Nationals

Parker, Duncan carry Spurs past Celtics, 112-100

201211211937706284267-p2.jpeg

Parker, Duncan carry Spurs past Celtics, 112-100

BOSTON (AP) Tony Parker scored a season-high 26 points, Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Boston Celtics 112-100 on Wednesday night.

Reserve Tiago Splitter added a season-high 23 points, many coming when the Spurs took charge late in the third and early in the fourth.

Rajon Rondo had 22 points and extended his consecutive streak of double-digit assist games to 35 with 15. Paul Pierce, who sprained his ankle in a 20-point loss at Detroit on Sunday, had 19 points.

DeJuan Blair chipped in with 12 points for the Spurs (9-3), but it was Parker winning the battle of elite point guards against Rondo that carried San Antonio.

Brandon Bass scored 16 and Kevin Garnett 14 for Boston (6-6), which managed just one offensive rebound and lost for the third time in four games.

The Spurs closed the third quarter with a 6-0 run, with Splitter getting a pair of baskets, to take an 82-74 lead.

They opened the fourth by scoring eight of the initial 10 points to open their biggest lead at that point, 90-76 on Splitter's three-point play with just under 10 minutes to play.

Splitter's two free throws increased it to 94-78 with 8:41 to go.

Boston closed the gap to nine, but the Spurs had a pair of easy driving baskets by Parker to maintain a comfortable margin.

That was until Rondo answered with a long jumper from the right corner off his own steal and a spinning bank shot, closing it to 104-98 with 3:17 left.

But that was as close as Boston would get.

Duncan had five points during a 9-0 spree that gave the Spurs a 69-60 edge midway into the third quarter. Boston then scored seven of the next nine, closing it to two on Pierce's 3 from the right wing.

Rondo was responsible either with an assist, basket or pass for all the Celtics' 23 points in the opening 8 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. He had eight assists, two baskets and fed Pierce, who got fouled in the lane before hitting two free throws.

In the quarter, the Celtics' playmaker had eight assists and two baskets - accounting for all but one of Boston's buckets - Jeff Green's drive.

Neither team held more than a four-point lead until the Spurs scored 14 of the final 20 points in the first half to take a 56-48 edge into the break. Danny Green nailed a 3-pointer in the middle of the streak, giving him 30 straight games with at least one 3, the league's longest current streak.

NOTES: Boston coach Doc Rivers was asked before the game to compare the play of longtime stars Garnett, known for showing emotion, and the usually fairly stoic Duncan. ``They're both extremely tough and extremely motivated. It's amazing how similar they are and how different they act.'' ... The contest also featured two of the league's top passing point guards in Parker and Rondo. ``They're both terrific,'' Rivers said. ``It's amazing how many good point guards there are in the league right now and you have to prepare for every one differently. It's a good time in the league now for that position.'' ... The Spurs won the only meeting last season - 87-86 when Pierce missed a shot at the buzzer on an isolation over Duncan. ... San Antonio played the first of a six-game road trip, which closes next Thursday in Miami.

Quick Links

Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

nats-phillies-rain-delay-june-18-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Phillies are 2-for-2.

Tuesday night's game was postponed following a two-hour rain delay. Monday's game was postponed after a three-hour rain delay.

Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a split day-night doubleheader Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., bumping a four-game series to a five-game series. The Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to also play a split day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

The day was not without news. Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose in batting practice when a ball bounced off his bat and struck him in the face. Scherzer was attempting to bunt at the time.

Scherzer's injury and the multiple postponements throw the Nationals' pitching plans into disarray. They're not sure if Scherzer will pitch as expected Wednesday. It appears Austin Voth, who was scratched from his Thursday start for Triple-A Fresno, will be available to pitch in one of the Wednesday games -- should they be played. More rain is expected Wednesday.

The Nationals will bump Patrick Corbin, who was slated to pitch again Tuesday, into a Wednesday spot. Wednesday's other starter is TBA. It could be Scherzer if he is ready. It could be Erick Fedde, and Voth could be used in the bullpen as the 26th man. That would provide Scherzer a chance to pitch Thursday and Strasburg on Friday against Atlanta. 

Or, Scherzer could be provided more time off. There's a lot to sort out once again thanks to the rain.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: 

 

Quick Links

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

bobby-portis-reaction-wizards-hornets-usat.jpg
USA Today

Source: Wizards will have competition with teams like Lakers, Clippers for restricted free agent Bobby Portis

This summer is shaping up to be lucrative for NBA free agents and big man Bobby Portis is well-positioned to cash in. After spending the final three months of the 2018-19 season with the Wizards, Portis is already seeing a healthy market develop ahead of the June 30 start of the league's negotiating period, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

The Wizards are likely to first extend a qualifying offer on June 30 to make him a restricted free agent. According to Spotrac.com, it will be about $3.6 million and that will give the Wizards the right to match an offer sheet from another franchise.

But teams are already indicating they want Portis, who is just 24 and coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 50 games. That market includes 5-10 teams and could grow once free agency opens.

Portis is expected to draw interest from the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and Knicks among others, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Despite restricted free agency, Portis has a few things working for him. For one, there are a lot of teams with cap room. Spending won't reach 2016 levels, when the new CBA spiked the salary cap, but there will a lot of money to go around.

Also, guys in Portis' tier will only be helped if the top free agent options continue to dwindle. Klay Thompson looks more likely than ever to stay in Golden State after tearing his ACL. Winning a title could increase the odds Kawhi Leonard re-signs in Toronto, according to reports. And Kevin Durant's torn Achilles has thrown a wrench into the plans of teams with the most money to spend.

There is also the possibility Kemba Walker stays in Charlotte. And Kyrie Irving signing with Brooklyn, if it happens, would leave others exploring backup plans.

Portis isn't directly competing with any of those players, but could benefit if the top options are off the market. His name will only move up the list if that is the case.

Portis also has a unique selling point going for him. He shot 39.3 percent from three this past season and held a 40.3 percent clip to close the year in his 28 games with the Wizards. Three-point shooting is more valuable than ever and he brings that to the table at 6-foot-10.

Portis, who averaged 3.8 three-point attempts per game this past season, was one of only six players 6-10 or taller to shoot at least 39 percent on 3.5 attempts or more (min. 50 G). 

The question for Portis will be whether he gets the money he wants. He turned down an extension with the Chicago Bulls last fall just hours before the deadline to sign one. According to the Chicago Tribune, the deal was worth about $50 million and he wants to be paid in the range of $16 million annually. His asking price was partly why the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February.

Even if the Wizards clear money, and they are expected to free up some by declining Jabari Parker's $20 million team option by the June 29 deadline, Portis could price himself out of Washington. It might not even take $16 million per year for that to happen.

The Wizards are set to operate through free agency with interim team president Tommy Sheppard at the helm, as the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Sheppard making the call increases Portis' odds of staying, but that doesn't mean the price will match for both sides.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: