Wizards

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) Le'Bryan Nash has 23 points and Marcus Smart added 20 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and Oklahoma State earned a 76-56 win over No. 6 N.C. State in the title game of the Puerto Rico Tipoff on Sunday.

Phil Forte had 17 points for the Cowboys (4-0), who outrebounded the Wolfpack 45-34.

Rodney Purvis had 16 points and T.J. Warren added 15 points for the Wolfpack (3-1), who shot only 28.6 percent from the field.

Smart was the tournament MVP. He was joined by Nash, Warren, Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes and Akron's Zeke Marshall on the all-tournament team.

No. 2 LOUISVILLE 80, MIAMI (Ohio) 39

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Russ Smith had a game-high 23 points and Wayne Blackshear added 14 points and six rebounds and Louisville defeated Miami.

Smith was 5 of 7 from 3-point range. The junior guard has been the leading scorer in all three Cardinals victories and is averaging 21.3 points per game.

Blackshear started for the second consecutive game at small forward and made a career-high four 3-pointers for the Cardinals (3-0).

Senior center Gorgui Dieng added 11 points and nine rebounds and senior guard Peyton Siva matched a career high with 10 assists for the Cardinals, who shot 48 percent and hit 12 of 26 from 3-point range (46 percent).

Louisville's defense held Miami (1-2) to 30 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers.

Geovonie McKnight and Bill Edwards both scored seven points for the Redhawks.

No. 8 SYRACUSE 88, WAGNER 57

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Brandon Triche had 21 points and seven rebounds, James Southerland added 15 points and three blocks, and Syracuse beat Wagner.

Syracuse has won 23 straight home games and 34 in a row in the Carrier Dome against nonconference foes. The Orange (2-0) opened their season on the road a week ago with a 62-49 win over then-No. 20 San Diego State on the flight deck of the former aircraft carrier USS Midway.

Baye Moussa Keita had a career-high 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, all in the second half. Michael Carter-Williams had a career-high 11 assists, and Trevor Cooney had eight points and five steals for Syracuse.

Jonathon Williams led Wagner with 14 points and nine rebounds and Kenneth Ortiz had 11 points.

No. 9 DUKE 88, FLORIDA GULF COAST 67

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Mason Plumlee scored a career-high 28 points, and No. 9 Duke routed Florida Gulf Coast 88-67 on Sunday night for its school-record 96th straight nonconference win at home.

Freshman Rasheed Sulaimon added 19 points and Ryan Kelly had 14 points for the Blue Devils (3-0).

They scored 30 straight points - including a 23-0 run to close the first half - to brush off a slow start, and forced 25 turnovers to cruise in this preliminary on-campus matchup in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

Bernard Thompson scored a career-high 24 points for Florida Gulf Coast (2-2), which led for most of the first half.

But foul trouble, sloppy ball-handling and cold shooting during the last 5 1/2 minutes of the half ruined the Eagles' chances at their first win over a Top 25 team and second victory in six days against an Atlantic Coast Conference program.

No. 10 FLORIDA 66, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 45

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Kenny Boynton had 20 points and Will Yeguete scored 11 and grabbed 13 rebounds Sunday to help Florida pull away to a victory over Middle Tennessee.

Boynton scored the final 13 of the game for the Gators (3-0), who opened the second half with a 14-2 run and never looked back.

Middle Tennessee (2-1) trimmed a 15-point deficit to nine before Mike Rosario finished a fast-break with a dunk and Boynton hit a 3-pointer to begin his game-ending spurt.

Marcos Knight led Middle Tennessee with 12 points and Shawn Jones added 10 for the Blue Raiders, who trailed 29-26 at halftime.

Florida turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, limiting the Blue Raiders to 27 percent shooting after the break. Middle Tennessee missed seven of eight shots while the Gators were taking control over an eight-minute stretch.

No. 15 CREIGHTON 87, PRESBYTERIAN 58

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Doug McDermott scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half and Creighton defeated overmatched Presbyterian.

Ethan Wragge scored 18 points, all coming on his career high-tying six 3-pointers, and Austin Chatman had a career-high 11 assists to go with his nine points for the Bluejays (3-0).

McDermott, held to five points against UAB on Wednesday, bounced back to make 7 of 9 shots and all eight of his free throws. He also had seven rebounds.

Jordan Downing, who averaged 6.5 points in Presbyterian's first two games, led the Blue Hose (0-3) with a career-high 25 points.

Presbyterian hung with the Bluejays for the first nine minutes. The Blue Hose tried to slow the tempo, and the Bluejays turned over the ball three times.

