Nationals

Patterson leads Pittsburgh past Howard, 70-46

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Patterson leads Pittsburgh past Howard, 70-46

PITTSBURGH (AP) Lamar Patterson and Tray Woodall scored 15 points each and Pittsburgh pulled away from Howard in the second half for a 70-46 victory on Tuesday night.

Talib Zanna added 12 points and eight rebounds and freshman point guard James Robinson had 11 points and eight assists for the Panthers (6-1), who had little trouble against the overmatched Bison (1-6) after a lethargic first half.

Simuel Frazier led Howard with 12 points and Mike Phillips and Alphonse Leary scored 10 points each for the Bison but could do little over the final 20 minutes after Pitt got serious.

The Panthers, playing in their first game since a respectable third-place finish in the NIT Season Tip-Off last week, were sluggish to start but rode the hot shooting of Patterson - who hit his first four 3-point attempts - beginning a soft spot in their schedule with a convincing win.

The game marked the beginning of a five-week stretch in which the Panthers don't leave the Pittsburgh city limits, giving coach Jamie Dixon ample time to bring his young team along before its starts the program's final season in the Big East.

From the looks of the first half, Dixon will need most of that time to get ready.

Despite having just seven scholarship players on the roster, facing a size disadvantage at just about every position and a travel schedule that sent the Washington, D.C., school to Iowa, Kansas and Mexico during the season's first two weeks, the Bison hung around in the first half.

Looking like the fresher, more engaged team for long stretches, Howard beat Pitt to loose balls, actually outrebounded the Panthers by one (16-15) and stayed patient offensively.

The Panthers, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going outside of Patterson's hot shooting. Dante Taylor and freshman center Steven Adams were ineffective and rhythm of any variety was difficult to come by.

Pitt still managed a 36-28 lead at the break and finally gained control with an 11-3 run to start the second half fueled by 3-pointers from Woodall and Patterson. Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry called timeout, but by then the Panthers had found their footing on both ends of the floor.

The Bison shot just 31 percent (8 of 26) in the second half as Pitt simply wore Howard down with its depth.

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Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

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3 things to watch when the .500 Nationals head to Colorado

The Nationals face the Rockies at Coors Field for the first half of this work week. Here are three things to watch for:

  1. Can the Nationals stay above .500? Stephen Strasburg’s impressive start along with Ryan Zimmerman’s two homers and two RBI kept Washington from being swept by the lowly Marlins.

  2. Who will produce with Anthony Rendon out? While the Nats 3B was sidelined with an elbow injury after being hit by a pitch in Saturday’s outing against the Marlins, Howie Kendrick started in his place. Kendrick went 1-for-3 vs Miami with one RBI and one strikeout. In terms of replacing Rendon’s hitting prowess, Victor Robles has started a streak of his own. The youngster is hot on a seven game hit streak, including a bunt over the infield Sunday.

  3. Will the Nationals ever sure up their end game? Yesterday’s ninth inning was on the brink of disaster. Kyle Barraclough allowed back-to-back walks, then Sean Doolittle loaded the bases. Luckily for the Nats, crisis averted.

Download the MyTeams app (https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/myteams-nbc-sports ) for even more Nationals content, and check out the latest episode of the Racing Presidents podcast below.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Blues eliminate Jets, Stars and Capitals pull ahead 3-2

Friday saw the Toronto Maple Leafs pull ahead 3-2 and the Colorado Avalanche eliminate the favored Calgary Flames. Saturday provided another elimination game and two teams pulled ahead 3-2 in their series.

Here are the results from Saturday.

St. Louis Blues eliminate Winnipeg Jets with 3-2 win

The Blues return to the second round of the playoffs after they were eliminated in the first round last season.

The Blues rally started 23 seconds into the game, when Jaden Schwartz put home a Brayden Schenn rebound.

Schwartz followed with two more goals, completing the hat trick. It's the second natural hat trick in a playoff series clinching game since Geoff Courtnall in 1992.

The Blues await the winner of the Nashville-Dallas series.

Dallas Stars pull ahead of Nashville Predators in 5-3 victory

The Stars were able to steal one from the Predators at Bridgestone Arena thanks to Jason Dickinson and Alexander Radulov's two goal performances.

Tyler Seguin added a goal of his own to pull the Stars ahead 4-2 at the end of the second period, and Ben Bishop recorded 30 saves.

The Stars have a chance to close the series at home Monday night.

Washington Capitals take upperhand on Carolina Hurricanes with 6-0 shutout

After dropping Game 4 in Carolina 2-1, the Caps exploded for six goals against the Hurricanes in a 6-0 win.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the opening two goals. He leads the Capitals in playoff goals with five and had a four point night.

The Caps also got production from their bottom six with Brett Connolly's goal and Nic Dowd's converted penalty shot. It's the first penalty shot a Caps player has successfully made in the playoffs.

Braden Holtby's shutout gave him seven in the playoffs, surpassing Olaf Kolzig's six for the franchise lead. The Caps have a chance to win the series in Carolina Monday night.

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