Wizards

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Darrell Arthur scored 20 points and Mike Conley added 19 as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Los Angeles 106-93 Wednesday night, handing the Lakers their fourth straight loss and 10th in 12 games.

Los Angeles lost its seventh consecutive road game, and center Dwight Howard missed the second half after aggravating his sore shoulder in the first half.

Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen added 12 points apiece as Memphis improved to 12-0 when scoring at least 100 points. Randolph also grabbed 10 rebounds. The Grizzlies had a 60-34 edge in the paint with Howard sidelined during the second half.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points for the Lakers and Metta World Peace added 15.

WARRIORS 104, THUNDER 99

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry had 31 points and seven assists, David Lee finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Golden State outlasted Oklahoma City.

On the eve of the announcement for All-Star reserves, Golden State's top two candidates made a lasting impression.

Curry matched Kevin Durant's spectacular scores all game, stole a pass from the Thunder's leading man in the final seconds and hit a pair of free throws to seal Golden State's third straight victory. Lee helped the Warriors outrebound Oklahoma City's lengthy frontline 40-39 and made some big plays late.

Durant had 33 points, nine assists and five rebounds for the Thunder, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter a night after running away with a win at the Los Angeles Clippers. Oklahoma City had won seven of eight to move to the top of the NBA standings.

HEAT 123, RAPTORS 116, OT

MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, LeBron James got his 34th career triple-double and Miami rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Toronto.

James finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Miami, getting the last board on Toronto's final shot of the night. Wade added seven assists, including the one that set up Ray Allen for the 3-pointer that clinched the win with 59.3 seconds left in overtime.

Allen scored 18, Mario Chalmers added 14 and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Miami. The Heat finished overtime on a 13-2 run, climbing out of a four-point hole.

Alan Anderson scored 20 points for Toronto, leading seven Raptors in double figures.

NETS 91, TIMBERWOLVES 83

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Brook Lopez strengthened his case for a spot on the All-Star team with 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting, helping Brooklyn hold off Minnesota.

The Nets improved to 12-2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo, and they're 9-1 with their preferred starting lineup: Lopez, the NBA's highest-scoring center, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans. Williams and Johnson scored 18 points apiece, and the Nets never trailed despite some sloppy stretches of play.

C.J. Watson added 14 points for the Nets, who won for the first time in their last nine games at Minnesota. The Wolves have lost seven of eight overall.

Andrei Kirilenko had 15 points for the Wolves, who played without shooting guard Alexey Shved (left ankle) and center Nikola Pekovic (right quadriceps) for the third straight game.

SUNS 106, KINGS 96

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Luis Scola scored 21 points and Phoenix won its first game under new coach Lindsey Hunter, beating Sacramento.

The Suns, tied with New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference at 14-28, outplayed the Kings in the second half, quieting a Sacramento crowd that was watching the Kings for the first time since the announced sale of the team to a group of Seattle businessmen.

Michael Beasley had 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when the Suns outscored Sacramento 32-19. Marcin Gortat, Goran Dragic and Shannon Brown scored 12 apiece for Phoenix, which has won two straight road games but is 4-17 away from home.

Tyreke Evans scored 16 points and DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings. Cousins, who committed six of Sacramento's 25 turnovers, was called for his 10th technical foul in the fourth quarter for delay of game.

BULLS 85, PISTONS 82

CHICAGO (AP) - Nate Robinson had 11 points and seven assists in 21 minutes off the bench, leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback that carried Chicago past Detroit.

Joakim Noah sacrificed his body to save a loose ball, which Marco Belinelli converted into a game-winning basket with 7 seconds left. Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey each missed potential tying 3-pointers at the other end.

Robinson put the Bulls on his back, scoring nine straight points early in the fourth as Chicago overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Pistons for the 17th straight time.

Detroit (16-26) fell to 4-15 on the road. The Pistons had won nine of 13 overall.

TRAIL BLAZERS 100, PACERS 80

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and Portland beat Indiana to snap a six-game losing streak.

