Crawford's 3 gives Wizards 98-95 win over Blazers

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Crawford's 3 gives Wizards 98-95 win over Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Jordan Crawford hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Washington Wizards dogpiled on the court to celebrate a 98-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Nicolas Batum had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double, but the Blazers lost their season-high sixth straight.

Crawford's fadeaway and a corner 3-pointer gave the Wizards an 82-75 lead, their largest to that point, with just more than 7 minutes left in the game.

Rookie Damian Lillard's dunk pulled the Blazers to 91-90 with 2:21 left. Former Blazer Martell Webster and John Wall answered with consecutive dunks, but Lillard added a layup and Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer to tie it with 7.9 seconds left.

Crawford's game winner was reviewed but it didn't stop the Wizards' celebration.

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Matt Niskanen out vs. Oilers; Caps prospect could make NHL debut

Matt Niskanen out vs. Oilers; Caps prospect could make NHL debut

Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen will not suit up Friday against Connor McDavid and the surging Oilers, Coach Barry Trotz said.

Niskanen was injured Wednesday night in Philadelphia and is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.

It’ll mark the second game the big-minute blue liner has missed this season.

It’s also unclear if Brooks Orpik will play against Edmonton. Orpik did not practice Thursday as he rested a nagging lower body ailment. The veteran defenseman did not participate in Friday’s optional morning skate, either.

Orpik will take the pregame warmup at Verizon Center, Trotz said. If he’s unable to go, he’ll be replaced in the lineup by Aaron Ness, who is up from Hershey.

Orpik has played in all 59 games this season.

It’s also possible that prospect Riley Barber will make his NHL debut against the Oilers. Barber, who joined the team from Hershey, will take the warmup and would suit up if an ailing forward can’t.

Trotz did not divulge which forward is “a little bit nicked up.”

RELATED: CAPS HOPEFUL NISKANEN'S INJURY ISN'T SERIOUS

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!