Nationals

Warriors, Curry agree to $44M, 4-year extension

Warriors, Curry agree to $44M, 4-year extension

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) While the stability of Stephen Curry's right ankle remains uncertain, his financial footing with the Golden State Warriors has never been more secure.

Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension before Wednesday night's season opener at Phoenix that will keep the point guard with the Warriors through the 2016-17 season. It was the final day Golden State could sign Curry to an extension or he would become a restricted free agent next summer.

``I just thought the deal was too good to pass up right now,'' Curry said before the Warriors' season opener against the Suns. ``Obviously I've been through a lot of injuries the last year and a half with my ankle, but it's back strong and ready to go.''

Curry missed 40 of 66 games last season and sprained his twice-surgically repaired right ankle again in the preseason, sitting out the final two exhibitions at the request of second-year coach Mark Jackson. New Warriors general manager Bob Myers and owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber felt the point guard was still worth the risk given his production when healthy.

``This is an exciting day for the Warriors and our fans and it certainly exemplifies the commitment of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber,'' Myers said in a statement. ``We're extremely pleased that we have reached an agreement that will enable Stephen to remain a vital part of our team long term. His contributions over the last three years, both on the floor and in the community, have been invaluable to our organization. We certainly expect him to be an integral part of our future success as he continues to evolve as a player in all facets of the game.''

The 24-year-old Curry averaged career lows of 14.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds last season. He has still proven to be one of the NBA's most prolific scorers when he's on the court, shooting 47 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range in his first three seasons.

Curry said he believed in the direction the team is heading.

``I've just seen the difference from my rookie year of where the organization is going,'' he said. ``It's definitely promising and I'm optimistic about where we can go, especially with what we did over the summer and even last year in getting such a deep roster, them making moods and putting a good product on the floor. It's up to us now to go out and play.''

The Warriors are counting on Curry to form half of the new franchise tandem.

Curry is expected to team with center Andrew Bogut, who didn't play in the preseason. The team has said Bogut has not had any setbacks on his surgically repaired left ankle, which he fractured on Jan. 25 while with Milwaukee and missed the rest of the season.

Bogut came to Golden State in a swap for guard Monta Ellis, among others, before last season's trade deadline. Bogut had hoped to return for the season opener, but the team never set any deadline, and even if the 7-footer from Australia played it likely won't be for extended minutes.

Curry sat out the last two exhibitions after he sprained his right ankle at Portland on Oct. 19. The former Davidson star and native of Charlotte, N.C., drafted seventh overall by the Warriors in 2009, had arthroscopic surgery in April and had surgery to repair a tendon in the ankle in the summer of 2011.

Golden State signed Curry at somewhat of a discount. Ty Lawson signed a four-year, $48 million extension with the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Without the ankle concerns, Curry would've likely commanded at least that much.

``Right now, for them to offer me what they did after what I've been through says a lot about, one, where my ankle is now, but, two, just their faith in what I can do,'' Curry said. ``Obviously things would have been different playing out the year, me playing well, next year I don't what the number would have been, but that's not even a question I'm asking myself now. `'

The Bogut-Curry combo has enough support around it for the Warriors to believe they have a strong shot to make the playoffs for only the second time since 1994 - if all can stay healthy, which hasn't been the case in recent seasons.

Power forward David Lee, who has averaged close to a double-double most of his career and missed the end of last season following surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle, will start along with second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson and seventh overall pick Harrison Barnes of North Carolina at small forward.

Golden State is deeper than in recent years, too. Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and Richard Jefferson fill out a veteran bench complementing rookies Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli.

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AP sports writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

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USA TODAY Sports

Trea Turner goes 4 for 4 to help Nationals beat Orioles

WASHINGTON -- Presented with identical opportunities to ring up a big inning, the Washington Nationals took full advantage and Baltimore Orioles squandered the chance.

That goes a long way toward explaining why the Nationals are a contender and the Orioles own the worst record in the big leagues.

Trea Turner went 4 for 4 with a homer , Anthony Rendon drove in three runs and Washington extended its recent domination of the Orioles with a 9-7 victory Tuesday night.

The game was essentially decided in the fifth inning, which began with Baltimore leading 4-1.

