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Germany shooting was live on Twitch for 35 minutes

An anti-Semitic attack that killed at least two people in the German city of Halle Wednesday was streamed live for 35 minutes, and eventually seen by some 2,200 people, the online platform Twitch said. “The account owner streamed this horrific act live on Twitch for 35 minutes, during which time it was viewed by approximately […] The post Germany shooting was live on Twitch for 35 minutes appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneOct 10th, 2019

Germany, Netherlands win as Croatia drops points

By James Ellingworth, Associated Press Germany flirted with defeat for a second straight European Championship qualifier before Marcel Halstenberg's first international goal lifted the team to a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Monday. Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Netherlands, Germany's recovery was unconvincing, helped by Northern Ireland wasting good chances. The Dutch delivered another impressive attacking display as Memphis Depay marked his 50th game for the Netherlands by scoring one goal and setting up two more in a 4-0 win over Estonia. Belgium made qualifying seem a pushover by beating Scotland 4-0 to keep a perfect winning record, but other favorites faltered. Croatia and Poland both dropped points but remained top of their increasingly competitive groups. REBUILD CONTINUES Germany's still in rebuild mode. More than a year on from its embarrassing group-stage elimination at the World Cup, Joachim Löw's team still struggles to get what should be routine wins. Just as South Korea ran Germany into the ground at the World Cup, so hard pressing from Northern Ireland nearly earned an upset win in Belfast. The host had the better of the first half. Conor Washington had one good shot saved by Manuel Neuer, and later tripped over the ball in front of goal, missing the best chance of the game. Germany emerged from the break refreshed and needed just three minutes before Halstenberg volleyed the ball into the net after Julian Brandt flicked on a cross. Stuart Dallas then went close for Nothern Ireland, who continued to challenge until deep into stoppage time, when Serge Gnabry grabbed Germany's second goal on a counter. "They pressed us hard in the first half, but at some point they got tired," Halstenberg said. Asked if Germany was getting back to the level of Europe's best, he was diplomatic. "It's hard to say." Ryan Babel was crucial in the Netherlands' come-from-behind win over Germany on Friday and he tore up another defense on Monday, scoring twice against Estonia. It was the first time Babel scored two in an international game and left the Dutch third in Group B, though they've played one game fewer than everyone else. The Netherlands' home-and-away games against Northern Ireland next month and in November will likely decide the automatic qualifying places in Group C. CROATIA CHECKED World Cup finalist Croatia was held by outsider Azerbaijan to 1-1 on Monday, denting its chances of reaching next year's European Championship. Croatia won an early penalty for handball, converted by captain Luka Modric, but Azerbaijan wing back Tamkin Khalilzade cut in from the left in the 72nd minute and beat Dejan Lovren before shooting past goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic. For Azerbaijan, a Euro 2020 host, it was the first point of the qualifying campaign after four straight defeats. Croatia leads Group E by a single point from Slovakia and Hungary with two qualifying spots available. Slovakia beat Hungary 2-1 to move up to second. The other team in the hunt for qualification, Wales, was playing a friendly. BELGIUM TAKES IT EASY Scotland's Hampden Park was a walk in the park for Belgium. The visitors were three goals up after just 32 minutes as they kept a perfect record of six wins from six in qualifying. With an 11-point cushion to third-placed Kazakhstan, Belgium could seal qualification in its next game against San Marino. Belgium's goal difference of +18 is the best of any team in the qualifying competition and its gone five competitive games without conceding. Russia kept second place in Group I, but was lackluster in beating Kazakhstan 1-0, needing an 89th-minute headed goal from right back Mario Fernandes. Cyprus beat San Marino 4-0. After a fourth defeat, Scotland was in fifth place. It has never finished a European Championship qualifying campaign below fourth. POLAND SCORELESS AGAIN Poland looked a dead cert to qualify until last week, and now that seems a long time ago. After four straight wins, a 2-0 loss to Slovenia on Friday rattled the Poles. A 0-0 draw with Austria on Monday left Poland with its lead cut to two points. Slovenia earned a second big win in four days, beating Israel 3-2 to snatch second place in Group G. The competition's top scorer, Eran Zahavi, netted his ninth goal in qualifying as Israel turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, but Roman Bezjak drew Slovenia level before winger Benjamin Verdic scored the winner. Fourth-placed North Macedonia kept long-shot qualifying hopes alive by beating Latvia 2-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 8

A look at top performers from Day 5 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 8 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Tyler Herro, Miami Heat A variety of players have kept the Heat perfect in Las Vegas, and on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) it was Herro's turn to step into that role. His textbook shooting form was on target all game as he scored 25 points with a pair of three-pointers and added seven rebounds and five assists. While his three-point shooting has been inconsistent, Herro has found ways to score in Summer League. Alize Johnson, Indiana Pacers Atlanta ran away with the win, but Johnson was a bright spot in Indiana's blowout loss. He finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), marking his second consecutive such game in Summer League. The Pacers have to be pleased with the offensive development their 2018 second-round pick is showing. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers Another day in Las Vegas, another 30-point game for Portland. Simons was electric against the Jazz, scoring 35 points (13-for-18 overall, 6-for-7 on three-pointers) while also contributing in other areas. Like most rookies a season ago, Simons struggled on defense. But he came up with two steals and showed some improvement on that end. Tony Bradley, Utah Jazz The second-year center has been a steady performer for the Jazz all summer and continued that against Portland. He came up clutch late with a pair of free throws to seal the win as he finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The Jazz could use some frontcourt depth and Bradley could be making his case for more minutes this season. Brandon Goodwin, Denver Nuggets The second-year guard was perhaps the sole reason Denver was in the game against Boston. Goodwin's strategy of calling his own number paid off often as he scored 28 points in all manner of ways. He was particularly aggressive attacking the rim, nailing a couple of nice buckets in the paint over the Celtics' 7'7" fan favorite, Tacko Fall. Carsen Edwards, Boston Celtics Scoring was Edwards' forte as a star at Purdue and he showcased those abilities off the bench against the Nuggets. He dropped 23 points -- and shot 5-for-7 on three-pointers -- and dazzled with his ballhandling, too. With Celtics boss Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens both watching at Cox Pavilion, Edwards showed out in a big way in the win. Chris Boucher & Malcolm Miller, Toronto Raptors Toronto has to be happy how its two young prospects fared win against the New York Knicks. Both of them had identical shooting performances (7-for-14) and both scored in double figures (19 for Miller; 23 for Boucher). Setting an aggressive tone for the Raptors, they combined for 15 rebounds while Boucher added two blocks. Chris Clemons, Houston Rockets An undrafted rookie, Clemons showed off the shooting touch that made him a solid player in college. In fact, he shot better from three-point range (6-for-11) than he did overall (6-for-15) against the Sacramento Kings. Houston's love of shooters is well known, and Clemons' showing with coach Mike D'Antoni in the Cox Pavilion crowd should help his cause......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 7

A look at top performers from Day 4 of the action in Las Vegas and Day 7 of the overall Summer League: Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! +++ Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs The No. 2 scorer in Las Vegas kept it rolling on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Toronto Raptors. Walker IV poured in 32 points on 12-for-23 shooting and added six rebounds as well. After a torn meniscus in his right knee limited him to 17 games last season, Walker IV is out to show he's still the scoring guard he was when the Spurs drafted him No. 18 overall in 2018. Kevin Hervey, Oklahoma City Thunder The undrafted big man is trying to pave a path to OKC's camp this fall and may be well on his way. He did it all on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Sixers, logging a double-double (17 points, 17 rebounds) while showing solid court sense on defense. After an 11-point, 12-rebound Summer League debut on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) vs. Utah, Hervey has likely been the Thunder's best player so far in Las Vegas. Bruce Brown, Detroit Pistons Last season, Brown struggled with his shot (39.6%) and was a virtual non-factor as a three-point shooter (25.8%). One Summer League game does not a shooter make, but his improved shooting range and consistency were bright spots in Detroit's win vs. the Pacers. He shot a respectable 4-for-9 overall (and 1-for-2 on three-pointers) and remained particularly active as a defensive rebounder. Semaj Christon, Sacramento Kings In the California Classic, Christon was one of the better all-around performers for the Kings. He continued that trend on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) against the Dallas Mavericks, excelling in a variety of ways (15 points, nine rebounds, eight assists). He has been out of the league for two seasons and is hoping to turn some heads with performances like these in Summer League. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards Washington's top pick in the 2019 draft was not flashy at all in a thrilling win vs. the Brooklyn Nets. What he was, though, was timely. Hachimura finished with 19 points and was active around the rim, finishing strong or shooting with confidence in those situations. Tacko Fall, Boston Celtics Players with a cult following are nothing new in Summer League, and Fall is the latest player to receive such honors. He lived up to the cheers and pregame adulation from a pro-Celtics crowd by scoring 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting off the bench (in just 11 minutes). His offense and ability to control the paint on defense helped energize Boston en route to its 89-72 blowout win. Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 Draft, had a short run in Summer League. But he got a lot of enjoyment out of watching Hayes play on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), celebrating as much as the crowd did after Hayes' vicious poster jam over the Bulls. That play highlighted a monster night for the rookie Hayes, who finished with 28 points (on 10-for-15 shooting), four rebounds and three blocks in the Pelicans' runaway victory. Qi Zhou, China The big man delivered off the bench in the final game of the night at Cox Pavilion, carving up the Hornets inside all game long. He had 17 points and nailed a trio of three-pointers while also collecting nine rebounds to power China to an upset of the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors The No. 28 pick of the 2019 Draft, Poole has been a steady scorer for Golden State at Summer League. He kept that rolling on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), but showed better shot selection in getting his 23 points (on 7-for-15 shooting) in the Warriors' win against the Los Angeles Lakers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2019

