No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram shaking off doldrums by stressing defense

A few months ago, as Team USA trained in Las Vegas, Kevin Durant got his first good look at Brandon Ingram, who was training with the USA Select Team.He liked what he saw.“First person I can say that I can look at him and feel like I’m looking in the mirror,” Durant told reporters of Ingram.And while that’s a hefty comparison to place on a 19-year-old, the young forward does somewhat resemble Durant in body type and playing style.At 7 p.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie and the Golden State Warriors star will face off for the first time at T-Mobile Arena in NBA exhibition action.Ingram, the No. 2 pick in the draft, has gotten off to a slow…

Carmelo Anthony leads Knicks by example with big-time shots There is a toughness flowing from Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks. And that is beginning to make a difference. Sure, the Knicks still have a way of falling asleep in games and Sunday night at the Garden they watched a 21-point lead shrink to one, but while DeMarcus Cousins was not able to hit two big shots down the stretch for the Kings, there was Anthony sinking a vital 3-pointer and a running jumper to make the difference as the Knicks came away with the 106-98 victory. And this was a game Anthony had to leave for a bit in the first quarter after taking a shot to the mouth, jamming his teeth into his lower lip. Lately he really is becoming Mr. Big Shot for the Knicks, ...

Once among the best in the league, the Capitals’ power play is flailing TORONTO — On the back of the T-shirts the Washington Capitals designed for this season is a command: “Own the big moments.” Coach Barry Trotz identified one of those moments on Saturday night, when the team was down by two goals halfway through the game in Toronto and back-to-back penalties by the Maple Leafs gave the Capitals 24 seconds of five-on-three. Washington got off two shots during the two-man advantage, both wide misses by John Carlson, and as the puck bounded out of the offensive zone on the second miss, the Capitals looked deflated. “A big moment for us where we could’ve jumped back into that game,” Trotz said after the 4-2 loss. The team’s once-vaunted power play, consistently among...

49ers’ Chip Kelly says he’s not returning to Oregon ORLANDO - Chip Kelly isn’t going back to school. At least not the school he left four years ago. Today, less than 24 hours after Oregon fired head coach Mark Helfrich, the 49ers head coach responded “no” when asked if there was any chance he would be Oregon’s next head coach. So he intends to remain with the 49ers, who will bring a 1-10 record into their meeting at Chicago on Sunday? “Yep,” Kelly said. “So we’re done with that, I hope.” Kelly said he spoke this morning with Helfrich, who is a close friend, but that has been the extent of his contact with his old school. “The only person I’ve talked to is Helf,” Kelly said. “So we can talk about the Bears. I have...

Kirk Cousins needs a little Josh Norman, and Josh Norman needs a little Kirk Cousins This Redskins team has two emotional thermostats: Kirk Cousins on offense, and Josh Norman on defense. Cousins is carefully calibrated at a pleasant 67 degrees, and any moment of warmth comes with an immediate apology and a glass of water. Norman is a constant inferno who isn’t happy unless everyone around him is drenched in sweat. Both men have made their temperaments work; they’re two of Washington’s best and most irresistible players. But here’s a modest suggestion: Cousins might benefit if he added a dash of Josh Norman’s urgency and fire to his game. And Norman wouldn’t suffer from adopting a sprinkle of Captain Kirk’s cool. Thursday’s 31-26 loss to the Cowboys drove that point home. Cousins was brilliant for almost the entire game, throwing for an absurd 449 yards...

Golden State Warriors top Los Angeles Lakers for 10th straight win LOS ANGELES -- Despite a 24-point rout of the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr wasn't impressed. "It was one of the worst basketball games I've seen in my life," Kerr said. "We were awful, and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back, honestly. I'm not trying to make a joke; it was a horrible basketball game." Kevin Durant had 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and the Warriors won their 10th straight with a 109-85 victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center. Durant was surprised to hear Kerr's assessment, but agreed the Warriors weren't at their best. "It's not like we're going out there with no sense of urgency or...

Death, taxes, AFC East: This just isn’t fair for Jets The Jets can be eliminated from contention for the AFC East crown with a loss on Sunday to the Patriots. Stop laughing. I’m just reporting the facts. I know we have all assumed the Jets were not winning the division since September. It is the 14th straight year the Jets will go without winning the division, a reminder of what a nightmare it is to play in the same division as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who are rolling toward their eighth straight division crown and 13th in 14 years. Remember the hot days of August when people were actually asking if the Patriots were vulnerable because of Brady’s suspension? Idiots. Every year it is the same story in the AFC East. People wonder if this is the ...

NBA Trade Deadline Rumors 2016-2017 Season: Brook Lopez to join Dallas Mavericks NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Kelly Olynyk #41 of the Boston Celtics and Brook Lopez #11 of the Brooklyn Nets battle for a rebound during their game at the Barclays Center on January 7, 2015 in New York City. Advertisement The Dallas Mavericks could have a marquee talent before the NBA trade deadline. The popular team has a couple of promising and young players that the other teams dreamed of having. This time, Dallas Mavericks made their big moves during the offseason. The results were, however, not so ideal in the 2016-17 NBA season. Mavs is currently considered as one of the cellar-dwelling teams in the Western Conference that fuels NBA rumors about them being linked to big-name players. Brook Lopez seems to be regarded as an expandable piece...