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NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

DALLAS (AP) Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 points, including the go-ahead basket with 16.5 seconds left in overtime, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a Dallas Mavericks rally for a 117-114 victory Friday night.

The Thunder, who won their sixth straight, snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the Mavericks. It was Oklahoma City's second overtime win against Dallas this season.

Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo forced overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with two defenders in his face with 2.3 seconds left in regulation.

Mike James had put Dallas ahead with a 3-pointer in overtime, but his shot from well behind the arc in the final seconds of the extra period fell short.

Russell Westbrook, who scored 31, missed a free throw to give the Mavericks one more chance to tie, but Vince Carter's desperation 3 at the buzzer was short.

Carter led Dallas with a season-high 29 points.

Durant was 13 of 31 from the field and made all 21 free throws in the first 50-point game for an NBA player this season.

BULLS 100, CELTICS 99

BOSTON (AP) - Marco Belinelli made a game-winning jumper with 3.1 seconds left, Jimmy Butler scored six points in overtime and Chicago extended its Friday night road show by beating Boston.

Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 20 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 14 points and 13 boards as the Bulls won their 14th straight road game on a Friday. They haven't lost since April 2011.

Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 30 points for Boston before fouling out with 1:16 to play in overtime.

Kevin Garnett had 16 points and Paul Pierce passed former Celtics star Robert Parish for 22nd on the NBA's career scoring list by chipping in 13 points. Pierce has 23,342 points and Parish 23,334.

Brandon Bass added 13 points for Boston, which lost for the second time in eight games.

Richard Hamilton had 20 points for the Bulls, who have won four of five.

Jason Terry's jumper pushed Boston ahead 99-98 in OT before Belinelli's game-winner just to the left of the foul line.

NETS 94, HAWKS 89

NEW YORK (AP) - Deron Williams scored 24 points, making four free throws in the final 43.4 seconds, and Brooklyn beat Atlanta to earn a split of their home-and-home series.

Brook Lopez added 20 points for the Nets, who bounced back from a 109-95 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday that snapped their seven-game winning streak. Former Hawks guard Joe Johnson finished with 18 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 20 rebounds as the Nets beat the Hawks for the first time in seven meetings.

Jeff Teague had 21 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who played without starting center Al Horford and lost key reserve Lou Williams to a serious-looking right knee injury. Former Nets guard Devin Harris scored 17 and Josh Smith had 12 points and nine rebounds in his return from a one-game suspension, but shot just 5 of 15.

The Hawks were only 5 of 22 from the field in the fourth quarter and lost for the seventh time in nine games.

SPURS 95, WARRIORS 88

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tim Duncan had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio held off Golden State to extend its home winning streak to 14 games.

Tony Parker added 25 points and eight assists for the Spurs (31-11), an NBA-best 18-2 at home. Tiago Splitter added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Danny Green scored 13.

David Lee had 22 points, Klay Thompson added 21 and Jarrett Jack 20 for Golden State (23-15).

The Spurs closed the game on a 9-4 run after Harrison Barnes' jumper pulled the Warriors to 86-84 with 5 minutes left.

Duncan had eight points in the final quarter, going 4 for 6 from the field.

GRIZZLIES 85, KINGS 69

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Conley scored 19 points, Marc Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Memphis snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento.

All five Memphis starters were in double figures. Tony Allen had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Rudy Gay scored 15 and Marreese Speights finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins was the only Sacramento player in double figures with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings, limited to 34 percent shooting, had their two-game winning streak stopped.

The Grizzlies played without forward Zach Randolph, who sat out with a back strain.

PACERS 105, ROCKETS 95

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George scored 31 points and David West had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Indiana past Houston.

The Central Division-leading Pacers (25-16) have won 11 straight home games - their longest streak since winning 14 in a row in 2002-03 - and tied New York for the second-most wins in the Eastern Conference.

Houston (21-20) has lost six in a row overall and five consecutive road games. The Rockets were led by Omer Asik with 22 points. James Harden added 17, but ended a career-best streak of 22 straight games with 20 or more points.

76ERS 108, RAPTORS 101, OT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jrue Holiday had a career-high tying 33 points and 14 assists, including all 12 of Philadelphia's points in overtime, and the 76ers overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to defeat Toronto.

Thaddeus Young added 27 points and 14 rebounds while Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen had 12 apiece for the Sixers.

