Spurs lose for the first time in, well, forever

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Spurs lose for the first time in, well, forever

From Comcast SportsNet
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The streak is over. The series may only be beginning. Kevin Durant scored 22 points, Thabo Sefolosha set playoff career-bests with 19 points and six steals, and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped San Antonio's 20-game winning streak by beating the Spurs 102-82 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night. Oklahoma City closed its series deficit to 2-1 and will host Game 4 on Saturday night. "We never thought these guys had an advantage over us even though we had lost a few," Durant said. "It was just good that we took it to 2-1. We didn't want to go down 0-3." Sefolosha threw a wrench in the Spurs' well-oiled offense at the start, getting four steals in the first 3 minutes. The Spurs ended up committing a postseason-worst 21 turnovers and scoring their least points all season. San Antonio had been averaging 109.4 points during its month-and-a-half winning streak and had been held to double digits only twice. "We just played a good basketball game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We played with a lot of force, we played with good energy, but we played defensive-minded basketball. "That's who we are. That's how we win." Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson led the Spurs with 16 points apiece. Tim Duncan had 11 points on 5-for-15 shooting, taking 11 of San Antonio's first 25 shots as the offense went through the All-Star center instead of Parker. "They played like it was a closeout game, both offensively and defensively," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were very active, physical, they moved the ball well on offense. They did all those things better than we did. They beat us good." The Spurs, who already set an NBA record for the longest winning streak carried over from the regular season into the playoffs, were trying to match the league mark for most wins to start the postseason. The Lakers won 11 straight to start the 1989 and 2001 playoffs, getting swept in the NBA finals the first time and winning it all the second. The Spurs hadn't lost since April 11 against the Lakers at home. "We are a prideful team. It's no fun being down 0-2. It's no fun," Brooks said. "But we weren't looking at the game thinking, Oh my gosh, we have a chance to be down 0-3.' We were looking at the game that we have a chance to be 1-2 after this game, and I give our guys a lot of credit. They believe in each other and they always play hard for each other." Parker and Duncan didn't play in the final 15 minutes, and Popovich pulled the plug after a series of three straight turnovers allowed the deficit to reach 23 points early in the fourth quarter. Sefolosha had a right-handed dunk off a lob pass from Russell Westbrook, who followed with his own two-handed jam on an alley-oop pass and Sefolosha followed with a reverse layup on another turnover-fueled fast-break chance to push the lead to 86-63 with 9:48 left. The Thunder put together another 9-0 run coinciding with Manu Ginobili coming out of the game, and featuring Serge Ibaka sticking his tongue out after nailing a jumper from the top of the key. Brooks soon followed suit and pulled his own front-line players with the game well in hand. "You're not going to beat this team by playing one-effort basketball," Brooks said. "You're going to have to have two, three, four, even five. And they make you do that because they pass the ball so well, they spread the floor so well." Popovich said the Thunder played harder and smarter than the Spurs. "They did definitely play with a lot more energy, a lot more passion than us tonight," said Parker, who committed five turnovers. The Spurs wiped out a 24-point deficit in Game 3 against the Clippers in Los Angeles in the last round, but they weren't recovering in this one. San Antonio managed only 24 points in the paint after averaging 46 through the first two games of the series and 47.8 through the playoffs. Oklahoma City already held a 28-8 scoring edge in the paint while taking a 54-41 halftime lead and it never got better for San Antonio, which couldn't get any closer than 11 points in the second half. "We wanted to bounce back after two losses like that. We had to play better and we did that tonight," Sefolosha said. "We played with energy, we played with passion in front of our home crowd. They did a great job giving us a lift." The Thunder scored the game's first eight points, feeding off Sefolosha's steals, but San Antonio recovered in time to take the lead with more than 5 minutes left in the opening period. Oklahoma City took the lead early in the second quarter and there was no looking back. Sefolosha set up Ibaka's two-handed dunk and hit a 3-pointer during a 13-1 run, with San Antonio's only point coming on a free throw by Ginobili after Durant was called for a technical foul while arguing a call from the bench. Oklahoma City's lead ballooned to 15 when Kendrick Perkins grabbed Westbrook's airball and dunked it with two hands. Notes: Duncan did have five blocks to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA playoff record of 476 by one. ... Rapper Lil Wayne tweeted before the game that he planned to attend but "was denied by the team to be in their arena." Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney said the rapper's representatives demanded front-row seats but none were available. "We'd love to have him at a game, but like anyone else, he needs a ticket," Mahoney said. ... Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin presented TNT analyst and former NBA All-Star Charles Barkley with a pair of boots, a steak and an order of lamb fries -- a dish that leaves out the otherwise undesirable part of the anatomy out of its name -- during the pregame show.

