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NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker scored 30 points, Tim Duncan had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs shook off a ``disappointing'' $250,000 fine by the NBA to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-95 in overtime Saturday night.

Coach Gregg Popovich said before the win he doesn't know if the Spurs will appeal the NBA's stiff penalty for sending Duncan, Parker and two others home to rest Thursday instead of them suiting up against the Miami Heat in a nationally televised game.

Popovich said he was disappointed by Commissioner David Stern's decision. He also didn't rule out sitting out players again in the future.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points. Zach Randolph had 17 points and 15 rebounds and was one of three Memphis players with double-doubles.

Mike Conley had 18 points and 12 assists, and Rudy Gay had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The unprecedented fine announced Friday overshadowed the first meeting this season between two of the West's winningest teams.

HEAT 102, NETS 89

MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 34 points, LeBron James added 21 points and Miami rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Brooklyn.

Ray Allen scored 13 and Norris Cole finished with 12 for the Heat, who won their sixth straight and remained atop the Eastern Conference. Miami held the Nets to 30 points in the second half.

Andray Blatche scored 20 points for Brooklyn, which had won five in a row. Gerald Wallace had 13 points, Joe Johnson added 12 and Deron Williams finished with 10 points and 12 assists.

The Nets were 10 for 31 from the field in the second half and lost to Miami for the 12th straight time.

TRAIL BLAZERS 118, CAVALIERS 117, 2OT

CLEVELAND (AP) - Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime gave Portland a victory over Cleveland.

Trailing 117-115 with 2.5 seconds remaining, Portland called timeout and inbounded near midcourt. Damian Lillard passed to Batum, who hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner in front of Cleveland's bench. With time only for a tip-in attempt, the Cavaliers couldn't get a shot off before time expired.

Lillard led Portland with 24 points while Batum added 22. Alonzo Gee paced the Cavaliers with 22 points, but missed a free throw that would have given them a three-point lead before Batum's shot.

Anderson Varejao had 19 points and 17 rebounds.

ROCKETS 124, JAZZ 116

HOUSTON (AP) - Patrick Patterson scored 20 points, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin had 19 apiece and Houston beat Utah.

James Harden finished with 18 points for the Rockets, who shot 55 percent (46 of 83) and hit half of their 3-point shots at 11 of 22. Greg Smith and Carlos Delfino each scored 13.

Gordon Hayward had 13 of his 21 points in the second half and Al Jefferson and Randy Foye each scored 20 for Utah. The Jazz lost despite shooting 51 percent (48 of 94) overall and going 11 for 20 from 3-point range.

Omer Asik had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Houston. He briefly left the game after taking an elbow from Hayward, but returned for the final minutes.

The Rockets have won five straight home games. Utah has dropped three of its last four road games.

THUNDER 100, HORNETS 79

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Kevin Durant scored 20 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 points and 10 assists, and Oklahoma City won its fifth straight game.

The two Thunder stars did all their work in first three quarters, resting for the final period after helping their club build a 27-point lead.

Kevin Martin added 19 points and Nick Collison 12 in reserve roles for Oklahoma City, which has won nine of 10, including its last four by double digits.

Ryan Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but was only 3 of 11 on 3-point attempts, normally his strength. Robin Lopez added 12 points and Roger Mason Jr. 11 for the Hornets, who have lost nine of 10.

BUCKS 91, CELTICS 88

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Larry Sanders had 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots, and Milwaukee rallied for a victory after Boston scored the first 17 points of the game.

Monta Ellis had 17 points and seven assists for the Bucks, while Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and five rebounds. Brandon Jennings had a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.

Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 19 points, and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and seven rebounds.

Boston played without point guard Rajon Rondo, who served the second of his two-game suspension for his role in a scuffle during a game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

Courtney Lee, who started in Rondo's place, had 13 points, and Jason Terry finished with 15 points and 11 assists.

BULLS 93, 76ERS 88

CHICAGO (AP) - Luol Deng scored a game-high 25 points and Chicago beat Philadelphia.

Deng also had a season-high seven assists and has led the team in scoring in consecutive games. He scored 22 in a 101-78 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Richard Hamilton added 15 points for the Bulls, who played the 76ers for the first time since last season's first-round playoff series.

Joakim Noah had 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Boozer has double-doubles in six of his past eight games.

Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 23 points. Thaddeus Young added 22 points and seven rebounds.

MAVERICKS 92, PISTONS 77

DALLAS (AP) - O.J. Mayo broke out of a shooting slump with 27 points and Dallas celebrated Derek Fisher's Mavericks debut with a victory against Detroit.

