Thunder have the Mavs where they want'em

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Thunder have the Mavs where they want'em

From Comcast SportsNet
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki was hoping for the same kind of friendly bounce that allowed Kevin Durant to put the Oklahoma City Thunder ahead in their first-round playoff series. When Nowitzki didn't get it, the Dallas Mavericks could only settle for another frustratingly close loss and an uphill climb to survive in their first postseason since winning the NBA title. Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Durant added 26 in an off-shooting performance and Oklahoma City clawed out a 102-99 victory over Dallas on Monday night to take a 2-0 series lead. The Mavs led in the final minute of both games in Oklahoma City but couldn't even manage a split as the Thunder gutted out two wins by a total of four points. "That's what the playoffs are about," Westbrook said. "Toughness." Durant hit two free throws with 50.4 seconds left to give Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead, and James Harden hit four more foul shots to close it out for the Thunder. Jason Terry missed two 3-point attempts from the left wing in the final 5 seconds that could have tied it and set up overtime. "We come away from these two games disappointed but not dismayed. You tip your hat to the fact that they have made some big time plays," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Now, we've got to go home and do the same." Game 3 is Thursday night in Dallas. "We're just a couple bounces away from being up 2-0," said Nowitzki, who led Dallas with 31 points but missed both his shots in the final 75 seconds. "It's tough and it's frustrating, but we're going to keep coming. We're not going to lay down. If they beat us, we're going to make them earn it." Durant put the Thunder ahead to stay after salvaging two key points with Oklahoma City inbounding the ball with only 2.6 seconds left on the shot clock. He grabbed the inbounds pass from Harden while headed toward the sideline, and Terry was called for a foul for bumping him. Durant hit both foul shots, and Nowitzki missed his chance to answer with a fade-away 12-foot jumper from the left side. He compared it to Durant's foul-line jumper -- on which he later admitted he couldn't even see the rim -- that hit the front rim and backboard before falling in with 1.5 seconds left to win Game 1. "I've made it 100 times. It bounced, hit every part of the rim and bounced off," Nowitzki said. "That's kind of the way our season's been going. "They get that bounce last game and we don't get it, so that's frustrating." After that, the Mavs were fighting from behind. Shawn Marion fouled Harden on the rebound, and the league's top scoring reserve -- only eight days removed from a concussion suffered as the result of Metta World Peace's elbow to the head -- also converted both free throws. He hit two more with 15.6 seconds left after Terry got the Mavs within one with a driving layup. "We've just got to continue to take that punch from them and do a great job of sticking together," Durant said. "Games like this in the playoffs, they're going to get chippy and we know that. So, we've just got to play through it. This one nearly came to blows, literally. The tension escalated quickly after Serge Ibaka tried to block Nowitzki's jumper midway through the first quarter and smacked him in the left eye on his follow-through, without getting called for a foul. Nowitzki hit another jumper along the baseline on Dallas' next possession before he got shoved in the back by Kendrick Perkins while jockeying for rebounding position on a made 3-pointer by Durant. Perkins followed Nowitzki for a few steps before Nowitzki bumped him away, and Perkins responded by taking a swing at Nowitzki's head with his open hand. Official Zach Zarba stepped in front of Perkins and backed him away, and both were assessed technical fouls. "He tried to bully me and I bullied back a little bit and talked about some stuff, and moved on," Nowitzki said. The Thunder erupted a few minutes later, scoring the final nine points of the first quarter -- all within an 82-second span -- and then carrying over the momentum to build a 46-30 lead with 5:55 left before halftime. When Nowitzki and Perkins finally got back on the court together, the Mavericks' All-Star exacted some revenge while getting his team back in the game. He went on a personal 10-2 run, with all of the points coming while he was matched up against Perkins, to get the deficit down to 50-47. "It's playoff basketball. It's physical. We don't like the cheap shots when they give them, and they don't like them if we give them. That's the nature of competition," Carlisle said. "I love hard-played, clean, competitive playoff series. You throw the ball up and may the best team win. "The dirty (expletive) has got to stop. We don't want anybody getting hurt out there, either way." Notes: After going back and forth responding to each other's comments on how Oklahoma City's defense on Nowitzki was officiated in Game 1, Brooks insisted any dispute with Carlisle wasn't personal. Years ago, the two roomed together while playing in the Continental Basketball Association. "He was a good roommate. He didn't snore," Brooks said. "That's all it takes. Buy me a meal every now and then and not snore, you're a perfect roommate." He later playfully retorted: "If you want it to be personal, I was a better player. How many years did I play in the league? How many years did he play? I played over a decade. He played three." ... Marion hadn't made a playoff 3-pointer since 2007 before making two in Game 1. He had another in Game 2. ... Ibaka, who tied his regular season best with 22 points in the first game, got into foul trouble and scored only two.

