Redskins

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, Pau Gasol added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown's firing earlier Friday with a 101-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers had just a few hours to absorb Brown's dismissal after just 18 months on the job. Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

Stephen Curry scored 18 points for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall.

The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers' victory total for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days in recent history for a franchise that's never short on drama. General manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning shootaround.

Bickerstaff ran the Lakers as the interim coach, but the veteran NBA bench boss isn't likely to be a candidate for the full-time job. The crowd quickly made its choice known: A chant of ``We want Phil!'' rose out of the stands while Bryant shot a free throw in the third quarter.

Phil Jackson, the 11-time NBA champion coach who won five rings in two previous stints running the Lakers, is near the top of Kupchak's list again, the GM acknowledged.

HEAT 95, HAWKS 89

ATLANTA (AP) - LeBron James scored 21 points, including the clinching jumper with 13.6 seconds remaining, and the Heat picked up their fourth straight win.

Jeff Teague hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Hawks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But Josh Smith, on an awful night, missed two free throws with just over a minute remaining, and James finished off Atlanta after the teams traded turnovers.

Everyone in the building knew James would shoot, but it didn't matter. He muscled away from DeShawn Stevenson, swished a 15-footer and hopped along the sideline in front of the Atlanta crowd. The Heat won without Dwyane Wade, who didn't play because of a cold.

Chris Bosh led Miami with 24 points. James just missed a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Teague paced the Hawks with 20 points and 11 assists.

KNICKS 104, MAVERICKS 94

NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and the Knicks improved their best start in nearly two decades to 4-0.

Reserve JR Smith added 22 points for the Knicks, the only unbeaten team in the NBA. They hadn't been perfect after four games since the 1993-94 team started 7-0 en route to the NBA Finals.

The Knicks averaged 104.7 points and allowed just 85.3 per game while routing Miami and sweeping a home-and-home series from Philadelphia to start the season, but didn't seize control of this one for good until nearly the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

O.J. Mayo scored 23 points for the Mavericks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks for just the fourth time in the last 22 meetings.

HORNETS 107, BOBCATS 99

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Anthony Davis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in his first game back after a concussion, and the Hornets handed the Bobcats their third straight loss.

Ryan Anderson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points for New Orleans, which has won three of its first five games despite being without injured star guard Eric Gordon.

Ben Gordon scored 34 points for Charlotte. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis' former Kentucky teammate and the second overall draft pick, had 12 points and six rebounds.

Davis came alive after getting tangled up with Charlotte big man Byron Mullens late in the second quarter, an altercation that sent teammates running to separate them and sent official Bill Kennedy somersaulting backward into the front row, where he landed in the lap of Dennis Lauscha, president of the Hornets and NFL's Saints. (Both clubs are owned by Tom Benson, who was sitting next to Lauscha and narrowly avoided Kennedy.)

Davis scored 18 following the feud on an array of driving layups, putbacks and even a smooth baseline jumper from about 10 feet.

SUNS 107, CAVALIERS 105

PHOENIX (AP) - Shannon Brown scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and helped key a late 14-4 run as Phoenix rallied from a 26-point deficit to get the win.

P.J. Tucker hit a 20-foot jumper from the left corner to give the Suns a 103-102 lead with 1:32 to go. After the teams traded misses, Marcin Gortat blocked Daniel Gibson's shot and Goran Dragic found Brown streaking down the right side for a fast-break dunk and a 105-102 lead with 37.4 seconds remaining.

Dragic made one of two free throws but Gibson connected on a 3-pointer with 13.1 seconds to play to get the Cavaliers within one. Sebastian Telfair dribbled the clock down to 5.1 seconds and made one of two free throws to make it 107-105.

Kyrie Irving had a chance to win it for Cleveland as time expired but his 3-pointer from the top of the key bounced off the back of the rim.

TIMBERWOLVES 96, PACERS 94

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Chase Budinger converted a layup on a feed from Andrei Kirilenko with 0.8 seconds to go, lifting Minnesota to the victory.

Budinger scored 18 points while subbing for the injured Brandon Roy. Alexey Shved had 11 points and seven assists and Nikola Pekovic added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Roy left the game at halftime with a sore right knee. The former three-time All-Star is attempting a comeback after chronic knee issues forced him to retire from Portland before last season.

George Hill had 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds and David West had 19 points and 13 boards for the Pacers.

The Wolves (4-1) are three games over .500 for the first time since they were 20-17 in 2006-07.

76ERS 106, CELTICS 100

BOSTON (AP) - Evan Turner scored 25 points, Jrue Holiday added 21 and Philadelphia held off several fourth-quarter rallies.

