wins a game. As of Mond

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wins a game. As of Mond

Новое сообщение panxing18 » 10 авг 2018, 02:57

TORONTO — The clinching number for the Toronto Raptors is one.

They need to win one of their remaining four games to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference. In the unlikely event of that not happening Natrell Jamerson Color Rush Jersey , one loss by the second-place Boston Celtics, who also have four games left, would also wrap up the East.

Toronto could get the job done by defeating the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors (56-22) defeated the undermanned Celtics 96-78 on Wednesday night at the ACC to move three games ahead of Boston in the conference.

Meanwhile, the Pacers (47-32) defeated the Golden State Warriors 126-106 at home Thursday night, led by 28 points from Bojan Bogdanovic. They have won six of seven — including two wins over the Warriors without Steph Curry — and are fifth in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers and 1 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I thought it was a big test tonight,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan said. “I really was looking forward to playing them with their roster tonight, just to see where we were. That’s a really good team. I thought our guys responded well to the challenge.”

Despite being on the verge of clinching home-court advantage in the playoffs, Raptors coach Dwane Casey was trying to keep it in perspective. The victory over Boston followed a loss in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

“We’re not excited, we know we got some other games to go, some other things to get better at; we’re looking at big picture,” Casey said after the game Wednesday. “One game, we still have some things to get better at. I liked our defense, I thought our defensive focus was there James Washington Color Rush Jersey , our attention to detail, guys were where they were supposed to be, a few hiccups but a big improvement over (Tuesday) night.

“Again, it’s about competition, it’s about competing at a high level. With a big picture in mind, not just trying to win that one game we’re trying to do something special.”

Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored 16 points Wednesday, said the games leading into the playoffs are important.

“What do we have, four games left? Every single one is extremely important because once next weekend starts you know, it’s literally win or go home,” DeRozan said. “It’s no ‘my bads’ or I get the next one, so these four games are critical and us playing extremely hard and having a rhythm and understanding, our confidence has to be at an all-time high going into next week.”

With the victory over the Celtics, the Raptors matched their franchise best for overall wins in a season (56) and wins at home (32).

Toronto holds a 2-1 advantage over the Pacers this season Jordan Whitehead Color Rush Jersey , including a 106-99 victory at Indianapolis on March 15 in the most recent meeting.

DeRozan scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half against Indiana in that game.

The Pacers hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the 76ers (2-1 this year) and Cavaliers (3-1). Both teams have relatively easy schedules remaining, however, so that might not become a factor. The Cavaliers and 76ers do play each other before the season ends.

Indiana has endured a difficult schedule that included visits to Golden State, Sacramento, Los Angeles (against the Clippers) and Denver.

The Pacers will be facing the Raptors on the second half of back-to-back games.

“It’s going to get us bull-tough and battle tested,” Indiana forward Thaddeus Young said. “It’s definitely prepping us for the task at hand, which is going to the playoffs. We’ve been doing a good job of handing it, going out there and staying focused and locked in. This road trip has been tough. … I don’t know who made the schedule, but this is crazy.”

The Pacers have lost eight games in a row at Toronto.
Jrue Holiday’s postseason production is providing Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis with a more comfortable margin for error 锟斤拷 and has left Portland with precious little.

Holiday’s 54 points, 16 assists and slew of defensive successes in the first two games are big reasons why the sixth-seeded Pelicans hold a surprising 2-0 series lead over the third-seeded Trail Blazers as they prepare for Game 3 Thursday night in New Orleans.

“Playoff Jrue, I guess,” Davis quipped after Holiday scored 33 – including a late, deep 3-pointer – in the Pelicans’ Game 2 triumph in Portland on Tuesday night. “He’s in a different mode.”

Philadelphia visits Miami in one of two other Game 3s on Thursday night, while the Spurs’ return to San Antonio after a pair of double-digit losses at defending champion Golden State.

