Mystics fall to surging Sparks

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Mystics fall to surging Sparks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver scored 18 points each as the Los Angeles Sparks snapped a three-game skid with a 96-68 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. Former Mystics star Alana Beard added 16 points for the Sparks (20-9), who swept the two-game season series against Washington. Los Angeles, which has already clinched a playoff berth and remains in second place in the Western Conference, finishes its five-game road trip Sunday against New York. Monique Curry scored 16 points for the Mystics (5-23), who lost their season-high seventh straight. Jasmine Thomas added 15 points for Washington, which was outscored 197-138 in its two losses to Los Angeles. The Sparks outrebounded the Mystics 39-29 and shot 62 percent from the floor (39 of 63) compared to the Mystics' 36 percent (25 of 69). Los Angeles led by 19 in the second quarter before settling for a 54-39 halftime lead. A 15-2 run stretched it to 34-20 early in the second, DeLisha Milton-Jones' corner 3-pointer later pushed it to 45-30, and Toliver hit back-to-back jumpers to make it 51-32. Mystics guard Shannon Bobbitt hit a 38-foot bank shot at the halftime buzzer. It was more of the same in the second half, with the lead growing to 83-56 early in the fourth quarter. Beard, making her first visit to the Verizon Center since signing with the Sparks in the offseason, received a loud ovation from the crowd in pregame introductions. The four-time WNBA All Star, selected by the Mystics in the first round of the 2004 draft, played six seasons in Washington before foot and ankle injuries forced her to miss the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons.

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Wizards vs. Grizzlies: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Grizzlies: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Wizards get another shot

The Wizards and Grizzlies will close their season series on Wednesday night as the Wizards get their turn to host the matchup. The Grizzlies beat the Wizards in Memphis on Oct. 30 and it was one the Wizards felt got away from them. They had a chance to win before center Marc Gasol hit a game-tying three at the end of regulation. The Wizards then got blown away in overtime where the Grizzlies outscored them 12-3.

Gasol's three-pointers - he also hit a big one in overtime - took the Wizards by surprise. Now they know that is a part of his game, as he's hitting 39.1% of them this season, a respectable clip for a 7-footer.

Bradley Beal will also look for a better game this time around. He was limited to just 14 points on 5-of-17 shooting in October.

[RELATED: Next 15 games set table for Wizards' season]

Conley is back

The Wizards went to Memphis for the second game of the season and at that time Grizzlies star point guard Mike Conley was sidelined with a back injury. He has since returned to their lineup to have a strong season. He's second on the team with 19 points per game. He's also posting 6.2 assists and 1.3 steals a night.

Conley should provide another test for John Wall, who has been playing very good defense as of late. Conley averaged 19.5 points on 53.3% shooting against the Wizards last season.

The Grizzlies will also have veteran Tony Allen available after not having him in the first matchup. He is still getting it done defensively with 1.8 steals per game at the age of 35.

Shooting percentage

The Wizards have won 12 straight at home in large part due to the fact they shoot an impressively high percentage at home. Only the Warriors shoot better than the Wizards (48.7%) at home this season.

That will be put to the test on Wednesday night, though, against a Grizzlies team that is exeptional at making their opponents take tough shots. They are third in basketball in opponents field goal percentage, limiting teams to just 43.5% from the field. They allow a league-low 34.2 field goal makes per game. The Grizzlies are also pretty good on the road with a winning record at 11-10.

[RELATED: Wall gives his Eastern Conference All-Star starters]

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Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

Mic picks up Packers trainer telling Cowboys' Tony Romo 'you deserve better'

When longtime Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, there was general consensus that Prescott won the job fair and square when Romo got injured.

Romo himself said as much. But there are still people around the NFL who feel Dallas didn't do right by their 10-year starter. 

As Romo was leaving the field after the Cowboys lost to the Packers in the playoffs, Pepper Burruss, Green Bay's director of sports medicine, approached him. A microphone picked up Burruss saying what sounds like, "You deserve better." 

Take a listen. 

It's possible Burruss could have meant something else, like Romo deserved better injury luck. Maybe. 

Also keep in mind that Romo may have been leaving the field as a Cowboy for the final time of his career. What a note to leave on...

The 36-year-old has said he still wants an opportunity to start in the NFL. That won't happen in Dallas, so it's likely he'll move on to another team this offseason. 

According to Adam Schefter on ESPN Radio, the Cowboys may be willing to trade Romo to the team of his choice. 

Speculation has linked him to the Broncos, Bears, Jets and Texans.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins interviewed internal candidate for DC