2019 NBA Summer League standouts: Day 6

Check out the best players from Day 3 of the 2019 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! * * * Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers Good luck finding faults in the performance Trent Jr. put on the Houston Rockets that was a case study in efficient Summer League play on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). He scored 31 points (in 25 minutes), going 10-for-12 overall and a sizzling 7-for-8 on three-pointers. He was also perfect at the line (6-for-6) while playing solid defense, rebounding well (six boards) and setting the overall tone in Portland's win. Ignas Brazdeikis, New York Knicks In perhaps the best game of the day, a Knicks rookie took the spotlight. No, it wasn't No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett, but his teammate Brazdeikis who made New York fans rejoice. Although the Knicks lost, Brazdeikis had 30 points -- including a clutch three-pointer that sent the game to overtime -- as well as eight rebounds and two assists. Coby White, Chicago Bulls Chicago's top pick in the 2019 Draft continues to keep it rolling at Summer League. After a 17-point debut on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in a blowout win, White was solid for the Bulls again. He notched 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, but it wasn't all perfect. White had seven turnovers to spoil an otherwise solid night. Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat Robinson did his work in the rebounding department and the rest of his game flowed from there. The second-year big man pulled in 10 rebounds -- all on the defensive glass -- and then added 20 points on offense as the Heat blew past the Jazz. Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs One of the last picks in the first round of the 2019 Draft, Johnson was efficient and solid in Sunday's win against the Hornets. Johnson had 19 points on 6-for-10 shooting and nailed all seven of his free throws, too. He and fellow first-round pick Luka Samanic (16 points) showed youthful promise and savvy in helping San Antonio to a win. Terence Davis, Denver Nuggets Davis was red hot against the Orlando Magic, shooting 8-for-13 overall as part of a night in which he was red-hot from deep (5-for-7 on three-pointers). He also added five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. The day got even better for Davis as he reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Raptors. Omari Spellman, Atlanta Hawks The Minnesota Timberwolves rolled the Hawks, but Spellman showed some nice all-around aspects to his game. He had a solid scoring night (16 points, 7-for-12 shooting), put in work on the boards (eight rebounds) and came up with three big blocks in the loss, showing some improved defensive mobility......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

Spurs draft picks strong in 106-96 win over Hornets

By Steve Reed, Associated Press The San Antonio Spurs' draft picks are stepping up in the NBA Summer League. Second-round picks Keldon Johnson and Quinndary Weatherspoon each scored 19 points and first-rounder Luka Samanic added 16 to lead the Spurs to a 106-96 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Ben Moore scored 17 points and had eight rebounds for the Spurs (1-1), who shot 51 percent from the field. The Spurs had three picks in the top 49 in the NBA draft and will be counting on them in what is expected to be a highly competitive Western Conference. Samanic, the 19th overall pick, was 5-of-10 from the field with two three-pointers and had four rebounds for Spurs Summer League coach Becky Hammon. The Hornets, who are playing without their first-round pick PJ Washington due to a foot injury, got 23 points and seven rebounds from Miles Bridges, who competed in last year's dunk contest. Cody Martin, the team's second-round pick, had 15 points while Dwayne Bacon and Josh Perkins each added 14 for the Hornets (1-1). WARRIORS 80, RAPTORS 71 Jacob Evans scored 24 points and Jordan Poole added 21, and the Warriors held off the Raptors in a matchup of two franchises that reached the NBA Finals last month. The Warriors (1-1) shot 44 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Raptors were led by 21 points and 13 rebounds from Chris Boucher. Jordan Lloyd added 11 points for Toronto (0-1). NETS 74, CROATIA 58 Rodions Kurucs and Dzanan Musa each scored 15 points as the Nets (1-1) pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat Team Croatia. The Nets won despite shooting 5-of-22 from three-point range. Croatia (0-2) was led by 12 points from Roko Badzim and 11 each from Zeljko and Marjan Vukovic. TIMBERWOLVES 90, HAWKS 66 The Timberwolves spoiled DeAndre Hunter's Summer League debut, cruising past Atlanta. Josh Okogie led Minnesota with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Keita Bates-Diop added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Minnesota won despite shooting just 37 percent from the field. Omari Spellman led the Hawks with 16 points and eight rebounds. Hunter, the No. 4 pick in the draft out of Virginia, was limited to six points in 20 minutes on 2-of-8 shooting. NUGGETS 84, MAGIC 79 Terence Davis was 8-of-13 from the field with five three-pointers and finished with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Nuggets (1-0) past the Magic. Brandon Goodwin had 16 points and seven rebounds, while Vlatko Cancar added 12 points. Behind Davis, Denver made 11 three's. Orlando was led by Erik McCree's 17 points. DaQuan Jeffries and Amile Jefferson each had 13 for Orlando (0-1). CAVALIERS 82, BULLS 75 Naz Mitrou-Long scored 21 points and had eight assists to help the Cavs edge the Bulls. JaCorey Williams and Dean Wade each added 11 points for Cleveland (1-1). Mychal Mulder had 18 points and Coby White 15 for the Bull (1-1)s. White, the seventh overall pick in the draft, also had six rebounds, five assists and a steal but committed seven turnovers. HEAT 93, JAZZ 81 Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points and Duncan Robinson added 20 to lead the Heat. Robinson also had 10 rebounds and Nunn had eight assists. Tyler Herro, the 13th overall pick had 16 points for Miami (2-0). Willie Reed had 14 points and George King and second-round pick Miye added 11 points apiece for the Jazz (1-1). SUNS 105, KNICKS 100 (OT) James Palmer Jr. scored 23 points, Jared Harper and Rayvonte Rice added 19 apiece and the Suns beat R.J. Barrett and the Knicks in the first overtime game in the Summer League. Rice hit the go-ahead three-pointer early in the two-minute extra session and Rice and Harper each hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds. Rice hit five three-pointers and Palmer four for the Suns (1-0). Ignas Brazdeikis, a second-round pick acquired in a trade, scored 30 points for the Knicks (0-2), going 11-of-19 from the field with three triples, tying the game with a deep shot with 24 seconds left in regulation. Mitchell Robinson added 17 points. Barrett, the third overall pick, had eight points on 3-of-15 shooting along with eight turnovers but he also grabbed 10 rebounds. TRAIL BLAZERS 97, ROCKETS 87 Gary Trent Jr scored 31 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 7-of-8 three-pointers, and the Trail Blazers topped the Rockets. With Anfernee Simons adding 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from distance, the Blazers (1-1) went 14-of-26 behind the arc. Isaiah Hartenstein led the Rockets (0-2) with 22 points and Chris Clemons had 19. GRIZZLIES 87, CLIPPERS 75 Brandon Clark, the 21st overall pick, made a flashy debut in the Summer League with two big dunks in the first three minutes and scored 17 points to lift the Grizzlies over the Clipper. Clark was 7-of-11 shooting and had four rebounds and two blocks. Grayson Allen also scored 17 points for the Grizzlies (2-0). Mfiondu Kabengele scored 19 points for the Clippers (1-1) and Terance Mann had 12 rebounds. Memphis went 9-of-33 from three-point range and shot 32% overall......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

After earthquake, NBA Summer League resumes

By The Associated Press Tony Bradley had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Utah Jazz defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 78-68 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as NBA Summer League play resumed in Las Vegas one day after an earthquake in the area forced two games to be shortened and another to be canceled. The NBA Summer League games are being played at two venues — the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion at UNLV. The NBA said a survey was completed by two separate independent structural engineers on Saturday, which determined the facilities were safe. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! The overhead scoreboard at the Thomas & Mack Center swayed during the quake, which caused major concern about safety. The floor in the Cox arena sustained minor damage that was repaired. Bradley was 9-of-14 to lead the Jazz to a win at the Cox Pavilion. Justin Wright-Foreman and Miye Oni each had 14 points for the Jazz (1-0). Oklahoma City (0-1) was led by 20 points from Hamidou Diallo and 11 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Hervey. PISTONS 93, TRAIL BLAZERS 73 Over at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Detroit Pistons (2-0) got 18 points from Svi Mykhailiuk and 17 points and 10 assists from Bruce Brown in a lopsided win over the Portland Trail Blazers (0-1). The Pistons made 15 3-pointers. Portland was led by 15 points by Anfernee Simons and 13 from Devin Robinson. Rookie first-round draft pick Nassir Little struggled, finishing with two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 22 minutes. BUCKS 89, HAWKS 83 Bonzie Colson had 18 points and Jock Landale chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds as the Bucks (1-1) held off the Hawks. Milwaukee held Atlanta to 34-percent shooting from the floor. Jordan Sibert led the Hawks with 22 points. He was 4-of-14 from the field but made all 10 free throw attempts. Tahjere McCall added 16 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta (0-1), who only played eight players. CELTICS 96, 76ERS 82 Carsen Edwards had a standout debut in Las Vegas, scoring 20 points on five three-pointers as the Celtics pulled away from the 76ers. Edwards, the 33rd overall pick in the draft from Purdue, finished 7-of-17 from the field and added three steals. Grant Williams finished with 12 points and six rebounds in his debut for the Celtics, while the team’s other first-round pick Romeo Langford sat out with a thumb injury. Rookie Matisse Thybulle led the 76ers (1-1) with 15 points on four 3-pointers, while Zhaire Smith and Marial Shayok each had 14. NOTES: Several players who are expected to play in Las Vegas couldn’t join their new teams because their rights were traded at the June 20 draft in deals that were unofficial until Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Among those was KZ Okpala of the Miami Heat, who joined his new franchise for the first time Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) and is expected to make his Summer League debut on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Okpala watched Miami’s first four summer games on television and says he’s “just trying to stay ready.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Norvell Jr.’s late 3 lifts Lakers to big comeback victory

