Redskins

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Knicks gave suffering New Yorkers something to cheer with a 104-84 victory over the Miami Heat in their storm-delayed season opener Friday night.

In the first sporting event in New York since Superstorm Sandy, the Knicks dominated a game the Heat players weren't sure should even be played with the city still so devastated. But the Knicks hoped they could provide a distraction for a few hours, and fans who were able to watch surely loved what they saw from a team that could barely compete with Miami last season.

Steve Novak, a non-factor against the Heat in last season's playoffs, added 17 points off the bench and Raymond Felton had 14 points and nine assists to begin his second stint with the Knicks.

LeBron James scored 23 points for the Heat, so impressive in a season-opening victory over Boston on Tuesday but never really in this one. Dwyane Wade, who thought the game should be postponed, finished with 15 points and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Heat beat the Knicks in five games in last season's first round, and at least for one night New York appears to have closed the gap on the champs.

CLIPPERS 105, LAKERS 95

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chris Paul had 18 points and 15 assists, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Lakers to send their Staples Center co-tenants to an 0-3 start.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Dwight Howard had 13 points and eight rebounds while battling constant foul trouble for the Lakers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 1978 and just the fourth time in franchise history.

Steve Nash sat out with a bruised left leg for the Lakers, who have followed up their 0-8 preseason with three losses in four days.

Blake Griffin scored 15 points before fouling out and Caron Butler had 14 for the Clippers, who pulled away steadily in the second half.

The Clippers snapped a nine-game ``road'' losing streak against the Lakers dating to April 12, 2007.

BOBCATS 90, PACERS 89

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Kemba Walker scored a career-high 30 points in Mike Dunlap's coaching debut and Charlotte snapped a 23-game losing streak with a victory over Indiana.

The Bobcats lost their final 23 games last season to finish 7-59, the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history, prompting owner Michael Jordan to proclaim the franchise had ``hit rock bottom.''

But the Bobcats, playing with a newfound aggressiveness on defense under Dunlap - they forced 19 turnovers - started this season strong against a Pacers team that won 19 of 33 road games last season.

Gerald Henderson added 18 points for the Bobcats and Ramon Sessions chipped in 11, including a big 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

The teams combined to score just two points in the final 3:27. D.J. Augustin, who left the Bobcats in the offseason, missed a jumper from the wing as time expired.

Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 15 points each. Indiana played without forward Danny Granger, the team's leading scorer the past five seasons. He is sidelined indefinitely with soreness in his left knee.

ROCKETS 109, HAWKS 102

ATLANTA (AP) - James Harden continued to shine at the start of his Houston career, scoring a career-high 45 points to lead the Rockets over Atlanta.

Harden, traded to the Rockets from Oklahoma City on Saturday, topped 30 points for the second time in his first week with his new team.

Jeremy Lin had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Marcus Morris had 17 points for Houston.

Rockets center Omer Asik had a career-high 19 rebounds but did not score, missing seven shots from the field.

Lou Williams led the Hawks with 22 points in his Atlanta debut. Josh Smith had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

With the game tied 92-all, Harden had consecutive baskets, including a three-point play, to give Houston the lead for good. Harden was 14 of 19 from the field and 15 of 17 from the free throw line.

THUNDER 106, TRAIL BLAZERS 92

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Oklahoma City beat Portland to win its fourth straight home opener.

Kevin Martin, taking over James Harden's role as the top-scoring bench player, added 19 points as Oklahoma City pulled away in the fourth quarter. Martin hit a 3-pointer and a runner during an 11-2 spurt that extended the Thunder's lead to 95-81 with 4:05 remaining.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 22 points and 15 rebounds and first-round pick Damian Lillard followed a sizzling debut with 21 points and seven assists.

The Trail Blazers were unable to follow up their surprising opening win against the Los Angeles Lakers, while Oklahoma City bounced back from a loss to San Antonio that at least temporarily shifted the focus off Harden's departure.

BULLS 115, CAVALIERS 86

CLEVELAND (AP) - Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer each scored 19 points in Chicago's rout of Cleveland.

Nate Robinson added 16 points and 12 assists for the Bulls, who led the entire game after Boozer hit a jumper 23 seconds in. Chicago made 14 of 19 from the field in the first quarter and led 36-16 with 10:34 remaining in the second.

The Bulls shot 63.8 percent from the field for the game, hitting 44 of 69 shots.

The Cavaliers, who defeated Washington in their opener, struggled on both ends of the floor. Kyrie Irving had 15 points but Cleveland shot 32 of 79 from the field (41 percent) and committed 17 turnovers.

