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‘Albayalde had control of ninja cops in drug sting’

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group yesterday said their former boss Oscar Albayalde had direct control and supervision over the multimillion-peso anti-illegal drug operation conducted in 2013 by the team of Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV, tagged as “ninja cops,” in Pampanga......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsNov 15th, 2019Related News

Holiday’s 36 points push Pelicans past Clippers 132-127

By Brett Martel, Associated Press NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored 36 points and stole the ball from Paul George three times in the final minutes to spoil George’s season debut and lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 132-127 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). George was playing for the first time since signing as a free agent with the Clippers because he’d been recovering from shoulder surgery last spring. He did not appear rusty, scoring 33 points in 24 minutes, only to be done in by late turnovers at the hands of Holiday, who finished with six steals, including one on Lou Williams’ attempted bounce pass in the final seconds to seal the victory. Derrick Favors had 20 points and a career-best 20 rebounds in the first 20-20 game of his 10-year career. Frank Jackson added 23 points in a reserve role. The Clippers played without Kawhi Leonard, who was being rested for the third time this season to ease stress on his sore knee after playing a night earlier in a loss at Houston. But the Pelicans were hardly sympathetic with starters Brandon Ingram (right knee) and Lonzo Ball (groin) sidelined, as well. George’s 3 cut the Pelicans’ lead to 126-123 with 42 seconds left. But the Clippers left Jackson unguarded on the perimeter on the other end, and he took his time squaring up and connecting on his fourth 3 of the game to restore New Orleans’ six-point lead with 30 seconds left. J.J. Reddick, who started and scored 19, hit two free throws with 11.4 seconds left to help wrap up just New Orleans’ third victory in 11 games this season. Williams scored 31 points and Rodney McGruder 20 for the Clippers, who’ve dropped two straight. The Pelicans trailed 43-36 early in the second quarter when they put together the game’s first big run. Favors scored six straight Pelicans points on a free throw, a tip-in and his first 3-pointer of the season from the left corner. Holiday followed with a 3 soon after that capped a 13-1 run which put New Orleans up 50-44. Holiday added two more 3s, and Jackson another to widen New Orleans’ lead to 14 at 66-52. Holiday added a driving dunk and finger roll to push his two-quarter total up to 24 points, and the Pelicans carried a 72-59 lead into halftime. The Clippers needed less than a quarter to surge back into the lead, however. George opened the second half with a quick driving layup, pull-up jumper and a 3 as part of an 11-2 run to make it 74-70. Los Angeles inched ahead when Williams hit a 3 and followed with a driving layup as he was fouled to make it 88-86, and neither team led by more than eight after that. TIP-INS Clippers: Montrezl Harrell had 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. ... McGruder came in 1 of 6 on 3s for the season and hit 5 of 7 in New Orleans. ... The Clippers were 11 of 24 from 3, with George hitting 3 of 5. Pelicans: E’Twaun Moore scored 15 in his first start of the season as the Pelicans used their eighth starting lineup in their first 11 games. ... Guard Josh Hart (left knee and ankle sprains) and center Jahlil Okafor (left ankle sprain) both joined Ingram, Ball and top draft choice Zion Williamson in street clothes on the bench. UP NEXT Clippers: Host Atlanta on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) in the first of five straight home games. Pelicans: Begin a weekend of back-to-back games at Miami on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time), followed by a home date with Golden State on Sunday night (next Monday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 15th, 2019Related News

‘Albayalde had control of ninja cops in drug sting’

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group yesterday said their former boss Oscar Albayalde had direct control and supervision over the multimillion-peso anti-illegal drug operation conducted in 2013 by the team of Maj. Rodney Baloyo IV, tagged as “ninja cops,” in Pampanga......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsNov 12th, 2019Related News