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Harper gets ejected before Nationals offense explodes in win over Brewers

Harper gets ejected before Nationals offense explodes in win over Brewers

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Lind each had two-run doubles in a seven-run eighth inning to help the Washington Nationals rally past the Milwaukee Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night.

Bryce Harper was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Chris Segal after striking out in the eighth inning with runners on the corners. Harper's single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games.

Tied 2-2, Zimmerman immediately picked up his fellow All-Star by lacing a liner into the right field corner. All-Star Daniel Murphy's homer pulled Washington within 2-1 in the seventh.

Jimmy Nelson struck out 10 and allowed one run and four hits in seven innings plus a batter. Jacob Barnes (3-2) entered with a 2-1 lead and surrendered two runs and two hits while recording only one out.

Ryan Madson (1-0) tossed one scoreless inning for the win.

Nelson exited after walking Matt Wieters leading off the eighth. Brian Goodwin's double off Barnes put two runners in scoring position with one out. After Wilmer Difo's single through the right side of the infield drove in the tying run, Harper faced reliever Josh Hader. Two pitches after visibly disliking a called strike, Harper struck out swinging. He slammed his bat to the ground and went nose-to-nose with Segal for his second ejection of the season.

Washington had six hits including four doubles in the eighth. Pedro Severino's RBI double put Washington up 8-2.

Murphy's homer ended a stretch of 17 1/3 scoreless innings for Washington.

Gio Gonzalez surrendered two runs on five hits and had eight strikeouts for Washington.

Santana's first inning blast, estimated at 476 feet, landed on the concourse beyond the left field stands.

Harper finished 1 of 4 and is batting .416 (30 for 72) during his streak. The All-Star also reached base safely in his 26th consecutive game, matching his career-best.

Milwaukee recalled Lewis Brinson from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was hitting .345 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs. He hit .097 in 31 at-bats last month with the Brewers in his only previous major league action. He homered on Wednesday night for his first in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (4-5, 3.83 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday with a lower right leg strain. Garza said he was optimistic he would miss only one start.

Nationals: Manager Dusty Baker did not have an update on whether RHP Stephen Strasburg would make his next scheduled start, but said the Nationals were taking a big picture approach. Strasburg left Sunday's appearance after two innings with forearm pain that doctors later diagnosed as a nerve impingement. Washington entered Wednesday with an 11 game lead in the NL East. . The Nationals reinstated OF Ryan Raburn from the bereavement list and promptly placed him on the 10day DL retroactive to July 23 with a left trapezius strain.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Michael Blazek (0-0, 0.00) takes Garza's place in the rotation for the 12:05 p.m. first pitch. It is Blazek's first career start after 108 relief appearances since 2013.

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (11-5, 2,26) allowed five runs and three home runs in his previous start at Arizona on July 21.

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2017 Fantasy Football: Top 175 players

2017 Fantasy Football: Top 175 players

With NFL teams starting training camps in preparation for the 2017 season, seemed like a good time to break out an updated rankings list for the upcoming fantasy football season. This list is straight to the point. The top 175 players in order. Cardinals running back David Johnson starts things off with all kinds of running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and defenses in between before we reach Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

  • There’s a top tier with four players. That’s contingent on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott avoiding suspension. From the sound of things, that might fall under the category of dreaming. The dynamic Johnson is the top overall option, but the Pittsburgh pair of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown have their backers.

 

  • Jordan Reed came in fourth among tight ends even before Wednesday's news that the Redskins playmaker would open camp on the PUP list. That was due partly to fears over injuries, though admittedly more concussion than big toe pain. Therefore no need for any changes at least not down. Should Reed return soon, there's an outside chance he passes Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen as the No. 2 option at the position behind Rob Gronkowski, but this early injury reminder won't help squash fears of using a third or fourth pick on him.

