Spurs beat Wizards 100-85 in preseason finale

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Spurs beat Wizards 100-85 in preseason finale

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tim Duncan and Stephen Jackson each scored 16 points, and the San Antonio Spurs closed the preseason with a 100-85 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

Tony Parker added 16 points and Kawhi Leonard 11 for San Antonio (4-3). Duncan was 7 for 13 from the field and had 13 rebounds in 28 minutes at the AT&T Center.

The Spurs open the regular season Oct. 31 at New Orleans.

A.J. Price and Jan Vesely each scored 13 points for Washington (3-5), and Earl Barron added 12.

The Wizards visit Cleveland on Tuesday in their regular-season opener.

Washington sat its starters for much of the fourth quarter after leading most of the game.

Jackson hit a 3-pointer to cap a 9-0 run at the close of the third quarter as the Spurs took a 74-66 lead after a slow start.

Washington held a 40-27 lead with 9 minutes left in the first half following an 18-8 run. The Wizards built their lead as the Spurs' starters sat for about eight minutes bridging the first and second quarters.

San Antonio rallied once its starting lineup returned, with Parker scoring eight points in an 18-5 run.

Boris Diaw scored on a fast-break layup to give San Antonio a 61-59 lead, its first since holding a 4-2 advantage. Parker set up Diaw's basket with a diving save out of bounds on a Washington miss.

The Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, who sat out with back spasms.

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Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Fantasy football: Ranking the top eight rookie quarterbacks in 2017

Rookie camps are in the books as teams now move to organized team activities. Does that mean it's too early for fantasy football rankings? 

Probably, but seeing as the rookies are new to the scene, we might as well start projecting where and how they fit. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were among the rookies who produced and then some in 2016.

Based on the early rounds of the 2017 NFL draft, there’s hope for even more first-year standouts.  

Starting with the Bears selecting quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall, 19 skill players were drafted in the first and second round.

That includes fellow first-round quarterback selections Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Several sleeper candidates followed. 

Here’s my look at the Elite Eight quarterbacks with the 2017 fantasy football season -- and beyond -- in mind.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S 2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE QB RANKINGS

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings:

Running Backs - No. 1, Leonard Fournette, Jaguars

* Wide receivers - No. 1, Corey Davis, Titans

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Smacking some sense into the Michael Jordan, LeBron James and MVP debates

Smacking some sense into the Michael Jordan, LeBron James and MVP debates

It took about 48 hours for LeBron James to go from being allegedly "snubbed" in MVP balloting to the he's-not-as-good-as-Michael-Jordan insults after the Cavs lost a 21-point lead in a Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics.

The Cavs aren't losing the East finals series. If that does happen, then we can revisit the LeBron-Jordan debate but comparing greats who played in different eras is difficult and oftentimes pointless.

Different rules. Different style of play. Different NBA. Everything else is speculation, guesswork and a reciting of numbers and stats as if they prove everything and anything is flawed, too. 

But the bigger issue is every time James isn't voted the league MVP that it's some type of snub. It's about as ridiculous as the narrative that James, 32, was better than ever in the postseason as Cleveland won 10 games in a row. This, of course, was before Sunday's loss to Boston. Funny how that dissipated quickly. 

Anyone remember the four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round? The Cavs hardly looked unbeatable vs. Paul George and a cast of mostly nobodies. 

When Cleveland is on, they have more shotmakers than anyone in the East. But defensively they're hit or miss (mostly miss).

[RELATED: Cavs fire back at Beal for saying they didn't want to play the Wizards]

No, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard -- the MVP finalists based on 100 media voters (myself included) -- had better 82-game seasons. All three are worthy. If one of them were unworthy, then that would be a snub.

And for those of you who quickly recite numbers as exclusive proof: Leonard and Harden had teams with more wins. Westbrook's had just four fewer. And the best record in the league, 67-win Golden State, didn't have anyone finish in the top three.

There's no player anyone would rather have than LeBron James in the playoffs. But why is it so hard to grasp that MVP is a regular-season award? What happens after the middle of April doesn't apply.

James' offensive numbers are great, but he hasn't been a reliable one-on-one defender for several seasons now. Chasedown blocks don't count. Neither do plus-minus ratings.

If James wants to feel snubbed -- "Fourth? I haven't been fourth in a long time," he told reporters -- so be it. He's entitled to feel that way. But after four MVPs already, where James ranks compared to the all-time greats won't be determined by how many more regular-season accolades he accrues.

[RELATED: Wall should have been All-NBA 2nd team over Isaiah Thomas]

He's wise to dial it down during the regular season to save himself. James has appeared in 1,061 regular-season games. He has played in more than 200 playoff games. 

It's about what happens in the postseason. He wasn't snubbed for MVP. It's not unreasonable to mention James in the same sentence as Jordan. 

Compare that to 2011 when he appeared in the NBA Finals for the first time with the Miami Heat, where he eloped for what would be a four-year stretch before returning home. He underperformed in getting schooled by the Dallas Mavericks in losing that series. He led Cleveland from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to beat a 73-win team in Golden State that was being compared to Jordan's 72-win Bulls.

James has come a long way. Maybe he continues to make steps to add to his dossier. Maybe he doesn't win another ring. But only when his career is complete can his place actually be fairly determined.

All the rest of the chatter is just for page views. 

Guilty. 

[RELATED: Wizards hope to sign Wall to contract extension]