Raiders rally to beat Chargers 26-24

By Josh Dubow, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr engineered another late winning drive. Karl Joseph delivered the sealing defensive play. It may not have come easy, but the Oakland Raiders managed to pull out another dramatic victory that has put them squarely in the AFC playoff race. Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run with 1:02 remaining and the Raiders pulled out their second thriller in five days, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 on Thursday night. "We just found a way to win. That says so much about our team," Carr said. "Some nights are just tougher than others. This was just one of those nights that was just tougher. You see our team with the resilience. No one cared, No one flinched. It was a repeat performance from Sunday when Carr's late TD pass to Hunter Renfrow and Joseph's pass breakup in the end zone delivered a 31-24 win over Detroit. This time the late-game heroics came after Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard pass to Austin Ekeler that gave the Chargers (4-6) a 24-20 lead with 4:02 remaining. Carr completed three passes to Jalen Richard and two to Hunter Renfrow to start the game-winning 75-yard drive before Jacobs finished it off with his seventh touchdown of his rookie season, running through a big hole created by center Rodney Hudson and guard Richie Incognito. "As soon as I saw it, I was just thinking, 'Go!'" he said. "I knew this would either be a big run or a first down and luckily it was a big run." Daniel Carlson missed the extra point, putting more pressure on the tired Raiders defense to stop Rivers. Trayvon Mullen was called for holding on a fourth-down pass to extend the drive, but Joseph then intercepted a fourth-down pass from Rivers to seal it. "That says a lot about our team," coach Jon Gruden said. "We have a lot of resilient guys. We compete. You may beat us. But we'll be a hard out to get. We'll battle." Rivers threw interceptions on his first two drives, falling into a 10-0 hole when Erik Harris took the second back 56 yards for a TD . But Rivers responded by throwing two TD passes, including the go-ahead score to Ekeler in his final start at the Coliseum. But he fell short at the end. "You give a team 10 points at their place and then you have the ball with a chance to win at the end and you have eight snaps and go nowhere, it's going to be tough to win," Rivers said. The Raiders blew a chance to open up the game in the third quarter, settling for a field goal after driving to the 4 on the opening drive and then missing a 53-yard field goal in the next drive after DeAndre Washington got stuffed for no gain on third-and-1. The Chargers settled for a field goal after getting inside the 10 later in the quarter. Melvin Gordon had 22 carries for 108 yards and a TD that put the Chargers up 14-10 in the second quarter. The Raiders responded with their first sustained drive of the game and took a 17-14 lead at the half on Carr's 9-yard pass to rookie fullback Alec Ingold with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter. PICK IT Harris intercepted Rivers' passes on the first two drives of the game. He returned the first one 59 yards to the 31, setting up a field goal by Daniel Carlson. Harris then took the second one back 56 yards for a TD, giving the Raiders a 10-0 lead. Harris became the first Raiders player since Phillip Buchanon in 2003 to have two interceptions, including a pick-6 in a single game. ROOKIE BREAKTHROUGH Raiders rookie pass rushers Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby had big performances. Ferrell had 2 ½ sacks after recording none since the season opener for the most by a Raiders rookie in 28 years and also had five pressures, according to NextGen stats. "That was a signature game for him," Gruden said. "That was great for him to get some sacks and maybe some of the people who are counting sacks out there will acknowledge those." Crosby had 10 pressures, including two on interceptions, and also added a half-sack. INJURIES Chargers: LT Russell Okung left in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn't return. ... DE Melvin Ingram went down with a shoulder injury in the closing seconds of the second quarter but returned for the second half. Raiders: Joseph hurt his right knee on the interception and was on crutches after the game. ... DB Lamarcus Joyner also got hurt on the final drive. UP NEXT Chargers: Face Kansas City on Nov. 18 in Mexico City. Raiders: Host Cincinnati on Nov. 17......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 8th, 2019Related News

Magnolia demolishes Phoenix in Banchero debut

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia gave Chris Banchero a triumphant debut as the Hotshots dispatched Phoenix, 97-81, in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday, November 6.  Banchero, traded from Alaska for Rodney Brondial and Robbie Herndon, immediately made an impact with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 6th, 2019Related News

