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Nets beat Hawks 94-89 for home-and-home split

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Nets beat Hawks 94-89 for home-and-home split

NEW YORK (AP) Deron Williams scored 24 points, making four free throws in the final 43.4 seconds, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks 94-89 on Friday night to earn a split of a home-and-home series.

Brook Lopez added 20 points for the Nets, who bounced back from a 109-95 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday that snapped their seven-game winning streak. Former Hawks guard Joe Johnson finished with 18 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 20 rebounds as the Nets beat the Hawks for the first time in seven meetings.

Jeff Teague had 21 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who played without starting center Al Horford and lost key reserve Lou Williams to a serious-looking right knee injury. Former Nets guard Devin Harris scored 17 and Josh Smith had 12 points and nine rebounds in his return from a one-game suspension, but shot just 5 of 15.

The Hawks were only 5 of 22 from the field in the fourth quarter and lost for the seventh time in nine games.

In a game that was tied after each of the first three quarters, the Nets relied on solid defense to pull ahead in the fourth, then held off a late run.

It was 74-all before the Nets scored the first five of the fourth. Johnson's jumper with 8:06 left was the first basket of the quarter and made it 79-74 before the Hawks could get on the board.

Four straight points from Mike Scott made it a one-point game, but Johnson made another jumper, and after a free throw by Teague, Lopez and Keith Bogans scored to make it 85-80. The Nets pushed it to 90-82 after five free throws by Lopez and appeared safe with under 3 minutes left.

But the Hawks ran off seven straight, capped emphatically when Smith grabbed a rebound, drove all the way and threw down a powerful dunk over Lopez to make it 90-89. The Hawks thought they came up with a turnover but replayed showed the ball was off them, and Williams made a pair of free throws with 43 seconds to go.

Lopez blocked Teague's shot, Williams made two more from the line with 11 seconds left, and that was it.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Horford had a sore hamstring and calf. He was in uniform but didn't start for just the second time in Hawks' 39 games, and Drew decided not to use him at all.

Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said before the game the Nets' transition defense had to be ``400 times'' better than it was Wednesday, wanting to see how the Nets came out in the first few minutes. The Hawks then made seven of their first eight shots, including all four 3-pointers, but the Nets stuck right with them and it was 29-all after one.

It was still tied in the second when Williams came up with a steal and was driving for a basket when his leg gave out as he tried to plant to go up for the shot with 7:12 remaining. He limped out of bounds behind the basket and was taken to the back for attention, unable to put any pressure on the leg. The Hawks said he had a sprained right knee and would undergo testing Friday night and Saturday.

Notes: Smith passed Eddie Johnson (9,631 points) for eighth on the team's career scoring list. Smith now has 9,633. ... Gerald Wallace returned to the Nets' lineup after missing two games and coming off the bench in one because of bruised ribs. He had eight points on 1-of-6 shooting. ... Nets official scorer Herb Turetzky worked his 1,200th consecutive game, a streak that began in May 1984. Turetzky is in his 46th season as the Nets' official scorer and has worked 1,887 games overall.

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Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

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NBC Sports Washington

Dwight Howard ruled out for Wizards' season opener vs. Miami

Dwight Howard will not play in the Washington Wizards' season opener against the Miami Heat, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller has confirmed. The news was first reported by Chris Haynes.

Ian Mahinmi will start in his place as he did for a majority of the preseason. 

Howard, an eight-time All-Star, has been dealing with a butt-injury ever since joining Washington this summer. This resulted in him missing all of the team's preseason matchups. He only has practiced with the team for a couple of days this week

Earlier on Thursday morning, Howard was listed as questionable for this matchup.

Based on his absence during the preseason and limited work with the Wizards, Howard being out is not too surprising. If he would have played it likely would have been for limited minutes off of the bench. 

Best-case for the Wizards is to rest Howard who has only missed 20 regular season games in the previous three seasons. 

Howard is not that far off from starting his 15th season in the NBA. On Wednesday Scott Brooks said that Howard will travel on the first road trip with the team to the West Coast starting on Monday. 

This story is developing and will updated as more information becomes available. 

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What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

What’s next for Capitals' Tom Wilson?

On Thursday, Tom Wilson appealed his 20-game suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. So what happens now?

Wilson was suspended 20-games for a hit he delivered to St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist in the preseason. The NHLPA filed an appeal on Wilson’s behalf which led to his hearing on Thursday.

There is no specific timeline on when Bettman will issue a decision so for now, Wilson will have to wait.

When a decision is reached, he will have two options of how to proceed. First, he can accept the commissioner’s decision and serve whatever suspension remains. As of Thursday, he has currently served six games out of the original 20-game suspension.

Wilson also has the option of a second appeal. For suspensions of six games or more, a player can file a subsequent appeal to a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator is given authority to issue a ruling based on whether the league’s finding of a violation of the rules and the penalty imposed were both supported by substantial evidence, meaning both the hit itself and the length of suspension will be reviewed.

This can be a lengthy process.

The most recent example of a player appealing to a neutral arbitrator is Nashville’s Austin Watson. He was suspended 27 games by the NHL on Sept. 12 for domestic assault. On Oct. 12 an arbitrator reduced the suspension to 18 games.

Given the serious nature of domestic assault, it should be noted that Wilson and Watson’s respective transgressions are in no way comparable. This example is used merely to illustrate how long the process can take.

Another example is that of Dennis Wideman who was suspended 20 games in 2016 for hitting and injuring a referee. His suspension was ultimately reduced to 10 games by an arbitrator, but by that time he had already served 19 games.

Wilson will remain suspended throughout the appeals process.

Obviously he would like to return to the ice as quickly as possible, but even if his appeal drags out and Wilson is forced to sit for most or all of those 20 games, he still can recoup some of the money he will forfeit from this suspension (over $1.2 million) which will make the arbitrator’s decision still relevant for him personally.

Should Wilson serve the full 20-game suspension, he will be eligible to return to play on Nov. 21 when the Caps host the Chicago Blackhawks.

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