Mystics can't keep up with Dream

Mystics can't keep up with Dream

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Armintie Price paced five double-figure scorers with 19 points and the Atlanta Dream won their second straight game without Olympic gold medalistAngel McCoughtry, 81-69 over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. Tiffany Hayes and Lindsey Harding each scored 16 points for the Dream (12-11), who climbed above .500 for the first time this season. Atlanta established an early double-digit lead by repeatedly forcing turnovers in the first quarter and shooting 56.8 percent from the field before halftime. McCoughtry, the WNBA's leading scorer, sat out for personal reasons, according to Dream coach and general manager Marynell Meadors. Matee Ajavon scored 20 points and Crystal Langhorne had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Mystics (5-18). Washington has lost four of five since returning from the Olympic break, including two straight. Second in the league in turnovers entering the game, the Mystics, committed 18 -- nine in the first quarter -- which led to 25 Atlanta points. Sancho Lyttle scored 14 points and Catherine Kraayeveld added 10 for the Dream. Atlanta led by 13 points after the first quarter and held its largest lead at 68-40 with 1:40 left in the third quarter on Kraayeveld's 3-pointer. Led by Ajavon, who scored 16 points in the second half, Washington outscored Atlanta 25-13 in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to 77-69 inside the final minute but would get no closer. Atlanta claimed consecutive victories for the first time since taking three straight from June 24-29 and established a winning record for the first time in seven attempts this season. The Dream took control in the early minutes, closing the first quarter on a 13-2 run for a 25-12 lead. Both teams shot at least 55 percent from the field, but the Dream had 20 shot attempts compared to the Mystics' seven -- or two less than Washington's turnovers in the quarter. Harding, who played for Washington's last two playoff teams from 2008-09, scored the final four points of the first quarter. Her fadeaway jumper capped the second quarter scoring as Atlanta led 49-33 at halftime. Opening the second half, the Mystics committed turnovers on their first two possessions while the Dream made five straight shots, extending the lead to 61-35. Monique Currie finished with 14 points for the Mystics, who shot 25 percent (9 of 36) after halftime. The meeting was the first of four scheduled between the Eastern Conference foes this season.

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It will take a while, but expect Kirk Cousins to sign long-term with Redskins, per analyst

It will take a while, but expect Kirk Cousins to sign long-term with Redskins, per analyst

All signs point to the Redskins again placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, and the March 1 deadline to make that move grows ever closer. The franchise tag, however, will not prevent the organization from making a long-term deal with the quarterback, and CBS' Jason La Canfora expects the 'Skins to get a deal done with Cousins sometime this summer.

"Unlike last year, the Redskins will make a legit concerted effort to sign him to a fair-market deal (unlike the low-ball overtures of a year ago). And by July 15, I suspect Cousins has a long-term deal with Washington agreed to."

July 15 marks the deadline for teams to negotiate with tagged players. Last year, the Redskins hardly offered Cousins more money than was guaranteed by his one-year, $20 million contract dictated by the franchise tag. This season, that figure jumps to $24 million.

There is some debate as to what will constitute a 'fair-market deal' for Cousins. Will the 'Skins passer get to the Andrew Luck level, with more than $80 million guaranteed? Will the team use the non-exclusive tag and let Cousins see what his value is with other teams?

Nothing but questions and specualtion will dominate the Cousins conversation, at least until March 1 when the 'Skins are forced to use the tag or let the QB walk to the open market. That won't happen, but it is possible the team and Cousins reach a multi-year deal before then.

Don't plan on it. The NFL is a deadline driven league. March 1, and then July 15, could prove to be the most important days in the 2017 version of the Cousins saga. 

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Kings send DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans for Hield, Evans and 2017 picks

Kings send DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans for Hield, Evans and 2017 picks

NEW ORLEANS -- The saga between the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins finally is over as the three-time All-Star was traded to the Pelicans on Sunday night to the host city for the 66th All-Star Game.

Cousins played just two minutes and made a quick exit from the game with the West All-Stars. As soon as he made a three-point shot, his night was complete.

Cousins, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, was acquired for a 2017 first-round, second-round pick, Buddy Hield and Tyreke Evans.

Before the deal was consummated, Kentucky teammate John Wall had this response on Cousins teaming up with Anthony Davis: "Wooooo."

He paused, took a sip of his sports drink, and gasped. "I'm just going to drink on that one."

Cousins never led the Kings, a dysfuctional franchise since the day he was drafted in 2010, to the postseason. They'd never won more than 33 games with Cousins and were 24-33 this season.

Cousins had career averages of 21.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in  six-plus seasons. Davis scored 52 points Sunday en route to being the All-Star Game MVP. 

The Pelicans are 23-24.