The Celtics cut the lead to four twice in the final period, 83-79 and 102-98, but couldn't get any closer and fell to 2-3 with their only victories coming over winless Washington. The 76ers won their second game in three nights to improve to 3-2.

Turner had 11 rebounds and Holiday had 14 assists. Dorell Wright and Thaddeus Young scored 15 points apiece.

Paul Pierce scored 24 for Boston, and Kevin Garnett finished with 19. Rajon Rondo had 14 points and assisted on 20 of the Celtics' 37 baskets.

NETS 107, MAGIC 68

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Andray Blatche had 15 points, Brook Lopez added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Brooklyn never trailed while snapping a 10-game losing streak to Orlando that dated to 2009.

E'Twaun Moore led the Magic with 18 points, and Arron Afflalo finished with 12.

The Nets dominated inside, with Lopez and Blatche pushing around Orlando's young front line. They also got a lift from their bench, with Brooklyn's reserves outscoring their counterparts 55-18 for the game.

Orlando lost its third straight game after starting 2-0. It also tied a franchise-low with four made free throws, compared to 16 for Brooklyn.

The teams play each other again Sunday in Brooklyn.

SPURS 97, KINGS 86

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Tim Duncan had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to power San Antonio to the road win.

The Spurs played without Stephen Jackson, who was out with the flu, and Duncan and several other players were a bit under the weather. But they led for much of the game in defeating the Kings for the ninth straight time in Sacramento.

Reserve Patty Mills gave the Spurs a huge lift, making 8-of-9 shots and scoring 18 points. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points.

Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson scored 17 apiece for the Kings, who had won two straight.

THUNDER 105, PISTONS 94

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Serge Ibaka scored a career-high 25 points, Kevin Durant chipped in a season-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Oklahoma City broke in its new alternate jerseys by beating winless Detroit.

The Thunder scored nine straight points soon after Durant checked back into the game midway through the fourth quarter, stretching their lead to 93-77 after the three-time NBA scoring champion hit two free throws with 5:47 to play.

Detroit never got closer than nine after that, falling to 0-6 on the season - one loss shy of matching the worst starts in franchise history in 1962 and 1980. First-round draft pick Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 22 points.

GRIZZLIES 93, ROCKETS 85

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rudy Gay had 21 points and a key basket with 1:03 left that helped Memphis defeat Houston for its fourth straight victory.

Zach Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies.

Houston was within 87-85 in the final 2 minutes, but Memphis scored the last five points of the game, including Gay's rebound bucket, to win its 13th consecutive regular-season game at home.

Mike Conley had 14 points for Memphis, including a 3-pointer down the stretch, and Jerryd Bayless added 12. The Grizzlies are 4-1 for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when they played in Vancouver.

Chandler Parsons led the Rockets with 19 points. James Harden had 18 points, but shot only 4 of 18 from the field.

NUGGETS 104, JAZZ 84

DENVER (AP) - Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, hitting four 3-pointers, and Denver pulled away for the win.

Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their third in a row after an 0-3 start.

Gordon Hayward scored 15 for the Jazz, who remained winless in four road games this season. Randy Foye and Enes Kanter each added 13 points.

Andre Iguodala connected on a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 69-49 lead with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter.

BUCKS 101, WIZARDS 91

WASHINGTON (AP) - Monta Ellis scored 22 points, and the Bucks quickly erased an early deficit before pulling away with a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.

Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Washington's Bradley Beal were ejected in the final minute.

Washington fell to 0-4 despite 22 points from Beal, the No. 3 overall pick in June's NBA draft, and a combined 26 from veterans Trevor Ariza (15) and Emeka Okafor (11), matching their output from the team's first three games.

With the outcome no longer in doubt, Beal was called for a flagrant foul when he knocked Ellis to the court on a breakaway. As Beal leaned over to offer Ellis a hand to help him up, Jennings ran up and shoved Beal down.

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Need to Know: What’s the outlook for the Redskins’ secondary in 2018?

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: What’s the outlook for the Redskins’ secondary in 2018?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 25, 31 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Fan questions—The secondary

To be sure, there are reasons to be concerned about the secondary and we’ll get into those in a bit. But the popular notion that the secondary struggled last year is not accurate.

Do you want to go standard stats? They were ninth in the league in passing yards allowed and 10th in opponent passer rating last year.

Do you prefer more advanced analytics? They were sixth in defensive passing DVOA and 11th in adjusted net yards per attempt.

That’s not a great pass defense but it was a pretty good one. It should be noted that they also benefited from a solid pass rush; they were seventh in the league in sack percentage. Still, you don’t finish in the top third of the league in pass defense without at least a competent secondary.

