Capitals

Nets beat Wizards in first game in Brooklyn

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Nets beat Wizards in first game in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) The Nets brought professional sports back to Brooklyn with a victory Monday night, beating the Washington Wizards 98-88 in the first basketball game at the Barclays Center.

Brook Lopez had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who left New Jersey after last season for a new $1 billion home in Brooklyn. They were greeted by 14,219 fans on the night they became Brooklyn's first major pro sports team since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957.

Clearly trying for a triumphant opener even in a meaningless preseason game, the Nets brought All-Star point guard Deron Williams back on the floor to help protect a six-point lead with about 3 1/2 minutes left. He fed Gerald Wallace for a basket about 30 seconds later, and exchanged words and technical fouls with Wizards reserve A.J. Price after Price fouled him with 56.5 seconds remaining.

Andray Blatche scored 16 points, Joe Johnson had 14 and Williams finished with 11 points and nine assists for the Nets, 2-0 in the preseason.

Martell Webster scored 18 points and rookie Bradley Beal added 13 for the Wizards.

The Nets wore their road black uniforms with the word ``Brooklyn'' across the chest, designed and unveiled by rap mogul and team part-owner Jay-Z in one of his concerts here last month.

His influence, the new home and a flurry of offseason moves have brought the Nets nearly unprecedented attention for a team that was often ignored in its multiple New Jersey homes, no matter how good or bad the Knicks were during that time.

Shortly after the public address announcer greeted fans with a ``Hello Brooklyn!'' before introducing the Nets' lineup, Emeka Okafor made the first basket at the Barclays Center. The Wizards led by one after one, and the Nets took a 50-48 lead into halftime.

The Nets assembled a team they think will be a solid competitor during their first season here, re-signing Williams, Lopez, Wallace and Kris Humphries while acquiring players such as Johnson, C.J. Watson, Blatche, Reggie Evans, a quick rebuild for a team that lost 70 games just three seasons ago.

The move to Brooklyn took much longer. Owner and developer Bruce Ratner had to fight off dozens of lawsuits before the project could go forward, eventually selling a majority stake in the team to Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov for enough funding to move ahead.

Minor work is still being completed, but the Nets will deal with any inconveniences after two years at the Prudential Center in Newark while waiting for the Barclays Center to be ready.

``It feels great on all levels to finally be here,'' Nets coach Avery Johnson said before the game. ``You know, I left the building for two hours today, two or three hours, and just was kind of anxious to get back.''

Seating 17,732 for basketball, the arena sits above the exit to an expanded subway station that is directly accessible by nine lines. Team officials believe the ease of traveling to the arena will help provide them with a home-court advantage that they never found in New Jersey. Fans were into the game, with a chant of ``Brooklyn!'' breaking out late in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: The Nets are the featured team this season on NBA TV's ``The Association,'' a series offering behind-the-scenes access to the team. The debut episode is Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EDT.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

In case you missed it

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