NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules

NEW YORK (AP) Jeremy Lin won again at Madison Square Garden - and for the first time this season, the New York Knicks didn't.

Lin had 22 points and eight assists in his return to New York, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-96 victory Monday night that ended the Knicks' 10-game home winning streak to open the season.

Cheered then jeered, and later clobbered, Lin added another masterpiece to the ones he put together last season during the height of Linsanity. No longer the fan favorite he was when wearing the home uniform, Lin got a mixed reception when he left the game with 2:25 remaining and Houston leading by 16.

James Harden had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who blew out the Knicks for the second time this season. They have won the last seven meetings, including a 131-103 rout in Houston on Nov. 23.

Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks, who played without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and had their four-game winning streak snapped.

THUNDER 107, SPURS 93

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Serge Ibaka tied his career best with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and Oklahoma City beat San Antonio for its 11th straight win.

The Thunder took control with a string of 11 straight points during the third quarter, punctuated by Nick Collison's putback that made it 71-56 with 4:27 remaining in the period.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich kept his starters parked on the bench throughout the fourth quarter, even as San Antonio cut an 18-point lead in half with about 5 1/2 minutes left.

Tony Parker and Nando De Colo had 14 points apiece to lead the Spurs, who could have created a virtual tie for the best record with a win.

Manu Ginobili did not play for the Spurs because he bruised his left quadriceps in Saturday's win at Boston.

Russell Westbrook chipped in 22 points and nine assists, Kevin Martin scored 20 and Kevin Durant had 19 as Oklahoma City maintained sole possession of the best record in the NBA.

It was the teams' first meeting in Oklahoma City since the Thunder overcame a 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference finals by winning the next four games. The Spurs drew a measure of revenge in the season opener by beating Oklahoma City on Parker's jumper as time expired.

GRIZZLIES 80, BULLS 71

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mike Conley had 17 points, Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds, and Memphis overcame a poor start to beat Chicago.

Conley was 6 of 12 from the field and had four assists. Rudy Gay scored 12 points for the Grizzlies but shot 5 of 13, continuing his slump. Wayne Ellington scored all 11 of his points in the second quarter, when the Grizzlies reserves provided a lift after Memphis shot poorly in the first period.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Marco Belinelli finished with 13 points.

Both teams shot just better than 37 percent. But Memphis was 6 of 11 from 3-point range compared to the Bulls hitting only 2 of 11 long-range shots.

CLIPPERS 88, PISTONS 76

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Chris Paul added 14 to lead Los Angeles past Detroit for its 10th straight win.

Blake Griffin had 15 points for the Clippers, who had five players in double figures. Griffin had two breakaway dunks in the last 30 seconds, one on a pass banked off the backboard by Crawford.

Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 16 points and Tayshaun Prince added 15. Detroit has lost five straight.

MAGIC 102, TIMBERWOLVES 93

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Glen Davis scored 28 points and J.J. Redick had 18 points and seven assists as Orlando beat Minnesota.

The Magic won their third straight and stopped the Timberwolves' four-game winning streak. Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 11 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double, and Arron Afflalo scored 13 points.

Kevin Love led Minnesota with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who led by 15 in the middle of the third quarter but couldn't hang on.

SUNS 101, KINGS 90

PHOENIX (AP) - Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Jared Dudley added 20 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled off another big rally to beat Sacramento.

The Suns were out of sorts throughout the first half, scoring 43 points while trailing by up to 19. Brown helped them outscore Sacramento 31-14 in the third quarter and Dudley provided the cushion down the stretch to give Phoenix its first three-game winning streak of the season.

Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Luis Scola gave the Suns his usual hustle while scoring 14 points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists.

The Kings played well early, but faded down the stretch to lose their fourth straight game. Jimmer Fredette had 22 points and Aaron Brooks added 12 for Sacramento.

Dusty Baker says Nats have to 'ride the wave' of Strasburg's win streak

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Dusty Baker says Nats have to 'ride the wave' of Strasburg's win streak

The formula has been a simple one for the Nationals of late: if Stephen Strasburg takes the mound, Washington will emerge victorious. It's been the case in the 27-year-old right hander's last 13 outings, a streak that sets a new franchise record for wins during a pitcher's starts. 

Whether or not Strasburg's remarkable run is sustainable, Dusty Baker is willing to enjoy it for however long it lasts. 

"Whatever Stras is doing," the Nats manager said, "you just ride it. It's like surfing. You ride the wave to the beach and jump off and just catch another wave."

