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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Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson's two-point night including the shorthanded game-winner as the Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday. The win was Washington's third on their six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday in Buffalo.

Here are four reasons Washington won.

1. Braden Holtby’s first period

After the first period, it looked like we were going to have a goalie duel. Frederik Andersen looked absolutely brilliant to start and the Caps needed Holtby to be equally brilliant to keep Washington in it. He was.

Holtby made 12 of his 40 saves in the opening frame, including an absolute beauty to rob Patrick Marleau. Andersen robbed Michal Kempny and Nicklas Backstrom on one end of the ice and Toronto picked up the puck off the rebound for a quick 2-on-1 counter. Kasperi Kapanen fed Marleau beautifully, but Holtby stretched out to make the spectacular save with the blocker. A few minutes later, Holtby made a quick pad save on a William Nylander backhand, then recovered just in time to deny Connor Brown on the rebound attempt.

Because of Holtby’s efforts, both teams went to the locker room locked in a 0-0 tie.

2. Alex Ovechkin draws a penalty, scores the power play goal

Morgan Rielly does not take many penalties. Heading into Thursday’s game, Rielly had taken only two minor penalties all season, which is pretty remarkable when you think about a top defenseman averaging 22:43 of ice time per game.

In the second period, however, Ovechkin managed to draw a hold on Rielly. When you get a team’s top defenseman in the box, you need to take advantage. The Caps did just that off a quick play off a faceoff.

T.J. Oshie won the draw back to John Carlson. As soon as the draw was taken, Ovechkin backed away towards the top of the opposite faceoff circle. Toronto was slow to setup the defense, so when Carlson fed Ovechkin for the one-timer, he had an open shooting lane on net. Ovechkin delivered a fadeaway one-timer from above the circle and beat Andersen glove side.

3. A key forecheck by Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly made a nice play in front of the net to deke around the stretched pad of Andersen and backhand the puck into the open goal. Wilson made that play happen, however, with a great forecheck.

Jake Gardiner went to recover the puck behind the goal line in the defensive zone, but Wilson came streaking in like a freight train and knocked Gardiner off the puck. Lars Eller pounced on the loose puck and fed Connolly in front of the net. He did the rest.

4. The Tom Wilson shorthanded exclamation point

Washington carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and looked to be the better team, but a goal form Andreas Johnsson put the Maple Leafs right back in it. The ice was definitely tilting in Toronto’s favor and less than 90 seconds after Johnsson scored, John Carlson took a hooking penalty.

With the game on the line, however, the penalty kill delivered.

Holtby made a kick-out save and two Leafs went after the rebound, but Brooks Orpik made a key stick lift on Mitch Marner and Eller beat Johnsson to the puck and had a lane for the breakout. Wilson turned on the jets and hustled out of the zone to try to catch up with Eller for the 2-on-1. He got there just in time and Eller delivered the pass to him just past the blue line. Wilson took aim and fired a wrister past Andersen to end any hopes for a comeback.

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Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

To watch the entire video, click "play" in the video player above.

Capitals fan Greg Christian and his late wife, Dona, made a plan to watch their favorite team at every NHL arena. Greg finally achieved that goal.

Gred attended the Caps' tilt with the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 23, taking with him a picture of Dona sporting a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey.

Greg and his wife were long-time Caps fans, and spent road trips talking about hockey and sports. They were soon inspired to follow the Caps on the road and make it to every possible venue to watch them play.

However, those plans would be interrupted in April 2017, when Dona was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The two made it to 34 NHL venues together before she passed away in November, last taking in a Caps game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, according to the Washington Post.

The two have now seen Washington play at 36 venues, including two past arenas and three stadiums. And once Seattle gets an NHL franchise, Greg told WUSA9 he plans to be in attendance.

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