Mayo was coming off consecutive games with season lows and started 0 for 4 before taking over in the third quarter. He scored 16 points in a 17-4 run that eventually stretched into a 25-6 surge as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.

Fisher got the start a day after the 16-year veteran's first practice with the Mavs. His presence seemed to spark Darren Collison, the struggling young point guard he was brought in to help. Collison had eight assists and no turnovers.

Brandon Knight led Detroit with 20 points, including 18 in the first half.

WARRIORS 103, PACERS 92

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry had 20 points and a season-high 11 assists to lead Golden State over Indiana.

Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the surprising Warriors, who have won three straight and remain tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division. David Lee added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season.

Golden State led by 16 in the third quarter, then held off a mini-rally by Indiana at the start of the fourth before pulling away for the win.

David West scored 23 points and George Hill had 19 for the Pacers.

CLIPPERS 116, KINGS 81

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jamal Crawford scored 17 points off the bench, leading seven Clippers in double-digit scoring, and Los Angeles rested all of its starters in the fourth quarter of a blowout.

The Clippers beat Sacramento for the fourth straight time. Blake Griffin had 14 points and nine rebounds, Chris Paul had 14 points and five assists, and DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and six rebounds.

Marcus Thornton scored 20 points for the Kings, and Jason Thompson had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

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Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts and sits

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USA Today

Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts and sits

Here are your start and sit options for Week 3. Also, take a look at the Week 3 position-by-position rankings. Good luck out there.

Quarterbacks

Start – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Steelers. The Fitzmagic cast spells on opposing defenses in the opening two games as the journeyman passers set an impressive bar for all fantasy football players. The spotlight goes next level with a Monday night matchup against a Pittsburgh squad (0-1-1) seeking its first win. The Steelers enter Week 3 allowing the second-most fantasy points to  quarterbacks. There’s certainly a chance Fitzpatrick turns back into a pumpkin – or at least the average QB he’s largely been during his career – but momentum and matchup makes for a good opportunity.

Sit – Dak Prescott at Seahawks. Carson Wentz making his return to the field for the first time since last season’s ACL injury is the obvious don’t use call, but let’s go down the PSA route. Even you blind-homer Dallas fans realize your guy should be glued to the bench, right? Actually, considering Prescott has one touchdown, 330 passing yards total through two games and limited receiver options, it’s conceivable if not likely there are better options (Ryan Tannehill? Blake Bortles?) on the waiver wire. Don’t expect an uptick in production this seek as Dallas plays guest in Seattle’s first game home game of the season.

Running backs

Start – Giovani Bernard at Panthers. Here comes a workload rise for Bernard with Joe Mixon (knee) sidelined. Though a downgrade for the Bengals’, fantasy owners shouldn’t expect a noticeable drop. Bernard produced throughout his career when receiving ample touches, a scenario that happens Sunday. With at least 15 touches in Cincinnati’s final five games last season, the dual threat had 11, 19, 13, 29 and 13 fantasy points in PPR formats. Even though Carolina is stout against the run, Bernard ranks a borderline RB1 in Week 3.

Sit –Chris Carson vs. Cowboys. There’s a backfield split with rookie Raashad Penny occurring, a scenario frustrating for Carson owners who bought into the preseason hype. There’s facing a Dallas defense that held Saquon Barkley to 28 yards on 11 carries last week (The rookie also had 14 receptions, of course). It might not be conceivable to bench Carson depending on other options. Just don’t get hyped for this matchup.

Wide receivers

Start – Dante Pettis at Chiefs. This deep cut depends on whether Marquise Goodwin missed a second consecutive game. The 49ers face a Chiefs defense giving up gobs of aerial production through two games, including four touchdowns to wide receivers and a league-worst 40 receptions. Only three receptions on the season and just a 1-for-35 line last week, but Pettis scored a TD in the opener. If Goodwin plays and Pettis’ snaps drop yet you still seek a long shot play, consider Josh Doctson a hold-your-nose flyer. Washington is dealing with injuries at receiver. Tight end Jordan Reed only played half the snaps during the first two weeks. Green Bay is allowing the fourth-most wide receiver production in PPR formats. 

Sit – Demaryius Thomas at Ravens. Until proven otherwise Thomas’ reputation trumps reality. Emmanuel Sanders is the Denver receiver putting up quality numbers (14 receptions for 231 yards vs. 11 and 81 for Thomas). As Rotoworld’s Evan Silva notes, receivers are torching Baltimore’s slot corner Tavon Young. The slot is where Sanders lines up often and where Broncos quarterback Case Keenum will look.