By David Brandt, Associated Press Zach Norvell Jr. made a three-pointer with four seconds remaining to lift the Los Angeles Lakers over the Sacramento Kings 99-97 on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), completing a comeback from 21 points down early in the fourth quarter. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Sacramento led 86-65 with less than eight minutes left, but the Lakers rallied with 34 points down the stretch to improve to 2-1 at the California Classic in Sacramento. The Lakers closed on a 12-1 run over the final 2:16. Zach Norvell closes out the California Classic with a #LakersWin pic.twitter.com/Ky6OmriWx8 — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 3, 2019 Jordan Howard led the Lakers with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range. He scored 17 in the fourth quarter. Nick Perkins had 20 points, Devontae Cacok added 13 and Norvell scored 11. Sacramento (1-2) had five players score in double figures, led by Wenyen Gabriel with 16 points. Second-round pick Kyle Guy added 14, but shot just 5 of 17 from the field. Semaj Christon scored 13. Gabriel had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but missed a contested 25-footer. HEAT 73, WARRIORS 65 Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points, Tyler Herro added 20 and Miami rallied to beat Golden State in Sacramento. Golden State led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and had a 50-45 advantage after the third quarter. Miami pulled even by midway through the fourth quarter and Nunn’s step-back three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining sealed the win. It was the second straight good game for the 23-year-old Nunn, who led the Heat (3-0) with 27 points in the team’s comeback win over Sacramento on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Herro scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. This year’s 13th overall draft pick shot 7-of-21 from the field, including 2-of-11 from three-point range. Damian Jones had 15 points and seven rebounds for Golden State (0-3). GRIZZLIES 81, CAVALIERS 68 Keenan Evans scored 20 points, Yuta Watanabe added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Memphis beat Cleveland in Salt Lake City Summer League action. Memphis (2-1) pulled ahead late in the first quarter and never trailed again. The Grizzlies had a 47-29 rebounding edge. John Konchar added 11 points and eight rebounds. Naz Mitrou-Long led Cleveland (0-3) with 12 points and six rebounds. Jalen Hudson added 10 points. JAZZ 84, SPURS 81 Miye Oni scored 17 points, Jarrell Brantley added 16 and Utah never trailed in a victory over San Antonio in Salt Lake City. Oni, the 58th overall pick in this year’s draft out of Yale, shot 5 of 12, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Willie Reed added 14 points and 16 rebounds. Utah (2-1) jumped out to a 24-8 lead in the first quarter before hanging on. San Antonio had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but a 3-pointer by Lonnie Walker IV was off the mark. Walker had 19 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio (2-1). Drew Eubanks scored 15 and Quinndary Weatherspoon added 13......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2019

Warriors injuries create opening with Finals in balance

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. — From now until further notice, each game of the 2019 NBA Finals will be largely influenced not by a go-ahead basket or a big stop or a rally-induced comeback, but a hot-off-the-press medical update prior to tipoff. Is Klay Thompson's tweaky hamstring a go? Will this be the day Kevin Durant finally shakes that lingering calf strain and suits up? The hints and subtle signs seem to point toward the positive for Golden State. Thompson was a late scratch Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) because the Warriors -- with a mixture of confidence and arrogance and concern -- felt the guard missing Game 3 was perhaps best for his recovery without proving deadly in the long run. And as for Durant, he’s still “ramping up” his workouts, in the description of coach Steve Kerr, and so his status has been upgraded to "stay tuned." It has become must-watch after a 123-109 loss. Yet if the answer is negative to all of the above, the next entry on the medical report might be the grim health of the dynasty built by these two-time defending champions. Their still-under-construction monument now teeters, prone to a nudge from Toronto. The Warriors find themselves down 2-1 to the Raptors, lacking any guarantee they’ll see two of their three leading scorers back in the lineup Friday (Saturday, PHL time) for Game 4 ... or for however long this series lasts. Thompson joined Durant on the sideline, and the Raptors (as could be anticipated) pounced on the gift to seize control of the series. It was a game the Raptors had to win, and they did. The production came from multiple players, with Kyle Lowry finally making an imprint on this series and Danny Green rediscovering his long-lost three-point touch. Meanwhile, the Warriors consisted of Steph Curry and not much else. The two-time Kia MVP dazzled and fought through traps and triple-teams all night to drop a career-high 47 points, some of it on shot-making wizardry. But the short-handed Warriors were doomed when Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins in particular were underwhelming on a night they needed to be stellar for Golden State to have a chance. As a result, the atmosphere inside Oracle Arena was flatter than most of the shots taken by Curry's teammates, and this was partly due to the introduction of the starting lineups, when Thompson’s name wasn’t announced. The fans knew then, officially, that their eyes and the home team were in for a long night. While the Warriors fought, scrappy doesn’t win games at this point in the postseason, not when the other team is good and opportunistic. Playing in a hostile building for the first time in the Finals, the Raptors made a collective decision to greet fire with fire. Or, as they wrote on the blackboard inside the visitor’s locker room: Let It Rip. “I think we all kind of followed that advice,” said Danny Green. “We hadn’t really had a good team shooting night and I knew we were due.” For Toronto, it wasn’t just that they won, but that they did so with their most impressive outing in the series. And now, the question for the Raptors is this: Will their inconsistent players use this outing to turn the corner and push the Warriors, even if Thompson and/or Durant return? This is aimed, first and foremost, at Lowry. He took the “let it rip” plea personally. Entering this game, he had six baskets total in this series and at times suffered defensively. Challenged by a pregame talk from coach Nick Nurse, Lowry embraced his inner pit bull and was relentless all night. The All-Star point guard took 16 shots, making eight, for 23 points and nine assists while making his presence felt for the first time this Finals. “For me, it was just not being so passive and trying to get everyone else involved and get myself going and let everyone else feed off that,” Lowry said. He and Green re-introduced the three-pointer to the Raptors’ offense. The two shot 11-for-19 and repeatedly stole whatever momentum Golden State could generate by responding with long-distance daggers that forced fans to slump back into their seats. This from the same player who had five total three's in his previous five playoff games, ruining more than a handful of runs with momentum-deflating misses. There’s no other way to describe the last three weeks of Green’s postseason shooting but dreadful. He has only one job: Stand in the corner and shoot open 3s. He’s made a career of that. So what do the Raptors make of Green shooting 6-of-10 from deep Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)? In the short term, it helped win Game 3. In the big picture, will this confidence carry over from one night to another, or does it depend on whether Green hits his first few? Nurse said: “Danny’s buckets boosted our whole team’s confidence because we were used to relying on those most of the year.” With better production from players who had been mostly missing, the Raptors had the balance needed to deliver their highest-scoring and most efficient (52 percent shooting) contest of the series. Green and Lowry joined Kawhi Leonard (30 points) and Pascal Siakam (18) and Marc Gasol (17) to take turns pummeling the Warriors from all different directions and manners. One reason for this was Thompson’s absence. Not only is he a proven outside shooter, but his defense is top-notch as well. You could even argue that Thompson’s missing defense was just as costly as his jumper. Yet the 109 points Golden State did manage were mainly because of Curry providing nearly half the offense. Given the circumstances of being without Thompson and Durant, and the constant pressing by Toronto whenever he had the ball, this was Curry’s finest post-season effort. His shooting was superb all across the floor, making three's (six) and free throws (13-14) and in general (14-31). “It’s the Finals,” Curry said. “You give everything you’ve got, sacrifice your body when you have the opportunity. Just competitiveness and trying to play until the buzzer.” “He does things that honestly I don’t think anyone has done before," Kerr added. "The way he plays the game, the way he shoots and the combination of his ball-handling, it’s incredible to watch.” If only he had someone riding shotgun. Cousins was sloppy on both ends, with three turnovers and one basket, and a step slow on defense against Gasol. This came one game after he seemingly regained his legs and confidence to gave Golden State a much-needed lift. Green’s continued recklessness was mystifying; he often made questionable decisions as a playmaker, suffered four turnovers and once again struggled to contain Siakam. The Warriors needed Green’s best, given their missing parts, and received something less. “We’ve got to be more solid with the ball and it starts with me,” he said. “I’ve had a bunch of turnovers in every game of this series. I think if I played better with the night (Curry) had, we would have won.” And so the Warriors, while talking bravely about their next-man-up mentality and embracing their “Strength in Numbers” slogan, must realize, deep down, that preventing the Raptors from winning two more games with a handicapped team might be difficult, if not impossible. Keep in mind that Golden State hasn’t sparkled for four quarters since the first game of the Western Conference finals. The last three games of that series, and the first three of the NBA Finals, the Warriors trailed by double digits. Thompson has an off day and Friday's (Saturday, PHL time) pregame period for therapy on his hamstring, although such strains are unpredictable and tricky. Will he be able to cut and fight through screens and be bouncy for 35-plus minutes through the intensity of an NBA Finals game, or will the injury restrict him and cause Kerr to seek a healthier, yet less productive replacement? “The whole point was to not risk a bigger injury that would keep him out the rest of the series,” said Kerr, explaining a decision made in consultation with the team doctors. “I feel very comfortable with it. I never would have forgiven myself if I played him and he had gotten hurt. So you live with the decision you made. The good thing is Klay has done well the last two days; hopefully he’ll be out there Friday.” Then there’s Durant, who last played May 8 (May 9, PHL time). After doing nothing but individual drills the last few days, he’ll go through a more normal practice session that will be simulated with the help of some assistant coaches and bench players. They'll see how Durant holds up. But that won’t match the stress level of a real game. And even if Durant gets clearance for Game 4, he hasn’t played in roughly a month. What about his timing? His wind? His touch? His ability to bring the same energy on defense? All legit questions and concerns for the Warriors -- until they’re not, whenever that is. “No one cares if guys are hurt,” Green said. “Everyone wants to see us lose anyway. So I’m sure people are happy they’re hurt.” Chances are that basketball fans, even if they’re against the Warriors, want to see stars on the floor this time of year. That’s what the NBA Finals is always about: Premium players doing premium things, or failing to do so, and letting the championship odds rise or fall on their performances. This year’s Finals have been denied one star for every game, and an additional star for one game. The battle with star attrition finally cost the Warriors a postseason loss, and at the worst possible time. The flow of the remainder of the NBA Finals, then, could rest with aching tendons and muscles and the recovery powers of those who own them. “We’re missing 50 points with KD and Klay, but we’ll adjust,” said a confident Curry. “It’s a long series, you know. It’s going to be fun for us.” The next Warriors medical update will arrive Thursday afternoon (Friday, PHL time). And another one Friday (Saturday, PHL time) just prior to tipoff. All along, the Warriors have led everyone to believe that it’s only a matter of time before they’re fully healthy. But will it be in time? And even then, will it be enough against a Toronto team suddenly thinking big? Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

