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Wall's 23, Beal's 22 help Wiz beat Lonzo Ball, Lakers 111-95
Wall's 23, Beal's 22 help Wiz beat Lonzo Ball, Lakers 111-95

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall's Wizards managed to make a double-digit edge hold up against the Lakers this time, with the All-Star point guard scoring 23 points and Bradley Beal 22 as Washington beat Los Angeles and cold-shooting Lonzo Ball 111-95 on Thursday night.

Ball had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. But the No. 2 overall draft pick out of UCLA came in making just 29.5 percent of his field-goal attempts for the Lakers and he was worse against the Wizards, going 3 for 12 — 25 percent.

Washington's Otto Porter Jr. finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Markieff Morris scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including a pair of 3s to open the third quarter.

Coming off a home loss in which they never held a lead against the NBA-worst Dallas Mavericks, the Wizards went up by as many as 21 against the Lakers, at 91-70 on Porter's turnaround fadeaway jumper with about 75 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The Lakers pulled to 93-84 on Julius Randle's two-handed slam with about 8 minutes left in the game. But a 3 by Beal soon built the hosts' advantage back up to 15 and the outcome was never in doubt the rest of the way.

That's not always been the case for Washington this season, when its defense has seemed to be optional at times. But Washington held the Lakers to 36 percent Thursday.

When these teams played each other in Los Angeles last month in the fourth game of the season for each, the Wizards led by 10 points entering the fourth quarter before the Lakers wound up winning 102-99 in overtime.

There was plenty of Wall vs. Ball hype leading into that one — initially fueled, not surprisingly, by Ball's father, LaVar — although their matchup never become the game's focus.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Seven players scored at least 10 points apiece, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Brook Lopez. ... Came in averaging an NBA-high 56 points in the paint and 16 of their first 20 points came that way Thursday. L.A. finished with 48.

Wizards: Wall had eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. ... Centers Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi combined for 10 points and 11 personal fouls in 44 minutes.

UP NEXT:

Lakers: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night for the third stop in a four-game trip. Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA's leading scorer at 31.9 ppg.

Wizards: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. The Hawks' 2-9 record is the worst in the Eastern Conference.


Sports
editor's pick
Sierra Pacific settles for second

KINGSBURG — Like all season long, Sierra Pacific battled. And like all season long, they never gave up. Every single player gave 100 percent and then some on Thursday, but unlike all season long, the Golden Bears’ girls water polo end result was heartbreak.

Sierra Pacific fell 12-10 in the CIF Central Section Division III championship game to Kingsburg and had their championship aspirations dashed.

“They don’t ever give up. They work hard every single day out at the pool,” Sierra Pacific coach Jessica Bean said. “They just never quit, they never gave up, they wanted it bad. That’s just their mentality. Today, we just happened to be on the losing side, but it’s extra fuel for our fire next year.”

The loss, the first since Oct. 20, snapped the six-game winning streak and ended the season. It was also the second time in three years Sierra Pacific (21-8, 8-1 ESL) has lost in the title game. They lost to Selma 10-5 in 2015.

Making it all more painful, Sierra Pacific came close. They were knocking on the door of their first-ever Central Section title.

Trailing 8-7 entering the fourth quarter, momentum seemed to be on their side. They trailed 4-1 in the first and 7-4 in the third only to battle back to within one score each time.

“I felt like we had the momentum in our corner at halftime,” Bean said. “I told them they had to keep driving and keep drawing ejections … but they were definitely making waves. I told them just keep grinding, keep grinding, keep grinding and don’t give up. I felt good going into the fourth quarter.”

Kingsburg (20-4, 8-0 CSL) started the fourth quarter by taking advantage of a 6-on-5 opportunity and scored to make it a two-goal cushion. They added another goal just over 30 seconds later and increased the margin to three. For the third time in the game, the Vikings had a three-goal lead and they looked ready to put the game away.

But just like the previous times before, Sierra Pacific fought back.