Pelicans general manager Dell Demps bet big on Holiday on the first day of free agency last summer http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-troy-apke-jersey , giving the 27-year-old guard a five-year contract worth about $126 million. But if the postseason is where players really earn their money, then the Pelicans’ Holiday spending could very well be worth it.

Holiday helped preserve New Orleans’ Game 1 victory with a leaping steal in transition during the final minutes, followed by a block in the final seconds. Those plays were prime examples of why Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has asserted Holiday is one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

“We ask him to guard the best perimeter player and we ask him to do it while we’re also wanting him to get 20 points,” Gentry said, noting that Holiday has had to take turns guarding both members of Portland’s prolific starting backcourt, guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

“He can get to the basket against just about anybody that there is. His outside shot has really improved,” Gentry added. “He’s very confident in what he’s doing and the way he’s playing.”


New Orleans leads 2-0. Game 3, 9 P.M., NBA TV.

NEED TO KNOW: The Pelicans were no better at home (24-17) during the regular season than on the road (24-17), which gives Portland hope. “We’ve won on their floor before and we feel like we’re capable of doing the same thing they did to us,” Portland’s Lillard said. However, the atmosphere could be different for New Orleans’ first home playoff game since 2015.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo , who had 17 assists in Game 1 and was one assist shy of a triple-double in Game 2.

INJURY UPDATE: Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was limited to only 15 minutes in Game 2 because of a left leg contusion, while forward Evan Turner is questionable with a right toe contusion. Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic twisted his right ankle late in Game 2. He has not been scratched Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey , but his effectiveness remains to be seen.

PRESSURE IS ON: Portland guards Lillard and McCollum, who have been inconsistent in the series and will be desperate to prevent the Blazers from falling into a 0-3 hole. “We don’t want to be in this position … but it should be fun and we should accept that challenge,” Lillard said. “If not, it could be a quick series.”


Series tied 1-1. Game 3, 7 p.m., TNT.

NEED TO KNOW: The 76ers say All-Star center Joel Embiid, who has missed 10 games with a broken orbital bone, is doubtful. The Heat ended Philadelphia’s franchise-record 17-game winning streak Monday, winning with physical defense. To further ratchet up tension, some 76ers were miffed by Miami’s Goran Dragic’s late layup to pad the Heat’s 113-103 victory.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The 76ers’ shooting and the Heat’s Dwyane Wade. Philadelphia shot 18 for 28 from 3-point range in Game 1, but just 7 for 36 in Game 2. Wade had 28 points in 26 minutes in Game 2 , but at age 36, there’s no guarantee he’ll consistently summon that sort of performance. “I’m not worried about encores,” Wade said. “Right now it’s just about being a leader and giving this team what they need on different nights.”

INJURY UPDATE: Embiid practiced Tuesday and Wednesday Preston Tucker Atlanta Braves Jersey , but regaining his rhythm on offense could take longer, coach Brett Brown said. After Monday’s loss, Embiid lobbied to get back in the lineup, writing on Instagram that he was “sick and tired of being babied.” The return of the 76ers’ leading scorer and rebounder would mark a renewal of his rivalry with Miami’s Hassan Whiteside. They’ve feuded on social media this season.

PRESSURE IS ON: Heat president Pat Riley always says a playoff series doesn’t really begin until the road team wins a game. As of Monday, this series has begun, with Miami putting the heat on the Sixers, who are in the postseason for the first time since 2012.


Golden State leads 2-0. Game 3, 9:30 p.m., TNT.

NEED TO KNOW: San Antonio is 30-8 at home this season, but coach Gregg Popovich stressed playing on the road isn’t why the Spurs dropped the first two games. San Antonio is shooting 26 percent on 3-pointers in the series after averaging 35 percent during the regular season. San Antonio was 4 for 28 on 3s in Game 2. “We know it’s just like hitting in baseball – the ability to make shots,” Popovich said. “I’m more concerned about the nuts and bolts of the game and the attitude and the fiber and the grunt and all that sort of thing.”

KEEP AN EYE ON: The Warriors’ Klay Thompson. The 6-foot-7 guard is leading Golden State in playoff .
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