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NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker had 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs earned their eighth consecutive win by shutting down the Phoenix Suns in the final quarter for a 108-99 victory on Saturday night.

Manu Ginobili added 20 points, Tiago Splitter had 13, and Boris Diaw finished with 11 for San Antonio (36-11), which has won 16 in a row at home.

The Spurs were without Tim Duncan (sore knee) and coach Gregg Popovich (illness) for a third consecutive game.

Michael Beasley had 25 points and Jared Dudley scored 23 for the Suns (15-29), who lost for the first time since coach Lindsey Hunter took over.

Parker had 11 points and five assists as San Antonio outscored Phoenix 27-17 in the fourth, forcing six turnovers in the period.

TRAIL BLAZERS 101, CLIPPERS 100

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week, and the Trail Blazers handed the Clippers their fourth straight loss.

The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half but reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter.

They held off the Blazers until Wesley Matthews got Portland within one with a layup and free throw. J.J. Hickson made a pair of foul shots to get the lead back for the Blazers with 45 seconds to go and Jamal Crawford missed a 19-foot jumper for the Clippers with 0.9 seconds left for the final margin.

Blake Griffin had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Los Angeles.

76ERS 97, KNICKS 80

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 35 points, Nick Young had 20 and the 76ers cruised to the victory.

Evan Turner also added 20 points for the Sixers, who led from the start and beat the Knicks for the first time in four tries and second in eight games.

Carmelo Anthony needed 28 shots to get 25 points. He has 28 straight 20-point games, tied with Patrick Ewing for second-longest streak in franchise history. Richie Guerin did it 29 games in a row in 1961-62.

The Atlantic Division-leading Knicks, who are second in the Eastern Conference, have lost five of eight.

Amare Stoudemire had 20 points for New York. Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith combined to go 0 for 17. Kidd had zero assists in 15 minutes.

ROCKETS 119, NETS 106

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 29 points, Chandler Parsons added 16 points and a career-high 11 assists and the Rockets beat the Nets for the 12th straight time.

Omer Asik had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who outrebounded the Nets 50-31 and outscored Brooklyn 60-24 in the paint.

Nets star Deron Williams scored 27 points, but cooled off after a 20-point first quarter. He was ejected with 1:07 left after arguing a call with referee David Jones. Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 13 for Brooklyn.

Jeremy Lin had 14 points, nine assists and six turnovers for Houston.

CAVALIERS 99, RAPTORS 98

TORONTO (AP) - Kyrie Irving made a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to lift Cleveland to its third consecutive victory.

Headed to his first All-Star game, Irving added to his credentials by calmly draining a pull-up jumper from the top of the arc to give him 32 points on the night. Marreese Speights had 17 for the Cavaliers, and Tristan Thompson scored 14.

Toronto had five players score in double figures. Amir Johnson had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Alan Anderson scored 17 and Ed Davis finished with 16.

The Raptors had won seven of their previous nine meetings with the Cavaliers.

WIZARDS 86, BULLS 73

WASHINGTON (AP) - Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the Wizards to another victory.

Nene scored 16 points and John Wall had 15 for Washington, which has won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years, and seven of 10 overall.

It's a marked improvement from the start of the season, when Washington (11-31) dropped 28 of its first 32 games.

Chicago had won a season-high three in a row for the third time. Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls, and Joakim Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, which equaled his career high.

JAZZ 114, PACERS 110, OT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 25 points and Paul Millsap had 21, leading Utah to the overtime win.

Utah scored the first six points in the extra session after blowing a 97-89 lead with 2:44 left in regulation. Gordon Hayward coughed up three turnovers to Indiana's George Hill in the final minute of the fourth.

Paul George scored 24 points, David West added 23 and Hill had 22 for Indiana (26-18), which lost for the third time in four road games. The Pacers outrebounded the Jazz 41-28.

Hayward scored 15 points, but had the ball stolen from him three times on the final three possessions for Utah in regulation.

BOBCATS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 101

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Gerald Henderson made a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left, helping Charlotte snap a 16-game home losing streak.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 25 points and Ramon Sessions finished with 23 as the Bobcats won at home for the first time since Nov. 21. The home slide was two short of the NBA record held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.

Henderson finished with 15 points and Bismack Biyombo had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte.

Luke Ridnour had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Minnesota, which has lost nine of 10.

NUGGETS 121, KINGS 93

DENVER (AP) - Ty Lawson scored 26 points, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Denver used a strong first three quarters to rout Sacramento.

Danilo Gallinari added 14 points for the Nuggets, who led 71-49 at intermission to set a season high for points in a half. They shot 62 percent in the first two quarters and had three players in double figures.