The question is, will it remain competent? Kendall Fuller was indeed a key player, one of the best slot corners in the league. Bashaud Breeland was inconsistent, but he did shine on occasion. But the fact that he is still available as a free agent indicates what the league thinks of him, problems passing the physical notwithstanding. Those two will have to be replaced.

It is likely that Quinton Dunbar will take Breeland’s spot on the outside. That is at worst a lateral exchange if not an improvement. Dunbar has been working for three years to get this opportunity and there is confidence among the coaches and, perhaps more importantly, the players that he is ready.

Orlando Scandrick is the probable starter at slot. He is a downgrade from Fuller, no question about it. If he is healthy—a big if—Scandrick is good enough to get the job done. Don’t let the star he wore on the side of his helmet for so many years blind you to the fact that he’s a solid player.

The depth at slot consists of second-year player Josh Holsey, who played all of nine snaps on defense last year, and rookie Greg Stroman. That’s not ideal but most of the other teams in the NFL have a similar depth chart.

The wild card who could be the difference between this secondary being better than last year or worse is Fabian Moreau. He played only 59 defensive snaps as a rookie but he did show off his speed and hard-hitting style on some of his 349 special teams snaps. During the offseason practices that were open to the media, Moreau was mostly Josh Norman’s backup at left cornerback. The feeling is that he won’t remain a reserve. We will have to see how things sort out during training camp.

There should be some improvement at safety if Montae Nicholson figures out how to stay on the field in his second year. If he struggles with injuries again and Deshazor Everett has to line up alongside D.J. Swearinger for a good chunk of the season, the safeties are no worse off because that's what happened last year. 

The bottom line is that a secondary that was good last year may take a step down in 2018 but the decline should not be steep. And if Moreau can be the player the organization thought he could be when they used a third-round pick for him, it could be just as good if not better.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler.

Tandler on Twitter

I tweeted this in response to a discussion about the relative popularity of the NFL and NBA. Albert Breer’s tweet on the TV ratings for the leagues’ respective drafts was the nexus of the discussion.

Timeline  

Redskins cornerback Josh Holsey was born on this date in 1994.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 31
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 45
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 59

The Redskins last played a game 176 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 76 days.

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Nationals power through rain delay, come back against Phillies

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USA Today

Nationals power through rain delay, come back against Phillies

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy's two-run single drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals rallied past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-6 on Sunday night to salvage the finale of the three-game series.

Anthony Rendon homered and doubled, Bryce Harper tied a career high with three doubles and Michael A. Taylor and Murphy each had three singles in a game that was delayed 38 minutes by rain in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams homered for the Phillies, who had won three straight.

Pinch hitter Brian Goodwin led off the eighth with a walk against Victor Arano. With one out, right-hander Seranthony Dominguez (1-2) came on to face Harper, who doubled to right, with Goodwin stopping at third.

After Rendon grounded out, Juan Soto was intentionally walked and Murphy lined a 1-2 pitch to shallow right. Taylor's single made it 8-6.

Ryan Madson (2-3) pitched the eighth inning, and Sean Doolittle finished it for his 21st save.

The Phillies took a 6-2 lead in the fifth on a two-run triple by Odubel Herrera and a two-run homer by Williams.

Washington pulled within a run at 6-5 in the sixth with four two-out hits, including an RBI triple by Trea Turner and RBI doubles by Harper and Rendon.

Nick Pivetta went five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits for the Phillies.

Washington starter Jefry Rodriguez was charged with four runs and five hits in four-plus innings.

The Phillies broke on top on Hoskins's two-run homer in the third.

Rendon made it 2-1 with a solo homer in the fourth. The next three hitters singled, tying the game, but with the rain intensifying, out came the tarp. When play resumed, Pivetta struck out three straight to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: C Andrew Knapp left in the seventh with a right knee contusion. ... 3B Maikel Franco slipped on first base and fell hard in the eighth. He stayed in to run, but left after the half-inning. ... INF Jesmuel Valent?n was placed on the paternity leave list and OF Dylan Cozens (left quadriceps strain) was reinstated from the 10-day DL.

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (right hamstring strain) allowed 11 runs in 4 2/3 innings of a rehab start at Class A Potomac on Sunday. "I'm more concerned with the way he feels," manager Dave Martinez said, downplaying the results. "We'll go from there." ... RH reliever Brandon Kintzler (right forearm flexor strain) threw a scoreless inning at Potomac. ... RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) played catch on the field again. "We'll keep doing his throwing progression and figure out when he can actually throw from the mound," Martinez said.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82) starts the opener of a series against the Yankees on Monday. He is 0-0 with a 3.24 ERA in two games vs. New York.

Nationals: RHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.08) opens a series at Tampa Bay on Monday. He is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA in six games against the Rays.