Capitals

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Mike Conley scored 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Charlotte Bobcats 94-87 on Saturday night for their eighth consecutive victory.

Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, who own the NBA's best record at 8-1. Rudy Gay had 16 points and Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 12 apiece.

Memphis led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter.

Byron Mullens scored 18 points and Kemba Walker added 17 for the Bobcats, who cut the Grizzlies' lead to five points three times in the final period, the last at 92-87 on Bismack Biyombo's dunk with 13 seconds remaining.

Charlotte had won three straight.

CLIPPERS 101, BULLS 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Blake Griffin scored 12 of his 26 points in the final six minutes and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the Clippers earn their fifth straight victory.

Reserve Jamal Crawford scored 17 of his 22 points in the second quarter for the Clippers, who lead the Pacific Division with a 7-2 mark. It's their best record after nine games since 2005-06, when they won nine of their first 11, finished 47-35 and came within one victory of the Western Conference finals.

Los Angeles' reserves outscored the starters 35-18 in the first half and 53-48 for the game.

The Bulls, who blew an 18-point lead in their previous game on Wednesday at Phoenix before beating the Suns 112-106 in overtime, got 22 points and 12 rebounds from Carlos Boozer on the second leg of their annual circus road trip.

HEAT 97, SUNS 88

PHOENIX (AP) - Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting, ailing LeBron James added 21 and the Heat closed a six-game road trip with a victory over the Suns.

The Heat, playing without Dwyane Wade for the second game in a row because of a left foot injury, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter and were up by nine with 5 1/2 minutes to play. The Suns cut it to two before Miami scored the game's final seven points.

James, who missed the morning shootaround with flu-like symptoms, made only 8 of 20 shots but still reached 20 points for the 11th time in 11 games this season. James' effort helped the Heat finish 4-2 on the road trip.

Markieff Morris scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Phoenix.

SPURS 126, NUGGETS 100

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Manu Ginobili had 20 points and the Spurs set a season high for points.

DeJuan Blair added 19 points and Danny Green had 15 for San Antonio (8-2). Tony Parker and Tim Duncan each scored 14 points while playing 25 and 23 minutes, respectively.

Danilo Gallinari scored 15 and Kenneth Faried finished with 14 for Denver (4-6), which has lost three straight games for the second time this season.

The Spurs shot 53 percent from the field, including a 16-for-27 performance from 3-point range.

BUCKS 117, HORNETS 113

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Monta Ellis scored six of his 22 points in the final 2 minutes to help Milwaukee hold off New Orleans.

Brandon Jennings also had 22 points, and Mike Dunleavy added 17 for Milwaukee, which improved to 6-2 in its best start since opening 9-1 in 2001-02.

Top overall draft pick Anthony Davis had a season-high 28 points and tied his season high with 11 rebounds for New Orleans. Ryan Anderson added 20 points for the Hornets.

CELTICS 107, RAPTORS 89

BOSTON (AP) - Rajon Rondo tied his season high with 20 assists, and Jason Terry scored 20 points to help the Celtics get the victory.

Rondo appeared at full strength after sitting out a loss at Brooklyn on Thursday night because of a sprained right ankle. He had seven assists in the first quarter and 11 at halftime, extending his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists to 33.

Rondo's streak is the third-longest in NBA history and puts him within four games of tying John Stockton. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46 consecutive games with 10 or more assists.

Paul Pierce added 19 points for Boston (6-4). Rookie Jared Sullinger had his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas led Toronto (2-7) with 15 points apiece.

MAVERICKS 103, CAVALIERS 95

CLEVELAND (AP) - O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and the Mavericks used a pair of 9-0 runs in the fourth quarter to secure the road win.

Chris Kaman scored 15 points while Vince Carter and Darren Collison added 14 apiece for Dallas, which won on the road for the second time in six games.

Kyrie Irving, who left briefly in the third quarter with a finger injury, led Cleveland with 26 points, but the Cavaliers lost their fifth straight game.

Mayo hit a 3-pointer and a layup down the stretch to spark Dallas, which outscored the Cavaliers 28-22 in the final period. The Mavericks had six players score in double figures.

Dion Waiters and Daniel Gibson had 16 points apiece for Cleveland.

JAZZ 83, WIZARDS 76

WASHINGTON (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 21 points, Gordon Hayward added 15 in his first game as a reserve this season, and the Jazz kept the Wizards winless.

The Jazz committed 19 turnovers but pulled away in the fourth quarter while closing a four-game road trip with a sloppy performance - and got away with it because they were playing the Wizards. Washington became only the second team in NBA history to start 0-8 in back-to-back seasons.

The game was tied at 65 early in the fourth when the Wizards went cold, scoring only 13 points in the final period. The Jazz held Washington scoreless for more than 4 minutes while building their first double-digit lead of the game. Utah had nine offensive rebounds in the quarter.

Jordan Crawford scored 20 points for the Wizards.

