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Mavs snap 4-game skid, beat Kings 117-112 in OT

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Mavs snap 4-game skid, beat Kings 117-112 in OT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) O.J. Mayo had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Vince Carter scored 23 points off the bench and the Dallas Mavericks rallied from 17 points down to beat the Sacramento Kings 117-112 in overtime Thursday night.

Shawn Marion added 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mavericks snap a four-game losing streak. Dallas, which had lost 10 of 11, finished its short road trip 1-2.

With the franchise's possible sale and relocation to Seattle on the minds of Kings fans, DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and nine rebounds before getting ejected in overtime for elbowing Carter in the face. Tyreke Evans scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas had 18 points for the Kings, who lost their third straight game.

The mistake-prone Kings kept shooting - and missing - from beyond the arc to allow Dallas to stay close despite its horrendous night from the floor.

Sacramento outshot the Mavericks 49 to 42 percent but finished just 5 for 21 on 3-pointers and committed 20 turnovers. Dallas outrebounded the Kings 52 to 41.

The Mavericks had plenty of chances to win the game in regulation

After Mayo made 1 of 2 free throws to put Dallas ahead 101-98, Thomas banked a 3-pointer off the glass and in the face of Mike James with 9.1 seconds remaining. The Kings twice knocked the ball out of bounds in the half court and forced Darren Collison to take a fadeway jumper that bounced off the rim to send the game to overtime.

A brief, albeit familiar, moment of frustration ended Sacramento's shot.

Cousins, who has been suspended twice by the NBA and once by the Kings this season for his actions, lost the ball driving in the lane and elbowed Carter in the face away from the ball. Officials reviewed the play and upgraded the call from a flagrant 1 to a flagrant 2 with 41.9 seconds to play.

Carter hit both free throws and the Mavericks got the ball. Marion later made another pair to put Dallas ahead 115-110 and send the home fans to the exits.

The game marked the first time the Kings played since the latest - and perhaps most serious - round of relocation talks began a day earlier, when word spread that Seattle investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Kings. No deal has been reached yet.

Newspaper and television reporters from Seattle showed up along with an increased local media presence. Fans contemplated whether they should keep supporting a team they love. Ushers and parking attendants who depend on the team for work approached reporters asking if they knew what might happen.

Even players and coaches admitted all the attention made it difficult to focus on the game.

``It's definitely going to be a distraction,'' Kings coach Keith Smart said before the game. ``But we're pros. We've got to figure out a way how to separate the two and then get ready to play.''

The crowed remained its usual scattered, and sometimes spirited, self this season.

So did both struggling teams.

The Mavericks made just one of their first 10 shots, looking tired and timid playing its second game in as many nights. They lost 99-93 at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Evans ignited Sacramento's stagnant start. He scored the final seven points of a 13-0 spurt, capped with a steal and fast-break layup over Collison for a three-point play that gave the Kings a 42-39 lead late in the second quarter.

Francisco Garcia highlighted another Sacramento surge in the third quarter. He hit two jumpers and a 3-pointer to put the Kings ahead 71-54 to spark the crowd to life.

The Mavericks show some life late.

James stole Cousins' pass for an uncontested layup, Marion added another steal and threw the ball ahead to Mayo for a layup and Carter converted a running layup to cap a 14-3 run that put the Mavericks up 96-93 with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Then Cousins missed a difficult shot in the lane, Marion grabbed the rebound and was fouled. After Marion made both free throws to put Dallas ahead by five, John Salmons hit a 3-pointer with 48.7 seconds to play in the fourth.

The Kings forced Dirk Nowitzki to miss a contested jumper. Smart decided not to call timeout, and Carter drew a charge on Salmons. Mayo made 1 of 2 free throws to give the Mavericks a 101-98 lead before Thomas hit the tying 3-pointer to force overtime.

NOTES: The Mavericks improved to 3-7 on the second night of back-to-back games. ... The Kings fell to 10-9 at home. ... Dallas is 6-16 on the road. ... The crowd was announced at 14,011.

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Rebounding issues arise again in Wizards' season opening loss to the Miami Heat

Rebounding issues arise again in Wizards' season opening loss to the Miami Heat

Realistically, the Miami Heat had no business even being in position to win on Thursday night in the Wizards' 2018-19 regular season opener.

They shot just 39.2 percent from the field, compared to 46.9 percent for the Wizards, and had 19 turnovers. 

The Heat were on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost a tough one to the Magic the night before. They were missing a host of rotation players, including two of their regular starters.

Yet, the Heat pulled out a victory to stun the Opening Night crowd at Capital One Arena simply because they out-hustled the Wizards. They out-rebounded the Wizards 55-40, including a 22-7 margin in offensive boards. Those 22 offensive rebounds were tied for the most allowed by the Wizards since 2012.

"Rebounding the ball is really why we lost the game," Wizards guard John Wall said. "That's really where they killed us."

Miami's advantage on the glass allowed them to put up a whopping 16 more shots. That led to 27 second chance points compared to just 10 for Washington.

It was the central theme of the game, so naturally it played a role in how it was decided. After Wall forced a miss by Dwyane Wade on a fadeaway attempt in the closing seconds, Heat big man Kelly Olynyk was right there to catch the ball and scoop it in for two.

That score proved to be the go-ahead points as just 0.2 seconds remained on the clock. All night, the Wizards made plays on defense, only to have the Heat save themselves with second looks.

The Wizards had no better explanation postgame other than Miami simply tried harder.

"They out-hustled us," forward Jeff Green said.

"Rebounds come down to whoever wants it the most and tonight they wanted it more than we did," forward Otto Porter Jr. said.

It sounds simple, and perhaps it was indeed that easy to explain. But there were other factors at play, some in their control and some not.

For one, the Wizards were missing their best rebounder, Dwight Howard, who sat out with a strained piriformis muscle. Even at 32, Howard remains one of the best rebounders in basketball and would have made a significant difference. 

It would have been nice to have him, a 280-pound giant in the paint to match up with Hassan Whiteside, one of the most physically imposing centers in the league.

With Howard out of the mix, the Wizards turned to Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith, but they each stumbled into early foul trouble. Head coach Scott Brooks had no other option than to go small with guys like Green and Markieff Morris at the five-spot.

Brooks wants to employ that strategy more often anyways, but not by necessity. And sure enough, it was Green and Morris on the floor when Olynyk broke loose for the final deciding play.

"The last rebound, we definitely need to put most of the ownership on me and Jeff because we were the biggest guys," Morris said. "I think that might have been the easiest layup of the game right there."

"I was surprised I was open," Olynyk admitted afterwards. "It kinda just popped open and I was kinda just standing right there."

Though many factors were at play, the Wizards' struggles rebounding the ball came down to the simple fundamentals of boxing out their opponent. As they learned last year, it's tough to be consistent when you can't take care of the little things that separate wins and losses. 

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After his buzzer beater, Kelly Olynyk is becoming one of D.C.'s top sports villains

After his buzzer beater, Kelly Olynyk is becoming one of D.C.'s top sports villains

Kelly Olynyk has done it once again to the Washington Wizards. 

The Miami Heat center ripped the heart of the Wizards just when it looked like it was going to be a new chapter for the team.

After leading a team to victory over the Wizards once again, he is starting to become one of the biggest sports villains in Washington D.C.

Olynyk hit a go-ahead layup with 0.2. second left to sink the Wizards in their 2018 season opener. Dwyane Wade had the first chance to win it for the Heat. He missed, but Olynyk was there for the rebound and uncontested layup.

For those that need a reminder this is not the first time Olynyk has torched the Wizards. 

Back in Game 7 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Olynyk, then the Boston Celtics backup center, went off for 26 points, 14 coming in a tense fourth quarter. The loss ended the Wizards chance to get to the Conference Finals that year. If would have been the first time they reach that mark in the John Wall-era of the franchise.

Olynyk was also guilty of getting under the skin of Kelly Oubre Jr. The Wizards forward was sent to the floor following a big screen set by Olynyk. Oubre sprang to his feet and shoved Olynyk, leading to a minor scuffle. Oubre was ejected from the game and suspended for the following game.

With a reputation like that, Olynyk is starting to etch his name down on the wrong side of D.C. sports lore.

Who does Olynyk join among the ranks of most disliked athletes inside the D.M.V.? Here's our list:

Sidney Crosby

To the vast majority of Washington, D.C. sports fans, no one will ever be a bigger villain than Sidney Crosby. His rivalry with Alex Ovechkin is a major part of this, but being on the winning side more often than the Washington Capitals plays just as big a part. Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Capitals in three different Eastern Conference Semifinal series before Washington finally broke through last season.

Also it's Crosby. His incessant whinning and cockiness are overwhelming. 

Jaroslav Halak

At the time he was just an average goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, but by the end of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Jaroslav Halak was public enemy No. 1 in the nation's capital.

Against a Capitals team that won the Presidents Trophy, Halak stood on his head as the No. 8 seed Canadiens faced elimination with the Caps up 3-1 in the series. He had 37 saves in Game 5, an incredible 53 saves in Game 6, and clinched the series with 41 saves in Game 7. He allowed just three goals in those three games, and sent the Capitals packing earlier than expected.

Had it not been for Halak, the first Washington Capitals championship might have happened well before June 2018.

Jerry Jones

He owns the Dallas Cowboys. Need we say more? 

Jonathan Papelbon

For years Jonathan Papelbon was on the Philadelphia Phillies. That alone would be enough to be on the bad side of D.C. sports fans.

Then he came to Washington, as a member of the Nationals, and tried to choke-out Bryce Harper

An insider job? We think so. 

Albert Haynesworth

Albert Haynesworth drew a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins. He ended up playing less than two seasons. 

He was so bad that NFL.com has listed him as one of the worst free agents signings in league history.

There are two things Albert Haynesworth is remembered for in Washington, D.C.
1: Taking a lot of money from the Redskins
2: This video 

Pete Kozma

Only on this list because some believe that Pete Kozma is the sole reason the Washington Nationals did not win a championship in 2012.

Aside from a three-run home run and then the game-winning runs in Game 5 of the NLDS, there has not been another chapter in the Kozma vs. Washington D.C. rivalry.

The real villain in all of this should be the Nats' pitcher, Drew Storen. He had a two-run lead before coming into the ninth in a winner-take-all Game 5. He gave the Cardinals four runs.

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So now that I've gone and despressed your day away, re-living terrible D.C. sports nightmares, just know that Olynyk is squarely on this list and just re-affirmed that with his latest buzzer-beater. 

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