Tight ends

Start – O.J. Howard vs. Steelers. Either tight end in this matchup works for owners in need, but Howard’s potential easily trumps Jesse James. Five receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown in two games more than works, but is particularly impressive considering six total targets. The lack of balls thrown his way is a bit concerning, but the Steelers allowed the fifth most points to fantasy tight ends through two weeks. Good chance Tampa Bay gets Howard more involved.

Sit – Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. Titans. Despite dealing with a core muscle injury, Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t listed on Friday’s injury report. That means he’s available to face a Tennessee defense that allowed opposing tight ends four receptions for 51 yards over its first two games. There’s always hope for a touchdown, but between ASJ’s limited production (averaging 3 for 24) and the Titans’ solid work, look elsewhere if possible.

Defenses

Start – Cowboys at Seahawks. Russell Wilson has been sacked 12 times on the season and thrown three interceptions. Even if Seattle pulls off its first win of the season, Dallas’ defense should post solid fantasy numbers.

Sit – Chargers at Rams. One of these Los Angeles teams is allowing opposing defenses a mere 2.5 fantasy points. That team has Jared Goff at quarterback. The Chargers teed off on Buffalo last week. Things won’t come nearly as easily against the NFC West favorite.

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Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 2: Can the core players of Wall, Beal, Porter and Oubre reach another level?

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USA Today Sports

Wizards' 2018-19 storyline No. 2: Can the core players of Wall, Beal, Porter and Oubre reach another level?

With Wizards training camp set to begin next week, we at NBC Sports Washington are counting down the five biggest storylines for the team as they start a new season. Today, at No. 2, a look at the Wizards' young core and how those players can make another leap...


In signing Dwight Howard and Jeff Green, trading for Austin Rivers and drafting Troy Brown, Jr., the Wizards arguably added more talent to their roster this summer than they did in any recent offseason. Yet, the ceiling for this team will once again be determined mostly by a familiar dynamic. The best and most likely way for the Wizards to significantly change their fortune as a team is for one or several of their young, core players to make a big leap in their development.


Those core players would be John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Jr. and Kelly Oubre, Jr., four first round picks drafted between 2010 and 2015 who have served as the nucleus of their recent success. 


Wall, Beal and Porter in particular are the straws that stir the drink. Oubre is worth including because of his pedigree and potential and because this, a contract year, is such an important season for him.


There are reasons to believe that all four of the Wizards core players can get better, despite what they have already shown at the NBA level.


Wall, at 28 and entering his ninth NBA season, is probably looking for more incremental improvement at this point in his career. He has already made five All-Star teams and earned All-NBA honors. As long as he's healthy, which wasn't the case last season, the Wizards know what they are going to get.


That said, it may be unreasonable to expect Wall to make another major leap in his career. It's possible he has already entered his prime and his peak as a basketball player. If there is another level for him to reach, he will likely need to get there soon, as he's two years away from turning 30.


When healthy, Wall is one of the 10 or so best players on the planet. More consistent defense and more efficient scoring are the ways he can move up the ladder. Also, simply going further in the playoffs would change a lot about how he is perceived among NBA superstars.


At 25, Beal is young enough to have a lot of room to grow. Last year was his first All-Star season. If he has another gear, the logical next step would be All-NBA honors and perhaps going from a guy who scores 22-23 points per game to one of the elite scorers in the league.


Porter is also 25 and therefore may still not be in his prime. He has emerged as one of the most efficient players in the entire NBA and is as reliable as anyone on the Wizards. But to become an All-Star or an All-NBA candidate, Porter will need to have volume numbers to buoy his high shooting percentages. 


Bad players in the NBA have neither volume or efficiency, good players have one or the other, while true stars have both. Porter may take his game to the next level simply by taking more shots and expanding his role from a usage perspective. If he can maintain his efficiency while adding a few points per game to his scoring average, Porter will enter another echelon as a player.


Oubre has more room to develop than the other three because he is younger and less accomplished. He is 22 and entering the final year of his rookie scale contract.  


The Wizards have kept Oubre around, hoping for a breakout year much like they saw from Beal and Porter at this point in their careers. Those guys did not get contract extensions from Washington before their rookie deals were up, but ended up with max money. If Oubre can follow a similar track, the Wizards will be significantly better.


Wall, Beal, Porter and Oubre are all at different points in their careers and have a wide range in their room to grow. Their continued development will be the most important indicator for the Wizards' success this year and beyond.

 

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