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CLEVELAND -- The Washington Wizards lost Nene to a knee injury, and then won the gam
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CLEVELAND -- The Washington Wizards lost Nene to a knee injury, and then won the game with a strong effort on defence. Darnell Savage Jersey . John Wall scored 21 points, Bradley Beal had 17 and the Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 on Sunday night. Washington had a 66-63 lead midway through the third quarter when Nene departed with a sprained left knee. The Wizards then held the Cavaliers to 11 fourth-quarter points to return to .500 at 28-28 on the season. They also strengthened their hold on the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. "Were a team right now thats just trying to play the right way and get on a roll," Wall said. Nene had eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes. He was coming off one of his best games with the Wizards, when he had a career-high 30 points in Saturdays win over New Orleans, including the game-winning dunk with less than a second left. Coach Randy Wittman said Nene banged knees with Spencer Hawes and will get an MRI on Monday. Luol Deng led Cleveland with 17 points and the injury-riddled Cavaliers lost for the second straight time after winning six in a row. The Cavaliers played without centre Anderson Varejao (sore back) and guards Dion Waiters (hyperextended left knee) and C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle). While the Wizards are in good shape to snag a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference, the Cavaliers are five games out of the final post-season slot. Kyrie Irving, who scored 15 points, admitted that hes looking at the standings. "You have no choice but to pay attention to it," he said. "We want to accomplish something, but it starts with every single game. Time is of the essence right now." Washington led 78-72 after three quarters, and then grabbed control in the fourth. Two baskets by Kevin Seraphin, who replaced Nene, and five points by Beal helped the Wizards build a double-digit lead before Trevor Arizas 3-pointer with a little over a minute left made it 96-81. "We felt bad when he got hurt, but during the game, you have to keep focused the whole way, which we did," Seraphin said. The Cavaliers shot 49 per cent in the first half, but were 4 of 19 from the field in the fourth quarter. "The ball just seemed to stick in one area," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "It was almost like we played in an elevator at times. It wasnt crisp like it was in the first half." Ariza scored 15 points and Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Hawes, playing his second game since being acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland. The Wizards used a 12-0 run midway through the first quarter to go ahead for good. Cleveland got within one point several times in the third quarter but never pulled even. The game featured two of the top young point guards in the league in Irving and Wall. Irving was the MVP of the All-Star game and Wall won the dunk contest. Wall ended the first half with a dunk and two 3-pointers in the final 1:21. He banked in a 30-footer to beat the halftime buzzer, giving Washington a 58-52 lead. Washington scored the first two baskets on a tip-in and a fast break after a bad pass by Irving, leading to a timeout by Brown just 31 seconds into the game. Browns message obviously worked as the Cavaliers took a 13-8 lead, but the Wizards scored the next 12 points to go ahead 20-13. The teams split the season series, with the road team winning all four games. "The last time we played Cleveland, we gave the game away," Ariza said. "They played harder than us the last time. We did our best to prevent that from happening again." Hawes made his home debut late in the first quarter. He had 13 points and seven rebounds in 14 first-half minutes. NOTES: While theres no timetable for the return of Clevelands injured players, Varejao, who has missed the last six games, was on the court at Saturdays practice. Waiters hasnt been able to run since being injured Tuesday while Miles is still using crutches after hurting his ankle Wednesday. ... The Wizards are 11-6 in their last 17 road games. Washington is 14-14 on the road and at home. ... Cavaliers F Tristan Thompson, a native of Canada, celebrated his countrys win over Sweden in the gold-medal hockey game at the Olympics. "Were supposed to win," he said with a smile ... Wizards F Otto Porter, the third pick in the draft, didnt play for the fourth time in six games. Will Redmond Jersey . Austin does not believe the game-time temperature is going to be an advantage for either side heading into the Grey Cup. "We dont think about (the cold)," said Austin. "Im not even sure how you would determine an advantage. David Beverly Jersey .The Hamilton Tiger-Cat defensive back always has the required receipt. But he also walks around with a tangle of metal screws, rods and plates after breaking his neck in 2006 playing high school football in Louisiana. http://www.custompackersjersey.com/custo...1002r.html . "Canada," Bolland said with a smile. "Is that a question?" One day earlier, though, fellow Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri wasnt so sure his home and native land could pull off the win against the United States in the semi-finals of the Olympic hockey tournament.METAIRIE, La. - New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has put his players on notice.Some could be looking for jobs sooner than later.I dont rule out any changes with regard to who were asking to do what were asking them to do, Payton said Monday after reviewing video of Sundays 41-10 loss to Carolina.Guys understand, hey, this is serious. Its their profession. Its our profession. Its going to be our job and the leaders of this team to lead. This is exactly when you find out who your guys are, Payton added. If its not happening ... then were going to look at other options.Thanks to the overall struggles of all four teams in the NFC South, the Saints have had an unusually large margin for error this season. But with only three games left, that margin is thinning.Despite falling to 5-8, the Saints returned to work Monday eliminated from NFC wild card contention but very much alive in the NFC South race, just a half-game behind first-place Atlanta before the Falcons played at Green Bay on Monday night.Yet Payton seemed to be judging his teams post-season chances more by what hes seen on the field than in the standings when he said, The only reason were sitting here still with that small sliver of hope is just because the way the division has unfolded this year.The Saints, who return to action next Monday night in Chicago, have lost four of five games, with two of those losses by three or more scores. Sundays beating was the seasons worst, not only on the scoreboard but also in the context of who the opponent was and what was at stake.New Orleans entered the game tied for first in the division, preparing to play at home against a Carolina squad that had not only lost six straight, including a 28-10 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 30.Odds makers had forecast a 10-point Saints victory.Payton wasnt bothered much by the physical effort his players put forth, saying he didnt see a ton of loafs.Rather, his film review revealed myriad mental mistakes.Man, I saw alignment problems. II saw execution problems. James Lofton Jersey. I saw guys not aligned with leverage the way theyre supposed to be. I saw poor tackling, dropped balls, turnovers, fumbles, Payton said. Now, if youre on your guy and he makes a play, thats one thing.But too often, Payton said, that wasnt the case.Saints right tackle Zach Strief described himself as angry, adding that too many players seemed unaware of the mental intensity required on game days. He said he was also angry at himself, as a team captain, for not doing more to counter that.In practice, Strief said, the Saints consistently work hard, but too often show up for games looking too relaxed.I know what it looks like when a team is ready, Strief said, adding that he didnt see that Sunday. I dont think its guys walking in like, I dont care. ... I think its not realizing how up you have to be for every game to be successful.NFL players sometimes talk about learning to channel a sort of adrenaline-infused, temporary insanity in order to attain the requisite ferociousness to perform against equally powerful, talented and motivated athletes in a violent game.As an example, Strief described how former Saints fullback Jed Collins, now with Detroit, unleashes a primordial roar after the national anthem.For Jed, that was like a trigger transforming Collins from his laid-back, usual self to his hyped-up, game-day persona, Strief said. We dont have enough guys that have that trigger.Second-year safety Kenny Vaccaro said hed read comments by Saints veterans including quarterback Drew Brees about the need for greater maturity and professionalism across the roster. He said young players, himself included, need to take that message to heart and not be offended by it.They laid the foundation, those guys that were here before us, Vaccaro said. I wasnt here when they won the whole thing, and thats the standard. So whatever Ive got to do to get to that, Ill do it.___AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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