In the top half, the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs and scored only one run -- when Manny Machado hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Washington loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half and batted around, scoring four runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Adam Eaton contributed a two-run single, Rendon hit a sacrifice fly and Bryce Harper chased starter David Hess with an RBI double.

"They did a lot better job cashing in their bases loaded, nobody out situation than we did," Orioles manager Buck Showalter conceded.

For the game, Baltimore was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals were 5 for 10.

"This team is starting to become relentless," manager Dave Martinez said. "They kept pounding and pounding and pounding, had a couple of big innings there and scored some runs."

The Nationals trailed 6-5 before getting six hits in a four-run seventh. Rendon delivered a two-run double off Tanner Scott (0-1) that made it 7-6, and Turner capped his four-hit night with a double.

Both teams noted that more than a couple of Washington's hits were bloopers and seeing-eye grounders, but the Nationals certainly weren't about to apologize.

"I feel like all year we've been hitting balls right at people," Turner said, "so it's nice to get a bunch of those in one game and come out with a win."

Washington has won six straight over its neighboring interleague rival, including four games this season by a combined 20-8.

Pitching in his second big league game, Nationals starter Jefry Rodriguez gave up five runs, four hits and four walks in five innings.

Justin Miller (5-0) pitched two innings of relief, newcomer Kelvin Herrera worked a perfect eighth and Sean Doolittle gave up a solo home run to Joey Rickard while earning his 19th save.

Jace Peterson and Trey Mancini each hit two-run homers for the Orioles, who have lost 16 of 19.

This one can be blamed on an all-too-telling fifth inning.

"It's just one of those things where if they got hits they seemed to have found holes," Showalter said. "They hit some balls hard, too."

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Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Need to Know: Redskins QB Alex Smith understands that expectations will be high immediately

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 20, 36 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Emptying the notebook from the offseason practices

—Last week I wrote that Gruden expects Alex Smith to be ready to win in Week 1. Smith understands those expectations and plans to meet them. “No, I don’t think you can rely on the fact that, ‘Oh, it’s the first year here.’ Nobody cares,” he said when asked about his transition into the new offense. “It’s not like in the fall, you guys are going to be like, ‘Ah, well, this is his first year here. We’ll give him a break.’ It just doesn’t work that way.” Of course, Smith is right. If the Redskins are 1-3 in October, nobody is going to cut them any slack if their veteran quarterback who got a contract with $71 million guaranteed is struggling with the new offense. 

—I didn’t count reps during the practices that were open to the media, but it seemed that they were giving DL Jonathan Allen a light workload. “I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason,” said defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. “We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.” The Redskins essentially will be adding two first-round picks to their D-line with Allen’s return and the addition of Daron Payne in the first round this year. I would look for Allen to get a full workload when training camp starts. 

—There are questions about Kevin Hogan making the 53-man roster as the third quarterback. Jay Gruden had some rather tepid praise for him last week. “He’s done good,” he said. “I like Kevin. He’s a smart kid and he’s got some deceiving escape ability to him. He can run a little bit. We saw one today, he popped out of there for about a 20-yard gain. I like where he’s at.” But near the end of that practice, Hogan threw a red zone pass right into the arms of rookie CB Greg Stroman. If we see much more of that, the Redskins may keep a sixth wide receiver or tenth offensive lineman rather than a third quarterback. 

—When he is asked about the performance of undrafted rookies, Gruden usually declines to praise specific players so when he does pick out individuals it’s worth paying some attention. On Wednesday he said that WR Cam Simms and CB Danny Johnson “stood out” at their respective positions. Looking at it right now, there don’t appear to be roster spots available for either of them. But one or two undrafted players break through and make the roster every year and Simms and Johnson are two to watch. 

— “In the second year, we expect major strides for all first-year guys. I’ve said it before. So just understanding pro football, what it’s all about in your first year, you have the four preseason games and 16 regular season games,” Gruden said when asked about RB Samaje Perine. “It’s a grind, mentally. It’s all-day football, not like college where you only get 20 hours a week, so I think he understands the grind and our system a lot better.” The answer obviously applies to all of the 2017 draft picks. In particular, they will be counting on next steps from OLB Ryan Anderson, CB Fabian Moreau, WR Robert Davis, and CB Joshua Holsey. History tells us that some will take big steps, others will not.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was born on this date in 1978.

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 36
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 50
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 73

The Redskins last played a game 171 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 81 days. 

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