Ravens

Pacers hold on to defeat Grizzlies 82-81

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Pacers hold on to defeat Grizzlies 82-81

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) George Hill scored 13 points, including a clinching free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining to give the Indiana Pacers an 82-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the annual Martin Luther King Day game on Monday afternoon.

On the ensuing inbounds, Rudy Gay's 24-footer over Paul George banked in, but it came after the buzzer - a ruling confirmed by officials after a review - giving the Pacers their second straight win and ninth in the last 11.

David West scored 14 points for the Central Division-leading Pacers, while George finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Roy Hibbert scored 10 for Indiana.

Wayne Ellington led the Grizzlies with 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including connecting on all three shots from outside the arc. Gay had 14 points, while Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 13 apiece. Gay had eight rebounds, while Randolph added seven boards.

The game featured 10 ties and 19 lead changes.

Hill was sent to the line when Conley fouled him on a drive. Hill hit the second free throw, giving the Pacers the final lead.

The Pacers blocked 11 shots - five by West and four by Hibbert - a testament to their interior defense.

But Indiana had trouble taking care of the ball, committing 20 turnovers, compared to 15 for the Grizzlies.

Other statistical categories from rebounds (35-34 Grizzlies) to 14 second-chance points apiece were further indications of the game's closeness.

The teams scrapped through a tightly-played first half that featured 15 lead changes and six ties.

The Pacers were able to pull away in the final 9 minutes of the half, thanks to a 15-4 run that erased Memphis' largest lead of the half.

The rally helped Indiana carry a 43-39 lead at halftime. Neither team had a player in double figures as several key players struggled shooting. West was 4 of 10 for Indiana, but Memphis suffered through much more inaccuracy.

The Grizzlies frontline of Gay, Marc Gasol and Randolph was a combined 4 of 20, helping Memphis shoot 39 percent in the half.

The Memphis bench did provide a bit of a lift with 18 points, eight of them from Ellington, who connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Memphis used defense to get its offense untracked in the second half. Through the first 8 minutes, Indiana had taken only six shots and had six turnovers.

That allowed Memphis to score 14 unanswered points to retake the lead.

For the quarter, Indiana 8 of 12 from the field, and the Pacers used a 3-pointer from Orlando Johnson late in the third to carry a 65-63 lead into final frame.

The game remained tight through the early stages of the fourth until consecutive baskets by Tyler Hansbrough and a rebound basket by Hibbert broke a 70-all tie, giving the Pacers a bit of a buffer near the 7-minute mark.

Indiana maintained the lead until a 3-pointer from Conley with 2:10 left gave Memphis a 79-78 lead.

George immediately answered with a 3-pointer for the Indiana lead at 81-79.

Tony Allen's hustle was what pulled Memphis back even. He grabbed an offensive re bound with about 30 second left, then stole the ball after an Indiana rebound.

That set up his pass to Randolph to tie the game at 81 with 10.5 seconds remaining.

NOTES: The game was the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Day game hosted by the Grizzlies. Memphis is now 5-6 on the holiday. .The Grizzlies honored former NBA players Elgin Baylor and Patrick Ewing, along with former NFL great Jim Brown with the Eighth Annual National Civil Rights Legacy Award, as part of the day's ceremonies. .The Grizzlies opened a four-game homestand with Monday's game, while the Pacers were playing their first of a four-game road trip. .The Pacers defeated Memphis 88-83 on New Year's Eve in Indy.

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Hot day of joint practice between Ravens and Eagles cut short

Hot day of joint practice between Ravens and Eagles cut short

PHILADELPHIA — On a day with the heat index at 100 degrees, the Ravens first joint practice in Philadelphia against one of the favorites to come out of the NFC ended about 45 minutes short.

This week is the Ravens' second joint practice of August, the first of which came when the Jaguars came to Baltimore for two days of practice before the preseason opener. 

“The best thing is I think the tempo ramps up a little bit,” coach John Harbaugh said on joint practices. “You get different guys, different schemes. I do think it notches up one or two clicks, which is good for you. This is a really talented football team, the Eagles, so we get a chance to see some really good players.”

Even with some positive feelings from the practice, there were, and still are, a few question marks about the Ravens and their available bodies. 

Kenneth Dixon, Gus Edwards, and Miles Boykin were notable absences from practice from the start. Left guard Jermaine Eluemanor left practice early, and Ronnie Stanley and Mark Ingram didn’t take reps towards the end of practice.

With the heat beating down, it’s unclear if they were related to the weather. Harbaugh had no updates after practice, for players that missed the entirety, or players that left early.

The practice was ruled by defense, though, as the Ravens offense had trouble scoring in the red zone most of the afternoon. One of the biggest highlights, however, was a diving catch by Mark Andrews in the back of the end zone. 

“The red zone is tough, the red zone is faster, coverage is tighter,” Harbaugh said. “Things have to be executed more quickly, more decisively. The windows are going to be closing quicker, they’re going to be smaller. Timing is really important, execution is everything. For a young quarterback, it’s a fast game as it is.”

Defensively, the Ravens secondary held its own against a talented Eagles offense. 

Notably, however, Earl Thomas was beaten on a deep route by Alshon Jeffery on a pass from Carson Wentz.

“What I’ve drawn from the last two joint practices is the competitive juices you get from going against a new team,” Thomas said. “Carson Wentz is not a pushover, it’s good to go against him. It’s good to go against that offense. Tight ends are pretty good, receivers are pretty good.”

The Ravens will practice with the Eagles once again tomorrow before a day off on Wednesday. The two will play, officially, on Thursday in the team’s third preseason game. 

Until then, they’ll just focus on getting better against a team that’s one of the league’s best.

“You see different routes, you see different combinations in the passing game, you see different quarterbacks,” Thomas said. “All of that is great.”

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Jonathan Allen is experimenting with a new helmet and may wear it in 2019, which would be awesome

Jonathan Allen is experimenting with a new helmet and may wear it in 2019, which would be awesome

One thing stood out on an otherwise quiet August Monday at Redskins Park, and that was Jonathan Allen. More specifically, what Jonathan Allen was wearing on his head.

In fact, if you focused solely on the defensive lineman, you might've gotten confused over what decade you were in.

Usually, Allen suits up in a fairly standard helmet and facemask combo. But on Monday, No. 93 experimented with both a dark visor and a totally different facemask that featured a single, vertical bar down the middle of it, the kind of thing you saw on legends like Deacon Jones or Bruce Smith.

To put it simply, he looked awesome. Soooo awesome:

While walking out of the locker room following practice, Allen explained that he was recently watching NFL Network and felt inspired to try it out after seeing throwback footage on his TV. When asked if he plans on actually bringing it on the field with him for regular season action, he answered: "I'm planning on it."

As you — and the Raiders, especially — are aware of by now, the NFL has specific regulations regarding helmets and facemasks, but Allen seemed to believe he'll have no problem rocking his vintage setup.

Daron Payne, on the other hand, does have a problem with it.

"It's terrible," Payne said, while also shaking his head like a slightly disappointed parent. "It's terrible."

Payne is a smart and reasonable guy most of the time, but here, he's wrong. That look is the exact opposite of terrible. It's sick and it needs to be shared for every one of Washington's 16 games in 2019.

In fact, Allen should probably receive a Pro Bowl nomination strictly for even thinking about making that his new helmet. Bringing back the single bar would be truly epic.

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