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT TRACKER

 

10:01 PM - 15TH PICK: THE COLTS SELECT MALIK HOOKER.

The centerfielder will be tracking down passes in Indianapolis' secondary for at least the next few seasons.

9:55 PM - 14TH PICK: THE CARDINALS SELECT DEREK BARNETT.

The Tennessee pass rusher was given a applause and a few boos by the Eagles fans who were in attendance, because that's how Philly does things. 

9:50 PM - 13TH PICK: THE CARDINALS SELECT HAASON REDDICK

The Temple linebacker was one of the draft's fastest-risers, and will now go from being a Temple Owl to an Arizona Cardinal.

9:40 PM - 12TH PICK: THE TEXAS SELECT DESHAUN WATSON (HOUSTON TRADED WITH CLEVELAND TO GET TO NO. 12).

The big three quarterbacks have all been nabbed in the first half of the draft. 

9:34 PM - 11TH PICK: THE SAINTS SELECT MARSHON LATTIMORE.

If Lattimore's hamstring problems don't resurface, New Orleans may have just found the next great lockdown corner.

9:23 PM - 10TH PICK: THE CHIEFS SELECT PATRICK MAHOMES (TRADED UP FROM NO. 27 TO NO. 10 AFTER TRADING WITH BILLS. BILLS RECEIVE NO. 27, A 3RD ROUNDER AND A 2018 PICK, TOO).

Mahomes goes before Deshaun Watson. No one should ever do another mock draft.

9:15 PM - 9TH PICK: THE BENALS SELECT JOHN ROSS.

Ross AND AJ Green? That's a scary pair.

9:09 PM - 8TH PICK: THE PANTHERS SELECT CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY.

Current Panthers LB Thomas Davis announced the pick and called McCaffrey a wide receiver. That's wrong, but considering how versatile the Stanford running back is, it's understandable.

9:04 PM - 7TH PICK: THE CHARGERS SELECT MIKE WILLIAMS.

Two skilled wideouts are off the board through seven picks.

8:59 PM - 6TH PICK: THE JETS SELECT JAMAL ADAMS.

The do-it-all safety fell further than most expected.

8:51 PM - WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!????????!!!!!!!!

8:47 PM - 5TH PICK: THE TITANS SELECT COREY DAVIS.

Marcus Mariota has a new option on the outside to throw to.

8:40 PM - 4TH PICK: JAGUARS SELECT LEONARD FOURNETTE.

Now Blake Bortles won't throw for as many interceptions this year, because he'll be too busy sticking the pigskin into Leonard Fournette's gut every down.

8:37 PM - Mitch Trubisky will want to delete this old tweet before he arrives in Chicago:

8:36 PM - 3RD PICK: 49ERS SELECT SOLOMAN THOMAS. 

So the 49ers got three extra picks from the Bears, moved back one slot and ended up drafting the defender they wanted all along? Well played, John Lynch.

8:26 - 2ND PICK: BEARS SELECT MITCH TRUBISKY (SWITCHED SPOTS WITH THE 49ERS AND GAVE UP THREE MORE PICKS TO DO SO).

And it's the night's first surprise. The Bears and the 49ers swapped spots, and after doing so, Chicago took Mitch Trubisky. Mike Glennon is probably a bit confused right now.

8:14 PM - 1ST PICK: BROWNS SELECT MYLES GARRETT. 

After recent whispers that they were maybe going to go elsewhere, the Browns did indeed draft the Texas A&M pass rusher. Have fun dealing with him, other QBs in the AFC North.

8:12 PM - Look, it's NFL commissioner Roger Booooooooooooooooodell:

8:01 PM - According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Redskins "love" one defensive prospect. Problem is, a lot of other teams ahead of them likely do as well:

7:56 PM - THE PLAYERS AT THE DRAFT HAVE WALK-UP MUSIC. The NFL and MLB are two very different leagues, but the fact that the former is borrowing this concept from the latter is a tremendous idea. Some players, like Corey Davis and John Ross, chose songs that have draft-related themes, while others, such as Deshaun Watson and Ryan Ramczyk, apparently are trying to be as clich√© as possible:

7:45 PM - At some point on Thursday or during the weekend, Roger Goodell will have to say the words Taco and Butt. Check out more of the NFL Draft's best names here.

5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

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Why you shouldn't overreact to the Kirk Cousins-Browns rumors

Why you shouldn't overreact to the Kirk Cousins-Browns rumors

Redskins fans went for a roller coaster ride early on in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

However, Redskins brass has made clear for months that Kirk Cousins will be the team's starter in 2017 and the franchise will continue to work towards a long-term deal with the quarterback.

That doesn't mean teams won't call to talk to Washington, and perhaps even make offers.

Remember, Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden were adamant Cousins would not be moved. Crazy things happen at the draft, but trading Cousins remains a long, long shot.

RELATED: 2017 NFL FIRST ROUND LIVE BLOG