Warriors head into Game 3 vulnerable, yet pressure is on Raptors

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, Calif. -- The two-time defending champion Warriors will be of divided attention here in the next few days. They’ll be occupied by Game 3 of The Finals … and Game 1 of Kevin Durant’s rehabilitation. The two go hand-in-hand, actually, and hold equal importance. With untimely injuries threatening to delay the Warriors’ third straight title or downright prevent it from happening, the club teeters on edge, unsure whether its next step will be on the gas pedal or a banana peel. Klay Thompson is iffy for Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) because of a gimpy hamstring that cut short his floor time in Game 2, which the Warriors managed to win anyway. He did some light shooting on the eve of Game 3 against the Raptors and, Klay being Klay, counted himself in after three days’ rest. But it’s not really up to him, is it? It’s up to the team medical staff and mostly a tendon that’s moody and doesn’t always cooperate with the human attached to it. And so: This all depends on what side of the bed the hamstring lands on Wednesday morning. Kevon Looney, the fast-developing big man who has been a pleasant surprise throughout the postseason, is done for the summer with a cartilage fracture in his collarbone area. At least in this case, his loss is minimized by the re-emergence of DeMarcus Cousins, back from two months off with a bum quad muscle and feeling frisky about it and his encouraging effort in Game 2. OK, now here’s the elephant in the emergency room: What does the future of The Finals hold for Durant, MIA for roughly a month now, who has been ruled out for Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)? Durant didn’t practice with the team Tuesday morning (Wednesday evening, PHL time), but he did go through an individual workout that afternoon. There is no scheduled team practice on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), the only off-day between Games 3 and 4 at Oracle Arena. Yet all signs point to Durant putting his body through a workout/practice/scrimmage at some point between now and Friday’s (Saturday, PHL time) Game 4 because coach Steve Kerr said the former MVP is “ramping up” his workouts. It’s safe to say the Warriors will be interested spectators for that one, biting their fingernails to the knuckle, although Kerr indicated Durant’s availability for The Finals is more “when” than “if.” That means Durant has given them some reason to feel optimistic about Friday (Saturday, PHL time) if not Game 5 in Toronto. “Klay and Kevin, we’re very hopeful we’re going to get them back out there,” Kerr said. In a worst-case scenario, the Warriors in Game 3 would be without two players averaging more than 50 points combined in the postseason, and their scoring and defensive presence is impossible to replace. That would put them in a tough spot, needing to rely on replacements who aren’t familiar with, or quite capable of, carrying that amount of minutes with impact. Yes, it’s true the Warriors finished Game 2 without either player and managed to win. Yet, no disrespect to the champs, that’s a big chore to do for four full quarters and against a solid defensive team such as the Raptors. Even if Thompson plays, will he be healthy enough to supply the energy and flexibility needed to perform his usual top-notch defense and running through screens for his jumper? “If I can just be out there even at 80 percent, I still think I can be very effective,” he said. “From the progress I've made these last two days, I'm very encouraged that I'll be able to go out there. As long as nothing is torn or really injured, I'm not too fearful of it because, knock on wood, I've been very blessed with not very many traumatic injuries in my career. I don't think this one is of greatest concern. It's just the day and age we live in where little things can just grow to be big problems, but I don't think this will be one of them.” How would a diminished or missing Klay affect the Warriors? Well, Stephen Curry could not afford to be anything less than MVP-ish. He’d see doubles and triples thrown his way by the Raptors and that would cause him to take tougher shots than normal. In that situation, as the Warriors’ only volume scorer and shooter on the floor, Curry could feel overwhelmed and force the issue. Cousins would be required to ratchet up his shooting and intensity on offense, but will he stay clear of foul trouble, which would put a crimp in his playing time? Finally, the Warriors would lean more on Shaun Livingston, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Quinn Cook than normal. Cook made a pair of important shots in Game 2 after Thompson limped off and could be an X-factor, or at least he’d need to be for Golden State’s sake. “Our team is very adaptable,” Kerr said. “We have a lot of versatility. What it requires is bench players being ready to step up, like they always are, and guys just playing hard and playing together. I think you have to be fearless, too, which our team is. You can't worry about anything. You just go out there and play and compete and let it fly and whatever happens, happens.” And then there’s Toronto. A weakened or missing Thompson would be an opportunity they simply couldn’t afford to blow. How many times does a gift present itself in the biggest series of the season? Not often. It must be seized. In such a situation, the Raptors would be wise to occupy Curry and dare others to produce for four quarters. If Thompson plays, they’d be best to take advantage by running him ragged through screens on defense, putting that hamstring to the test. That would be one less player with high defensive credentials for Kawhi Leonard to deal with. Assuming that scoring will be an issue for the Warriors, the Raptors must get a bounce-back game from Pascal Siakam (who regressed from 32 points to 12) and more punch from Kyle Lowry (six baskets total for the series) to make it tough if not impossible for the Warriors to keep up. If the Raptors have any shot at winning this title, they must win at least one game at Oracle anyway, and from a practical standpoint, Game 3 is the most inviting. They may never see the Warriors this vulnerable, this ripe for the taking again. “I think we come into a sense of urgency, period,” said Lowry, “no matter the situation. We want to be the first to four, and every game is an urgent game. You're in the NBA Finals, so it doesn't matter. They still have professional basketball players down there, and they're really talented basketball players. So you still got to be ready to go out there and play your butt off and play hard.” The Warriors do not feel the same level of urgency because they’re not down 0-2, and the next two games are at home, and the core group is championship tested. As they demonstrated in Game 2, they don’t get rattled by tense championship games, even with Thompson and Durant off the floor. They also know, or at least feel strongly, that Thompson and Durant will suit up soon. “If there’s pain, it will be a no-go (for Game 3) because of the position we’re in,” Thompson said. “This could be a longer series, so there's no point in trying to go out there and re-aggravate it and potentially keep myself out of the whole entire Finals instead of just one game.” The Warriors might not get much sympathy from a basketball world that perhaps feel the champs are finally getting their just due. Everyone saw them play the 2015 championship series against Cleveland without Kevin Love and all but one game without Kyrie Irving. In the 2017 Western Conference finals, Leonard, then with San Antonio, went down after lighting it up for most of Game 1. And how can anyone forget Chris Paul missing Houston's final two games of a seven-game playoff series last season? Not saying those were the reasons for three championships in four years; still, all of those misfortunes suffered by others favored the Warriors. But who’s keeping score? “There's a certain amount of luck involved with this, and we know that,” Kerr said. “We have been on both sides of that. Some of our opponents have suffered injuries. We have suffered injuries. It's just part of the deal. You just keep pushing forward.” Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2019

