Nationals

No. 14 NC State holds off Clemson 66-62

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No. 14 NC State holds off Clemson 66-62

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Freshman T.J. Warren scored 21 points while Richard Howell scored the go-ahead basket with 1:56 left to help No. 14 North Carolina State hold off Clemson 66-62 on Sunday night.

Howell finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolfpack (15-3, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who never trailed yet still found itself in a tight game against a league opponent that wouldn't go away. N.C. State scored the game's first 10 points and led by nine early in the second half.

Ultimately, the Wolfpack held on, with Howell's three-point play breaking a tie and Scott Wood's 5-for-6 performance at the line in the final 28 seconds helping N.C. State keep its grip on the lead.

Devin Booker scored a career-high 27 points for the Tigers (10-7, 2-3), though he didn't score in the final 8 1/2 minutes or even get a shot in the final 6 1/2 minutes.

Rod Hall added a season-high 16 points for Clemson, including the tying three-point play with 3:37 left. The teams then traded baskets before Howell took a feed from Wood into the center of the paint while Milton Jennings jumped to block any shot from behind. Howell collected the ball and finished the layup despite the contact from Jennings, then made the ensuing free throw for the 60-57 lead.

Clemson had a final chance to tie the game, but Hall slipped as he tried to catch an inbounds pass with 8.7 seconds left. The ball went to Lorenzo Brown, who hit a free throw with 5.5 seconds on the clock to make it a two-possession game.

The Wolfpack had upset then-No. 1 Duke here last weekend for the program's first 3-0 ACC start since the 1988-89 season, only to follow that with a 51-50 loss on a last-second basket at Maryland on Wednesday night. This performance was harder to figure considering N.C. State was the preseason favorite in the ACC and unbeaten at home this year.

N.C. State led the entire game yet was unable to put together any knockout blow on the Tigers, who kept hanging around behind Booker. Booker had 18 by halftime, though the rest of his teammates combined to shoot 3-for-24 in the opening period.

Clemson shot 41 percent for the game but went 5-for-19 from 3-point range.

N.C. State shot 45 percent but made things harder on itself by going just 14-for-23 from the foul line.

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

The Nationals face the Rockies at Coors Field for the first half of this work week. Here are three things to watch for:

  1. Can the Nationals stay above .500? Stephen Strasburg’s impressive start along with Ryan Zimmerman’s two homers and two RBI kept Washington from being swept by the lowly Marlins.

  2. Who will produce with Anthony Rendon out? While the Nats 3B was sidelined with an elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s outing against the Marlins, Howie Kendrick started in his place. Kendrick went 1-for-3 vs Miami with one RBI and one strikeout. In terms of replacing Rendon’s hitting prowess, Victor Robles has started a streak of his own. The youngster is hot on a seven game hit streak, including a bunt over the infield Sunday.

  3. Will the Nationals ever sure up their end game? Yesterday’s ninth inning was on the brink of disaster. Kyle Barraclough allowed back-to-back walks, then Sean Doolittle loaded the bases. Luckily for the Nats, crisis averted.

Download the MyTeams app (https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/myteams-nbc-sports ) for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.

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