Nationals

No. 24 UCLA beats Oregon St. 74-64

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No. 24 UCLA beats Oregon St. 74-64

LOS ANGELES (AP) Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points, Kyle Anderson added 17 and No. 24 UCLA defeated Oregon State 74-64 on Thursday night, the Bruins' 10th consecutive victory.

Travis Wear added 17 points for the Bruins (15-3, 5-0 Pac-12), who equaled their longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season. They have won 23 of the last 24 games played against Oregon State on their home court.

Roberto Nelson scored 17 points and Joe Burton added 12 points for the Beavers (10-7, 0-4). They lost their fourth straight and fifth in their last six.

The Beavers had the upper hand in the game's opening minutes before the Bruins took over for good. Ahead by 11 at halftime, UCLA ran off 11 straight points early in the second half to take a 48-28 lead.

Muhammad had a three-point play, Wear and Jordan Adams had baskets and Anderson scored four straight points during the run that put the Beavers in a double-digit deficit the rest of the game.

Oregon State got to 58-48 during an 8-0 run capped by Nelson's 3-pointer. But Muhammad answered with a 3-pointer to key a 7-0 spurt and extend UCLA's lead to 65-48.

The Beavers were held under their 75.7-point scoring average. They are one of two Pac-12 teams with five players averaging double figures, but only three players reached that mark in the game.

The Beavers opened the game on a 12-7 run while UCLA struggled with turnovers and missed shots. The Bruins settled down and outscored the Beavers 20-7 to take a 27-19 lead. Muhammad and Norman Powell hit consecutive 3-pointers, while Travis Wear had six points in the spurt.

Anderson and Muhammad combined to score UCLA's final eight points of the first half, extending its lead to 37-26.

Oregon State forward Eric Moreland and guard Victor Robbins were suspended for the game after violating team rules. They will be available to play at Southern California on Saturday.

Former UCLA star Jamaal Wilkes had his No. 52 jersey retired at halftime, with former Bruins stars Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mike Warren on hand. He helped lead the Bruins to NCAA championships in 1972 and 1973 under coach John Wooden. Wilkes had his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers last month, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.

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Scott Boras: Davey Martinez gave ‘a real lesson’ in how to believe in his players

Scott Boras: Davey Martinez gave ‘a real lesson’ in how to believe in his players

When the Nationals stumbled out to a 19-31 start to last season, Davey Martinez didn’t panic.

He was only in his second season as an MLB manager, but Martinez had a roster of players far more talented than what its record was leading others to believe. Amid swirling rumors about his job status and the future of the franchise, Martinez trusted that his players would be able to turn things around.

Five months later, those very same players took down the Houston Astros in seven games to win D.C. a World Series title for the first time since 1924. Longtime baseball agent Scott Boras, who represented several stars for Washington such as Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, was among those who was particularly impressed with the way Martinez kept his clubhouse together.

Boras talked with NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas and Chase Hughes on Friday’s episode of the Nationals Talk podcast about what stood out to him when it came to Martinez’s approach.

“I really credit Davey Martinez because the one message he kept giving everyone was a true lack of concern for the moment and trusting very much about who all those players were,” Boras said. “Every player brought that to my attention at the end of the year, where this was not a compromised manager.

“This was not someone who questioned who we were. It was not someone who showed up and was really making more out of the future other than, ‘Be who you are today and go forward.’”

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW ON THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

With sports pushed to the side while the world grips with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, fans have a lot of more important things on their minds than baseball right now. Yet Boras felt that Martinez’s approach was something everyone should try to emulate when dealing with the uncertainty that the future holds.

“It’s a real lesson for a lot of people,” Boras said. “I think particularly when you’re in an environment, ironically that’s in Washington, D.C., [with] what we’re going through with this pandemic and the focus on our leadership and our country…we really have to make sure that we’re looking about what’s within and not looking about the vague aspects of what the future may bring.

“The Washington Nationals represented their city and our country really well with that message.”

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Nationals' championships rings filled with flash and memories

Nationals' championships rings filled with flash and memories

Salivating and awe came first. Distribution will have to wait.

The Nationals revealed their jewel-laden championship ring during a slow-moving, hour-long telecast Sunday night which was originally supposed to include select players receiving their rings. After pushback from the players -- who wanted to receive the rings together when it was safe to do so -- the night was converted to more of a reveal than reaction.

The ring itself included several nods to the D.C. area, markers from the championship season, and specific personalizations.

Here’s a blow-by-blow:

-- The ring is 14-karat white and yellow gold

-- The “W” logo is made from 30 rubies to represent the 30 runs the team scored in the four World Series game

-- Around the logo are 58 pavé-set diamonds

-- Above and below the logo or the words “World Champions” set over the ring via 32 sapphires. This number represents the sum total of the team’s 2019 walk-off wins (7), shutout wins (13), longest winning streak (8 games), and playoff rounds won (4).

-- An additional 108 diamonds are featured along the ring top, representing the number of regular season and postseason wins (105), plus one diamond for the World Series title and two diamonds for the locations -- Washington and Montreal -- of the franchise.

-- The top and bottom of the ring have 12 rubies to represent the total number of postseason wins

-- On the left side in yellow gold is the player’s name

-- Beneath the name is a flag, the Capitol Building and the Roman numerals MMVI to represent the year the Lerner family purchased the franchise

-- The player’s number is in diamonds on the bottom left side

-- “Fight Finished” is on the right side

-- The interior of the ring is engraved with a shark symbol holding a yellow gold trophy. So, yes, a nod to “Baby Shark” has made it onto the rings

-- Also on the interior are the team logos of each opponent the Nationals defeated in the postseason

-- “Go 1-0 every day” is also engraved inside

-- In total, the average championship ring contains 170 total diamonds, 32 custom-cut sapphires, 31 custom-cut rubies, and 24 princess-cut rubies for a precious total stone carat weight of 23.2 carats.

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The lead up of the ring reveal included congratulatory messages from a slew of people associated with the Nationals in the present and past.

Former closer Chad Cordero and catcher Brian Schneider started the video messages. Denard Span and Adam LaRoche followed. Redskins quarterback Alex Smith, former Redskins player Brian Mitchell, chef José Andrés and Dr. Anthony Fauci were among several others to send congratulations.

In a post-reveal show, the players emphasized they were looking forward to receiving the rings in a group.

“I think the only thing better than seeing it is going to be wearing it,” Howie Kendrick said.

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