Ed Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson each scored 18.

Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 11 assists before fouling out for Toronto, which fell to 4-17 on the road. The injury-depleted Raptors lost their fourth in a row.

A basket by Hawes cut it to 96-94 with 5 seconds left in regulation, and a turnover by Jose Calderon gave the Sixers one last chance. Holiday delivered with a tough drive and layup with 1.1 seconds left to force overtime.

BOBCATS 106, MAGIC 100

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Kemba Walker had 25 points and eight rebounds, and Gerald Henderson added 17 points as Charlotte beat Orlando to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Bobcats evened the season series with the Magic and now return home for four consecutive games, beginning with Sacramento on Saturday.

Charlotte started fast and shot the ball well throughout, with its field goal percentage hovering above 50 percent for most of the night. The Bobcats also shot 17 more free throws than Orlando, including some crucial ones in the final minute to secure the victory.

Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 23 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 22.

Orlando has lost its last six games against teams with records below .500.

WIZARDS 112, NUGGETS 108

DENVER (AP) - Bradley Beal scored 23 points, John Wall blocked Ty Lawson's attempt for a tying layup in the final seconds and Washington held off Denver to snap an eight-game road losing streak.

Kevin Seraphin added 18 points while Wall and Trevor Ariza scored 14 apiece for the Wizards, who picked up their second win away from home this season. They entered a league-worst 1-16 on the road.

Wall also had 12 assists. Nene had seven points for Washington in his return to Denver, where he played for nearly 10 years before being sent to Washington last March as part of a three-team trade.

Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost at home for only the third time in 18 games. He had made 10 consecutive shots from the floor before Wall rejected his layup in the final moments.

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A Capital doesn't win Hardest Shot at NHL Skills for the first time in 3 years

A Capital doesn't win Hardest Shot at NHL Skills for the first time in 3 years

ST. LOUIS -- John Carlson did a valiant job trying to defend his title for the hardest shot, but Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber took home the prize with a blistering 106.5 MPH shot at the NHL Skills on Friday.

Alex Ovechkin won the Hardest Shot in 2018 and Carlson won it in 2019. He looked to be in good position to win it again after taking the lead with only one shooter left to go.

As Carlson skated up for his turn, the number to beat was 102.4 from Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson. Carlson shattered that with a shot of 104.5, beating his own winning shot from last year of 102.8.

The only problem? Weber was the last shooter.

"With Webs going behind him you kind of just expect him to go put up some big numbers," T.J. Oshie said. "But when John put up 104.5, you thought maybe there was a chance, but obviously Shea stepped up and took care of business."

Weber had Carlson beat on his very first shot. Weber smashed the puck for 105.9 MPH on his first attempt. As he was the last shooter, he had already won, but took his second shot anyway and beat his own mark, finishing with a 106.5 MPH shot.

While the Caps had won the event in each of the past two seasons, Weber had won it three straight times before Ovechkin took the title in 2018.

Even when Carlson took the lead, he still did not believe he would win knowing Weber still had to go.

"I think I knew all along we were all just a part of the show," Carlson said.

Braden Holtby also fell short in his attempt to win the Save Streak event. Frederik Anderson had the number to beat of seven when Holtby went between the pipes. He faced shooters from the Atlantic Division and made a run at seven when he stopped David Pastrnak’s shot. A goalie's round could not end on a save. As the captain, Pastrnak was the last shooter unless Holtby saved his shot. When Holtby stopped Pastrnak, that meant he would continue facing shots until he was beaten. With two straight saves, Holtby denied Shea Weber and Brady Tkachuk to get his streak up to five saves before he was finally beaten by Jack Eichel.

"I was just hoping Shea Weber wouldn't come down and take a slap shot on me,” Holtby told the NBCSN broadcast.

St. Louis Blues Jordan Binnington ended up winning the event, much to the delight of the home crowd. Andrei Vasilevskiy raised the save streak up to nine with Binnington as the last goalie to go. In dramatic fashion, Binnington went on to deny 10 straight shots to take the win.

Other highlights of the All-Star Skills:

Ryan O’Reilly’s football helmet

Next week is the Super Bowl Sunday and Ryan O’Reilly showed who he is cheering for in warmups as he came onto the ice wearing a Kansas City Chiefs' helmet.


Connor McDavid is not the fastest skater?

