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Wolves top Rockets 121-105 in Game 3, cut series lead to 2-1

Jimmy Butler hit four 3-pointers among his 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns snapped back from a bad start to the series with 18 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Timberwolves past the Rockets 121-105 in Game 3 on Saturday night for their first postseason victory in 14 years.

”This city deserves being in the playoffs a little bit longer,” Butler said.nike official nfl jerseys ”We’ll see what we have. But as long as we guard, as long as we defend, we’ll put ourselves in a good enough position to win.”

Jeff Teague scored 23 points and Andrew Wiggins pitched in 20 points with another four 3-pointers, helping the Timberwolves match the NBA’s best 3-point shooting team with 15 makes apiece from long range. Minnesota took 27; Houston launched 41.

”I tell everybody all the time, as long as you’re in rhythm, no matter if somebody’s in front of you or not, it’s a good shot for you because we think that you can make that,” Butler said after the Wolves shot 50 percent overall from the floor.

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The Rockets made four 3-pointers on their last seven possessions of the first half to turn an 11-point deficit to just one in less than 3 1/2 minutes up until the break. Butler twisted his left ankle during that stretch, causing him to clutch his foot in pain and create some brief anxiety in the arena, but he didn’t require, or at least accept, any medical attention. There was no hint that he was hurt in the second half.

”He’s the heart and soul,” said Teague, who made three 3-pointers himself. ”When he’s out there competing, it rubs off on everybody.”

Taj Gibson hounded Harden and forced an airballed 3-pointer, prompting the apex of the noise throughout the night with the Wolves ahead 77-70. where can i buy nfl jerseys Towns powered his way past Ryan Anderson for a layup and a three-point play with 1:57 left in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 10 points, and he flexed his biceps to the crowd after the whistle as he walked like King Kong to the corner of the court in celebration. There was no letdown in the fourth quarter, either.

For the first time since May 29, 2004, the fifth game of the Western Conference finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA playoffs descended on downtown Minneapolis. The shine of this long-awaited return to relevance by the 29-year-old franchise was dulled a bit by the team’s fade down the stretch to finish eighth in the conference and draw the most daunting matchup available against a Rockets team that won all four regular season games by an average of 16 points and took the first two games of this series in Houston.

Wall takes over, Wiz beat Raps 106-98 to tie series at 2-2

He raced to the other end of the court. When he returned to his team’s sideline, china nfl nike jerseys he threw a red towel, before being held back by teammates.

”I was beyond emotional. Beyond mad. Frustrated. Pretty much any synonym you can add,” Beal said. ”I told my team that we were going to win, regardless. Especially if we’ve got John still in the game, I love our chances.”

That would be John Wall, and Beal was exactly right. Wall took over down the stretch after his backcourt mate was done for the day, scoring or assisting on 10 of Washington’s last 14 points as the No. 8 seed Wizards came back to beat the No. 1 Raptors 106-98 Sunday night and even their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at 2-all.

”When Brad went out,” Wall said, ”I knew I had to do whatever it took.”250

Wall finished with 27 points and 14 assists and, at the other end of the court, guarded All-Star DeMar DeRozan, making sure the Wizards would not be pushed to the brink of elimination ahead of Game 5 at Toronto.

Asked whether the official told him why that call was made, Beal replied: ”He wasn’t explaining that one. There was no explaining to do.”

Wizards center Marcin Gortat’s view of the officiating: ”I truly believe that some of those calls are very soft. I’ve never seen so many soft calls in the playoffs.”

After Beal left,buy nfl jerseys wholesale  the Raptors immediately went up by two, but Wall pulled the Wizards even with a layup that drew a goaltending call, then put the hosts in front to stay by feeding Markieff Morris for a layup off the glass.

With Beal cheerleading, jumping and waving his arms, Wall just kept producing, showing no signs of fatigue despite playing all 24 minutes in the second half. This is a guy who missed about two months of the regular season because of surgery on his left knee.

Rams still open-minded about Ndamukong Suh’s workload

Over the past eight years, no defensive lineman played more snaps than Ndamukong Suh, nfl jerseys cheap authentic who recently joined the Los Angeles Rams for his age-31 season.

From 2010 to 2017, Suh registered 6,773 snaps, 354 more than runner-up Calais Campbell during that stretch. Suh hasn’t necessarily slowed down in recent years, either. His 2,666 snaps over the past three seasons rank third among defensive linemen, trailing only Cameron Jordan and Khalil Mack.