 

  • Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette (27) is the first rookie listed. Second? Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon (36). The Bengals have something of a crowded backfield, but the next person who tells me they're not impressed by what Mixon does on the field will be the first. 

 

  • Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (40) is the first member of the Redskins on the list. Scan down another 41 picks for the first Baltimore player. Also a good reminder that Danny Woodhead (81) is on the Ravens.

Tier 1

1.  David Johnson, ARI RB
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT RB
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL RB
 
4.  Antonio Brown, PIT WR
 
Tier 2

5.  Julio Jones, ATL WR
 
6.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG WR
 
7.  LeSean McCoy, BUF RB
 
8.  Melvin Gordon, LAC RB
 
9.  Jordy Nelson, GB WR
 
10.  A.J. Green, CIN WR
 
11.  Mike Evans, TB WR
 
Tier 3

12.  Jay Ajayi, MIA RB
 
13.  Jordan Howard, CHI RB
 
14.  Devonta Freeman, ATL RB
 
15.  DeMarco Murray, TEN RB
 
16.  T.Y. Hilton, IND WR
 
17.  Michael Thomas, NO WR
 
18.  Amari Cooper, OAK WR
 
19.  Todd Gurley, LAR RB
 
20.  Rob Gronkowski, NE TE
 
21.  Dez Bryant, DAL WR
 
Tier 4

22.  Doug Baldwin, SEA WR
 
23.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE RB
 
24.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK RB
 
25.  Lamar Miller, HOU RB
 
26.  Brandin Cooks, NE WR
 
27.  Leonard Fournette, JAC RB
 
28.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR
 
29.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR
 
30.  Sammy Watkins, BUF WR
 
Tier 5

31.  Carlos Hyde, SF RB
 
32.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI WR
 
33.  Allen Robinson, JAC WR
 
34.  Davante Adams, GB WR
 
35.  Michael Crabtree, OAK WR
 
36.  Joe Mixon, CIN RB
 
37.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN WR
 
38.  Aaron Rodgers, GB QB
 
39.  Mark Ingram, NO RB
 
40.  Terrelle Pryor, WAS WR
 
41.  Golden Tate, DET WR
 
42.  Travis Kelce, KC TE
 
43.  Christian McCaffrey, CAR RB
 
44.  Ty Montgomery, GB RB
 
45.  Martavis Bryant, PIT WR
 
46.  Eddie Lacy, SEA RB
 
47.  Keenan Allen, LAC WR
 
48.  Jarvis Landry, MIA WR
 
49.  Tom Brady, NE QB
 
50.  Bilal Powell, NYJ RB
 
51.  Greg Olsen, CAR TE
 
52.  Jordan Reed, WAS TE
 
53.  Frank Gore, IND RB
 
54.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR
 
55.  Dalvin Cook, MIN RB
 
56.  Mike Gillislee, NE RB
 
57.  Drew Brees, NO QB
 
58.  Tevin Coleman, ATL RB
 
59.  Andrew Luck, IND QB
 
60.  Tyreek Hill, KC WR
 
61.  Spencer Ware, KC RB
 
62.  Donte Moncrief, IND WR
 
63.  Willie Snead, NO WR
 
64.  Kelvin Benjamin, CAR WR
 
65.  C.J. Anderson, DEN RB
 
66.  Brandon Marshall, NYG WR
 
67.  Julian Edelman, NE WR
 
68.  Jamison Crowder, WAS WR
 
69.  LeGarrette Blount, PHI RB
 
70.  DeSean Jackson, TB WR
 
71.  Paul Perkins, NYG RB
 
72.  Stefon Diggs, MIN WR
 
73.  Ameer Abdullah, DET RB
 
74.  Matt Ryan, ATL QB
 
75.  Adrian Peterson, NO RB
 
76.  Russell Wilson, SEA QB
 
77.  Jimmy Graham, SEA TE
 
78.  Devante Parker, MIA WR
 
