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LOS ANGELES (AP) Kevin Durant scored 42 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 points and 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily sent the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight loss, 116-101 Friday night.

Kevin Martin scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Thunder, who romped to a 27-point lead in the second half of their seventh win in nine games. Oklahoma City (28-8) matched the Clippers for the NBA's best record with a virtuoso game from Durant, who had 38 points midway through the third quarter.

Kobe Bryant scored 28 for the Lakers, on their first six-game skid since March 2007.

Antawn Jamison added 19 points as Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without starting big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

BULLS 108, KNICKS 101

NEW YORK (AP) - Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in the Chicago Bulls' third victory over New York this season, a win that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss.

Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Carmelo Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.

Carlos Boozer added 17 points for the Bulls, whose offense won't be at full strength until Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery, yet they still shot 57 percent.

Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana.

HAWKS 103, JAZZ 95

ATLANTA (AP) - Devin Harris scored a season-high 24 points and Atlanta rallied from 15 points down in the second half.

Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

The Hawks, who trailed 75-60 in the third quarter, played from behind before taking their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith's pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.

Jefferson answered with a tying basket before Ivan Johnson scored on a fast break to give the lead back to Atlanta. Utah's Jamaal Tinsley made one of two free throws to leave the Hawks' lead at 96-95. Josh Smith's short jumper and Lou Williams' 3-pointer padded the lead.

HORNETS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 92

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 13 assists to lead New Orleans to its fourth straight win.

Eric Gordon added 16 points, Ryan Anderson had 15, Jason Smith 14, Al-Farouz Aminu 12 and Roger Mason 10 for the Hornets, who have won five out of six with Gordon in the starting lineup.

Luke Ridnour scored 20 points to lead a balanced Timberwolves offense. Nikola Pekovic added 18 points, Andrei Kirilenko 17, Dante Cunningham 12 and Alexey Shved 11.

New Orleans trailed 29-14 after the first quarter but outscored Minnesota 56-32 over the next two periods to take a 70-61 lead.

The Hornets hit the century mark for the first time since 113-102 loss to Minnesota on Dec. 14.

CELTICS 103, ROCKETS 91

BOSTON (AP) - Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and four blocks as Boston nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling away late.

The Celtics extended their season-high winning streak to five games, but only after surviving a 12-0 run that pulled the Rockets within two points midway through the fourth quarter.

Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Celtics. Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger scored 14 apiece and Sullinger also had 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double.

James Harden scored 24 and Chandler Parsons added 18 for Houston, which fell to 0-2 during a three-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.

NETS 99, SUNS 79

NEW YORK (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 points off the bench as Brooklyn won its fifth straight.

The Nets have won three straight games by 20 or more points for the first time in the team's NBA history.

Deron Williams added 14 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds as the Nets ended a five game home losing streak against Phoenix.

Jared Dudley led the Suns with 18 points and Shannon Brown had 15 off the bench as Phoenix lost its fifth straight and for the 11th time in 12 games.

RAPTORS 99, BOBCATS 78

TORONTO (AP) - Alan Anderson scored 16 points against his former team, Jose Calderon had 15 and Toronto won for the 10th time in 13 games.

Amir Johnson had 13 points and eight rebounds while Ed Davis had 12 points and eight boards for the Raptors, who led by as many as 24. Anderson had four of Toronto's 12 3-pointers, while Calderon and Kyle Lowry each made three.

Starting for the second straight game, Toronto's Landry Fields matched his season high with 11 rebounds.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon each scored 12 points as Charlotte's modest streak of two straight road victories came to an end.

PISTONS 103, BUCKS 87

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Greg Monroe had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Knight scored 20 points, and Detroit handed Milwaukee interim coach Jim Boylan his first loss.

Detroit led 74-60 going into the fourth quarter and squashed any hope of a Bucks comeback when Monroe scored on a hook shot, layup and dunk and Knight added a 3 as the lead grew to 83-62 with 9:57 to play.