Lopez sticks to the Bucks plan, and it s more fun for everyone

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE — Come for the three-point melodrama, stay for the rim protection, the put-backs, the block-outs and the blocked shots. Come for the anguish and frustration that plays out across Brook Lopez’s face over the course of a typical NBA game, stay for the maniacal, jubilant, fourth-quarter clapping that gets turned into a GIF and goes viral within minutes. Brook Lopez clapping violently dot gif pic.twitter.com/a22arVkUSc — CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 16, 2019 Come for the unbuttoned Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball jersey, stay for the Disney fashion T-shirt showing beneath it and the Pizza Planet cap up top. “I’ve always tried to have fun when I go out and play basketball,” said Lopez. The Milwaukee Bucks’ center embodied his team’s performance as they clawed back Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, beating the Toronto Raptors, 108-100, Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] “I obviously love playing the game,” said Lopez, dressed like a 7-foot 10-year-old for his podium appearance. “But no question I’ve been having a great time here.” Lopez, 31, scored 29 points, a personal playoff best, and grabbed 11 rebounds. It was his first 20-point night of the Bucks’ 10 playoff games so far, only the fourth of his career (he has appeared in just 23 postseason games in 11 seasons). And it came on the heels of a Game 5 effort against Boston a week ago in which Lopez was held scoreless. Milwaukee clinched anyway. This one was an ordeal for Lopez and for the Bucks, an opener in the best-of-seven series in which they slogged through three quarters without much touch or rhythm. The style of play they’ve embraced over 82 games and the past month of postseason was betraying them; Milwaukee kept hoisting and missing three-pointers, as single-mindedly in spite of horrid results as if they all wore beards and played for Houston. The resulting nastiness: A 6-for-34 (17.6 percent) showing from the arc, while digging an 83-76 hole that maxed out at 13 points. Lopez was a notable offender. He missed his first three from deep and only broke through midway through the second quarter. His shot from out front that got the Bucks within 42-37 was followed by a reaction of one part frustration, one part exasperation and a couple parts relief. That’s the wide open space of Lopez’s game, out there on the wing or in the corner launching for all the world to see. Home fans seem to live and die on each attempt, riding an emotional rollercoaster while – on nights such as this one – they wait for his results to regress to the mean. That finally happened in the fourth quarter. Lopez – who shot a total of 31 three-pointers in his first eight seasons, 300-plus in each of the next two and ultimately 512 in 2018-19 with the Bucks – hit two to get his team going in the quarter. His third in the period, one possession after Lopez finished a slo-mo fast-break for a 101-100 lead, sent Toronto into a timeout, down four with 1:55 left. That was when Lopez came with the clapping. And when play resumed, there was Lopez again, getting a hand on Kawhi Leonard’s attempt to attack the rim, stripping and corralling the ball for a block and rebound. As good as Kyle Lowry was over the final 12 minutes, as potent as the Raptors’ offense was at certain points earlier, they were done scoring for the night. Lopez did the small stuff all night, even finishing off the dribble a couple times. It’s just that, by virtue of how he and the Bucks have played this season, those things get overshadowed by the broad strokes that didn’t go his way until late. “This is the Brook we all know and we all love,” said Giannis Antetokounmpo. Said Khris Middleton: “He’s a beast. Inside the paint, made some big plays for us. On the defensive end, he covers up so much for our mistakes.” The Bucks’ adherence to what works has been tested for quarters, for halves, but so far only for one whole game in these playoffs – they dropped the opener against Boston. Milwaukee won the next four in a row to oust the Celtics. In the dressing room afterward, there was chatter that they’d snatched one away, that they couldn't have played worse – at least on offense. In that fourth quarter, outscoring Toronto 32-17, Milwaukee made up for a multitude of sins. The Bucks hit 50 percent of their shots, missed only 1-of-10 free throws and dominated the boards (14-4) to finish with a 60-45 edge. The Raptors were held to 5-of-22 shooting in the quarter. And Lopez, dragging a minus-5 plus/minus rating through three quarters, was sitting on a plus-7 by the horn. The key? Absolutely faith in the style they’ve honed since late September, and a commitment to letting it fly. Whether we’re talking about a conscienceless approach to three-pointers or Lopez’s irrepressible good nature. He has made as many as eight three-pointers in a game this season (at Denver, Nov. 12, PHL time) and attempted as many as 15 (vs. Brooklyn, Dec. 30, PHL time). There is no such thing as too many. “That’s what my teammates have been telling me,” Lopez said. “George Hill specifically and then [Giannis], too. They just stick in my mind: ‘Keep shooting the ball, you just need one to go down. Keep letting it fly.” Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 16th, 2019

Bucks loathe to adjust gameplan after season-long success

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE — Just one game removed from one of the most marvelous seasons of basketball in Milwaukee Bucks history – 60 victories in the regular season, a sweep of Detroit in the first round, the debut of a dazzling new arena – the team is loathe to let all that go and overreact to 48 minutes that didn’t go their way in Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) Game 1 loss to the Celtics. But if they underreact in Game 2 Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum, it will be at their own peril. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Adjustments – from game-to-game, at halftime, even on the fly during live action – are as much a part of the NBA postseason as podium interviews. The reason is simple: Strategic mistakes, small failings and tendencies you can get away with facing teams randomly across a six-month canvas are sniffed out and exploited by an opponent you see as many as seven times in a two-week span. You can stubbornly stick with a pat hand, but most coaches and players would rather change things up to minimize what didn’t work last time and might, if repeated, prove fatal again. The Bucks, though, sounded a little clingy Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in the wake of their 112-90 defeat. Wanting to hold on to everything that worked so well from October until, well, noon on April 28 (April 29, PHL time). “No, no. Definitely not,” forward Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing all year.” You might be inclined to read that quote assuming sarcasm, as in: Oh right, we’re just going to keep doing exactly what got us blown out and stripped of home-court advantage. Sure. After all, Antetokounmpo had one of his worst performances of the season (7-for-21 FGs, a minus-24 rating). But no, the Greek Freak was sincere. “I don’t think there should be no change at all,” he said. “Why should there be a change after a game that we lost, like … we should not be the team that makes the adjustments.” Antetokounmpo was not alone. “The way we’ve been playing all season has been just letting it fly,” center Brook Lopez said. “So even if we miss it 10-out-of-10 times, just keep [shooting].” The Bucks made 13 of their 39 three-point shots Sunday (Monday, PHL time), well off their regular-season rate of 38.2 percent. Lopez was 1-for-4 on three's and 1-for-5 overall, combining with fellow Bucks starters Sterling Brown and Eric Bledsoe to shoot 3-for-17 from the floor. Said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer: “I think adjustments and all those things are sometimes overrated.” So unless the Bucks are trying to snooker the Celtics with some tweaks they weren’t willing to share, we’ll get to see how that pat hand plays out. Milwaukee did get serious mileage out of its formulas prior to Game 1. Offensively, they’ve surrounded Antetokounmpo with potent three-point shooters, relying on his drives into the lane to draw defenders and offer them unobstructed views from the arc. Defensively, they committed to defending the other guys’ three-pointers, protecting the rim and keeping foes off the foul line. What did that leave? Contested two-pointers and mid-range jumpers – so ugly and out-of-style in the NBA of 2019. It all worked tremendously – until the Celtics shot 15-of-27 on mid-range attempts in their rout. Suddenly, the Bucks’ sagging defense against pick-and-rolls looked as gimmicky and ineffective as that tactic deployed late this season of guarding Houston scorer James Harden from behind. Once the prolific Rockets scorer got over his shock at the unusual method, he was able to pick it apart. Ditto for the Celtics' shooters. Kyrie Irving is one of the most dangerous scorers from any place on the floor but particularly inventing ways to put the ball in the hoop in the mid-range. Celtics veteran Al Horford savored his looks inside the arc, as did Gordon Hayward. The Bucks, meanwhile, were 5-of-12 from mid-range. They try to avoid those shots for the same reasons they encourage opponents to take them. Never mind that the same dynamic was in play in the Houston-Golden State opener later in the day: the Rockets took only four mid-range shots, were 14-of-47 on three's and lost, because the Warriors were 10-of-23 on mid-range attempts and 31-of-53 on two-pointers overall. There is one area in which the Bucks believe they can adjust without, y’know, adjusting. They can play harder. A pervasive lack of hustle and urgency was apparent in real time at Fiserv but was undeniable when Budenholzer and his staff went to “the truth machine” before practice Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). That would be the video the Bucks reviewed before Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) workout. “He chewed us out. And like I say, ‘Film don’t lie,’” Bledsoe said. “It was effort, man. We weren’t playing our game.” Antetokounmpo said he got scolded on that front in a postgame phone call from his older brother Thanasis. “No. 1, I play for my family,” he said. “So when he’s like, ‘C’mon man. Giannis! You’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to still be aggressive. You’ve got to make the right pass,’ it stabs you in your heart. But at the end of the day, I know it’s the truth.” The Bucks appeared a step slow on both ends. It showed when they went after loose balls or closed out on Celtics shooters. And it showed when lollygagging, relatively, in getting to their spots on offense. Boston already was sending extra defenders at Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks not being crisp in their execution never made them pay. “We weren’t as quick in transition,” Lopez said. “Our pace wasn’t great … We can be better at getting it out. Everyone running the floor, finding their spots. Keeping the spacing wide.” It should be noted the Bucks only lost two games in a row one time all season (March 2-4 against the Jazz and Suns). They’re proud of that resiliency. Of course, in the regular season, they only played the same opponent in consecutive games one time (New York, Dec. 26-28, PHL time). The Bucks never had to react after losses to specific things the other guys did. They merely had to be themselves, only better. “Even though we lost the first game, we’re just gonna come out and play our hardest and see how Game 2 goes,” Antetokounmpo said. “If it doesn’t go well for us, then you can think about adjusting. But right now, we’re not adjusting nothing.” Fine. But unless someone rattles Boston out of its comfort zone in the mid-range, Milwaukee’s adherence to its style of play could contribute to its undoing. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2019

JR Alabanza s superb night helps Bulacan defeat Imus despite a passionate Caviteño gallery in Imus.