They led by as many as 35 in the second half and were up 101-69 heading into the fourth period when most of the regular players watched the rest of the game.

Aaron Brooks scored 16 points and Tyreke Evans had 15 for the Kings, who have lost four straight. DeMarcus Cousins was held to three points. It's the first time in his past 17 games he failed to score in double figures.

BUCKS 109, WARRIORS 102

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to push the Bucks to the win.

Milwaukee's Monta Ellis also had 20 points against his former team, while Ersan Ilyasova added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Larry Sanders added 16 points and 11 boards.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 26 points. Klay Thompson added 19, and David Lee had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Golden State has lost four consecutive games in Milwaukee and hasn't won a game at the Bradley Center since 2008.

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Your guide to this year's Capitals Development Camp

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USA Today Sports Images

Your guide to this year's Capitals Development Camp

While this year’s Capitals roster brought home the ultimate prize – the Stanley Cup – it’s no secret that the team won’t be able to stay together as it is.

Despite the NHL salary cap rising from $75 million to about $79.5 million, the team will have less than $20 million to re-sign 19 active NHL and AHL affiliate players.

Challenging seems like an understatement when considering that key players like John Carlson, Jay Beagle, and Devante Smith-Pelly are due for some significant raises from their previous contracts. 

Similarly, the organization has to maintain depth, keeping its core roster strong while still offering smaller two-way contracts to their minor-league players in Hershey. 

With this in mind, this summer’s development camp seems especially crucial. For die-hard fans and new arrivals alike, all eyes are on how management will keep the team’s momentum next season.

Here’s what you need to know about attending Capitals Development Camp –shortened as dev camp – including who to watch and what events are most worthwhile.

What should I expect for Capitals development camp?

Development camp is fairly self-explanatory.

For one week every summer, as offseason contract negotiations take place, prospective players, minor-league players, and junior league players gather for a week for assessment, scrimmaging, fitness testing, practice, and publicity events. However, it's important to realize that the roster will not be finalized until the last minute, and depends on who the Capitals select or trade for in the 2018 NHL draft this Friday and Saturday.

Practices are free and open to the public at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, with coaching and managerial staff assessing players. Fan Fest will take place on Saturday, June 30 featuring the final camp scrimmage.

The Alumni Summer Classic game is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Kettler. The event is also free and open to the public.

Who should I be looking out for?

Former Hershey Bears on entry-level contracts like Jakub Vrana and Madison Bowey provided essential depth to the Capitals through this historic season. Several of their colleagues may be next in line.

Defensemen 
Following last years’ development camp, Connor Hobbs, Lucas Johansen, and Jonas Siegenthaler joined the Hershey Bears, showing promise on the team’s blue line. 

Hobbs, 21, spent two seasons with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League before coming to the Bears this past season. In November 2017, Hobbs suffered a wrist fracture, missing 32 games of the Bears’ 76-game season. Despite the injury, Hobbs put up a total of 16 points in 44 games.

Assuming he stays healthy, he only stands to get better. Like Siegenthaler, we’ll likely see him in the preseason lineup.

Johansen, 20, also came to the Bears from the WHL – Kelowna, to be exact. The 2016 first-round pick put up a respectable 27 points over 74 games this season. Though this may seem like a significant drop from his previous season’s 41 points in the WHL, the decrease is fairly typical when transitioning from junior to professional hockey.

Siegenthaler, 21, has the most impressive resume of any Capitals defensive prospect. Siegenthaler struggled to produce with the Bears this season, but did finish the full season in Hershey after spending 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with Switzerland’s ZSC Lions and joining the Bears for their spring playoff push. He’s also made appearances on the international stage at the U20 World Junior tournament, adding his name to Switzerland’s national team roster this season.

It will be interesting to see if he could push for a spot with the NHL club.

Forwards
On the offensive side, Brian Pinho, 23, seems to be poised for a change. Coming off a four-year career with the Providence College Friars, Pinho captained the team to the NCAA quarterfinals this season.

It’s uncommon, yet not unsmart, to finish out a college degree before joining the NHL. Pinho will likely join the Bears next season.

Garrett Pilon, 20, was traded from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers to the Everett Silvertips. The star child of Everett’s historic playoff run, he proved his indispensability as a scorer who works well under pressure, racking up a whopping 80 points in his final junior league season.

With contracts up in the air for several of the Capitals’ bottom-six forwards and favorable testimonies from management, Pilon might be the strongest chance to crack the lineup.

Goaltending
The Caps’ depth and future in goal looks a bit wonky, with general manager Brian MacLellan strongly hinting at shopping backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer to teams who may be able to use him as a starter. Braden Holtby isn’t going anywhere, but you need more than one goalie for an entire NHL season, plus playoffs.

What to do? We’ll have to see how this year’s draft shakes out on June 22 and 23. But for now, keep an eye on Ilya Samsonov. The 21-year-old posted a 0.926 save percentage across 26 games with the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk this season. Even if he moves up to Hershey next season, it’ll be interesting to watch his development.

What else should I know?

If this dev camp is your first time at Kettler, get excited!

Note that for all practices except scrimmages, forwards will be dressed in red or white practice jerseys and defensemen in blue.

Since most players are new and/or under watch by management and coaching, all players will have names and numbers on the backs of their jerseys to make them easier to identify.

Keep in mind that whoever the Caps chose – or trade for – with their six picks in Friday and Saturday’s draft will also affect the dev camp roster. It often isn’t finalized until the last minute. Dev camp provides the first and best chance to get up close and personal with the Caps' newly drafted players. The uncertainty of who you'll get to see can be a drawback, but regardless, attending can give a great glimpse into where the Caps may be headed next season.

Between the Alumni Game, practices, and final weekend scrimmages, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to get your offseason hockey fix or take a step back from the Capitals’ salary cap woes. The final schedule for the week is likely to be released Sunday.

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Grading the Caps' 2013 draft

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USA TODAY Sports

Grading the Caps' 2013 draft

The NHL is different from the NBA and NFL. Unless you have one of the absolute top picks of the draft, chances are you are not going to see any players from a draft class for several years. That makes it pretty hard to evaluate how a team did with its picks.

As the Caps prepare for the draft to begin Friday, let’s turn the clock back five years and see how they did in the 2013 draft.

First round, 23rd overall: Forward Andre Burakovsky

The draft is all about finding players skilled enough to produce in the NHL. They certainly found that in the young Swede. There’s no question that Burakovsky has top-six talent, but we all keep waiting for that breakout season when he takes his game to the next level. Even after four NHL seasons under his belt, he still can’t quite get there. Consistency has always been an issue for him and the root of that problem comes from both his durability issues and between the ears. He should be a 20-25, maybe even 30-goal scorer if he can put it all together.

Overall though, this was a solid pick for the Caps. Judging by the players drafted after him to fill out the first round, either Burakovsky or defenseman Shea Theodore were the two best players available. Washington picked one of them and got a top-six forward out of it.

Second round, 53rd overall: Defenseman Madison Bowey

Bowey made his long awaited NHL debut this season, but the jury is ultimately still out on just how good he is. The potential is certainly there, but the growing pains of a rookie were still there as well. The Capitals have an NHL-caliber defenseman in Bowey, but time will tell if he is a top-four one.

Second round, 61st overall: Forward Zach Sanford

Drafted players can provide value in two ways: on the ice and as trade value. Sanford was a traded to St. Louis as part of the package that brought Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington. Sanford was a tweener last season in that it looked at times like he was not quite ready for the full-time switch to the NHL, but was brilliant when he played in the AHL. An injury limited him to just 20 games in the AHL this season, but he looks like he could be a solid bottom-six addition in the NHL if he can get healthy again.

Fifth round, 144th overall: Defenseman Blake Heinrich

This one was a miss. Heinrich’s career has not gone past junior. He has 132 career games in the WHL, 85 games in the USHL and spent the 2017-18 season playing for the University of Manitoba.

Sixth round, 174th overall: Forward Brian Pinho

Pinho spent four years developing his game at Providence College and developed into a very strong two-way player at the collegiate level. He signed an entry-level contract with the Caps at the end of his senior year just before the end of the regular season. He skated with the team a few days before he was allowed to return home to finish his degree. He will likely start next season in the AHL, but there is some potential for him to become a bottom-six center in the NHL which would make him a steal in the sixth round.

Seventh round, 204th overall: Defenseman Tyler Lewington

A hard-nosed defenseman who is never afraid to drop the gloves, Lewington has certainly found a home in Hershey. Overall, his skillset is much better suited for that level and I do not see any extensive NHL time in his future, but to find a dependable AHL defenseman in the seventh round is a good find for Washington.

Overall Grade: B+

Picking at No. 23, there were not many superstars to choose from. The Capitals still found one of the best players available in Burakovsky. With no third or fourth round pick, Washington really needed to nail their two second round picks. It’s too early to tell exactly how good Bowey will be and the evaluation for Sanford changes now that he was traded from “how good is he?” to “was this good asset management?” It’s still a bit too early to answer that question as well. There is only one real bust in the draft class, but the fact that the Caps found value in both the sixth and seventh round including one player who still could potentially fill an NHL role gives this class a high grade.

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