The Rams are mindful of that, but they’re still uncertain about how cautious they will be.240

“I think that stuff will all sort itself out,” Rams coach Sean McVay said at the start of the offseason program last week. “I think what that says, as much as anything, is the durability and the way that he takes care of himself.”

Since being drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions in 2010, Suh has played in every game except the two he was suspended for in 2011. With the Miami Dolphins last year, he played in more than 90 percent of his team’s defensive snaps in four of Miami’s 16 games. He absorbed more than 80 percent of the defensive snaps in all but three of those weeks.

The Rams like to rotate their pass-rushers a little more than that. Aaron Donald at times took on a heavy workload, similar to Suh’s. But the Rams’ most often used defensive lineman played less than 80 percent of the team’s snaps six times and topped 90 percent in only two games.

Suh is uncommonly durable for an interior lineman who absorbs so much punishment. cheap nfl jerseys china But the Rams boast a unique amount of depth at his position. Donald might be the game’s most dominant defensive player, while Michael Brockers was an underrated interior lineman before moving outside to 5-technique last season.

Chargers plan to pick up fifth-year option for Melvin Gordon

During his pre-draft press conference on Monday, Los Angeles Chargers general manager nfl jersey wholesale Tom Telesco said the team plans on picking up the fifth-year option on workhorse running back Melvin Gordon’s rookie deal.

“I think right now the plan is to exercise the option,” Telesco said. “But right now we’re just focused on the draft.”

Gordon had his best season as a pro in 2017, topping the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his three-year NFL career.239

The University of Wisconsin product played a full, 16-game season for the first time as a pro, finishing with a career-high 1,105 yards and 12 total touchdowns.

Gordon’s 1,581 total yards from scrimmage last season ranked fifth in the NFL. Gordon finished with a career-low one fumble in 2017 after fumbling eight times during his first two years.

“The way he finished the season, I’m very comfortable (with Melvin Gordon),” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I thought he was one of the best runners in the game the last four weeks. It just seems like the bigger the game, the better he plays.

“We’re going to have to monitor that knee a little bit. He was gimpy at the beginning of the season, I think, because he maybe pushed too much in training camp. Being around him for a year and knowing what he can handle, we’ll just have to do a better job of that. I’m very comfortable with Melvin Gordon.”

Only Todd Gurley nfl jerseys cheap authentic and Ezekiel Elliott (25) had more touchdowns than Gordon’s 24 total touchdowns over the last two seasons. Gordon, 25, has totaled 2,743 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, averaging 3.8 yards per carry.

Gordon is scheduled to make $1.9 million in 2018 in the fourth year of his rookie deal.

Crosby scores goal, leads Penguins to 5-1 Game 3 over Flyers

The kitschy light-up bracelets flickered in the darkened arena and another packed house roared nfl jerseys online ”Crosby sucks! Crosby sucks!” Here’s the thing Philly fans haven’t yet accepted about Sidney Crosby over the last 13 years, he really doesn’t – and especially not against the Flyers.

Crosby matched a postseason-best with four points on a goal and three assists to help the Pittsburgh Penguins silence the raucous crowd and beat Philadelphia 5-1 on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

”When we needed to, we made some good plays, we got some big saves and that’s what you need this time of year,” Crosby said.

It’s the path Pittsburgh took the last two seasons all the way to parade routes in June.228

Crosby, who has 93 points in 63 career regular-season games against Philly, shut up the orange-and-black die-hards with a wraparound goal off a turnover midway through the first.

Crosby had a hat trick in Game 1 and the three-time Stanley Cup champion showed no sign of easing up against his nemesis.

The Flyers haven’t won a playoff series since 2012 and pulled out all the theatrical stops in their return to the postseason after a one-year absence.

Two of the so-called fiercest rivals in the NHL have provided three lopsided games: where to buy authentic nfl jerseys Pittsburgh’s 7-0 win in Game 1 and Philadelphia’s 5-1 victory in Game 2 could about qualify as nail-biters in this series.

Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Crosby scored his fourth goal of the series in the first period, and Derick Brassard, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin scored in the second to make it 4-0. Malkin and Dumoulin scored 5 seconds apart.

‘Bread’ is the man in playoff surge for the Blue Jackets

So far, so good. Columbus heads home to Nationwide Arena after taking a 2-0 lead over Washington in their first-round series on Sunday night, nfl official jerseys cheap a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in which Panarin contributed a pair of key assists.

