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No. 7 Syracuse beats Central Connecticut 96-62

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No. 7 Syracuse beats Central Connecticut 96-62

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Michael Carter-Williams scored a career-high 18 points and added 13 assists and No. 7 Syracuse beat Central Connecticut State 96-62 on Monday, giving Orange coach Jim Boeheim his 902nd career win.

Boeheim tied Bob Knight for second all-time in victories among Division I men's coaches. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski leads with 939.

Syracuse (12-1) completed its nonconference schedule with its 32nd straight home win, the longest active streak in the nation. Boeheim's first chance to pass Knight comes in the Orange's Big East opener on Wednesday night at home against Rutgers.

CCSU (4-7) lost its fourth straight and was overmatched against the much taller Orange after a strong start. Senior forward Joe Efese was the tallest Blue Devil in the starting lineup at 6-foot-6, dwarfed by a Syracuse front line of 6-8 C.J. Fair, 6-9 Dajuan Coleman and 6-9 Rakeem Christmas.

Carter-Williams posted his seventh double-double of the season. Fair finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Coleman had 13 points and nine rebounds, and Brandon Triche added 13 points.

The Orange finished 10 of 22 from behind the 3-point arc after going 11 of 39 in the previous two games, outrebounded the Blue Devils 57-32 and had a 56-18 advantage in the paint.

Matt Hunter had 18 points to lead Central Connecticut and Kyle Vinales had 14 points and matched his season high with four 3-pointers. Adonis Burbage and Terrell Allen each had 13 points.

The Blue Devils held their own at the outset, going 6 of 11 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, and outrebounding the Orange 8-6 in the first 8 minutes.

A pair of 3s by Vinales gave CCSU a 15-13 lead at the 12:08 mark as the Blue Devils consistently found the open man against the Orange's 2-3 zone. And after James Southerland scored five straight points for the Orange, Allen and Vinales countered with 3s to put CCSU up 21-18 just past the midpoint of the half.

Syracuse found its rhythm soon after that, hitting four 3s and closing the half with a 29-5 surge to take charge.

Carter-Williams, who had nine rebounds to come ever-so-close to an elusive triple-double, started the run with a 3 from the top of the key and Southerland followed with a two-handed slam after a steal by Christmas.

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Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards face Jimmy Butler, Heat team that has set good example to follow

Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards face Jimmy Butler, Heat team that has set good example to follow

The 2019-20 season for the Wizards can be viewed as somewhat of a gap year, in that they hope their current organizational reset doesn't take long. It seems to be their goal to be back in the playoff mix next season with John Wall back and Bradley Beal operating through his prime.

Their best path towards doing that may look a lot like the team they face on Wednesday night, the Miami Heat (7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington). After missing the playoffs last season with a 39-43 record, the Heat are now 30-13 and second in the Eastern Conference.

The jump they have made is unusual, so don't focus too much on the standings. Instead look at how they have improved and how parallels could be drawn to the Wizards.
The Heat are led by Jimmy Butler, an All-Star wing who is a level above everyone else on their roster. The same could be said about Bradley Beal.

They have a point guard in Goran Dragic, who is still effective despite not being the 20-point scoring All-Star he used to be, now that he's lost a step. The way he plays could be a reasonable expectation for Wall as he works his way back to All-Star form coming off an Achilles injury.

Miami has assembled a deep and multidimensional roster around them. They have an ascending young frontcourt player in Bam Adebayo. Rui Hachimura could follow a similar trajectory, albeit as a different style of player.

Miami also has an array of shooters. Duncan Robinson was undrafted, then signed to a two-way contract. Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn are rookies. The Wizards have their own group of emerging perimeter threats in Davis Bertans, Garrison Mathews and Jordan McRae.

The way the Heat win is with an efficient offense that includes deadly-accurate outside shooting and a slightly above average defense. They rank seventh in offensive rating (111.7) and 13th in defensive rating (108.1). And they are second in the NBA in three-point percentage (37.6) and eighth in threes made (12.7/g).

The Wizards are, of course, nowhere near even average on defense. Their defensive rating is 30th in the NBA and they possess none of the traits that make the Heat the defensive team they are. Miami, for instance, is first in opponent three-point percentage (32.7) and also first in defensive rebounding (32.3).

The Wizards, though, do already check off some boxes on offense. They are 11th in offensive rating (110.7) and eighth in three-point percentage (36.5). 

The Wizards have a long way to go to reach Miami's level, but the Heat's approach in a macro sense could be worth following and especially once Wall returns. Though Butler is their clear-cut best player, he only attempts 13.4 shots per game, second-most on the team. Dragic, despite being a former All-Star, takes only 12.1 per game.

The Wizards have long done things differently. Back in 2016-17, when they had their best season in many years, Wall averaged 18.4 shots and Beal took 17.2 per game.

Despite taking fewer shots, Butler is still able to put up numbers. He is averaging 20.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. Combined with his defense, that is plenty to compete for the All-Star team and maybe even All-NBA honors. Meanwhile, he gets credit for being the face of a winning team.

The Heat have a roster that is a bit top-heavy that has been filled out nicely with unheralded moves and young players. That is how the Wizards' roster might be described a year from now. In order to make it work and win some games, they might want to pay attention to how Miami is doing it.

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'MLB The Show 20' features the 'Soto Shuffle' and iconic moments from Nationals' World Series season

'MLB The Show 20' features the 'Soto Shuffle' and iconic moments from Nationals' World Series season

One of the first things some Nationals fans noticed about PlayStation's trailer for the "MLB The Show 20," which was released Wednesday, was the inclusion of the "Soto Shuffle" after Juan Soto takes a ball.

Back in November one (possibly psychic?) Nationals fan tweeted his hope that the newest edition of the game would include Soto's iconic move at the plate, which the outfielder uses to psych-out opponents.

In Game 1 of the NLCS, Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas wasn't too happy with the "Soto Shuffle," but Soto never stopped the move.  

According to the preview, the new video game also includes a Trea Turner dugout dance party at Nationals Park and former National Anthony Rendon in his new Los Angeles Angels garb.

No word yet as to whether Gerardo Parra's "Baby Shark" or Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick's "Clutch and Drive" made the cut. 

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