Rodney Stuckey's 3 gave the Pistons another 21-point lead with 2:48 to go and the Bucks didn't get closer than 14 again.

Brandon Jennings and Beno Udrih had 15 points for Milwaukee.

Boylan, who took over for the fired Scott Skiles earlier this week, had won his first two games - against Phoenix on Tuesday and Chicago on Wednesday.

GRIZZLIES 101, SPURS 98, OT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rudy Gay hit a pullup jumper from 14 feet with 27.8 seconds left, and Memphis held off San Antonio in overtime for its fourth straight victory and the first over its Southwest Division rival since the 2011 playoffs.

Gay led Memphis with 23 points, and Mike Conley had 21 points and five assists

San Antonio had won five straight in the series since the Grizzlies upset the then-No. 1 seed in the opening round in 2011. The Spurs also had a 2 1/2-game divisional lead on Memphis coming into this game - with the Grizzlies having played five fewer games - and the teams played at postseason intensity despite the calendar.

Tony Parker, who finished with 30 points for the Spurs, forced overtime, beating the buzzer with a 27-footer tying it at 95. He also opened the extra period with a 3 that turned out to be the Spurs' only bucket as San Antonio went 1 of 10 from the floor. Manu Ginobili missed a long 3 just before the buzzer.

NUGGETS 98, CAVALIERS 91

DENVER (AP) - Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points, hitting a crucial 3-pointer in the waning seconds, and Denver rallied for the win after trailing for the most of the game.

Kosta Koufos added a career-high 21 points and Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Nuggets withstand 22 turnovers, which matched a season high and led to 24 Cleveland points. It was the fourth win in a row for the Nuggets, who beat Cleveland for the 10th time in the last 13 meetings in Denver.

Kyrie Irving, playing despite an illness, scored 28 points to lead the Cavaliers. Dion Waiters had 18 points and Tristan Thompson 16.

WARRIORS 103, TRAIL BLAZERS 97

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry scored 22 points, including two free throws with 16.4 seconds left, and the Warriors held off a late Portland charge.

David Lee added 24 points and 10 rebounds and helped shut down Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge in a matchup of two of the top power forwards in the Western Conference.

The Warriors led by 20 in the second half before Portland rookie and Oakland native Damian Lillard nearly rallied the Blazers. Lillard scored 17 of his career-high 37 points in the fourth quarter.

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Capitals fan travels to Antarctica to remind actual penguins who the Stanley Cup champions are

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Slampson Ko on Facebook

Capitals fan travels to Antarctica to remind actual penguins who the Stanley Cup champions are

Trolling the Pittsburgh Penguins in any way, shape or form is fun.

Even if we're talking about literal penguins.

Sampson Coe, a Centreville Md. native and avid Caps fans, traveled all the way to the Antarctica Peninsula to remind actual penguins who the Stanley Cup champions are.

Coe posted a photo of himself on Facebook rocking a red Stanley Cup champions t-shirt with the caption, "Travelled all the way to Antarctica just to remind the penguins in person that we got the cup!"

Travelled all the way to Antarctica just to remind the penguins in person that we got the cup! #ALLCAPS

Posted by Slampson Ko on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Coe and his wife are in the middle of a one-year sabbatical that's taking them around the world. 

“Been planning something along those lines since we booked the trip last year, well before the boys lifted Lord Stanley," Coe told the Washington Post.

“[We] had to pack light given the amount of ground we’re covering, so I only have a few T-shirts in the rotation,” Coe said. “I made damn sure that the Caps and Nats were represented.”

While those cute penguins must have been very confused, Caps fans will certainly love Coe's commitment. 

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Nathan Eovaldi represents the versatile type of pitcher the Nationals need

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Nathan Eovaldi represents the versatile type of pitcher the Nationals need

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to Nathan Eovaldi.

Trivia: Who was the key piece in a 2012 trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins that sent Hanley Ramirez to L.A.? Yes, Nathan Eovaldi. You, of course, knew that.