The Bulacan Kuyas displayed exceptional composure down the stretch to defeat Imus Bandera - Khaleb Shawarma, 75-70, in the featured game in Monday's action at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. Imus was hoping to celebrate Jayjay Helterbrand's birthday as well as the re-opening of their new home court, the Imus City Sports Center, with a win, but it was not to be. Imus drops to 4-13. Helterbrand was limited to eight points while the Bandera's other high-profile player, Gerald Anderson, was scoreless in 10 minutes of play. JR Alabanza was the key player for Bulacan with 17 points and 7 rebounds while Lester Alvarez, another Kuya, finished with a game-high 21 points. The Kuyas vault to 10-7 in the standings. Jeric Nacpil had a solid first half as the home side led 35-27. By the end of the third period a pair of Jhan McHale Nermal charities put the Kuyas up 56-54. In the fourth quarter six straight points from Bandera forward Emcee Caceres drew Imus to within three, 71-68. Francis Munsayac even cut the lead to 73-70 with a short jumper. But Kuya Rev Diputado dispatched two free throws in the last 14 seconds to put the game to bed. Nacpil and Jojo Cunanan led Imus in scoring with 12 apiece. The Quezon City Capitals - WEMSAP denied Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines an upset by squeaking through with a 98-97 win in OT. QC's Dahrrel Caranguian rifled in a three-pointer to put the Caps in front 74-72 with 31 seconds left in regulation. But Domark Matillano showed champion nerves by slithering in a pair of free throws with ten ticks left to force a richly-deserved extension for Navotas. Uni-Pak outscored QC, 22-16, in the last quarter. Matillano and new pick up Dudu Guillen dueled with Clark Derige and Caranguian in overtime. Baskets from Mark Olayon, one a go-ahead jumper with 10 seconds left, clinched the victory. Olayon, formerly from Batangas City, is another new pick up for WEMSAP. Caranguian led all scorers with 22 while Jhong Bondoc's 20 points was best for Navotas, who slump to 4-11. QC is very much in the thick of the playoff hunt at 8-10. In the afternoon match-up, the Pasay Voyagers bucked a monster outing from the Marikina Shoemasters' Yves Sazon to hang on for a 70-66 victory. Jaypee Belencion topscored for Pasay with 19 points, as the Voyagers go to 12-6. Marikina fought hard but two late-game errors derailed them. Sazon was unguardable in the first half, exploding for 20 points with five triples. But Pasay's Axel Inigo also thrived from three point range with three in the second, and the Voyagers led at the half, 41-36. The Voyagers turned the screws in the third with a 13-0 run for a 54-41 advantage thanks to sharp shooting from Inigo and Jerome Pasia. The third quarter ended with the Pasayenos in control 60-49. But Sazon kept up the pace with back-to-back triples in the fourth quarter as the Mariquenos wouldn't go away. When Von Tambeling knocked in a short baseline stab with 25 seconds left, the lead was down to 2, 68-66. But Shoemaker Franz Dysam took too long to foul on the next play despite the instructions of coach Elvis Tolentino. Inigo made both clutch charities for 70-66. In the ensuing play Joshua Gonzales sealed Marikina's fate by stepping on the baseline while releasing a desperation trey. Sazon led all scorers with 28 points while Marikina strengthens their hold on the North Division cellar with a 3-13 card......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News11 hr. 11 min. ago

Miami s Tyler Herro among rookies making preseason noise

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — Add Miami's Tyler Herro to the list of rookies who look ready for the regular season. Herro scored Miami's first 14 points on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), going 5-for-5 in that stretch, and finished with 23 points in a 120-87 Heat victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Through three games in this preseason, Herro — the No. 13 pick in this year's draft — is shooting 18 for 33 from the field for 49 points. "The kid can play," Heat assistant coach Malik Allen said in a televised halftime interview. "He has a confidence but he's a student of the game, he's smart, he's an extremely quick learner and you're seeing that." Among those taken in June's draft, some have wasted no time in announcing their presence to the NBA world. New Orleans' Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick, is averaging 23.3 points and shooting 71% in the Pelicans' four preseason games — all wins. Ja Morant, the No. 2 pick for Memphis, is among the league's assist leaders in exhibition season with 23 in his first three games. No. 3 pick RJ Barrett is averaging 16 points for New York, No. 7 pick Coby White 16.8 points for Chicago and No. 28 pick Jordan Poole had 36 points in his first two games with Golden State entering Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Herro is only adding to what has been an impressive class. "He just loves to play," Allen said. "He loves to play, he loves to be out there, he loves the moment." Next week, the moments start for real. HEAT 120, HAWKS 87 Herro's 23 led the way for Miami, which used an 18-2 second-quarter run to take control. Bam Adebayo scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Heat, who are 3-0 in the preseason. Meyers Leonard also scored 15 and Derrick Jones Jr. scored 14 before leaving in the fourth quarter after bumping knees with Atlanta's John Collins. Kendrick Nunn had 14 points in 14 minutes for Miami. Jimmy Butler scored seven points on 3 for 7 shooting in 26 1/2 minutes for the Heat. Trae Young scored 23 points for Atlanta, and had seven more assists — giving him 23 in Atlanta's three preseason games. The Hawks were again without Kevin Huerter, who is working his way through some knee pain. Collins scored 14 for Atlanta, which got 10 from Vince Carter. HORNETS 120, GRIZZLIES 99 Charlotte got its first win of the preseason, with Terry Rozier finishing with 24 points and eight assists to help the Hornets beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Dwayne Bacon scored 21 and Devonte' Graham added 18 for Charlotte. The Hornets closed the first quarter on a 26-9 run, then started the fourth quarter with a 26-4 burst to take control for good. A pair of rookies stood out for Memphis: No. 21 pick Brandon Clarke had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Morant finished with 15 points and six assists......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News11 hr. 11 min. ago

Poland, Russia qualify for Euro 2020; Croatia must wait

By Ciaran Fahey, Associated Press Poland and Russia qualified for the 2020 European Championship on Sunday, while Gareth Bale's goal forced Croatia to wait after a 1-1 draw with Wales. Germany beat Estonia 3-0 despite playing with 10 men from the 14th minute. Robert Lewandowski set up both goals for Poland as Chicago Fire midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski and fellow substitute Arkadiusz Milik scored late in a hard-fought 2-0 win over North Macedonia. Poland is assured of finishing in the top two of Group G, where second-place Austria boosted its hopes of qualifying with a 1-0 win at Slovenia. Russia earlier routed Cyprus 5-0 to join group winner Belgium in securing a place at next year's tournament. Valencia forward Denis Cheryshev scored twice and set up two more goals for the Russians - who only needed a draw to be sure of qualification - to take their tally to 21 points after seven wins from eight games in Group I. With two games remaining, Russia has 11 points more than third-place Cyprus and 12 more than fourth-place Scotland, which thrashed San Marino 6-0 at a poorly attended Hampden Park in Glasgow. Belgium already had secured its place at the finals, but Roberto Martínez's team stayed perfect in qualifying with a 2-0 win over Kazakhstan in Astana. Michy Batshuayi scored in the first half and Thomas Meunier wrapped up the win in the second, giving Belgium its eighth win from eight games. The Belgians have scored 30 goals and conceded just one. BALE THWARTS CROATIA Nikola Vlasic scored early to put Croatia on course for a win that would have secured qualification from Group E. Bale's equalizer in first-half injury time denied the visitors - including Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric - and kept Welsh hopes of qualifying alive. Croatia leads the group by two points from Hungary, which defeated Azerbaijan 1-0 in Budapest thanks to Mihály Korhut's early strike. The top three in the group are Croatia (14 points), Hungary (12) and Slovakia (10). Wales is fourth on eight points with a game in hand over the top two. GÜNDOGAN SHINES Ilkay Gündogan scored twice and set up another for 10-man Germany to beat Estonia with three second-half goals in Tallinn. "The whole week hasn't been easy," said Germany coach Joachim Löw, whose side was hit by injuries. "But we didn't complain. The decisive thing was that we upped the pace in the second half. In the end it was satisfactory." Emre Can, filling in at center back, was shown an early red card for bringing down Frank Liivak, who would have been through on goal. Germany had never had a player sent off so early in a game before, with Can beating the mark set by Robert Huth's 15th-minute ejection in a friendly game against Northern Ireland in 2005. Gündogan finally broke the deadlock in the 51st when his effort from outside the penalty box took a slight deflection off Marco Reus' heel. His second goal six minutes later also took a deflection, this time off a defender. Gündogan's long pass over the top allowed substitute Timo Werner to wrap up the win in the 71st. Germany and the Netherlands are level on 15 points and well-placed to qualify from Group C. Northern Ireland is third on 12 points. The Dutch earlier claimed a 2-1 win over Belarus in Minsk, thanks to first-half goals from Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The top two teams of each group advance. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 14th, 2019

