Kastles go for 27 without Olympians

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Kastles go for 27 without Olympians

For the second season in a row, the Washington Kastles have the best record in World TeamTennis at 10-0 allowing them to notch the No. 1 seed for WTT Finals.Washington has won 26 consecutive matches and will look to keep the streak alive through Saturday with four matches remaining in the regular season.Following tonight's last home match of the season versus Philadelphia, the Kastles will play road matches at New York Wednesday, Kansas City on Friday and Springfield on Saturday.If Washington wins its 27th consecutive match tonight, the Kastles will pass the 1916 New York Giants (MLB) for the second-longest winning streak in major U.S. pro sports history. The Lakers present the next hurdle with the 33-game undefeated run by Los Angeles during the 1971-72 NBA season.The challenge tonight will be posed not only by the Freedoms (4-6), but the Kastles' own depleted squad as Leander Paes, Venus Williams and Anastasia Rodionova will be competing at The Olympic Games in London.Paes and Rodionova have passed the torch for two of the top doubles players in the world, 19th-ranked Raquel Kops-Jones and 45th-ranked Treat Conrad Huey, to make their debut tonight for Washington.For Huey, who was born in Washington, raised in Alexandria and graduated from the University of Virginia, playing for the Kastles is somewhat of a homecoming. Before becoming a two-time All-American for the Cavaliers, Huey was a three-time Washington Post Player of the Year while attending St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School. Meanwhile, Bobby 'The Closer' Reynolds doesn't seem too worried about stepping up in Leander's absence, "It's going to be tough, obviously to fill-in for a six-time Olympian and obviously Anastasia and Venus, but we have a lot of good people coming inso we'll see what happens."
PROJECTED MATCH-UPSMS: Bobby Reynolds (WAS) vs. Luka Gregorc (PHL)WS: Edina Gallovits-Hall (WAS) vs. Kristyna Pliskova (PHL) MD: ReynoldsTreat Conrad Huey (WAS) vs. GregorcJordan Kerr (PHL) WD: Gallovits-HallRaquel Kops-Jones (WAS) vs. Kr. PliskovaKarolina Pliskova (PHL)MXD: HueyKops-Jones (WAS) vs. KerrKr. Pliskova (PHL)

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Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Wizards force Bucks superstar Giannis to career-high in turnovers

Few positives can be taken from a defensive perspective when a player scores 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds and seven assists, a line that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled on Saturday night at the Verizon Center. But the Wizards - who won the game 110-105 - can take pride in one particular stat that did not reflect well on Antetokounmpo. 

That would be the turnover category where Antetokounmpo tied a career-high with seven of them. The Greek Freak commits his fair share of turnovers normally, ranking sixth in the NBA with 3 1/2 per game. But only once before has he had seven and not since January 24 of 2015.

"We tried to make it crowded for him and he did turn the ball over a few times, probably too many than he would like," head coach Scott Brooks said. "But that was our plan, just to crowd the paint and make it tough on him. But he is really a great player and we had our hands full tonight.”

Brooks relied heavily on his newly discovered small-ball lineup, one that includes both Otto Porter, Jr. and Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the floor at the same time. Both are primarily small forwards, but provide length and versatility which allow the Wizards to make smooth switches on defense. Oubre played the entire fourth quarter and Porter logged 9:24 of the frame.

Their long arms make it tough for defenders to go around them and that helped against Antetokounmpo.

"That was my prerogative tonight to take that matchup with Giannis pretty seriously," Oubre said. "Just try to speed him up. Don't give him what he's use to having. He's a driver, he's a slasher. Just stay in from of him. That's definitely what we tried to do and I feel like we did a great job of that tonight."

Giannis wasn't the only Bucks player the Wizards had success against defensively. Former second overall pick Jabari Parker was limited to a season-low eight points. Parker entered the game averaging 19.6 points on the year.

"The biggest thing was making sure they saw bodies," guard Bradley Beal said. "Their strongest point is driving to the basket. They love to get points in the paint."

This was a nice follow-up for the Wizards after they beat the Nuggets on Thursday night and held them to just 85 points, including 33 in the second half. To put together two consecutive defensive outings like this seems like a step in the right direction for a 9-13 Wizards team that is off to a disappointing start overall in large part because of their defense late in games.

Beal called their recent play on defense "grimy" and he meant it in a good way. Guard John Wall, who has complained about his team's defensive effort at times this season, also saw progress.

“I think we’re getting to the point where if we’re not making shots we’re still competing and keeping our edge on the defensive end and competing – making people feel us and I think that’s helping us," he said.

Now comes a chance to do it for three straight games. On Monday the Wizards will play the Miami Heat and attempt to do something they haven't done all year, win three games in a row.

[RELATED: Kelly Oubre breaks out for Wizards against Bucks]

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Nationals trade Danny Espinosa to Angels for two minor league pitchers

Nationals trade Danny Espinosa to Angels for two minor league pitchers

WASHINGTON -- The Los Angeles Angels have acquired shortstop Danny Espinosa from the Washington Nationals for two minor league pitchers.

The Angels sent right-handers Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin to the Nationals on Saturday night for Espinosa, who presumably lost his starting job when Washington obtained outfielder Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Washington traded three top pitching prospects to Chicago for Eaton, with the intention of shifting NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Trea Turner from center field back to his natural shortstop position.

The 29-year-old Espinosa hit .209 with a career-high 24 home runs and 72 RBIs as Washington's starting shortstop last season. In seven major league seasons he has batted .226 with 92 home runs and 285 RBIs.

McGowin was ranked as the Angels' 20th-best prospect.

MORE NATIONALS: Harper's 'Wow' tweet could mean a lot of things