Panarin led Columbus with 27 goals and 55 assists, and his 82 points were the most in a single season in franchise history. His plus/minus of 23 and average of just over 20 minutes on the ice per game were career highs.

Panarin – sounds like Panera Bread, hence the hockey nickname of ”Bread Man” or just ”Bread” – has embraced being a featured star after playing in the large shadow of Patrick Kane in Chicago in his first two years in the league.

”In Chicago, I played with Kane and got a lot of assists from him,” Panarin said. ”But I always wanted something more, to put more of the game on myself and be more accountable for the result. Here, I got that, what I wanted.”227

Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL in 2015-16, was acquired from the Black Hawks last June along with forward Tyler Motte for forward Brandon Saad and goalie Anton Forsberg. Saad was a reliable player for Columbus for two seasons.

”Bread is a different type player because he can make a special play to win a game,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. ”I just think for you to get through and find your way and try to be a better playoff team, you have to have some players that are dynamic. You’re not coaching it, they just see something, they seize a moment and they win you a game. Or they make a huge play to get you back in the game in another way.”

With the Blue Jackets on a power play and down 3-2 in the second period on Sunday, nfl jerseys online Panarin dribbled the puck and patiently waited for a lane to open up before delivering a pinpoint circle-to-circle pass to Cam Atkinson , who scored the tying goal.

Panarin’s line mates, veteran winger Atkinson and 19-year-old rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois, have benefited from his skills. Atkinson – who had two goals on Sunday – has come on strong after missing time with injuries, finishing the regular season with 14 goals and 14 assists in February and March. Dubois had 20 goals and 28 assists in the regular season, making him the most productive rookie in Blue Jackets history.

Panarin makes $6 million a year on a contract that runs through next season. He’ll be due a sizeable salary bump if the Blue Jackets decide to keep him around after that.

Francisco Lindor returns home with a bang as Cleveland Indians beat Twins, 6-1, in Puerto Rico

It was a sound that crowds usually don’t make. It was if nearly 20,000 voices sucked air deep into their lungs and then exhaled in a giant whoosh. customized nfl jerseys cheap It almost popped the eardrums.

When Francisco Lindor came to the plate in the fifth inning Tuesday night, he wasn’t playing around. And he wasn’t trying to punch one through the right side of the infield against Jake Odorizzi at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. There were two out and Bradley Zimmer had just hit his second straight double. Lindor was going for it all.

He took a called strike and then swung hard, finding nothing but air, on the next pitch. Lindor calmed down and took three straight balls. But on Odorizzi’s next pitch, he swung from the soles of his specially-designed cleats for the Puerto Rican Series – they bore the colors of island (red, white and blue) – and hit a curveball over the right field wall to lead the Indians to a 6-1 win over the Twins.

“Not really,” he said. “Not being in fronbt of the Puerto Rican crowd like that. Yeah, it could happen in the States, and I love the Cleveland Indians fans. They support us big time, but this is where I grew up. These are my people. It’s extremely special.”216

Then, after the fuse had been lit, the Indians started to hit and didn’t stop. Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley started the sixth with homers. It was the first time the Indians have hit consecutive homers this season. Ramirez hit a 3-2 pitch into the right field seats and Brantley followed with a first-pitch homer in the same location.

It ended Odorizzi’s night after he opened the game with four scoreless innings.

“Our goal is to win,” said manager Terry Francona, “but it was pretty cool to see Frankie come through like that and to see how the fans responded. cheap nfl jerseys china And to see how genuinely excited he was about it.”

The Indians made it 5-0 in the seventh on three consecutive two-out singles by Jason Kipnis, Ramirez and Brantley. Kipnis scored on Brantley’s single.

Shohei Ohtani Exits Due to Blister on Throwing Hand; Expected to Make Next Start

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani exited early from Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, leaving after just two innings.

The team announced he developed a blister on his hand during the game.custom nfl jerseys cheap

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he expects Ohtani to make his next start, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Scioscia also said Ohtani will be the designated hitter Thursday against the Red Sox.

The rookie had struggled before he was pulled, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks, including a leadoff home run to Mookie Betts.

