Sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Washington Mystics appear to be reaching their wits' end. Frustration is surely taking a toll on the WNBA-worst Tulsa Shock as well. The Mystics try for their first road win of the year and a sweep of the Shock on Sunday. Five days after snapping a season-high five-game losing streak with a 90-77 win over Phoenix, Washington (3-11) saw its struggles resume in a 78-73 defeat to San Antonio on Friday. Monique Currie had a team-high 15 points while Crystal Langhorne scored 13, but the Mystics were done in by the Silver Stars' 17-4 run in the third quarter. "It's very frustrating. I'm not used to losing," said veteran center Michelle Snow, who signed with Washington during the offseason. "You just want to scream, you want to blow up, you want to fight, whatever it takes to wake everybody up. Honestly, a change is going to come. You can be part of that change here or you'll just be part of that rotation (leaving town). That's the way any job is." While the Mystics' 3-6 home record leaves much to be desired, it looks good compared to their road efforts. Washington is 0-5 away from home and has lost 14 straight there overall. A matchup with Tulsa (2-13) could be just what the Mystics need to put those woes behind them. The Shock have dropped seven of nine on their own court, giving them the worst home mark in the league. Tulsa is coming off back-to-back double-digit losses at Bank of Oklahoma Center, falling 86-75 to Connecticut on Friday in its most recent game. Shooting a league-low 38.8 percent from the floor, the Shock were limited to 21.1 percent and outscored 25-10 in the first quarter. "That really was the difference, the slow start," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "We're just not good enough to have lapses like that." Averaging a team-high 14.1 points, Ivory Latta was the lone bright spot for Tulsa, scoring 24 and going 9 of 14 from the floor. Latta had 16 points but was the only Shock player to score in double figures in a 64-61 loss at Washington on May 26 - Tulsa's sixth defeat in eight meetings in the series. Though the Mystics have dominated the Shock of late, they were handed a 77-59 defeat in their last visit to Tulsa on June 18, 2011. Latta scored 22 points and helped limit Washington to 33.8 percent shooting.
Matt Niskanen is day-to-day with the lower body injury he suffered during Wednesday’s 4-1 win in Philadelphia, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan said.
“It’s day-to-day; it’s not a serious injury,” MacLellan said. “He’ll be fine.”
Niskanen did not practice on Thursday and MacLellan said there's no timeline for the defenseman’s return.
“We’ll be cautious with it,” MacLellan said.
Niskanen was injured in the second period at Wells Fargo Center when he collided, leg-on-leg, with rugged Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. The injury appeared to be to Niskanen’s left leg.
The Capitals play Edmonton and Nashville on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Assuming Brooks Orpik is okay—he took a maintenance day to rest a nagging lower body ailment—the Caps will not need to make a move since they’ve got six healthy defensemen on the roster.
Niskanen leads the Capitals defensemen with 32 points (4 goals, 28 assists). The 30-year-old also plays a major role on the power play and penalty kill.
That said, the NHL’s top team will be in no rush to get him back in the lineup.
“We’ll make sure he’s 100-percent before he comes back,” MacLellan said.
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The years-long trade speculation saga for Nerlens Noel is finally over, as the Philadelphia Sixers dealt the forward to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, just hours before the 2017 NBA trade deadline.
In return the Sixers will receive Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a protected first round pick. That news comes from ESPN's Marc Stein:
Andrew Bogut and Justin Anderson and conditional first-round pick will be traded from Dallas to Philadelphia for Nerlens Noel, sources say— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
That's quite the haul for Noel, to Philly's credit. Noel, 22, was playing just 19.4 minutes per night and, in the team's opinion, was not compatible with star Joel Embiid.
Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid played 8 minutes together.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 23, 2017
The Sixers are reportedly going to trade Bogut, but getting a first round pick and Anderson - a former first round pick himself - is a strong return in itself.
NBA TRADE DEADLINE: TRACKING THE RUMORS AND DEALS