79.  Pierre Garcon, SF WR
 
80.  John Brown, ARI WR
 
81.  Danny Woodhead, BAL RB
 
82.  Kenny Britt, CLE WR
 
83.  Eric Decker, TEN WR
 
84.  Cam Newton, CAR QB
 
85.  Jameis Winston, TB QB
 
86.  Adam Thielen, MIN WR
 
87.  Matt Forte, NYJ RB
 
88.  Delanie Walker, TEN TE
 
89.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN TE
 
90.  Kirk Cousins, WAS QB
 
91.  Jonathan Stewart, CAR RB
 
92.  Kareem Hunt, KC RB
 
93.  Tyler Eifert, CIN TE
 
94.  Randall Cobb, GB WR
 
95.  Jeremy Maclin, BAL WR
 
96.  Quincy Enunwa, NYJ WR
 
97.  Marcus Mariota, TEN QB
 
98.  Doug Martin, TB RB
 
99.  Matthew Stafford, DET QB
 
100.  Theo Riddick, DET RB
 
101.  Mike Wallace, BAL WR
 
102.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB
 
103.  Marvin Jones, DET WR
 
104.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF QB
 
105.  Robert Kelley, WAS RB
 
106.  Ted Ginn, NO WR
 
107.  Samaje Perine, WAS RB
 
108.  Tyrell Williams, LAC WR
 
109.  Cameron Meredith, CHI WR
 
110.  Derek Carr, OAK QB
 
111.  Derrick Henry, TEN RB
 
112.  Duke Johnson, CLE RB
 
113.  Corey Davis, TEN WR
 
114.  Philip Rivers, LAC QB
 
115.  Corey Coleman, CLE WR
 
116.  Jordan Matthews, PHI WR
 
117.  Dak Prescott, DAL QB
 
118.  Eric Ebron, DET TE
 
119.  Martellus Bennett, GB TE
 
120.  Darren Sproles, PHI RB
 
121.  Hunter Henry, LAC TE
 
122.  Jack Doyle, IND TE
 
123.  Jamaal Charles, DEN RB
 
124.  C.J. Prosise, SEA RB
 
125.  Rishard Matthews, TEN WR
 
126.  Terrance West, BAL RB
 
127.  Kenny Stills, MIA WR
 
128.  James White, NE RB
 
129.  Eli Manning, NYG QB
 
130.  Andy Dalton, CIN QB
 
131.  Zach Ertz, PHI TE
 
132.  Chris Thompson, WAS RB
 
133.  Sterling Shepard, NYG WR
 
134.  Giovani Bernard, CIN RB
 
135.  Shane Vereen, NYG RB
 
136.  Latavius Murray, MIN RB
 
137.  Josh Doctson, WAS WR
 
138.  Kevin White, CHI WR
 
139.  Coby Fleener, NO TE
 
140.  Will Fuller, HOU WR
 
141.  Jason Witten, DAL TE
 
142.  Marqise Lee, JAC WR
 
143.  Taylor Gabriel, ATL WR
 
144.  Robert Woods, LAR WR
 
145.  Carson Palmer, ARI QB
 
146.  Carson Wentz, PHI QB
 
147.  Blake Bortles, JAC QB
 
148.  Tavon Austin, LAR WR
 
149.  Tyler Lockett, SEA WR
 
150.  Cole Beasley, DAL WR

151.  Ryan Tannehill, MIA QB
 
152.  Cameron Brate, TB TE
 
153.  Jeremy Hill, CIN RB
 
154.  Breshad Perriman, BAL WR
 
155.  Jamaal Williams, GB RB
 
156.  J.J. Nelson, ARI WR
 
157.  Allen Hurns, JAC WR
 
158.  Joe Flacco, BAL QB
 
159.  Alvin Kamara, NO RB
 
160.  Austin Hooper, ATL TE
 
161.  Sam Bradford, MIN QB
 
162.  Julius Thomas, MIA TE
 
163.  Denver Broncos, DEN DST
 
164.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL WR
 
165.  Houston Texans, HOU DST
 
166.  Antonio Gates, LAC TE
 
167.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC DST
 
168.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU TE
 
169.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN DST
 
170.  Zay Jones, BUF WR
 
171.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA DST
 
172.  Rex Burkhead, NE RB
 
173.  DeAndre Washington, OAK RB
 
174.  Charles Sims, TB RB
 
175.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE K