Wizards

Robinson sparks Bulls to win over Timberwolves

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Robinson sparks Bulls to win over Timberwolves

CHICAGO (AP) Nate Robinson scored 18 points and the Chicago Bulls beat Minnesota 87-80 on Saturday night, ending the Timberwolves' three-game winning streak.

Robinson played 31 minutes after starting point guard Kirk Hinrich left the game with a right hip strain in the second quarter. Hinrich had 11 points in the period to help Chicago beat Minnesota for the sixth straight time.

Joakim Noah added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Luol Deng chippd in with 16 points and seven rebounds, as the Bulls (4-2) bounced back from their second home loss in three outings.

Nikola Pekovic led the short-handed Timberwolves (4-2) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko added 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Minnesota's three-game streak matched its season high from last season.

Marco Belinelli hit three 3-pointers in the opening minutes to help the Bulls establish a nine-point lead. Chicago hit 6 for 13 from behind the arc, its season high for makes. The Bulls entered the game last in the NBA in 3-point makes and attempts.

The Bulls led by as many as 10 points down the stretch, going up by that margin when Deng hit a jumper from the corner with 3:53 remaining.

The Timberwolves closed within five points on Dante Cunningham's layup with 42.6 second to play, but the Bulls held on down the stretch.

Robinson's seven points helped Chicago grab a six-point lead with an 11-point run midway through the second quarter. The run was capped by Noah's feed to Taj Gibson on the baseline for a two-handed dunk.

The Timberwolves had gone 3:23 without a point before Cunningham snapped the streak with a 17-footer. Cunningham scored eight points of his 14 points in the quarter, and Minnesota battled back to lead 41-40 at the half.

The Bulls edged back in front with a 23-18 third quarter advantage, capped when rookie Marquis Teague drove the lane and scored with his left hand for his first career points. That gave Teague as many points as Carlos Boozer, who was 0 for 5 from the floor in the game.

Boozer finished with two points and failed to make a field goal in a game for the first time since Nov. 18, 2003.

The Bulls got the good and bad from mercurial guard Robinson in the second period, as he scored 11 points to fuel Chicago's rally, but also turned the ball over five times to help Minnesota's recovery.

The Bulls led 20-19 after the first quarter despite 10 points and six rebounds from Pekovic. Deng led Chicago with seven points in the period.

NOTES: The Timberwolves had just 11 players available. Ricky Rubio (left knee surgery) and Kevin Love (fractured right hand) have been out all season. Jose Barea missed his second straight game with a sprained left foot, while Brandon Roy missed his first game of the campaign with a sore right knee. ... The Bulls finish their five-game homestand on Monday against Boston. Chicago then hits the road for two weeks while a circus takes over the United Center. . Chicago held its opponent under 100 points for the 15th straight games. . Saturday marked the 23rd anniversary of the first win in Minnesota history, a 125-118 overtime win over Philadelphia. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was a Timberwolves assistant at the time in his first NBA season. . Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich left the game in the first half with a right hip strain and did not return.

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round picks

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USA Today Sports Images

Wizards' second pre-draft workout to feature possible first-round picks

The Wizards will have some recognizable names at their second pre-draft workout on Wednesday including potential first round pick Aaron Holiday of UCLA, NBC Sports Washington has learned.

Here is the list with some notes on each player...

Aaron Holiday, guard, UCLA (6-1, 185)

The brother of two NBA players (Jrue and Justin), Holiday played three years at UCLA and averaged 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior. He also shot 42.9 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He registered a 6-8 wingspan at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: possible first round pick, likely won't be there in second round; would solidify backup point guard position

Devonte' Graham, guard, Kansas (6-2, 175)

The Big 12 player of the year, Graham averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists as a senior. He posted a 6-6 wingspan at the combine. His uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990s.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; would provide backup point guard depth

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, forward, Kansas (6-8, 195)

A big-time three-point shooter, Mykhailiuk shot 44.4 percent from three on 6.6 attempts per game as a senior. He averaged 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could be a three-point threat off the bench

Moritz Wagner, center, Michigan (6-11, 241)

Originally from Germany, Wagner was a standout in the NCAA Tournament as the Wolverines went all the way to the final. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals as a junior. He also shot 39.4 percent from three and measured at nearly 7-feet in shoes at the NBA Combine.

Potential fit with Wizards: second round pick; could develop into a capable stretch-five

Jonathan Williams, guard, VCU (6-0, 175)

Williams grew up in Richmond before playing college ball at VCU. He averaged 9.3 points and 5.7 assists as a senior.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League guard

Zach Thomas, SF, Bucknell (6-7, 228)

Thomas was the Patriot League player of the year with averages of 20.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He shot 40 percent from three for his college career.

Potential fit with Wizards: undrafted free agent; possible G-League forward

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Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

Caps push Lightning around in Game 6 with physical game plan

As the NHL continues to focus more on speed and skill, the Capitals took a very old-school approach to Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. From the moment the puck dropped until the clock hit zero, it was clear Washington came into Monday with a very physical game plan.

"It made a big difference," T.J. Oshie said. "I think in these games, everyone’s bringing energy and you kind of want to control that and direct it towards some positive play, some momentum building for your team, and tonight I think we handled that and did that pretty well."

"We just wanted to throw everything we had at them," Stephenson said. "It was a do or die game and we don't want our season to end."

It worked.

The scoresheet officially credited the Caps with 39 hits for the game. The Lightning had only 19. The physical play seemed to wear down Tampa Bay as the game went on.

After an even first period, Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second. Then, very fittingly, a physical fourth line extended that lead to 2-0 in the third to finish the Lightning off.

"All of a sudden now we turn a puck over, you’re back in your end, they’re feeling it, they’re being physical, crowd’s behind them and we’re spending way too much time in our D zone," Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. "That’s what hurt us."

What made it so effective was the fact that the entire team bought into it. Alex Ovechkin was certainly the most noticeable player as he threw himself around like a wrecking ball against everyone wearing a white jersey. But it was not just his line. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik each led the team with six hits, Devante Smith-Pelly recorded five of his own while Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both had four.

The Lightning faced a constant barrage from the Caps from every line and defensive pair. There was no respite.

The hits also gave the fans plenty to cheer for.

The Caps were playing an elimination game at home and Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was standing on his head. Even with the score locked at 0-0 through the first period, the crowd was still very much into the game. There was no apprehension, there was no quiet tension. There was just a loud crowd cheering on its team.

"[The fans] were loud right from the start, which I think we fed off of and wanted to give them something back," Brooks Orpik said. "We didn't get a goal early. I think some of the physical play kind of helped carry that. They were great for us."

Now in the third round of the playoffs after six intense games between the Caps and Lightning, the hope is that Game 6's physical play will continue to take its toll on Tampa Bay heading into Game 7.

"We need to do that every game," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's our forecheck. Hopefully, we can keep it going here in Game 7."

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