Injuries are never good, but Los Angeles would feel the impact twice if Ohtani were sidelined. Not only would the Angels miss the 23-year-old’s presence in the rotation, they would also miss his bat.215

Even after his struggles Tuesday, he has a 3.60 ERA and 0.80 WHIP plus 19 strikeouts to just four walks in 15 innings as a pitcher. He is batting .367/.424/.767 with three home runs and 11 RBI.

Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton and Zack Cozart have the bats to keep the offense going without Ohtani, but the unit ranks first in batting average and runs scored in part thanks to the phenom.

The rotation might feel an absence by Ohtani more, as it would have to make do without his stuff every sixth day. Angels starting pitchers rank 16th with a 4.08 ERA even with the Japanese star. And JC Ramirez and Matt Shoemaker are already on the disabled list.

Ohtani’s versatile skill set made him the offseason’s most coveted player. Now, customized nfl jerseys cheap the Angels will hope they don’t have to find ways to make up for his absence.

Holiday party: Pelicans hold off Blazers, take 2-0 series lead

Several times during the three days between the New Orleans Pelicans’ Game 1 road win over the Trail Blazers on Saturday and their Game 2 matchup on Tuesday,shop nfl jerseys online Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was asked if he worried that his team would be complacent after stealing home-court advantage in the series. Gentry had no such concern.

Why would Gentry worry when he had Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday on his side? While the Blazers found solutions for their shooting struggles in Game 1, they couldn’t find a way to stop New Orleans’ stars in a 111-102 Pelicans victory that gave New Orleans a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading home for Games 3 and 4.

Although Davis was his usual double-double self (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo finished an assist away from a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists) in another strong playoff performance, this night belonged to Holiday. When the Blazers were able to get their sellout crowd going, it was Holiday to whom Gentry turned to slow down the Pelicans’ usual fast pace and ensure a good shot.
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“He’s so underrated as a guard that can do things on the floor,” Gentry said. “He can get to the basket against just about anybody there is, and his outside shot has really improved.”

Taking advantage of New Orleans’ strong floor spacing, Holiday got wherever he wanted off the pick-and-roll,wholesale nfl jerseys china repeatedly reaching the paint to either finish himself or find an open teammate. According to ESPN Stats & Information tracking, Holiday’s 19 drives yielded 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting by himself and seven points on 3-of-4 shooting by teammates. Holiday scored 20 of his 33 points in the restricted area, shooting 10-of-14 on those attempts, and he handed out nine assists.

 

Bradley Beal still has support of John Wall, Wizards after sluggish start

After Bradley Beal missed his fourth 3-pointer, the Washington Wizards All-Star shooting guard passed on attempting another 3 and took it strong to the rim, nfl shop jerseys authentic only to watch Serge Ibaka swoop in and emphatically reject his shot.

This pretty much summed up Beal’s frustrating night, during which he spent most of it in foul trouble before being limited to nine points and 3-for-11 shooting in a 130-119 Game 2 loss to the Raptors.

But it doesn’t take stats to see that Beal was out of his normal smooth-shooting rhythm, especially when the game was on the line. Though he shot 8-for-17 and scored 19 points in Game 1, he went 3-for-11 from behind the arc combined in the first two games in Toronto. In the fourth quarters of this series so far, the Raptors have held Beal to a total of two points on 1-for-7 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.203

“I really won’t know what to say, that is up to Brad to tell you,” Wizards point guard John Wall said when asked about what might be wearing on Beal. “He’s been our MVP this year, he’s held it down a lot while I have been out. He is not going to make excuses about playing the most minutes [of his career] or being fatigued.

“We have to do a better job, and me as a point guard, of getting him involved and trying to find him shots to make it easier on him. And I know he will be very tough on himself; he is definitely going to get in the gym and get up extra shots and find ways to be more aggressive. We definitely need his scoring and his ability to create for others to make our team better and compete against this team.”

After averaging a career-high 36.3 minutes this season and playing 82 games for the first time in his six-year career, the 39.3 percent career 3-point shooter could shop nfl jerseys online be feeling the effects of trying to keep Washington afloat while Wall was out for two months due to knee surgery. Beal averaged 22.6 points and career highs of 4.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds this season.

Beal deflected any excuses for his Game 2 performance, which certainly got off to a bad start after he picked up his second personal foul with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter. Wall already had been whistled for his second foul with 7:42 left in the first quarter, when the Wizards were down by 11. Without those two All-Stars, Washington would fall behind 37-15 before entering the second quarter trailing 44-27.