby allowed, the first he made a great save on Chris Kreider who looked like he had an empty net to shoot at. Mike Zibanejad would score on the rebound. The second goal came as a shot deflected off Devante Smith-Pelly and went right to Jimmy Vesey for an easy tap-in. The third was a deflection goal from Kreider to redirect a shot that was going wide.

Can’t blame Holtby for those.

5. Working from the office

The Caps had three power play opportunities on the night. They scored on two of them and those two goals looked pretty darn similar.

There was the one described above in which a hustle play by Carlson at the point kept the puck alive and he fed to Ovechkin in the office. The second goal came with Carlson on the point feeding Ovechkin in the office.

Those two goals give Ovechkin 232 power play goals for his career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list.

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Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

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USA Today Sports

Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

When England's all-time goalscorer signed on with D.C. United in June, the soccer community in the nation's capital was ignited. 

Shortly after the excitement came the questions. How much does he have left in the tank? Can he actually carry a struggling D.C. United squad? Is he up for the task? 

Wayne Rooney has responded. 

Through 18 MLS matches, the 32-year-old now has 10 goals. 

In the first half of Wednesday night's game against Toronto FC, Rooney broke a scoreless tie with this free-kick strike. 

DC United currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, on 44 points.

 

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