Clemens trial resumes today with more testimony

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Clemens trial resumes today with more testimony

From Comcast SportsNet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Roger Clemens perjury trial is resuming after a five-day break. The prosecution's first witness, congressional staffer Phil Barnett, will return to the stand Monday after beginning his testimony last Tuesday. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is accused of lying to Congress when, at a hearing and deposition that preceded it, he denied taking steroids or human growth hormone. Barnett was the majority staff director on the committee that deposed the baseball great in 2008. The government is using Barnett to help establish that Congress had authority to investigate drug use in sports. Clemens' lawyer has raised questions about the investigation. Barnett happens to be the witness who was on the stand last year when a mistrial was declared because the government introduced inadmissible evidence on videotape.

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Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Instead of looking at the final play of the Wizards' 107-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when Otto Porter got the ball from Markieff Morris on the double-team and turned the corner for a good look at the basket that didn't go down, it's the way quarters ended that hurt them most. 

The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead in the first half that evaporated and came back to take the lead 103-102 on a three-point shot by Bradley Beal with 53.4 seconds left. But the one thing the Wizards had done a good job of all game, rebounding (43-37 edge), backfired late.

LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed an offensive rebound on a miss by Patty Mills and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout and re-inserted Danny Green in the lineup. His three-pointer, his only made shot of the game, put them up 105-103 and after John Wall tied it for the Wizards with a strong drive it was Kawhi Leonard knocking down the game-winner for San Antonio. 

"Getting that first-quarter shot and (the one) they got at halftime, that's five points," Wall said. "That's a big swing. ... The ways they ended the quarter gave them some momentum."

With 46.7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wizards allowed an open three-pointer from Mills and allowed Manu Ginobili to bank in a 14-foot bucket at the buzzer. A 28-19 lead melted to 28-24.

They'd force a miss again to end the second, with David Lee not converting two layups, only to have Ginobili steal the outlet pass with 1.9 seconds left to nail a 33-foot three-pointer. A 60-54 lead became 60-57 at halftime.

Then an inefficient ending to the third quarter is where the Wizards finally lost the game, getting three turnovers in the last 2:14 and allowing a 7-1 run to trail 80-74 entering the fourth. 

These are the botched spots when the Wizards could've secured their first win in San Antonio since 1999. 

"Pissed," Wall said of the locker room mood. "Let another one go. ... There are about seven games already this season for us that can haunt us (in regards to playoffs)."

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the final play called out of the timeout was for Beal on a curl to the basket but the passing lane wasn't there. Still, it goes back to how they ended quarters in the first three 12-minute sessions that set the table for disappoinment at the end.

"They scored every possession down the stretch of every quarter," Brooks said. "I'm happy that we're playing hard, playing together. But I'm not happy we're not getting wins."

[RELATED: The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Spurs]

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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