Report: Eric Bledsoe suffers rib injury, will miss 2-3 weeks

NBA.com staff report Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe is expected to miss up to two to three weeks with a rib injury, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Per Charania, Bledsoe has suffered a small fracture of his rib. A two-or three-week absence from Friday would put Bledsoe's return sometime around late October or early November. Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe has suffered a small fracture of his rib and will miss up to two-to-three weeks, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 11, 2019 However, Bucks GM Jon Horst told Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Bledsoe did not fracture his ribs. Instead, Horst says Bledsoe fractured the cartilage between two of his ribs and that Bledsoe may not necessarily be out two-to-three weeks. Velazquez reports that Bledsoe has fractured cartilage in his 9th and 10th rib and there isn't a risk of re-injury or further complications. Whether or not Bledsoe comes back sooner or later than 2-3 weeks depends on his pain tolerance. Bledsoe has fractured cartilage in his 9th & 10th rib. It's a case of pain tolerance; there isn't risk of reinjury or further complications. Timetable could still be 2-3 weeks, but he can play when discomfort goes down to minimal. Timing will become clearer in the next few days. — Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) October 11, 2019 The first two weeks of the Bucks' 2019-20 schedule are an even split of road and home games (three apiece) before Week 3 begins. After that, they play seven of their next 10 games on the road, including a stretch that features dates with Western Conference contenders the LA Clippers (Nov. 6), Utah Jazz (Nov. 8) and the Indiana Pacers (Nov. 16). Last season, Bledsoe appeared and started in 78 games, averaging 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game on 48.4% shooting (and 32.9% 3-point shooting). He received a four-year extension from the Bucks last season as he played a key role in Milwaukee amassing the Eastern Conference's best record en route to a run to the East finals. Bledsoe's absence means veteran George Hill will get the majority of the minutes while he heals. Last season, Hill averaged 7.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.3 apg and shot 45.2% overall and 31.4% on 3-pointers. In addition, two-way player Frank Mason III could see a stint with the Bucks rather than taking his usual spot with the G League's Wisconsin Herd......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2019

Rampant Belgium becomes 1st team to qualify for Euro 2020

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press Six first-half goals set Belgium on its way to a record-tying victory and a place in next year's European Championship. Three late goals revived the Netherlands' chances of being at the continent-wide tournament, too. Belgium — the world's top-ranked soccer nation — became the first team to qualify for Euro 2020 by crushing San Marino 9-0 on Thursday, matching the biggest margin of victory in its history. It was 6-0 by halftime in Brussels, with striker Romelu Lukaku scoring two of the goals to pass 50 in internationals. The Belgians consolidated their place at the summit of Group I and guaranteed a top-two finish with three qualifiers to spare. Their neighbors didn't have it so easy, with the Netherlands' scoring three goals from the 80th minute to come from behind and beat Northern Ireland 3-1 in the Dutch stronghold of Rotterdam. Memphis Depay scored two of those late goals. It left the two teams in a three-way tie on 12 points with Germany in Group C. The Northern Irish have played one game more, though, and their remaining two qualifiers are against the Dutch and the Germans. Croatia and Poland both won 3-0, against Hungary and Latvia respectively, to stay in control of their groups. RAMPANT BELGIUM Belgium has now won an international game by a nine-goal margin on four occasions, with San Marino on the receiving end of two of those thrashings. In 2001, it lost 10-1 in this fixture. Double figures looked well within reach of the Belgians after they scored six goals in the final 17 minutes of the first half, with Nacer Chadli, Toby Alderweireld and Youri Tielemans joining Lukaku in finding the back of the net. There was also an own-goal from Cristian Brolli. The other three goals came from the 79th minute, through Christian Benteke, Yari Verschaeren and Timothy Castagne. "Nine-nil is a good result," said Lukaku, who now has a record-extending 51 goals for Belgium, "but we would have loved to have scored one more and broken that all-time record." Russia looks almost certain to join Belgium in advancing from the group after beating Scotland 4-0 at home to stay eight points clear of Cyprus in second place. Russia is away to Cyprus on Sunday, and needs only a point to qualify. LEAVING IT LATE With the Dutch trailing 1-0 heading into the final 10 minutes, it looked as though they might need a back-door route to Euro 2020 via the playoffs. A defeat would have left them six points adrift of Northern Ireland but Ronald Koeman's team finally converted one of their chances when Depay scored in the 80th to cancel out Josh Magennis' opener five minutes earlier. Luuk de Jong and Depay — following a surging run by Frenkie de Jong — added goals in injury time to seal victory for the Netherlands, who have now won 17 matches in a row at Feyenoord's De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam since drawing 0-0 with Romania in March 2007. "We are devastated with the nature of the defeat," said Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, whose team went from being favorites to automatically qualify to the outsiders in the space of about 10 minutes. Belarus drew 0-0 with Estonia in the group's other game. Both teams are out of contention. LEWANDOWSKI HAT TRICK Robert Lewandowsi moved onto 60 international goals by scoring his sixth hat trick for Poland in its 3-0 win in Latvia. The Bayern Munich striker netted twice in the opening 13 minutes before adding a third in the 76th. Austria stayed three points behind Poland in Group G by coming from behind to beat Israel 3-1. North Macedonia beat Slovenia 2-1 and is a further two points in third place. CROATIA IN COMMAND Croatia, the World Cup semifinalist last year, opened up a three-point lead in Group E by beating Hungary 3-0 thanks to a fifth-minute opener by Luka Modric and two goals by Bruno Petkovic. Second-place Slovakia was held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wales, which is fourth — three points behind its opponent — but has a game in hand over all the teams above them. The top two in each of the 10 groups qualify for the 24-team Euro 2020, which is being played in 12 countries with no automatic places for hosts. The other four qualifiers will come through four tiers of playoffs in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2019

German shooter video stays online despite crackdown

HONG KONG – Video of a deadly shooting in Germany was easily accessible on 4chan, BitChute and other sites Thursday, October 10, attracting tens of thousands of views, despite efforts by tech companies to curb the spread of violent content. Roughly 24 hours after the attack, video and links to an ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 10th, 2019

Argentina rallies to draw 2-2 against Germany in friendly

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — A weakened Argentina side came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against an injury-hit Germany team in their friendly on Wednesday. Playing without the suspended Lionel Messi — and the likes of Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel Di María or Sergio Agüero — the visitors still managed to cancel out first-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz with second-half strikes from Lucas Alario and Lucas Ocampos, who scored on his debut. Germany coach Joachim Löw gave four players their international debuts in Dortmund, including Freiburg teammates Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt, and Nadiem Amiri and Suat Serdar, who came on in the second half. But Löw's side lost control in the second half and allowed the visitors to level after Bayern Leverkusen forward Alario came on for the ineffective Paulo Dybala in the 62nd minute. Alario scored in the 66th and set up Ocampos to equalize in the 85th. "Basically you're always annoyed when you're leading 2-0 and then draw 2-2," Löw said. "They brought in some quality from their substitutions. In the second half we lost the ball a few times. We weren't so courageous and got into difficulties." With Barcelona's Marc-André ter Stegen in goal in place of regular No. 1 Manuel Neuer, it was the first time Germany started without a World Cup champion on the field since winning the trophy in 2014. Niklas Stark, who had been called up six times already, had to keep waiting for his Germany debut due to gastrointestinal problems. The Hertha Berlin defender has waited longer than any other player since his initial call-up under 13 years of Löw. Leverkusen's Jonathan Tah dropped out earlier Wednesday due to flu, leaving Löw with just Niklas Süle and Koch as the only central defenders in his squad. He had already resisted calls to bring Dortmund defender Mats Hummels back after sending him to early international retirement. Löw's injury list also included Timo Werner, Ilkay Gündogan, Toni Kroos, Jonas Hector, Antonio Rüdiger, Leon Goretzka, Kevin Trapp, Nico Schulz, Leroy Sané, Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer. Counterpart Lionel Scaloni was also forced to improvise with Messi suspended for making allegations of corruption at the Copa América, and other stars missing. The visitors were all but overrun in the first half. Joshua Kimmich captained Germany for the first time and was booked for a bad challenge in the 11th, four minutes before Bayern Munich teammate Gnabry broke the deadlock after Angel Correa lost the ball in midfield. Lukas Klostermann surged forward and crossed for Gnabry, who beat three defenders to the ball before dinking it over Agustin Marchesin to score. Gnabry crossed for Havertz to score in the 22nd after another lost ball in the Argentina midfield. It was the Leverkusen midfielder's first international goal. Marcel Halstenberg struck the crossbar with a free kick for Germany, before Rodrigo de Paul replied by hitting the post at the other end. It was the only real chance for Argentina before the break, when the home side was applauded off the pitch. The visitors enjoyed more possession after the interval and Alario duly pulled one back after Marcos Acuna was left in plenty of space to cross. Löw responded by bringing on Amiri and then Serdar for their debuts, but the visitors had all the momentum. Germany endured a few scares before Ocampos finally found the equalizer after a fine run from Alario......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2019