PBA: Aces’ rebuild continues with Banchero trade

Alaska’s move to trade Chris Banchero has been confirmed, both by the Aces and the PBA. Head coach Jeffrey Cariaso detailed the trade Sunday after the Aces beat Northport in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup, a game where Banchero was nowhere to be found for the Alaska camp. Alaska will receive Robbie Herndon and Rodney Brondial from the Magnolia Hotshots for Banchero. “One thing I'd like to sort of make clear lang, especially the last 24 hours, is that was really my trade. That was a coaching staff's decision,” Cariaso said. “I really feel with the parts na kailangan namin, the two will fit in perfectly sa kailangan namin. And to get something, you always have to give up something,” he added. Banchero not suiting up for Sunday’s game was part of the deal with Magnolia. Alaska didn’t want to risk any injuries for Banchero as the deal was still not official until Sunday after the Aces’ win over Northport. “I think it was requested by Magnolia, and it was something I think Alaska and me was easily okay with. Because if the situation was reversed, ayaw lang namin siya ma-injure. Yun lang, yun lang yun,” Cariaso said. “So we didn't want Chris risking. Actually, the last two days of practice, di na siya nag-ensayo eh. So nagpaalam siya, said goodbyes. Mentally, he was able to have a day and a half to kind of prepare himself,” he added of Banchero. Cariaso said losing a player like Banchero hurts but if Alaska is to bring in the pieces it needs for a rebuild, it was a move the team had to make. “Chris Banchero is a really good player, he's done a lot for us here at Alaska. But, in all honesty, siya din lang yung gusto ng iba,” Cariaso said. “Siya din yung medyo tradeable sa amin. So for me to sort of try to bring in and bring in the parts that I need, sometimes you have to give up something,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 3rd, 2019Related News

Banchero trade to Magnolia now official with PBA approval

MANILA, Philippines – Chris Banchero has officially ended his five-year stint with Alaska as the PBA gave the green light on his trade to Magnolia.  The PBA on Sunday, November 3, approved the deal that will send Banchero to the Hotshots in exchange for Rodney Brondial and Robbie Herndon in ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 3rd, 2019Related News

Now with Clippers, Kawhi Leonard spoils Warriors fun again

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard spoiled the Warriors' first game at Chase Center just as he did their farewell at Oracle Arena four months ago, scoring 21 points in three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 141-122 victory Thursday (Friday, PHL time) on opening night at Golden State's snazzy new arena. Reigning NBA Finals MVP Leonard shot 9-for-17 and also dished out nine assists in his second game with L.A. after leading the Toronto Raptors to their first title last season in a six-game finals against the Warriors. Stephen Curry scored 23 points and D'Angelo Russell added 20 in his Golden State debut, but the Warriors got beat up the way they used to do it against the entire NBA, even giving up a 46-point third quarter. What a dud for the Dubs as they formally opened new Chase Center in San Francisco after 47 years at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Patrick Patterson scored 20 points and Ivica Zubac had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Los Angeles. In a rematch of the hard-fought first-round playoff series last season won by the Warriors in six games on their way to a fifth straight finals, the Clippers jumped to a 14-0 lead making five of their first six shots. Golden State started 0-for-6 and missed four three's. Russell's jumper at 8:23 gave Golden State its first points and he scored the Warriors' initial seven before Curry hit a triple at 6:42. The Warriors got a scare when they briefly lost Draymond Green at the 9:03 mark of the opening quarter after he appeared to injure his right elbow on a screen. Green returned to the court at the start of the second and wound up with 11 points. Curry, who at 31 is the oldest Warriors player, was 2-of-11 on three's as Golden State went 15-for-42 from deep. Golden State coach Steve Kerr is embracing the move and new arena — he's still figuring his way around the building — but noted "I'll miss everything about Oracle. It's a great place to play." Some fans left after the third quarter with the home team trailing 111-87. Leonard and Patrick Beverley were booed during pregame introductions for the Clippers, who beat the Lakers 112-102 in their opener Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) with Leonard scoring 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting. TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles shot 56.8 percent in the first half (21-of-37), making 6-of-11 three's. ... The Clippers were outrebounded 23-20 in the first half and 42-39 overall. ... G Rodney McGruder missed his second straight game with a high right ankle sprain. ... The Clippers scored 58 points in the paint. Warriors: Golden State called a late timeout when it had none remaining, resulting in a technical foul. ... Kevon Looney started at center for the Warriors after working back from a strained right hamstring then dealt with right hamstring tightness in the second half and didn't return as a precautionary move. The hope had been he would play about 20 minutes with four stretches of five minutes or so, Kerr said. ... Kerr challenged a foul call on Looney late in the first half and the call was upheld. ... The Warriors had won the last three at home against the Clippers. NICE TOUCHES Newly enshrined Hall of Famer Al Attles, who will be 83 next month, took part in a ceremonial tipoff just before the ball actually went up. Attles joined the organization in 1960 and played in the Philadelphia Warriors in Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game on March 2, 1962. Injured Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who could miss the entire season recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee, spoke to the fans at midcourt before the game. He also shared a hug and a few words with Leonard. Construction workers who built Chase Center held the flag for the national anthem. LOCKED OUT Kerr joked he might need to wear his key card around his neck even on game nights. "I've been locked out of my office a couple times after games, true story," he said. "... We're slowly but surely figuring those things out." QUOTEABLE Clippers coach Doc Rivers hardly considers Curry past his prime beginning his 11th NBA season. "I want him to get older. I'm all for the 40 Steph, I can't wait for that one," Rivers quipped. "He'll still be playing because he can shoot. He just won't be as agile I don't think. He's been around a long time. It's amazing when you think about it how quickly it goes." UP NEXT Clippers: At Suns on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) having won the last 12 meetings overall and six straight in Phoenix. Warriors: At Thunder on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) having won 11 straight road games in the regular season and two in a row at Oklahoma City......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 25th, 2019Related News

