Nationals

Nuggets send Bobcats to 15th straight loss

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Nuggets send Bobcats to 15th straight loss

DENVER (AP) Kosta Koufos scored a season-high 16 points, and Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala added 15 points apiece as the Denver Nuggets beat Charlotte 110-88 and sent the Bobcats to their 15th consecutive loss on Saturday night.

JaVale McGee added 14 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 12 for Denver, which won its sixth in a row at home since its only loss there - 98-93 to Miami on Nov. 15.

Charlotte, playing the second of a back-to-back set on the road, was without injured guards Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon. Henderson sustained a bruised shin during the second half of a 115-100 loss at Golden State on Friday. Gordon missed a second consecutive game because of soreness in his right knee.

Ramon Sessions had 23 points to lead Charlotte. Byron Mullens added 16.

Denver lost guard Ty Lawson to a left Achilles strain during the second quarter. He was held out the rest of the game for precautionary reasons, the team said.

The Nuggets, who missed an NBA-record 22 3-point attempts in Thursday night's 101-93 loss at Portland, missed their first six against the Bobcats. Jordan Hamilton finally found the range to give the Nuggets a 40-31 lead with 8:02 left in the second quarter.

That seemed to break the Nuggets' long-distance cold spell, complementing a sizzling inside game that saw Denver earn 36 assists and score 78 points in the paint, both season highs.

After a driving layup by Sessions pulled the Bobcats to within 44-39, the Nuggets went on a 15-3 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala. That stretched Denver's lead to 59-44 with 45.2 seconds left in the second quarter.

Gallinari hit another 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to put Denver in front 64-46, the Nuggets' biggest lead to that point.

By the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets stretched their advantage to 88-65 following a tip shot by McGee, who finished with 14 points. Denver began substituting freely the rest of the way, and the undermanned Bobcats didn't threaten.

NOTES: Charlotte hasn't won since Nov. 24, a 108-106 victory at Washington in double overtime. ... Since the 2009-10 season, visiting NBA teams are 7-39 when playing the second of a back-to-back set in Denver. ... The Nuggets have scored at least 60 points in the paint eight times this season.

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How will MLB's new extra inning with a runner on second rule work strategically?

How will MLB's new extra inning with a runner on second rule work strategically?

Major League Baseball is going to be bizarre in 2020. A 60-game schedule. The designated hitter in the National League. No fans.

But the change a lot of baseball fans might have the toughest getting used to is the tweak to extra innings. Each team will begin each extra inning with a man on second base. The crew from the Nationals Talk podcast had differing opinions on the new rule.

“I absolutely love it,” NBC Sports Washington's Nick Ashooh said.

Team reporter Todd Dybas did not agree.

“The rule is dumb. It goes against everything that baseball is about.”

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Chase Hughes broke the tie. “I’m a no on the rule too. I’m with Todd.”

What about the strategy of starting with a man on second base? Could team's exploit or alter the ending of the previous frame to set up a new inning? 

The rule states: “The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter.”

Dybas wondered if it would be wise to end the previous inning on purpose if a speedster is at the plate with two outs.

“Would it behoove [Giants'] Billy Hamilton to make the final out? So the next inning he would start at second base?” Hamilton is a career .242 hitting but has 299 stolen bases in 809 games played. 

RELATED: COULD MORE OPT-OUTS BE COMING? 

Frustration will also be inevitable. “I can’t wait to hear from the players on the first team to lose by that rule,” Hughes said. “What are they going to say?” 

2020 has already thrown us plenty of curveballs, the changes to baseball will just be a couple more the sports world will have to adjust to. 

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Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Charles Barkley jokingly admits he doesn't know anyone on the Wizards besides John Wall and Bradley Beal

Without John Wall, Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans, Washington's three best players, the Wizards hopes of making the playoffs in the NBA's Orlando restart have taken a hit.

On Thursday, Wizards coach Scott Brooks joined the Inside the NBA team on TNT, where Charles Barkley genuinely asked him who has to step up for the team when the games begin.

Brooks' response was unexpected, yet also hilarious. Here was the exchange:

Barkley: "Obviously, without John and Bradley, your two best players, give us two names that really need to step up for you guys."

Brooks: "Well, I think we should play that game where you name two guys on our team besides those two guys." 

Barkley: "Let me tell you something, I don't know anybody on your team! So I want you to tell us two players on your team."

To Barkley's credit, much of the national media has not paid any attention to the Wizards this season. The team only had one game on national TV this season, a November clash with the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers.

RELATED: ISH SMITH SAYS BUBBLE FOOD ISN'T THAT BAD

When basketball does resume, the Wizards are six games back of the Orlando Magic for the eighth spot in the East. Washington needs to make up two games over the final eight contests in order to force a play-in game for the conference's final playoff spot.

Stay connected to the Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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