Strasburg is 7-0 on the year with a 2.80 ERA — a very good mark, but still not up there with the National League's elite arms such as Jake Arrieta (1.29) and Clayton Kershaw (1.48). Baker said that one of the reasons the Nats have flourished with Strasburg on the mound is that he continues to be the beneficiary of good run support. Take his last outing, for instance, where the offense jumped on Mets starter Matt Harvey in the third inning to create a 9-1 cushion to pitch through the rest of the way. 

But Baker was quick to point out that, run support aside, Strasburg is displaying an important trait that many aces around the game show when they're on a roll. 

"I don't care what it is, he's still 7-0," Baker said. "I'm sure everybody would trade to do that.....part of the reason he's 7-0 is because he's been out there without his best stuff and still managed to keep us in the ballgame until our offense came through."

If Strasburg is to extend the streak to 14 wins in a row, he'll need to do so against a Mets lineup that will get a second look at him in less than a week. That scenario didn't work out so well for rotation mate Gio Gonzalez, who was throttled Monday night for seven earned runs after faring well against New York's offense just a week ago.

But, sticking with the wave analogy, Baker says Strasburg and the Nats should adopt the surfer's mentality of not worrying about impending disaster. 

"If you think about falling off, you gonna fall," Baker said. "So don't think about falling, don't think about when it's going to end."

Nats' Baker on pitch counts: 'It's like the kid who climbs up in the tree'

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Nats' Baker on pitch counts: 'It's like the kid who climbs up in the tree'

Much is made about pitch counts in Major League Baseball these days with the advancement in how young pitchers are treated both throughout their youth and throughout their professional careers. And, it's no secret that Nationals manager Dusty Baker has been associated with overusing pitchers in the past, particularly during his time with the Chicago Cubs.

Despite him being a decade removed from having an office at Wrigley Field, the reputation has followed Baker. Some still invoke those days when he rides a Nationals pitcher past the 100 mark, a round number that has been synonymous with the limits of a pitching arm. 

In 28 of the Nationals' 45 games this season a pitcher has eclipsed the 100 mark. Max Scherzer has gotten there seven times out of his 10 starts. Stephen Strasburg has made it there in seven of his nine outings. Tanner Roark's done it six times, Gio Gonzalez five times and Joe Ross three times.

Baker understands the significance of 100 pitches in a game, but thinks it's also good to see how far a pitcher can go and still be effective.

"You're not going to find a guy's threshold unless you take him pretty close to that threshold," he said. 

"I do believe that you build a pitcher -- every time you take him out of trouble, it's like the kid who climbs up in the tree. He'll never learn how to get down unless you sometimes leave him up in that tree. And then he'll get hungry and he'll come down out of the tree. But if you send the fire department out to take him down from that tree, he'll never learn to get out of that tree."

Now, that's a colorful way of putting it, but for Baker, it really depends on several factors for when he pulls a pitcher.

"Matchups, score. I mean, the scoreboard dictates how much of everything. How he's fared against this guy. Does this guy have power, does he have speed, can I afford for him to get on base to start a rally, or can I afford for this other guy to get on base," he explained.

It also depends on the pitcher's history, Baker says. Scherzer, for instance, ranks third in baseball in total pitches thrown this season. But he's always near the top of the league, having placed seventh last year, third in 2014 and 12th in 2013. Scherzer has averaged at least 100 pitches per outing for eight straight years. 

Strasburg is averaging over 100 pitches for the first time in his career, but he's got 837 2/3 innings logged as a big leaguer. He's a 27-year-old who has pitched 200 innings in a season before. 

Like Strasburg, Roark and Gonzalez have logged plenty of innings throughout their careers and aren't young pitchers anymore. The one starter who could perhaps use some caretaking is Ross, who at 23 years old is by far the least experienced of the group. It's not a surprise to see he's reaching 100 at a lower rate than his counterparts.

And perhaps it's Ross in particular whom Baker needs to find out what he's made of.

"If you rescue them every time that they're in trouble, then they'll never know how to get out of trouble on their own," Baker said.

When is the 2016 NBA Draft deadline?

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When is the 2016 NBA Draft deadline?

When is the NBA Draft Deadline?

The 2016 NBA Draft takes place on June 23 at 8 p.m. But before players start putting on team hats, college players have to decide if they are staying or going.  

The NBA Draft Deadline is at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25.

This date is not actually an NBA deadline. It is an NCAA deadline, and only applies to college players. International players have additional time to decide if they are keeping their name in the NBA Draft.

Any player that participated in NCAA basketball last season has to make a decision on their eligibility by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday night or forfeit any remaining eligibility, whether they are drafted or not.

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