Senators grill Albayalde on how a ninja cop got a juicy post

MANILA, Philippines – Senators are dumbfounded as to why Major Rodney Baloyo IV, who was among the alleged 13 Pampanga rogue cops, was assigned to a "juicy post." At the 9th Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on cops involved in drug recycling on Wednesday, October 9, panel chairman Senator Richard Gordon repeatedly ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 10th, 2019Related News

Duterte: No help for Baloyo

President Duterte is not inclined to help the alleged “ninja” cop detained at the State penitentiary after being cited in contempt by the Senate. The President has called Police Major Rodney Baloyo “g**o” (fool) over his alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade, saying he should fix his own problem. “Well, that is his problem, not mine. […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsOct 6th, 2019Related News

Resolve review of ninja cops case before retirement, Lacson advises Albayalde

Noting that Albayalde has 34 days left in police service, Lacson said: “The first that he has to show to erase doubt that he has involvement in the case of [Police Major Rodney Baloyo IV], in covering it up.”.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsOct 4th, 2019Related News

Leonard and George quickly blending in with Clippers

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have already passed the chemistry test with the Los Angeles Clippers. The two superstars have been quick to integrate themselves with their new team and the result is an easy, teasing camaraderie. Whether it’s enough to advance the once beleaguered franchise past the second round of the playoffs for the first time — let alone win an NBA championship — remains to be seen. But clearly these guys are already having fun. There was a fishing trip and a paintball outing — yep, Patrick Beverley was so competitive he splattered his own teammates — that made early impressions in a season the Clippers hope will be their most memorable yet. “If we maintain that, we’re going to get through anything,” George said Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at the team’s media day. Leonard and George may be the biggest fish on the roster, but neither caught the largest when several of the Clippers took to the water. That honor belonged to a woman on the boat. And what happened to their fish shown off on social media? “Like anybody else would do,” Leonard replied. “Have someone else fillet it, cook it, and eat it.” But he and George don’t expect to do all the heavy lifting this season. “Everybody on the same page,” George said of the collective mindset, “and we go out as one.” Leonard led Toronto to its first NBA title last season, and he ticked off the characteristics of a championship team: high character, sacrifice and will to win. “Go out there as one unit trying to accomplish that one goal,” he said. “It’s about enjoying the journey and not getting ahead of yourself. You also have to stay healthy as well.” The upcoming season already feels different to Leonard. He’s past the right quad injury from 2017-18 that hastened his departure from San Antonio and subsequent trade to the Raptors. “This year I’m feeling way better than I was at the start of last season,” he said, adding there’s no plan yet for his load management. It’s possible the Clippers will be without George for their season opener Oct. 22 (Oct. 23, PHL time) against LeBron James and the Lakers. He’s still rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery that followed an injury-plagued ending to his time in Oklahoma City. George will be with the team at training camp in Hawaii starting Monday, but won’t participate in contact. Coach Doc Rivers was at the team’s practice facility Sunday (Monday, PHL time), but he didn’t speak to the media. Other things to know about the Clippers: DEFENSE Led by Beverley, the Clippers brought a ferocious attitude on defense last season. His prediction with Leonard and George on the floor? “That scrappiness attitude, but on steroids,” Beverley said. That being said, Beverley is making it a goal to cut down on his