No. 16 BAYLOR 97, ST. JOHN'S 78

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Brady Heslip had a career-high 29 points on eight 3-pointers, Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson had double-doubles and Baylor bounced back from its first loss to beat St. John's and take third place at the Charleston Classic.

The Bears (4-1) lost 60-58 to Colorado on Friday and coach Scott Drew wondered how his team might respond.

He needn't have worried as Heslip took over from outside and Austin and Jefferson controlled the middle.

Heslip's seventh 3-pointer put Baylor up for good at 69-66 with 9:36 to play. The Red Storm (2-2) closed to 73-72 on Phil Greene's basket with 6:40 remaining, but Jefferson hit two foul shots and Baylor star Pierre Jackson scored five straight points.

Phil Greene had 24 points and D'Angelo Harrison 20 for St. John's.

Jefferson finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Austin got 13 points and 13 rebounds.

No. 19 GONZAGA 96, SOUTH DAKOTA 58

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Elias Harris scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and Gonzaga topped South Dakota.

Przemek Karnowski, a 7-foot-1 freshman from Poland, led the Bulldogs with 20 points off the bench for the Bulldogs (3-0) who head to the Old Spice Classic in Florida to face Clemson on Thanksgiving.

Gary Bell Jr. also had 16 points with Sam Dower getting 12 points and nine rebounds and Kevin Pangos 10 points to go with six assists.

Freshmen Casey Kasperbauer and Tyler Flack scored 17 and 10 points, respectively, for the Coyotes (1-3), who were playing their fourth game in five nights. Senior Juevol Myles had 12 points.

No. 21 MICHIGAN STATE 69, TEXAS SOUTHERN 41

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gary Harris scored 19 points, including 14 in a lopsided first half, to lead Michigan State past Texas Southern.

Branden Dawson had 13 points and six rebounds, while Adreian Payne added nine points and seven rebounds for the Spartans (2-1), who extended their string of wins in home openers to 36.

Coach Tom Izzo's team also got good work from reserves. Harris' fellow freshmen Denzel Valentine and, in his first action after a lower-back injury, Matt Costello combined for 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.

Fred Sturdivant had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Mike Davis' Tigers (1-3), who had three players returning home to Michigan. Raymond Penn had 10 points and Kyrie Sutton 11 rebounds.

No. 22 WISCONSIN 73, CORNELL 40

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 18 points to help Wisconsin beat Cornell.

Brust also grabbed 12 rebounds, while Ryan Evans also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Badgers (2-1).

Devin Cherry Cornell (1-3) with 13 points.

In losing to No. 10 Florida 74-56 on Wednesday, the Badgers allowed the Gators to shoot 75 percent in the first half and 62 percent for the game.

But it was clear from the start Sunday there would be no repeat of that performance.

The Big Red started just 1 of 11 and Cornell found itself down 27-8 with just less than 8 minutes to go in the first half.

No. 24 CINCINNATI 93, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 39

CINCINNATI (AP) - Sean Kilpatrick scored a career-high 29 points, hitting eight shots from behind the arc, and Cincinnati dominated from the outset of a victory over North Carolina A&T.

The Bearcats (3-0) opened with a 14-point run that featured four 3s by Kilpatrick, who got wide-open shots all around the arc. Cincinnati's lead never slipped below double-digits.

Kilpatrick had 21 points in the opening half - six under his previous high - and matched his career best with six 3-pointers before the intermission. He made more shots from beyond the arc than the Aggies (1-3) did overall in the half.

The junior guard also had seven rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes.

North Carolina A&T shot only 15 percent from the field (10 of 66) with 20 turnovers. Lamont Middleton led the Aggies with 11 points.

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Dwight Howard shares his first health update since back surgery

Dwight Howard shares his first health update since back surgery

Three weeks removed from back surgery to take care of his nagging gluteal injury, Dwight Howard rejoined the Washington Wizards for their Tuesday night contest with the Atlanta Hawks inside State Farm Arena. 

"Physically, I'm a lot better than I was before the surgery. The nine games I played, I basically played on one leg. So, you know, I'm just happy that that's out the way and I can rehab and get ready for the second half of the season," Howard told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. 

During those nine games, the 33-year-old averaged 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, while shooting over 62% from the floor. 

Howard is no stranger to back surgery. In 2012, the then Orlando Magic center underwent a procedure to repair a herniated disk which ended his season and took him out of Summer Olympics (London) participation. 

The veteran now deals with a slow recovery process before returning to basketball activities. 

