Wizards

Rutgers edges St. John's 58-56

Rutgers edges St. John's 58-56

NEW YORK (AP) Myles Mack scored 13 points, including making two free throws with 32 seconds to play, and Rutgers beat St. John's 58-56 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Both teams ran spread offenses that used up quite a bit of the 35-second shot clock each possession. The final 3 minutes became mostly a free-throw shooting contest and Rutgers prevailed even though the Scarlet Knights (11-3, 2-1 Big East) made just 3 of 5 from the line over the final 32 seconds.

Dane Miller, who finished with 11 points, gave Rutgers the lead for good at 53-52 on a basket down low and he added to it 30 seconds later when he scored on a tip-in.

St. John's (9-6, 1-2) struggled all over the court in trying to tie or take a lead in the final 2 minutes. The Red Storm missed two shots - 3-point attempts by D'Angelo Harrison and JaKarr Sampson - in the final 15 seconds when they trailed by either one or two points.

Mack made two free throws to give Rutgers the three-point lead with 32 seconds to play. Sampson scored down low to make it 57-56 with 23 seconds to go and then following a miss of front end of a 1-and-1 but Harrison took a 3 and missed badly. Poole made one of two from the line with 6.6 seconds left and Sampson's final shot of the game was a 3.

Harrison had 20 points for the Red Storm, the 11th time he reached that figure this season.

Both teams were coming off wins over ranked teams. St. John's won at then-No. 14 Cincinnati, 53-52, while Rutgers beat then-No. 24 Pittsburgh 67-62.

Rutgers is off to a 2-1 start in the Big East for just third time and this was a big win for coach Mike Rice who is 2-1 since returning from a three-game school-imposed suspension for inappropriate behavior.

Chris Obekpa had five blocked shots giving him 76 for the season that ties Walter Berry for the school record.

Rutgers took a 13-2 lead after St. John's made one of its first 10 shots from the field. The lead didn't last all that long as the Red Storm went ahead 18-17 with 7:04 left when Sampson capped an 8-0 run with a dunk on the fast break. St. John's closed the half with a 7-2 run that gave them a 27-23 lead.

St. John's finished the half shooting 34.5 percent (10 of 29) while Rutgers shot 34.8 percent (8 of 23).

The teams meet again in two weeks in Piscataway, N.J.

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NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly waive DeMarcus Cousins

After signing Markieff Morris to a contract following the former Wizard's buy out from the Pistons, the Lakers reportedly waived center DeMarcus Cousins to open a roster spot. 

Health has been a major issue over the last two years for Cousins. He hasn't played a game this year thanks to a torn ACL he suffered before the season, and he missed all but 30 games last year due to an Achilles injury he suffered with the Pelicans midway through the 2017-18 season. 

Before injuries robbed Cousins of the majority of his prime, he was arguably the best big man in the game. Prior to his Achilles injury in New Orleans, he was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 47% percent from the floor and 35.4% from three on 6.1 attempts per game. 

For the Wizards, Cousins could represent another low risk, high reward big man acquisition that the Lakers couldn't find any use for. Washington acquired both Thomas Bryant and Moe Wagner from LA for practically nothing and both have played well after their relocation to D.C. 

Also, John Wall played with Cousins at the University of Kentucky and both have mentioned a desire to play together again at some point. Neither player is expected to return from injury this season, so they could both go on an NBA revenge tour together alongside Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. 

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see what Cousins decides to do. According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, Cousins won't officially be waived until Sunday. The team who claims him will be able to offer him up to $4.2 million in salary this summer. 

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Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Three things to look for during the Orioles first spring training game Saturday

Baseball isn’t quite in full swing yet. But it’s close enough. 

The Orioles will open up their spring slate of games on Saturday against the Braves in North Port, Fla. It’s both the first game of spring training for both teams. 

The game can be listened to on Orioles.com or on the MLB At-Bat app. 

So here are three things to pay attention to during the first game of the spring: 

1. The starting pitching

The pitching was, to be frank, atrocious last season for the Orioles. 2020 doesn’t figure to showcase a large jump, either. 

Baltimore will start Chandler Shepherd against the Braves, a pitcher who started three games last season in Baltimore. He allowed 23 hits and 14 earned runs in 19 innings pitched and posted a 6.63 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

Ty Blach will pitch in relief of Shepherd. Blach pitched in five games last season for the Orioles and threw 20 ⅓ innings with an ERA 11.32. 

While neither will likely make the Opening Day roster, it’ll give an interesting look at what could be in store for the rest of spring training in Sarasota. 

2. How much the prospects play

For most major league clubs, there’s not much to get excited about for the first few games of spring training. The Orioles, though, are in a bit of a unique circumstance. 

In the second year of a rebuild, the Orioles are placing their future in the hands of younger prospects, meaning there’s always a chance for a few players to stand out in the first weeks of camp. 

While the lineups aren’t known yet, both for Saturday’s game and for the immediate future, getting a glimpse at some of the younger prospects like Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Gunnar Henderson, and DL Hall is what fans have been clamoring for. 

3. The return of baseball

It’s not the return of baseball in the truest sense of the phrase.  

The Orioles aren’t going to play their top of the line prospects, or their major league club. But the first game of the spring means that baseball, officially, is back for Baltimore. 

Even though the 2020 season almost assuredly won’t be one that resembles any kind of contention, the Orioles hitting the field once again is always an exciting time.

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