Raiders player to spend 180 days in prison

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Raiders player to spend 180 days in prison

From Comcast SportsNet
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) -- Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for assault and other charges stemming from a fight in his hometown when he allegedly threatened to kill a man and fired a gun next to his head. Decatur Municipal Judge Bill Cook convicted the 22-year-old former Alabama star Thursday of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in the city limits. He fined McClain 2,000. McClain, 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, and Jarodiaus Willingham were charged with assaulting Rishard Tapscott, who was a friend of the two, on Nov. 30, 2011. Tapscott testified that the Raiders linebacker pointed a gun at his head and threatened to kill him before firing it beside his ear. McClain's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said he will appeal to Morgan County Circuit Court seeking a jury trial. "I wanted to put this on so we could show how ridiculous this entire situation is," Steinberg said after the conviction. "It truly is. There's no basis for it. Our feeling was that we should go through it so we could put out there that Rolando did very little, if anything, wrong. He certainly didn't do anything criminal." McClain was released on the bail he paid following his arrest. He did not respond to reporters' questions before driving away in a white pickup truck. "I hate that this took place but I'm glad about him being found guilty because it shows that I wasn't lying," Tapscott said following the five-hour trial. Willingham, 23 of Decatur, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in the case Thursday morning. He received a 90-day jail sentence. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league will review McClain's case to determine if further punishment is warranted. The Raiders said in a statement that they would continue to monitor the situation. McClain, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, signed a 40 million, five-year contract that included 23 million in guarantees with the Raiders before his rookie season. He had 99 tackles and five sacks in 15 games last season. Tapscott has also filed a civil suit against McClain. The judge declined to allow City Prosecuter Emily Baggett to introduce a videotape from the incident. Decatur attorney Carl Cole, who is representing Tapscott in the suit, provided the video to the prosecution.

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The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Nuggets

The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Nuggets

Here are five plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 92-85 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night at the Verizon Center that are worth revisiting...

1. Bradley Beal threw down a huge two-handed slam in the first quarter that was set up by John Wall. Wall drove to his left and found Beal in the corner for a would-be three-point attempt, but Beal had other ideas and drove baseline to set up the dunk:

2. Wall is established as one of the best athletes in the NBA, especially at the point guard position. That was demonstrated well by this putback shot in the first quarter:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had another strong night off the bench. He brought energy on both sides of the floor, as evidenced by this steal and fastbreak layup in the fourth quarter:

4. The Wizards sealed the victory with hustle plays, including this block of Will Barton by Marcin Gortat. Barton tried to take it to the rim after a steal, but Gortat sent him packing:

5. Then there was this dive by Beal to corral a loose ball, a play that helped put the game on ice:

[RELATED: WIZARDS DO THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT IN UGLY WIN OVER NUGGETS]

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Wizards do the little things right in ugly win over Nuggets

Wizards do the little things right in ugly win over Nuggets

Wins in the NBA can come in many different forms and what transpired at the Verizon Center on Thursday night was by no means pretty. The scoreboard didn't even work for the first few minutes and when it came back to life the Wizards trailed the Nuggets 17-5.

By the end of the first the Wizards were shooting 36.4 percent and had eight turnovers. In the fourth quarter, they managed just 17 points and only scored four in the final 3:47 of play. 

Offense was not the reason why they won this one, a 92-85 final score. No, this one was paved by defense - they held the Nuggets to 33 points in the second half and 12 in the fourth - and hustle plays in key moments that helped the Wizards seal their seventh win of the season.

The Wizards forced 29 Nuggets turnovers and held them to 11-of-35 shooting - including 1-for-18 from three - in the second half. Denver may have started out hot, but it didn't last long.

"I think we just played harder in the second half, that's the reason we came out with a win," said John Wall, who lamented his teammates effort after Tuesday night's loss to the Magic.

“It was not the prettiest game but we fought, we battled, we battled, we stayed in front of our men; we did a good job of guarding. We made them miss a lot of shots," head coach Scott Brooks said.

That extra effort included a big block by Marcin Gortat with 4:24 remaining in the fourth quarter. With Will Barton going up on the left side of the hoop after a steal, Gortat adjusted while backpedaling to reject him at the rim. 

It kept the Wizards up 85-83 at the time and Brooks raved about it afterwards.

"I thought Marcin [Gortat] struggled most of the night but he had a huge block. That's what you have to do. You can't worry about you last play. You have to worry about helping the next player and help your teammates out," Brooks said.

With 46 seconds remaining, Bradley Beal pulled off a play that went a long way towards clinching the win. On a Jameer Nelson missed three-pointer, Beal dove to a full-stretch to bring in the rebound. He fell to the ground and called timeout right in front of the Wizards' bench as his teammates leapt out of their seats to rejoice.

It was a loose ball that Beal made sure he was determined to get.

“It’s whatever it takes to get a win, even if it’s diving on the floor," Beal said. "They were telling me to try out for the Redskins because I laid out and caught it, got possession, two feet in, tucked and rolled. But we need plays like that to win games, and whatever it takes at this point.”

"Those are winning plays. That's what we needed all game and that's what we need every game, winning plays late like that. That just showed that guys really care about winning," forward Markieff Morris said. "When you've got one of your best players giving everything he's got to win, it has to send a jolt [to teammates]. If it doesn't, then something is wrong."

The Wizards have talked plenty this season about controlling what they can control. When they don't have it on offense, make sure the effort is there on the defensive end and more often than not they will be in games with a chance to win. On Thursday, the proof was on display.

[RELATED: Brooks on Wizards' effort following Wall's comments]