Victoria Blanchard scored her first of two goals on a 6-on-5 opportunity when Kingsburg’s goalkeeper was excluded. Blanchard, the team’s second-leading scorer, was kept in check all night long by Kingsburg’s smothering defense and wasn’t allowed many scoring chances.

Kingsburg scored two more times to give themselves their biggest lead of the night and led 12-8 with 4:23 left in the game. Again, Sierra Pacific would not quit.

Blanchard struck again followed by Hailey McGaha’s goal to cut it to 12-10 with 2:48 remaining. After stops from both teams, McGaha, who had a team-high four goals, drew the major foul and earned herself a penalty shot.

With 54 seconds to go, Sierra Pacific needed the goal to stay alive. McGaha’s shot was smothered by Kingsburg goalkeeper Brighton Kenny and sealed the game. The Vikings ran out the clock and Sierra Pacific had come so close once again.

In all, six different players scored for Sierra Pacific. McGaha and Blanchard combined for six goals, while Isabella Tomas, Rylee Lord, Brianna Leeper and Vanessa Lloyd each scored a goal.

No doubt the toughest loss of the year, but if there was one common theme after the game, it was looking forward to next year.

“It was frustrating afterwards, but there’s always next year,” McGaha said. “There’s always another chance and I think we’re going to get it next year. We have the potential for it.”

Bean huddled her girls after the match and told them how proud she was of them and that their performance was nothing to be ashamed about.

“I’m excited for next year because I’m not losing anybody,” Bean said. “I want to already get them back in the water and get them going so that we can fix the things we made wrong, but I think that they’ll appreciate a little bit of off time and let themselves reset.”

After the game, Sierra Pacific received a game ball from Kingsburg. Bean already knows exactly what she’s going to do with it.

“I told the girls we’ll write the Valley championship score on it and we’ll play with that every single day at practice and that’ll be your motivator,” Bean said. “We’ll put that ball wherever they need it so they can see it.”

Sierra Pacific got off to a sluggish start as it looked like nerves were taking over at first. They trailed 4-1 after the first quarter before getting refocused in the second.

“It certainly wasn’t the team I had seen play all season long,” Bean said about the first quarter. “We just came out too flat in the first quarter, made too many mistakes — mental mistakes — and it was hard to overcome that.”

Freshman Lord scored in the second to cut the deficit to one before Kingsburg restored its lead. Tomas scored on a 6-on-5 when she found herself 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper and the Golden Bears trailed 5-3 at halftime.

In the third, neither team scored for almost two and a half minutes before McGaha brought them to within one. But Kingsburg had an answer every time Sierra Pacific got close. They scored on an easy touch-goal when Sierra Pacific missed an assignment at the front of the net.

A missed penalty shot by the Golden Bears didn’t help and Kingsburg scored again right after and led 7-4. But Sierra Pacific scored three of the last four goals in the quarter to make it 8-7 headed into the fourth.

The team will have 11 returning girls, immediately making them a contender for next year’s championship game as well. Six of the girls will be seniors so even more will be on the line for the girls.

“Hopefully we get to play Kingsburg again,” McGaha, a junior, said.


Cardinals stumble in 22-16 loss to Seahawks
Cardinals stumble in 22-16 loss to Seahawks

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals labored through a tie game against Seattle in the desert last season.

They struggled again Thursday night, but this time in a loss.

Plagued by a pair of fumbles — one on their first play — and a multitude of dropped passes, the Cardinals may have put their slim playoff hopes completely out of reach with a lackluster 22-16 loss to the Seahawks.

The Cardinals (4-5) bounced back from an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams by riding Adrian Peterson heavily in a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers last week.

Peterson ran a career-high 37 times for 159 yards against the 49ers, but was ineffective against Seattle's imposing defense.

He fumbled on Arizona's first play from scrimmage and was tackled in the end zone for a safety — both plays made by Seattle linebacker Cam Chancellor. Peterson finished with 29 yards on 21 carries.

It wasn't all his fault.

