The matchup: Last meets first Friday night (7 p.m. ET) at the Verizon Center as the Washington Mystics (2-9) host theConnecticutSun (9-3). Hosting the second game of a four-game homestand, the Mystics, losers of eight of their last nine games,are looking to break a four-game losing streak. Washington has also dropped five straight to a Connecticut team that has had a week to stew after afranchise-worst 34-point loss against Indiana. On June 3, the Mystics lost to the Sun in Connecticut, 84-86.Last time out: Olympian Sue Bird scored 25 points and the veteran Seattle Storm held off the Mystics 79-71. Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 20 points and 10 rebounds. After trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, Mystics coach Trudi Lacey adjusted her second half lineup, sending out Langhorne and four reserves. The change worked early initially as Washington tied the game, hitting 7 of 10 shots starting the third quarter. Seattle weathered the surge with a barrage of 3-pointers and sealed the win by making 9 of 10 free throws inside the final two minutes. The Mystics finished on the short end of a 30-19 free disadvantage."We didn't start off well," Lacey said. "Anytime a team scores 30 points off the free throw line, that's tough."Post powers: In the previous meeting against the Sun, Langhorne, the Mystics leading scorer (16.5) scored a season-high 25 points. That was not enough to counter Connecticut center Tina Charles, who tallied a season-best 30 points. Charles ranks fifth in the WNBA in scoring with 19 points per game.
Did Draymond Green deliberately kick Steven Adams in the groin during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals? Maybe, but Kevin Durant says that's beside the point.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Game 4, the Thunder star was asked his opinion on the NBA's decision not to suspend Green. His response via The Oklahoman:
I don't even think it's something we should be talking about. They're not going to suspend Draymond Green. He's one of the premier players in the league, on arguably one of the best teams in the history of the game. They're not going to suspend him.
I didn't even really think about it. I knew the league was going to let him play or fine him, upgrade him to a Flagrant 2 ... We all knew that was going to happen. The league is pro-business, so I get it. No hard feelings.
It was a pragmatic response to a potentially series-altering decision, especially coming from an opponent of Green's. Perhaps because Durant isn't afraid of the full-strength Warriors.
Game 4 is set to tip off at Chesapeake Arena at 9 p.m. ET.
Nats (27-18) vs. Mets (26-18) at Nationals Park
The Nationals and Mets are back at it on Tuesday night in their fifth matchup of the season so far, a rematch of last Thursday's showdown between star pitchers Stephen Strasburg (7-0, 2.80) and Matt Harvey (3-6, 5.77).
Strasburg got the better of their last meeting in a blowout Nationals win. It was such a bad start for Harvey - nine runs, six earned - that his availability for this game was at one point in question. Harvey, though, has decided to power through his recent struggles hoping to find his way on the mound and against a division rival.
For the Nationals, their lineup is as expected. For the Mets, David Wright is out with Ty Kelly in at third base. And Michael Conforto is in at left field instead of Yoenis Cespedes, who has moved over to center field to replace Juan Lagares.
First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, XM 183
Starting pitchers: Nats - Stephen Strasburg vs. Mets - Matt Harvey
CF Ben Revere
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
RHP Stephen Strasburg
RF Curtis Granderson
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
LF Michael Conforto
CF Yoenis Cespedes
2B Neil Walker
1B Eric Campbell
C Kevin Plawecki
3B Ty Kelly
RHP Matt Harvey
As Ashur Tolliver joins the Orioles in Houston, it’s the third in a series of long and fascinating minor league careers that ends with an unexpected promotion to the major leagues.
In the last three years, Caleb Joseph, Mychal Givens and now Tolliver were added to the major league roster. The three have much in common.
Though the three have never been teammates until now, they have experiences in common, and some that are quite different.
Givens, Joseph and Tolliver have played a combined nine seasons for Bowie. Neither Givens nor Tolliver had played above Double-A before their sudden additions, and Joseph had a total of 44 games at Norfolk.
Joseph was added in 2014 when Matt Wieters was injured and he’s stayed ever since. Givens has had three stints, and has been with the Orioles continuously since last August.
Givens and Tolliver were both drafted in 2009, but Givens, who was picked in the second round, stumbled as an infielder and was converted to pitching in 2013.
Tolliver had progressed to Frederick by 2011, but missed the next year due to shoulder surgery, and didn’t get to Bowie until 2014.
The left-hander has been there ever since.
Each of them was unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and could have left the organization in minor league free agency, but stayed.
Tolliver was invited to January’s minicamp and spring training, favorably impressing manager Buck Showalter.
It’s not all that unusual for major leaguers to finally debut at 28, but it isn’t common for them to play entirely in one organization.