Washington Football

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 27 points, Kevin Martin added 24 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Indiana Pacers 104-93 on Sunday night for their eighth straight win.

A meeting of the NBA's highest-scoring offense and the league's stingiest defense went the Thunder's way as they eclipsed 100 points for the 12th straight game.

Of course, Oklahoma City boasts the NBA's second-best defense to go with all that offensive firepower.

Russell Westbrook added 21 points and came up with a big block against 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert - 11 inches taller than him - during a late 8-0 burst by the Thunder that put it away after the Pacers had pulled within three.

David West had 21 points for Indiana, which had all five starters score in double figures.

KNICKS 112, NUGGETS 106

NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony returned from a two-game absence with 34 points against his former team, and New York the NBA's only team unbeaten at home.

Back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a cut on the middle finger of his left hand that required stitches, Anthony twice made baskets in the final 2:08 after Denver had pulled within four points.

Jason Kidd scored 17 points for the Knicks, who bounced back from their worst offensive performance of the season a night earlier in Chicago and improved to 8-0 at Madison Square Garden. Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith each had 15 points.

Ty Lawson had 23 points and Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and nine rebounds against the team that drafted him and later dealt him in the package for Anthony in February 2011.

JAZZ 117, LAKERS 110

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Paul Millsap scored 24 points, Mo Williams added 22 and Utah won its third straight.

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 34 points, making 12 of 14 free throws, as they fell to 4-7 in their last 11 games.

Al Jefferson and reserves Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter added 14 points each for the Jazz, which improved to 4-9 on the road in ending a two-game skid away from home.

The Lakers never led in the second half while losing their second in a row. They trailed by three to start the fourth quarter only to get outscored 20-8 and fall behind by 15. Hayward had seven points and Kanter six in Utah's spurt.

MAGIC 98, SUNS 90

PHOENIX (AP) - Rookie Andrew Nicholson scored nine of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and Orlando handed Phoenix its seventh straight loss.

Nicholson made 9 of 11 shots and grabbed nine rebounds, also the best of his young career.

J.J. Redick scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half for the Magic in the final stop of their five-game road trip.

Shannon Brown scored 17 and Jared Dudley 15 for the Suns, who were without starting point guard Goran Dragic due to illness.

Phoenix's losing streak is its longest since 2004.

BUCKS 97, NETS 88

NEW YORK (AP) - Brandon Jennings scored 26 points, Monta Ellis had 24 points and Milwaukee withstood Brooklyn's fourth-quarter rally.

The Bucks led by 29 points with 6:59 left in the third quarter but the Nets got within six after Deron Williams found Kris Humphries open for an uncontested dunk.

Ellis' layup then made it 87-79 before the Nets called a timeout with 2:24 left in regulation. On the ensuing play, Gerald Wallace lost his balance and the ball and Milwaukee's Larry Sanders made a reverse layup to extend the Bucks' lead to 10 points. MarShon Brooks, who scored 14 points, then hit a 3-pointer to bring the Nets within seven but Marquis Daniels' hit a 3-pointer to put the game out of reach.

Williams had 18 points and eight assists and Wallace added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets.

CLIPPERS 102, RAPTORS 83

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jamal Crawford led a fourth-quarter rally by the reserves with 16 points and the Clippers won their sixth in a row and handed Toronto its 10th consecutive road loss.

The backups gave the Clippers their first double-digit lead of the game after Toronto kept it close through the first three periods before dropping its fourth straight and 10th in its last 11. The Raptors have just four wins this season.

Eric Bledsoe added 14 points to help the Clippers' reserves outscore their counterparts 47-24.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 19 points. Chris Paul added 16 points and DeAndre Jordan had 10 rebounds. Caron Butler was the only starter to play in the fourth, coming in only after Matt Barnes was ejected with 1:36 to play.

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points in his hometown. Linas Kleiza, who started in place of injured Mickael Pietrus, added 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Amir Johnson had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto.