Arizona's offensive line was outmatched by Seattle's front most of the night, unable to give Peterson many lanes to run through. The Cardinals also lost starting left tackle D.J. Humphries to a right knee injury in the first quarter, exacerbating their ineffectiveness.

Drew Stanton, making his second start in place of injured Carson Palmer, played well at times, but got little help. He threw for 273 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-47 passing, a night that would have been better had the Cardinals not dropped at least five passes. Larry Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 113 yards for the Cardinals.

Andre Ellington also lost a fumble without being hit — the ground caused it — on a catch that would have put the Cardinals in field-goal range just before halftime. Russell Wilson hit Paul Richardson on a 43-yard pass on the next play and Blair Walsh kicked his second field goal in the closing seconds, a 43-yarder that put Seattle up 15-7 at halftime.

Arizona's defense shut down Seattle's run game and pressured Wilson all night, sacking him five times. The Cardinals had a hard time corralling him on one play with the game close in the fourth quarter, when Wilson weaved his way around two rushers twice, threw up a ball up for grabs and completed a 54-yard pass to Doug Baldwin.

That set the Seattle up for Wilson's second touchdown pass, 2 yards to tight end Jimmy Graham to put the Seahawks (6-3) up 22-10. Wilson also threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Graham in the first quarter, finishing the night with 238 yards on 22-of-32 passing.


Cowboys' Elliott loses appeal; ineligible to play Sunday
Cowboys' Elliott loses appeal; ineligible to play Sunday

NEW YORK (AP) — Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's half-season run from his six-game suspension ended Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to let him play while it considers his appeal.

A bespectacled Elliott in a suit and tie sat directly in front of a three-judge panel that considered a request from the NFL Players Association that he be allowed to play. But the court issued an order in less than an hour disqualifying him from Sunday's game at Atlanta. It appears he'll miss all of November's games since the court set a Dec. 1 hearing for oral arguments on the merits of the union's appeal.

The suspension was ordered in August as discipline after the league investigated allegations he used force against his girlfriend in the summer of 2016. Elliott vehemently denied the allegations as recently as last week, saying he was not an abuser.

A federal appeals court last month tossed out his court challenge in Texas, but the league's request for a New York court to affirm that it had acted properly led a Manhattan judge to rule last month that Elliott must begin his suspension. After the union appealed, the lower-court decision was temporarily stayed, allowing Elliott to play last Sunday.

By Thursday's ruling, Elliott had already left the courthouse without speaking to reporters, though he shook the hand of a person who shouted that he was a "huge fan" as Elliott raced down steps to a sport utility vehicle.

Although the league won the battle, the appeals judges took a few shots at the NFL for its handling of the suspension of a 22-year-old athlete who will be sidelined while he's second in the league with 783 yards rushing and tied for the league lead with seven rushing touchdowns.

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs told Paul Clement, the NFL's lawyer, that he found it odd that the issue was "such a frantic emergency that it can't wait another couple months."

"This is not just about Elliott and the Cowboys," Clement responded, noting that 100 players across the league had been suspended for a total of 500 games over the last two seasons.

"Unfortunately, discipline is a fact of life in the NFL," the lawyer said. "They all have an interest in seeing the same basic rules applied to them."

Clement said it was important that players not be able to "game the system" by using the courts to delay suspensions until it is convenient for them or their teams.

Still, he noted, Elliott would start his suspension as the Cowboys enter the "easy part" of their schedule.

"This is the ideal time for him to serve the suspension," Clement said.

Attorney Andrew Tulumello, arguing for the union, urged the 2nd Circuit to let Elliott play, saying missing games was irreparable harm and the union deserved additional time "to prove these events did not occur."

The NFL did not comment on the court's order, though it affirmed that the suspension was in place.

Elliott's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Elliott arrived at the hearing just minutes before it began. He was smiling and greeting his lawyers before he moved his chair to face the judges more directly.

Elliott had received three different legal reprieves as he played the season's first eight games.