The Bulls are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season despite playing without star point guard Derrick Rose, who isn't expected to return until the second half of the season because of a knee injury.

BUCKS 99, CELTICS 88

BOSTON (AP) - Brandon Jennings had 21 points, 13 assists and six steals, and Milwaukee beat Boston to win its opening game for the first time in six years.

The Bucks never trailed after the first 6 minutes and led by at least 11 points throughout the second half as the Celtics, who allowed the second-fewest points in the NBA last season, struggled defensively for the second consecutive game. They lost 120-107 to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, matching the most points they allowed in any game last season.

Boston, in its home opener, was led by Kevin Garnett with 15 points and Rajon Rondo with 14 points and 11 assists. The Celtics lost their first three games last season.

Tobias Harris scored 18 points for Milwaukee and Monta Ellis had 14.

HORNETS 88, JAZZ 86

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Greivis Vasquez hit a driving layup with 1.3 seconds left, leading New Orleans over Utah even though the Hornets played without rookie center Anthony Davis in the second half.

Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, left with 4:51 to play in the first half after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from fellow rookie and teammate Austin Rivers.

The Hornets said after the game that Davis had a mild concussion and would not accompany the team to Chicago for Saturday night's game. He is day to day.

Davis had eight points - all on dunks - six rebounds and two blocked shots.

Vasquez, who had 13 points and 10 assists, drove past Gordon Hayward, who fell to the floor, and banked in a short shot over Al Jefferson. Utah had a chance to win after calling a timeout, but Mo Williams' fallaway 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson both had 19 points for the Hornets.

MAGIC 102, NUGGETS 89

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Glen Davis scored 29 points, J.J. Redick added 21 and Orlando sprinted out to an early lead before holding off Denver.

Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 23 points, and Ty Lawson had 12. But they struggled offensively, unable to dig out of a 20-point first-half hole.

It was the Magic's first season opener in eight seasons without All-Star center Dwight Howard, who was traded this summer to the Lakers in a multiteam deal involving Denver. The win was also new Magic coach Jacque Vaughn's first regular-season NBA victory.

Orlando forward Hedo Turkoglu left the game with a broken left hand.

The Nuggets dropped to 0-2 on their season-opening three-game road trip.

TIMBERWOLVES 92, KINGS 80

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - J.J. Barea had 21 points and five assists in 28 minutes to help Minnesota overcome a weak shooting performance in a season-opening victory over Sacramento.

Brandon Roy pitched in 10 points, six assists and five rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists as both players returned to NBA action for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season.

Isaiah Thomas had 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter for the Kings, who trailed for most of the game but overtook the Wolves for a stretch after halftime. Marcus Thornton had 15 points off the bench, but DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans were quiet.

GRIZZLIES 104, WARRIORS 94

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Marc Gasol and Mike Conley both scored 21 points, and Memphis spoiled Golden State's home opener after Warriors forward Brandon Rush injured his left knee in a scary fall.

Rudy Gay added 18 points and eight rebounds and Zach Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help the Grizzlies rebound from a loss at the Los Angeles Clippers two nights earlier.

Randolph's foul on Rush in the first quarter unintentionally injured the Warriors forward. Rush held back tears and had to be helped off the court. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday.

The Warriors went down 14 points following the injury, then scored 15 straight to take a 39-38 lead before the Grizzlies ran away with the victory in the second half.

Stephen Curry had 26 points and seven assists, and reserve Carl Landry added 20 points for Golden State on a night all the good vibes from Wednesday's win at Phoenix came crashing down. New center Andrew Bogut, easing back into game shape after left ankle surgery, had four points and three rebounds in 18 minutes.

SUNS 92, PISTONS 89

PHOENIX (AP) - Marcin Gortat had 16 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Phoenix held off a late Detroit rally for its first victory of the season.

Michael Beasley scored 16 points for the Suns and Goran Dragic added 15 points and 10 assists. Shannon Brown scored 14, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Tayshaun Prince's 18 points led six Pistons in double figures. Jason Maxiell added 15 points, all but two in the first quarter, and Brandon Knight had 13 points and 10 assists.

The Suns didn't trail after scoring the last 12 points of the first half, six by Beasley, to go up 54-46. Detroit got no closer than six points until the final minute but still had a chance to tie it on the last possession. Knight, however, threw up an air ball at the buzzer.

Quick Links

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

scherffvideo102918.jpg
USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

anibal_sanchez_nationals_pitching_usat.jpg
USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.