Rookie gaurd Damian Lillard added 20 points and eight assists for the Trail Blazers, who also stopped a four-game skid at home and avoided dropping five straight at the Rose Garden for the first time since 2006.

J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 24th double-double this season. Portland shot a season-high 56.4 percent from the floor.

Paul George had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who had won seven straight against Western Conference teams, their longest streak since 2004.

HAWKS 104, BOBCATS 92

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Josh Smith had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta snapped a six-game road losing streak with a win over Charlotte.

Kyle Korver added 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc as the Hawks sent the Bobcats to their 16th straight home loss, three shy of the NBA record.

Smith finished two assists shy of a triple-double. Ivan Johnson added 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Ramon Sessions led the Bobcats with a season-high 27 points.

The win gave the Hawks a four-game sweep of the season series and extended their overall winning streak to seven against the Bobcats.

NUGGETS 105, ROCKETS 95

HOUSTON (AP) - Ty Lawson scored 21 points, Wilson Chandler had 20 and Denver pulled away in the third quarter against mistake-prone Houston.

Danilo Gallinari sank three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Nuggets, who converted 28 points off 23 Houston turnovers to beat the Rockets for the fifth straight time.

James Harden scored 23 points and Omer Asik grabbed 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who have lost eight of nine. Jeremy Lin watched the fourth quarter from the bench for the second straight game.

Denver took control with a 21-5 burst late in the third quarter, turning a flurry of Rockets turnovers into easy baskets.

SPURS 106, HORNETS 102

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker had 24 points and 13 assists as San Antonio rallied past New Orleans, overcoming the absence of Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich for its 15th straight win at home.

Tiago Splitter added 25 points and seven rebounds, and Stephen Jackson scored 15 for the Spurs.

Eric Gordon had 17 points for the Hornets and Ryan Anderson added 16.

The Spurs trailed most of the game with Popovich (undisclosed illness), Duncan (sore left knee) and Kawhi Leonard (left patella bruise) all sitting out.

JAZZ 92, WIZARDS 88

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Paul Millsap had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help Utah hold off Washington.

The Jazz led by 22 points in the second quarter and 15 entering the fourth, but the road-weary Wizards fought back to within two on Kevin Seraphin's jumper with 6:57 left.

Millsap's putback put Utah up by seven, but the Wizards came back again as Utah went cold. Millsap's 14-foot baseline jumper with 21 seconds left halted a nearly 3-minute scoreless stretch for the Jazz and bumped their lead to 90-84.

Martell Webster's third 3-pointer cut Utah's lead to 90-87 with 15 seconds left, but ex-Wizards guard Randy Foye made both free throws with 11 seconds remaining to seal it.

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John Wall badly wants to win and is sick of perception he cares more about his own stats

John Wall badly wants to win and is sick of perception he cares more about his own stats

John Wall is ready to put the 2017-18 season behind him, behind him like a hapless defender staring at the back of his No. 2 jersey on a fastbreak. 

After missing 41 games due to injuries and falling in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his career, the Wizards' All-Star point guard is taking nothing for granted. The 28-year-old believes he's about to lead the most talented team he's ever played on.

Wall has made five All-Star teams and one All-NBA selection. After playing for two seasons without one, he signed a reportedly five-year shoe deal with Adidas in 2018. He has a supermax contract, one that kicks in next season and begins at a projected $37.8 million.

What Wall doesn't have is what he's always wanted most. He wants to win.

The Wizards have made the playoffs four times in his career and reached the second round three times. The Eastern Conference Finals, however, has been elusive.

"I'm the type of guy that wants to have a statue out front. I want to bring a championship here. Those are all the things that I care about," Wall told NBC Sports Washington. "If you're not winning as a group and doing things as a team, then you don't get individual success. That's something that I learned a long time ago."

There was a lot about the 2017-18 season that bothered Wall. In particular, he detested the perception that grew that he was unhappy with the team's success while he was injured. 