Harden-Westbrook duo ready to do something really special

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com HOUSTON -- Well-dressed men in the Texas heat scurried, snatching keys and pointing directions to the visitors arriving, car after car. On the third floor, down the hall from a mezzanine overlooking a lobby, sparkling with custom Calcutta marble flooring, they all gathered in a quiet, dim room, just steps away from two Rolls-Royces bathing in the sun gushing through floor-to-ceiling glass. Here in Uptown, at Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel -- a 38-floor, $350 million property housing a Rolls-Royce showroom and Bentley and Bugatti dealership, below a heliport -- the Houston Rockets' owner has turned the team’s annual media day into a posh, star-studded event. With good reason, too. Houston’s blockbuster July trade that sent Chris Paul off to the Oklahoma City Thunder for picks and pick swaps for Russell Westbrook reunites MVPs and former Thunder stars with James Harden already in the fold for a squad now at the forefront as favorites in a now suddenly wide-open Western Conference. “I think we are a better team,” Fertitta said. “It’s gonna be extremely exciting to have one of the greatest scorers of all time, and one of the most athletic people that has played the game. I know I’m really excited. I hope they don’t let me down.” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks this all-star pairing “could be really special.” “It’s so exciting because James Harden is like the best half-court player I’ve ever seen, honestly,” Morey said. “Then, Russell is maybe the best transition player, one of the best of all time as well. If you put those things together, I think we have a chance. Now, you’ve got something really special.” Searching for same goal The reality is it’s been seven years since Westbrook and Harden last teamed with Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals, and while both have developed into MVP winners and perennial All-Stars, neither has made it back to The Finals. So, burning hotter than the pomp and glitz at the Post Oak Hotel this hot summer day is the question of whether this will all work for a pair of ball-dominant stars, accustomed to running their own respective shows. They’ve certainly got a believer in former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins. “They’ve played together in OKC. These two former MVPs still are in their primes. There’s no way that it’s not going to work,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Am I guaranteeing they’re going to win a championship? No, I’m not doing that. But I still believe this might be the most dynamic backcourt we’ve ever seen in NBA history. We probably haven’t seen a point guard and a shooting guard like this on the same team in forever. You can’t really name one going into the season that’s better than these two guys. I just think it’s going to work.” Now retired from the NBA, Perkins joined a 21-year-old Harden and a 22-year-old Westbrook in 2010-11, when he was traded there in the middle of the season from the Boston Celtics to OKC. Perkins describes the childhood friends and former Thunder teammates as “two guys that were still trying to find their identity” back then. Still, both were destined to reach the levels they currently occupy, he says. “When I first got there, those guys were working, man. They turned out to be some beasts, dog,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Gym rats, I’m telling you. It was unreal the amount of work those guys were putting in. Russ was always the heart and soul of the team. There was no debate about it to me. He gave the team swagger. With James, we just knew it was only in due time. People always say they should’ve kept that team together in OKC. But James wouldn’t have been able to be the player he is today if he hadn’t left. Plus, James was deserving of having his own team.” Now that he’s had it since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden welcomes Westbrook, who like himself, began playing the game as a child at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles. Interestingly, Westbrook and Harden are the only players over the last five seasons to score more than 10,000 points. Westbrook nodded in agreement with the notion his new uniform provides somewhat of a new lease on life, after spending the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City. Harden, meanwhile, pointed out how his new teammate “doesn’t have to stress or worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization,” because that responsibility now falls on them both. “I think it’s good for both of us because we understand the amount of energy and effort, time and commitment it takes to be able to do that for an entire season,” Westbrook said. “Now, being together on the same team, I think it’s important that we can lean on [one another], sacrifice, and not do as much to still have an impact on the game. I think [what] a lot of people don’t know is we have a friendship first outside of basketball. I think me and him communicate and understand each other. In the games, it’s going to be easy.” 'Sit back and watch the show' Perkins saw signs of maturity from Westbrook last season, when the guard at the detriment of his own stats, deferred to Paul George in crucial situations. But both Westbrook and Harden in 2018-19 ranked in the top 15 in usage rate. So, the phrase uttered most often at media day above the guests clutching cold drinks at the hotel pool was “figure it out.” Everyone, whether Fertitta, Morey, coach Mike D’Antoni or the players, seems confident in the duo’s ability to do so. Harden already said he’s willing to take a backseat to Westbrook. “If Russ has got it going, and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do?” Harden asked. “Sit back and watch the show, and vice versa. You can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the basketball for the first half, and I’m going to have the ball the second half.' No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.” Perkins believes that Harden welcomes the opportunity to defer to someone else, given the physical demands of his playing style. Harden ranked No. 3 last season in minutes per game (36.8), while Westbrook was fourth (36.0). “If you’ve watched James throughout the course of a game, the things he did, he had to do because nobody else was stepping up at the time. James wants somebody else to step up so that he can take a backseat sometimes,” Perkins told NBA.com. “If you watched Russ on the court last year, what a lot of people don’t realize is that he deferred to Paul George a lot. Russ took a backseat. You’ve got to understand, too, that he’s matured, man. He’s starting to show that he can be a better leader. Think about it. When you have kids, man, and you start having a family, sh--, your whole thought process changes. You know what I mean? I just see the maturity in Russ. To me, they have to just get it done. There’s no debate about it. Like, to me, the most pressure is on Mike D’Antoni.” Entering the final year of his contract after extension talks broke down over the summer, D’Antoni will proceed cautiously throughout the preseason implementing Westbrook (who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery). D’Antoni and Morey believe Westbrook, one of the game’s most lethal penetrators, will excel in D'Antoni's wide-open offense (which focuses on keeping shooters posted on the perimeter as guards drive in). Morey mentioned that under D’Antoni, guards have historically produced career years. “You look historically at players that have worked with Mike, guards especially, they always play better,” Morey said. “I think it’s just the way he sets up the team, sets up the offense. He finds ways to get people to do the things they do well more, and again, like he said, we’re not here to change anybody or do anything. Historically like pretty much every guard that’s worked with, Mike has had their career year. That’s gonna be a little tough with Russell, given that he’s had so many.” Wearing a salmon-hued polo shirt, D’Antoni discussed plans to stagger the minutes of Harden and Westbrook throughout the season. The expectation is Harden rests in the neighborhood of 13 minutes per game, while Westbrook sits 16 minutes. In his first preseason game -- a 134-129 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Tokyo -- Westbrook logged 20 minutes, finishing with 13 points, two rebounds and six assists. D’Antoni said the final five minutes of games are “the most important thing” for Westbrook to figure out as the team approaches the regular season. “They both want to do this. So, we’ll just sit down and work it out,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t have to tell someone they have to do this, or they have to do that. We’ll figure it out together. But just the vibe of being able to discuss things, the respect they have [for one another] will translate. We’re in a good spot. Right now, it’s great. All we’re trying right now is to win a title. That’s the only agenda that anybody has, and we’ve just got to figure it out.” When word first spread about Houston’s acquisition of Westbrook, opinions naturally flowed about how he’d fit alongside Harden. Westbrook is a career 30.8% 3-point shooter on a squad that has led the league in 3-point attempts four of the last five seasons. He’s also a ball-dominant, high-usage player just like Harden. Still, everyone, insists they won’t ask Westbrook to change his style of play. That puts the pressure squarely on D’Antoni to tweak what Houston does on the floor. “The system they’ve run, just shooting layups and shooting threes with no in-between game, you have to change that with Russell Westbrook, because one of his main things is his mid-range pull-up,” Perkins explained. “The pressure is on Mike D’Antoni. Does he have to change up his style of play? Yes, he will, in order for Russell Westbrook to be who he is. We all know that Russ is not a three-point shooter. Bottom line is they’ve got two of the top 10 players in the league now, if not top 15. "These guys get it done. Back in the day when they were in OKC, they were trying to find out who they were as players. Now, it’s a whole lot different. Now, they know who they are. They’ve done everything to accomplish all the individual accolades. They only thing they haven’t done is win a championship. It’s not the players. Houston has all the players.” In addition to the glitz, glamour and star power for a franchise starving to add more Larry O'Briens to its trophy case. Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2019

Suspect caught in Halle shooting — German police

Berlin, Germany — German police said they have captured one suspect in a shooting Wednesday that left two dead in Halle, but urged residents to remain vigilant. “Our forces have arrested one person. Stay watchful nevertheless,” police wrote on Twitter. At least two people were killed Wednesday in a shooting on a street in the […] The post Suspect caught in Halle shooting — German police appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2019