Right now, the only I can do for rehab is just walk. Anybody who has had back surgery, they understand that. You know, for the first month and a half, you can't lift weights. You can't run. You can't do anything but basically walk. 

Howard plans to remain in Atlanta for rehab. Three weeks ago, Washington said it would re-evaluate Howard after two or three months. 

"Every day I try to sit down, and you know, spend at least an hour visualizing, you know, getting healthy, but also returning to the court."

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Wizards fold late, fall to Trae Young and Hawks in Trevor Ariza's debut

Wizards fold late, fall to Trae Young and Hawks in Trevor Ariza's debut

The Washington Wizards lost to the Atlanta Hawks 118-110 on Tuesday night. Here are five observations from the game...

1. When the Wizards smashed the Lakers on Sunday night and John Wall dropped 40 points, the team's social media naysayers collectively yawned, 'Let's see them do the same against Atlanta on Tuesday.' Sure enough, those people were right.

Wall and the Wizards did not bring anything close to the same energy against Atlanta that they had vs. L.A. Because the Hawks are terrible, the Wizards were able to hang around until the fourth quarter, but Atlanta pulled away with 36 points in the final frame.

There was plenty not to like about this game from the Wizards' side of things. They shot just 33.3 percent from three (13-for-39) and missed 11 of their 36 free throw attempts.

Wall had one of his worst games. He shot just 33.3 percent from the field and went 3-for-11 from three to the tune of 15 points and six assists. He played only 26 minutes due to foul trouble.

It wasn't as lopsided as their worst defeats this season, but this ranks up there with some of the Wizards' most inexcusable losses of the year so far. Even after making trades to shuffle their bench and team chemistry, the results remain the same. They let a bad team sneak up on them once again.

2. Trevor Ariza made his debut and essentially picked up right where he left off in 2014. He ended up with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and six steals, making a noticeable impact on both ends of the floor. His six steals tied a career-high.

Ariza went 4-for-11 from three with just about all of them on wide-open looks. Ariza was excellent  in his last tenure in D.C. at drifting away from the defense and making them pay from beyond the arc. Wall and Bradley Beal seemed to remember that, as they consistently found him for outside shots. 

The Wizards' overall defensive effort was up-and-down, as they allowed 35 points in the first quarter and 118 for the game. But Ariza was mostly not to blame, as he played smart and measured defense. With the exception of an early play where Kent Bazemore hit an open three, he did a good job closing out on perimeter shots.

The trade of Kelly Oubre Jr. for Ariza may ultimately prove short-sighted, and many fans seem to strongly disagree with the decision. But those are the things we should see over the course of the season that show why Ariza could be an upgrade in the short-term. He will play solid, structured defense with few mistakes or lapses in focus.

3. The fans who paid the price of admission in Atlanta to watch the referees go to work got their money's worth. It was hard to hear Steve Buckhantz with all the whistles.

Seriously, there were so many fouls. The two teams combined for 61 of them. Four Hawks players had four fouls or more and four Wizards players had five or more. That included Markieff Morris, who fouled out in only 17 minutes.

Even clean plays were fouls, like this one. Jeff Green got way up to deny Alex Len, only to have a foul called.

4. Otto Porter Jr. remains out with a right knee contusion, making this the fourth straight game he has missed. He hasn't missed five consecutive games since his rookie year.

With Porter out, head coach Scott Brooks rolled with Jeff Green to start alongside Ariza. Ariza is slated to be in the lineup moving forward, so that pushed out Satoransky, who had made eight straight starts.

Satoransky ended up playing mostly as a backup shooting guard with Sam Dekker at small forward. Chasson Randle, who was recently brought back on a non-guaranteed contract, backed up Wall at point guard. Though that may have had something to do with his defensive matchup on Trae Young, it was surprising.

Ian Mahinmi also got some burn after three straight DNP-CDs. That may have been due to the presence of Len, who is a lot to handle for small-ball fives.

Speaking of big men, Dwight Howard made an appearance on Tuesday. He didn't play, but sat on the bench with the team for the first time since his back surgery.

5. All of those lineup mentions should highlight one notable exclusion. That is Troy Brown Jr., who continues to be on the outside of the rotation looking in. Even with Porter out and Oubre now gone, Brown isn't in the mix.

Brown's inability to get playing time remains a head-scratcher. Yeah, he can't shoot, but he can do so many other things, things that the Wizards need. Whenever he gets spot minutes, he contributes with his passing, rebounding and defense. 

The fact he isn't playing a lot could be expected, as he was drafted outside the lottery by a deep, veteran team. But to not play at all, even when injuries pave the way? That's tough to understand.

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