During Wall's second injury absence, from late January to late March, the Wizards won five straight games and 10 of 13 with him watching from the sidelines.

Though it ultimately proved to be a mirage, as the Wizards lost 12 of their next 17 that he didn’t play, there were numbers early on that suggested their success was because they passed the ball more frequently without him. Comments from his teammates Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat to reporters and on social media were viewed by some as slights to their point guard.

Wall remained silent at first and a lack of communication between the sides allowed it all to bottle up. He did several interviews, including one with NBC Sports Washington, to give his side of the story and to say it was ridiculous he could be criticized for not being a team player.

That narrative still bothers him.

"Some people mistake me that all I care about is individual stats but that's never been my game," he said. "I don't think a lot of people really get that."

"I love to get assists. I love to get 10 assists before I score 30 points. It's just that I have the ability to do both. A lot of guys never had the ability to be able to do both. It's great to do that, but I feel like if I ain't winning then it don't mean s*** to me."

Wall's numbers are historically good for his age and he is aware of the company he's in. He is one of only four players to average at least 18 points, nine assists and four rebounds per game through their first eight NBA seasons. The other three were Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Chris Paul. Johnson and Robertson are Hall of Famers and Paul will be there someday. 

Statistically, Wall is on a Hall of Fame track, but he wants much more than a plaque in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"I think about all of that. Everybody thinks about the Hall of Fame and being the franchise scoring leader and all that," he said. "I have all of those goals, but it don't mean s*** if you don't win at the end of the day. You can be a loser and have all of these records, but what does that stand for?"

Wall has been relatively fortunate throughout his career when it comes to his health, but his worst injuries have come at inopportune times. In 2015, his Wizards were up 1-0 on the Hawks in the second round of the playoffs when he suffered five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand. That may have cost him a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Last year, Wall's months-long injury saga began when he banged his knee with a Mavericks player in just the 10th game of the season. 

It was a down year for him and the Wizards in a season in which the Cavaliers were vulnerable, the Celtics had major injuries and the Sixers were still learning how to win. If Washington was at full-strength, perhaps they could have taken advantage.

Now, after an offseason that brought newcomers Dwight Howard, Austin Rivers and Jeff Green to Washington, and that saw LeBron James leave the Eastern Conference, Wall feels he has a serious opportunity to win.

He just wants to get back to the postseason and take another shot at a deep playoff run he believes he is destined for.

"We had a great chance [in 2017]," he said. "We just s***ed the bed. That's how it goes. I don't think [time is] running out, but teams are getting better."

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

The Toronto Maple Leafs are not happy with Caps' Lars Eller

On Saturday, the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals faced off against one of the hottest young teams in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was viewed as a marquee matchup and it certainly lived up to its billing with both teams battling in a tight, well-played game.

In the end, Toronto walked away as the 4-2 victors in one of their better wins of the young season, but not everyone left that game impressed.

A team that already boasted super-star talent Auston Matthews added John Tavares in the offseason as a free agent giving the Maple Leafs a formidable one, two punch at center. For most of the game, the Caps were able to shut down that center tandem.

Lars Eller was asked after the game how the Caps were able to keep the Leafs’ big stars in check and he indicated that perhaps Tavares and Matthews were not as formidable a pair as they had been made out to be.

“We’re used to playing against [Sidney Crosby] and [Evgeni Malkin],” Eller said. “Everything kind of drops from there so it’s not that special. It’s a good team like a lot of others. They’ll probably be a playoff team, I think.”

Not surprisingly, that quote caught Toronto’s attention, especially forward Nazem Kadri.

Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Kadri called Eller’s comments “bulletin board material.”

With 12 points in seven games, the Maple Leafs currently boast the top record in the league. Toronto is far from perfect, however, and their defense remains a major question mark in whether this team is a true Stanley Cup contender.

But as to whether or not they are a playoff team? That seems like a pretty safe bet.

The Caps and Maple Leafs will meet twice more this season on Jan. 23 and Feb. 21. Both games are in Toronto.  

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