Quick Links

Panthers head coach calls for league to review Ovechkin’s hit to Pysyk

Panthers head coach calls for league to review Ovechkin’s hit to Pysyk

The Florida Panthers played over half of Friday’s game with five defensemen after a hit from Alex Ovechkin ultimately knocked Mark Pysyk out of the game.

Early in the second period, Ovechkin attempted to enter the offensive zone with the puck, but it was swept away at the blue line back to Pysyk. Pysyk quickly chipped the puck away and then was on the receiving end of a hit from Ovechkin.

In real time, the hit did not appear to be a big one. It wasn't even the biggest hit Ovechkin delivered in the game, as in the third period he sent Aleksander Barkov flying with a shoulder hit. But Pysyk went down to the ice after the hit and left the game soon after.

After the game, Florida head coach Bob Boughner did not mince words.

“Pysyk got a high hit to the head,” he said.

When asked if he thought the league should review the hit, Boughner said, “I hope they do because if you see the replay, it's high. It's a head shot. And the league's trying to clamp down on that. Whether there's no call, I don't blame the refs. Maybe they missed it. That happens. But those are the kind of plays that need to be reviewed.”

Based on the replay, it is hard to determine if the principal point of contact was the head. Ovechkin does not launch himself, but does appear to take an upward trajectory into Pysyk. Still, it seems like a hard sell to say Ovechkin was targeting the head.

But the hit did send Pysyk out of the game, and in today’s NHL, when head hits are a big topic of conversation and when a player is injured on a play, the NHL has shown it takes those plays more seriously.

Pysyk returned to the game for one more shift after receiving the hit, but left the game after and did not return.

“Right now we're still getting him checked out, but we'll see more in the morning,” Boughner said.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Three reasons the Capitals lost to the Panthers

panthers-goal-caps-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Three reasons the Capitals lost to the Panthers

Friday’s game had a little bit of everything. After spotting the Florida Panthers a 4-1 lead, the Capitals furiously battled back to tie the game at 4, then tied the game at 5 with just 1:25 remaining in regulation to earn an improbable point. The comeback ultimately fell short, however, as the Panthers earned the 6-5 shootout win.

Here are three reasons the Caps lost.

Bad puck management

A disastrous first period saw the Panthers score four goals and the biggest reason for that was the Caps’ puck management. They were sloppy with the puck leading to a number of costly turnovers, and Florida took advantage.

A good illustration of this game with Washington already trailing 2-1: Jakub Vrana made a lazy pass in the defensive zone that was easily intercepted by Jonathan Huberdeau, who forced a really nice save from Braden Holtby.

Whew, bullet dodged. Actually, not so fast.

Brett Connolly won the resulting faceoff, but Michal Kempny attempted a backhanded pass behind the net that was easily stolen away by Vincent Trocheck. Florida went tic-tac-toe with Trocheck to Huberdeau to Colton Sceviour who finished off the play for the goal.

No control in front of the net

Trocheck scored a rebound goal from the slot that bounced off of Lars Eller and into the net. Evgenii Dadonov scored from the slot on the power play. Sceviour scored from the high-slot after what was a generous pass from Huberdeau who looked like he could have scored from closer in…from the slot. Jared McCann pounced on a loose puck in the slot to beat a sprawling Holtby and Huberdeau scored off a rebound right in front of Holtby.

See a pattern?

The Panthers had complete control in front of the Caps’ net and all five of their goals came from in close.

Penalties

The Caps had a pretty good start to the game, but that was derailed by a Jakub Vrana penalty just 6:10 into the game. Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking about 10 minutes later and Dadonov scored to put Florida up 2-1.

Despite the penalties and going down 4-1 in the first, the Caps battled back to a 4-4 tie in the second. Then the penalties popped up again.

Alex Ovechkin was called for interference on Aaron Ekblad late in the period. It was a tough call as the puck as was at Ekblad’s feet, but Ovechkin made no attempt to play the loose puck at all and simply hit Ekblad, drawing an interference call. Less than a minute later, the Caps were called for too many men giving Florida 1:15 of a two-man advantage to work with and Huberdeau scored the go-ahead goal.

After three-straight goals, the Caps’ penalties completely derailed them and swept momentum back in the Panthers’ favor.

But wait, there’s more.

With the time ticking away on the too many men penalty, Kuznetsov was tossed out of the faceoff dot. He argued with the linesman and apparently argued a bit too hard because the linesman went to the referee and Kuznetsov was booked for unsportsmanlike conduct giving Florida another 10 seconds of 5-on-3.

Despite all of that, the Caps still managed to tie the game with just 1:25 remaining in the game. Matt Niskanen, however, took a penalty with just 23 seconds left. With a 4-on-3 power play to start overtime, 

Overall, Washington gave the Panthers seven power play opportunities including two 5-on-3s, gave up two goals on the man advantage and completely killed their own momentum.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: