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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.

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.

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.

Ravens’ Joe Flacco intends to hold throwing sessions to build trust

At the start of the Baltimore Ravens’ offseason workout program, quarterback Joe Flacco said he plans to hold extra throwing sessions with new receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown this summer between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp.

This comes after coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome both publicly nfl jersey wholesale talked about the value of additional workouts and how they help a quarterback and his receivers mesh. Ravens fans have also been clamoring for Flacco to throw to his receivers beyond the team’s practices.

“There’s no doubt, that stuff is important and that we’ll do it,” Flacco said Tuesday. “I’ve already talked about it with John and Mike about it. I think sometimes those things are just as much or more about developing a relationship with those guys and developing that trust, and for those guys to see that I really like who they are as football players and for them to see hopefully they like who I am as a football player. I think when you can get that relationship going, that’s going to help your football team out a ton.”192

Flacco has only scheduled these private workouts once in his 10-year NFL career, and that was seven years ago during the NFL lockout.

There has been an increased need for the extra throwing sessions after Baltimore revamped its supporting cast around Flacco. To improve the NFL’s 29th-ranked passing game, Baltimore parted ways with its top two wide receivers (Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin) as well as its leading pass-catcher (tight end Benjamin Watson). There’s only one player currently on the roster who caught more than 30 passes last season, and that’s running back Buck Allen.

Flacco’s top targets this season will likely end up being Crabtree, Brown, another veteran free agent, and highly drafted rookies at wide receiver and tight end.

Some quarterbacks have already worked with their receivers this offseason. nfl jerseys cheap authentic New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning annually meets with teammates at Duke in early April, and new Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has been throwing to receivers at a high school.

Micah Hyde suggests NFL fine QBs when receivers sustain helmet-to-helmet hits

Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde has a creative solution to curb the number of dangerous hits that receivers take over the middle of the field: Fine the quarterback.

“Those bang-bang plays, it’s tough,” Hyde said Tuesday. “Start fining the quarterbacks. nfl authentic jerseys They’re the ones who are throwing the ball right there. It’s tough for us [defensive players] to be able to adjust last second to get our head to one side, the other side — up, down. We’re trying to make a play like the receiver is. It’s the sport of football.”

Hyde’s suggestion came as part of a discussion about a change to the NFL rulebook enacted at the league meetings last month in which a player — on offense or defense — will be penalized 15 yards and potentially ejected any time he lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.191

“Hopefully they go back and realize it’s not going to be a functional rule that’s going to make sense,” he said Tuesday. “It’s going to be hard on the refs, because they already have enough rules to call. Now, do they call it every single play, which they can do?

“It’s definitely going to be hard [as players], because our heads are at the top of our body. You play with forward lean. Even if I’m coming in with a shoulder, if [the offensive player] drops his head a little bit, it’s slight helmet-to-helmet. It can be called every single play. I just don’t think it was well-thought-out. The intention of the rule is great, but we have to understand at some point, this is a collision, contact sport. And I think that’s some of the allure to it. Everybody is not built to play this game. You can’t legislate out every injury. Then we wouldn’t be playing football. At that point, it changes to something different. If the fans and the owners are OK with that, then we’ll have to live in that new world.”

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who has played in the NFL since 2006, agreed with Alexander’s opinion of the rule change.

“I understand the old rule of targeting and launching, but this seems to incorporate all contact, nfl jersey wholesale including incidental contact, which I think is a huge problem for players,” he told ESPN. “There is a risk that comes with playing the game, generally speaking. You can legislate out the flagrant attempts to use the helmet as a weapon, but the reason we wear helmets is because of incidental contact and just the nature of the game.”

Bayern Munich’s Sven Ulreich a ‘godsend’ this season – Jupp Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes chose to hail the “exceptional” goalkeeping of “godsend” Sven Ulreich as Bayern Munich cruised into the DFB Pokal final with a thumping 6-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen.

The outgoing Bayern manager also called the game a “footballing masterclass” as his reebok nfl jerseysTreble-seeking side took the lead after only 125 seconds when Robert Lewandowski got a faint touch on Javi Martinez’s drive from just outside the box.

Bayern’s top scorer grabbed his second inside the opening ten minutes — his 38th goal in 42 games this season — with a composed finish after fine play from Franck Ribery on the left flank.

However, Leverkusen hit back through a Lars Bender header seven minutes later and Ulreich had to be at his best to deny an equaliser to German internationals Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi (twice).

“We were the dominant team but occasionally there were times when Sven Ulreich had to save us — as he has so often this season,” Heynckes told German broadcaster ARD.179

“Sven has been exceptional and is reaping the rewards for his hard work. In October when I took over, Sven had no self-confidence and little recognition. He is now realising his massive potential and has been a godsend while Manuel Neuer has been out injured.”

Heynckes added: “Overall, we produced a top performance against a good opponent who have picked up some great results recently. For long periods we put on a footballing masterclass.”

Bayern, who have won 18 of the 22 cup finals in which they’ve player, nfl authentic jerseys will face the winners of Wednesday’s semifinal between Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 19 in Berlin.

“We were extremely motivated and focused, we really wanted to progress to Berlin tonight,” Heynckes said. “The players that have been there before know what a great occasion and experience it is.”

Albert Pujols is feeling good and hitting well for the Angels

Although Pujols may be down the Angels current depth chart of stars, he is nonetheless showing encouraging signs of bouncing back from the declining numbers of the past couple years.

Pujols had his fourth multi-hit game in the past five on Friday night. Over his previous 10 games,nfl jersey wholesale he has hit .341 with two homers and an .892 OPS. The hot start has him already within 13 hits of the 3,000-hit milestone.

The Angels had been operating under the belief that much of his trouble in 2017 — a career-worst .672 OPS — was because of two years worth of injuries to his feet. Not only did that cause discomfort, but the injuries interrupted his workout regimen and caused his conditioning to deteriorate.

Pujols, however, did not have any issues over the past winter, and a result he reported to spring training saying he had lost about 15 pounds.

Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols follows through on a foul ball to left in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, April 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols follows through on a foul ball to left in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Monday, April 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The logical assumption is that his early season hot streak is related to his physical condition.

“I’m feeling great,” Pujols said after Friday’s game.

Added Manager Mike Scioscia: “I just think you are seeing him comfortable in the batter’s box. That could be related to a lot of things. He always works hard on things. He’s always trying to get his swing where he wants, and right now he has it there. He’s swinging the bat very well.”

Pujols’ health is vital to the Angels on two fronts. Besides being more productive at the plate, nfl jersey for cheap Pujols has been able to play first base more. He’s already started nine times at first, more than the six he started all last year.