We all know who the fastest skater in the NHL is. It’s Connor McDavid. You might as well just declare the race over, right?

Not so fast. (See what I did there?)

Stunningly, McDavid did not win the event and was edged out by New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal who completed the event in 13.175 seconds, just 0.03 seconds away from the record.

The Justin Bieber mask

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl decided to have some fun during the save streak. Before his shot attempt on Binnington, he busted out a Justin Bieber mask and put it on before shooting.

No, he did not score. Yes, the mask was terrifying.


The women’s 3-on-3 game was awesome

If there is one complaint about the All-Star Skills and All-Star Game, is that it is not competitive enough. Players have fun with it, as they should, but they aren’t exactly going 100-percent like they would in an actual game. That was certainly not the case for the 3-on-3 women’s game between Canada and USA.

The women’s teams put on a great display of skill in what was an incredibly fun game to watch. Canada took a 1-0 lead in the first period off a goal from Rebecca Johnston. Melodie Daoust made it 2-0 in the second period and Hilary Knight finally put USA on the board putting them to within one.

But really it was the goalies who stole the show. With plenty of room to work, there were a number of breakaways and odd-man rushes. Both Alex Cavallini for the USA and Ann-Renee Desbiens for Canada were strong in net to keep it a three-goal game.

"It was pretty impressive," Oshie said. "The goalies stood on their head, but the girls were making some awesome plays, some great moves. It's always fun cheering on the Americans."

Desbiens had a drop the mic moment with a glove save just as time expired to maintain the 2-1 win for Canada.

Shooting Stars

You have to credit the NHL for trying. One of the new events featured players on a raised platform in the crowd shooting at targets on the ice. It was...different. The biggest issue with it was that the players could not hit most of the targets and the one that seemed the easiest to get was worth the most points. This one will need some tweaking if they want to bring it back again next year.

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Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

If Ryan Zimmerman did not return to the Nationals, he at least would have a future teaching how not to negotiate.

Zimmerman openly drove down his bargaining leverage for almost a year before signing a one-year deal on Friday to return to the only professional team he’s known, a source confirmed. The deal is reported at $2 million.

Throughout the season, Zimmerman openly discussed his interest in returning and understanding it would be at a low rate. As if his stance wasn’t already clear, Zimmerman explained at a screening of the Nationals’ championship video he would return or play more golf.

“So, we’ll be good to go,” Zimmerman said.

It’s baseball for now. Zimmerman rejoins the defending World Series champions to play his 16th season. He’s a 35-year-old platoon player this season. Zimmerman’s money and legacy have been established. He’s back in the fold to pursue another title. 

And he makes an already old Nationals team older. Zimmerman turns 36 years old the day after the 2020 regular season ends. Howie Kendrick will be 37 years old by midseason. Asdrúbal Cabrera is 34 years old. Eric Thames is 33 years old. Will Harris is 35, Daniel Hudson 32, Sean Doolittle 33, Max Scherzer 35, Kurt Suzuki 36. Yan Gomes will be 33 just after the All-Star break. 

Zimmerman will share first base with Thames and, occasionally, Howie Kendrick. They provide an intriguing splits-based platoon. Thames hits right-handers well -- 23 of his 25 2019 home runs came against them, as did much of his opportunity in Milwaukee -- and Zimmerman has a .917 career OPS against left-handed pitchers. Zimmerman is the much better defender.

He’s back because he -- and the Nationals -- believe Zimmerman’s production remains directly tied to his health. His September and postseason work showed Zimmerman’s bat speed remains intact. He is quietly one of the better defensive first baseman in the league. They think they can protect him. Overall, the Nationals are so comfortable with an expanse of older players because they plan to shield them with limited usage. Also, Josh Donaldson went to Minnesota, clearing the cash and providing a need for Zimmerman. 

Kendrick, Cabrera and Starlin Castro can play various infield spots. Thames and Zimmerman will reduce the other’s role, as well as pinch-hit when not starting. Davey Martinez has options. He also has the challenge of rotating players. One thing on his side: older players know they are just that. Grousing about playing time should not be an issue with the group, the majority of which played as role players last year on the way to a World Series title. 

One other thing to note about Zimmerman: he’s 30 home runs short of 300. Can he get there with another two years on the field? He has at least one more to add to his total, assuring his driver has another lonely summer.

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