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Burning Questions: Which Washington Football Team player should we be talking more about?

Burning Questions: Which Washington Football Team player should we be talking more about?

As training camp continues to build, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will answer burning questions related to the Washington Football Team.

Up next: Which player should we be talking more about as the season nears?

JP's pick: Landon Collins

This might seem odd, but one of Washington’s most expensive players is flying under the radar during the transition to the Ron Rivera era. 

That would be Landon Collins. 

An All Pro in 2016 with the Giants, Washington signed him to a long-term deal last year that included $45 million guaranteed. He was good last season, but not great, and he’s being paid to be great. 

When Rivera or Jack Del Rio get questions about their defense this fall, most center around a stocked defensive front or questions about cornerback depth. 

To break through and be a dominant defensive unit, Washington needs more out of Collins, too.

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Pete's pick: Montez Sweat

Thanks to being drafted alongside a prolific college quarterback, Montez Sweat was overlooked heading into his debut season. Now, because of Chase Young's presence, he's similarly sneaking into Year 2.

That doesn't lessen his importance to the defense, however.

For Washington's unit to be as ferocious as many hope it will be, all three of their pass rushers — Young, Ryan Kerrigan and Sweat — need to do damage.

Despite not having taken an NFL snap yet, it's almost expected that Young will feast right away. Kerrigan, meanwhile, is aging and coming off of his first experience with injuries as a pro, but his track record speaks for itself. Sweat is the one who feels like the X-factor in that trio.

He's very quiet, he's amongst the organization's deepest position and he's got a ways to go before justifying his 2019 draft position. But Sweat came on in the second half of the schedule as a rookie and if he keeps that up, he'll start drawing more attention  — both from fans and opponents.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Moe Wagner after headbutt

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Moe Wagner after headbutt

Despite seeking him out after the whistle and headbutting him with force to earn an ejection from Tuesday night's game, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo says he has no problem with Wizards big man Moe Wagner. He explained the move as general frustration boiling over.

"I don’t have nothing against Wagner, it wasn’t just him. It was just, like, in my mind all these games I’ve played guys hitting me so I lost it for a second," Antetokounmpo told reporters. 

He went on to express regret over the incident, which is certain to result in a fine and possibly a suspension. His explanation, though, runs a bit counter to how the Wizards saw it all.

Wagner was not made available to the media, but his teammates weighed in and all seemed to believe it stemmed from something that happened between them earlier this season.

"They have something in the past, I don't even know," Rui Hachimura said.

"That was just some blood from back then," Ish Smith said. 

They seemed to be referencing the Feb. 24 meeting between the teams when Antetokounmpo fouled out in only 25 minutes, and with some help from Wagner. That night, Wagner gave a quote that could also have been said after this game: "He’s a really good player. I want him out of the game, obviously."

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On Tuesday, Antetokounmpo again exited early against the Wizards, and again the Bucks held on for the win, just like they did in February. Still, him leaving gave the Wizards a bit of a break. 

The reigning MVP had been dominating with 12 points and nine rebounds in 10 minutes.

"I'm not saying he's a dirty player, but he's good at those little things," Hachimura said of Wagner. "Giannis was actually out for the game. It was really big [for] us. He changed the whole game, actually. Moe's a great guy."

RELATED: GIANNIS EJECTED FOR HEADBUTTING MOE WAGNER

Wagner has a tendency to get under the skin of his opponents. He has had run-ins with other big men, most notably Joel Embiid.

He did his part, but the Bucks still had enough to beat the Wizards. Now the question is whether it was a pyrrhic victory with a potential suspension for Antetokounmpo coming next.

"There's no place for that. It's unfortunate," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's unfortunate that it happened. I'm sure the league is going to look at it and make a decision. Fortunately for [the Bucks], it's not a playoff game [up next]. I'm sure he's probably going to miss a couple of games."

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