The season mercifully comes to end for the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/dave-casper-jersey-cheap]Dave Casper Jersey[/url] , who finish Tuesday night at American Airlines Center with not much on the line.
The Mavericks (24-57) actually have a little more to play for, if needing a loss counts as incentive. A loss means Dallas clinches at least the third-worst record in the league.
Phoenix (20-61) has already clinched the worst record and therefore has the best odds to win the draft lottery.
Both teams will be sending out lineups deep with roster hopefuls for next season. The Mavs, already without Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea, are listing Dennis Smith Jr. and Dwight Powell as questionable.
Smith, though, is listed as a probable starter and is coming off 20 points and 11 assists in Sunday’s loss at Philadelphia.
“My teammates did a good job of making shots (and) rolling to the rim,” Smith said. “That opened up a lot of opportunities for me to find a man in the corner, or even find a roller. They did a pretty good job of helping me out.”
Smith has had a standout rookie season. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle expects more improvement this offseason.
“In the NBA at the point guard position, you’ve got to improve on everything all the time,” Carlisle said. “This summer will be an effort to refine skills, shooting floaters, reads — all those kinds of things.
“Defensively [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/adrian-clayborn-jersey-cheap]Adrian Clayborn Jersey[/url] , he’s come light years. That might be his biggest area of growth, which is a big statement, because he’s grown a lot on the offensive side as well.”
Powell (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Maxi Kleber (11 points, 10 boards) also had double-doubles against the Sixers.
Harrison Barnes is expected to go in the finale after scoring a game-high 25 points in a season-high 43 minutes in his last game. He couldn’t remember the last time he played as many as 43 minutes.
“It’s been a while,” he said. “I felt it, but it was good. The shots didn’t fall early, but this season has come with its own adversity.”
Mavs reserve center Salah Mejri (right knee contusion) may play against the Suns.
Phoenix didn’t suit up Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler, Marquese Chriss, Josh Jackson, Elfrid Payton, T.J. Warren and Alan Williams for its final home game Sunday [url=http://www.seahawkscheapstore.com/patrick-kerney-jersey-cheap]Patrick Kerney Jersey[/url] , a 117-100 loss to Golden State.
“The guys that played, they played the right way, they play hard,” coach Jay Triano said. “We’re trying to figure out who fits where in the organization as we move forward, and I think they’re all continuing to battle and give an honest effort.”
Danuel House Jr., making his second career start, scored a career-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds. House went undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016.
“With the opportunity to play, he’s shown that he knows how to play the game,” Triano said. “I think he’s a guy that’s used this opportunity to showcase what he can do.”
Phoenix is going for its first sweep of Dallas since 1997-98. The Suns’ four-game winning streak in the series is their longest since nine straight from 1997 to 1999.
WASHINGTON — The next few days will determine whether a players-only meeting and a visit from the Miami Marlins will help lift the Washington Nationals out of their funk.
Washington welcomes Miami to Nationals Park for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.
The Nationals have lost five straight games and 17 of 22. At 42-43, the Nationals are under .500 this far into the season for the first time since they were 60-61 on Aug. 21, 2015.
Wednesday’s traditional 11:05 a.m. July 4 contest was a 3-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Washington’s eighth shutout since June 1 — the Nationals were blanked just seven times all of last season — resulted in a players-only meeting after the game.
“We’ve never been in this position before, and I think it’s an exciting time for us,” Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper told the Washington Post. “In years past [url=http://www.dolphinscheapstore.com/albert-wilson-jersey-cheap]Albert Wilson Jersey[/url] , we’ve won the division by a lot of games and we’re able to be behind right now. I’m excited to get out there and test it.”
According to press reports, staff ace Max Scherzer instigated the meeting and was the most vocal speaker during it.
“I think anytime Max holds the meeting or holds court, there’s going to be some yelling,” outfielder Adam Eaton told MASN.com. “In baseball, you don’t have that type of intensity all the time, so it’s a little different. I think guys gravitate toward that. I think everybody has a kind of intensity bone in their body, and sometimes things need to be said in that fashion.”
Rafael Devers (sacrifice fly) and Eduardo Nunez (wild pitch) helped break a scoreless tie in the seventh inning, and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six shutout innings Wednesday for the Red Sox.
Washington starter Erick Fedde left in the second inning with a shoulder injury, forcing the Nationals’ already overworked bullpen to cover seven-plus innings. An MRI exam on Fedde was negative.
The Nationals are seven games behind first-place Atlanta and just 7 1/2 ahead of fourth-place Miami. After a stretch of games against the Philadelphia Phillies and Red Sox, the Nationals play 21 of their next 27 games against teams with a losing record.
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 2.63 ERA) opposes Miami right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-0, 3.00) on Thursday night
Hellickson lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits [url=http://www.dolphinscheapstore.com/kenyan-drake-jersey-cheap]Kenyan Drake Jersey[/url] , in his return from the disabled list last Saturday night. He had been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain.
Lopez was a winner in his major league debut, allowing two runs on six hits over six innings against the New York Mets on Saturday. The 22-year-old struck out five and walked one.
“I was really impressed with his composure,” Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto told the Miami Herald. “He came in just attacking guys with his stuff. It didn’t seem like he was scared of anybody. Pounding the zone. Worked a quick pace, and pitched with great stuff. It was exciting to watch.”
Miami (36-52) won the rubber game of a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, hours after losing a 16-inning marathon that ended at 12:41 a.m. Jose Urena tossed five scoreless innings and shortstop JT Riddle drove in two of Miami’s runs and scored the other in a 3-0 win.
Drew Rucinski got the win and Brad Ziegler closed it out for his 10th save.
“It was one of those days, walking into it, that your bullpen’s pretty much shot,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the Miami Herald. “You’re hoping for a good outing from Jose and it really couldn’t have gone any better as far as who we had available.”
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