Eovaldi later went from Miami to New York to obscurity in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox sent left-handed pitcher Jalen Beeks, a 12th-round pick, to the Rays last season so Eovaldi could help in the stretch run. That changed his world.

He dominated in the postseason. Eovaldi allowed a run in a seven-inning start against the New York Yankees in the ALDS. He came out of the bullpen late in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. He lost Game 3 of the World Series but was lauded by his teammates for the 97 pitches he threw in relief during the longest game in series history. Eovaldi finished with a 1.61 ERA after 22 ⅓ postseason innings on the mound. He has a World Series ring, and a flood of offseason suitors, to show for it.

He's about to cash in after becoming what is more en vogue: a valued hybrid pitcher. Multiple innings? He can do that. Set up for the closer? He can do that. Spot start? He can do that. Previously, pitchers were banished from the rotation to the bullpen as punishment. Now, being able to do both is a way to previously unavailable contracts, a path which Eovaldi will take this winter as he heads into his age-29 season, representing the kind of versatile pitcher the Nationals currently lack.

Washington was more than aware of Eovaldi before he was traded to Boston. Nationals manager Davey Martinez mentioned being impressed with Eovaldi during a casual conversation with reporters in the dugout in July. Eovaldi had recently thrown six scoreless innings, allowed a hit and struck out nine against the Nationals. The liveliness of his stuff was not in doubt. Eovaldi has always thrown hard. Even his “off-speed” stuff is thrown at an above average pace; he throws 93-mph cutters. However, location was an issue.

In the postseason, Eovaldi’s walks per nine innings dropped drastically from his career average. Though, it appears his October work is an outlier for someone who has long possessed blistering stuff. Overall, the focal point here is when he was dispatched. It was in line with changes the league is making, and the Nationals are behind on.

The organization debated what to do with raw Jefry Rodriguez last season. Martinez hinted at bullpen consideration for the 6-foot-6 Rodriguez, then often added a thought about how well he felt Rodriguez was doing in the rotation. It was a strange assessment of a pitcher who finished with a 5.71 ERA.

How unrefined was Rodriguez? He worked on developing a changeup in-season after reaching the big leagues. It’s not unusual for pitchers to tinker throughout the year. It’s even less so for them to try harnessing a new pitch in spring training. But to basically work from scratch after leaping from Double-A Harrisburg to the National League East showed just how much progress was still ahead.

Which is why Rodriguez likely would have been better off as a 4- to 6-out pitcher as opposed to a rotation member. Less things to worry about. Less variety necessary to gain outs. Less overall exposure.

A run through those likely to be in the 2019 Nationals bullpen shows two prime options to pitch multiple innings: Justin Miller and Wander Suero.

Suero pitched multiple innings in 14 of his 40 appearances last season. That was the highest percentage on the team. Miller did it eight times. Most came earlier in the season. He was torched by the end of it.

“[Miller] comes in and for a long period of time he was really good,” Martinez told me late in the season. “When things went bad, this guy pitched the fourth, the fifth inning. The fifth, the sixth inning. Did everything imaginable and did really well. In the course of the year, you get the fact, he’s pretty tired. Here’s a guy who wasn’t doing anything, came back, is pitching, now he’s in the big leagues and he’s asked to do all these things. I appreciate him very much for doing that. He gets it. He understands it. 

“Moving forward, these are the things we really need to pay attention to because if you want to keep these guys throughout the year and keep them fresh and really actually play for something in October, those are your guys. The Doolittles, the Hollands, the Millers, the Sueros. And Suero is going to be outstanding. Can he pitch for two innings? I don’t know. Can he pitch for one inning? Yeah. But these are things we need to find out moving forward because here’s a guy who can get four outs and be very effective. We need a guy like that.”

The Nationals are acutely aware of their bullpen shortage when it comes to relievers who can throw multiple innings and even provide a spot start. Martinez harped on the idea throughout his first season. Eovaldi’s postseason showed how valuable that flexibility can be. His next contract will show how costly it’s becoming.

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