technical fouls. Count Lou Williams as a skeptic. “I don’t know if there’s a way to tell Pat Beverley to chill out,” he said. COMING HOME Leonard and George are both glad to be back home. Leonard is from Riverside and George is from the high desert city of Palmdale, located north of Los Angeles. “The fact that I’m unpacking instead of packing at this time is a surreal moment,” George said. Leonard has already reached out to local schools with a large-scale donation of backpacks. Despite his low-key reputation, Leonard wants to be visible in the community and “for them to see me, for them to shake my hand.” THE YOUNG GUYS Leonard and George have been generous in sharing their knowledge with the younger Clippers, including Landry Shamet and Jerome Robinson. Even with George sidelined early, he’s still an influence. “Sometimes guys don’t have to do anything,” Rodney McGruder said. “It’s just their presence.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 30th, 2019Related News

The Trail Blazers patience has been rewarded

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Bravo, Portland. Bravo. Doing the right thing isn’t easy in the NBA, where patience is a rare virtue. The Trail Blazers were swept in the first round of the 2017 playoffs. They got swept again in the first round last season. Portland had lost 10 consecutive playoff games going into this year. Ordinarily, that’s a recipe for firings, trade demands and roster dismantling. Instead, the Blazers stayed the course. And their reward is a trip to the Western Conference final, starting Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) against two-time defending champion Golden State. [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] “It speaks to the character of our organization and what we’ve become,” All-Star guard Damian Lillard said. The Blazers have become a model of consistency. They could have gone the other way. A lot of teams have gone the other way. Neil Olshey, the Blazers’ general manager, took an uncommonly measured approach last season and kept Terry Stotts — currently the fourth-longest-tenured coach in the NBA. Lillard stayed committed and didn’t stomp his feet or force a trade like so many other players in his situation have done or tried to. CJ McCollum, Lillard’s backcourt partner who carried them Sunday (Monday, PHL time) with 37 points, doesn’t mind that he could get more shots elsewhere. “This is arguably the biggest win that we’ve had in the franchise for a long time,” Stotts said after Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) Game 7 win at Denver — the first Game 7 road win in team history. “To be a part of it, to do it the way we did, I’m thrilled.” In a lot of ways, Sunday (Monday, PHL time) epitomized what the Blazers have done in recent years. They got down 17 early on the road in a Game 7. They battled, chipped at the deficit, eventually found the right combination of things that worked and didn’t panic. “Just stay with it,” Stotts said. “Trust was the biggest thing.” He was speaking of Game 7. He could have meant the last two offseasons. Trust takes time to build, and the Blazers now have it from top to bottom. This is how close-knit they are: After the game, Lillard lauded teammates, coaches, the training staff, the front office, the team’s security and the members of the sports media relations staff. He forgot nobody. “Everybody we see every day, everybody’s invested in what we’ve created,” Lillard said. Some teams should be taking notes. So should some players. This is an era in which teams spend years tanking instead of competing, yet still charge plenty to fans willing to come see their inferior product. An era where a bad team like Phoenix somehow decides after one year that a well-regarded coach like Igor Kokoskov needs to be fired — a move that means Devin Booker will start his fifth NBA season playing for a fifth different coach. An era where an elite player like Anthony Davis can pursue a trade with a year and a half left on his contract in New Orleans, starting a circus that became a massive problem for both the Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Blazers didn’t demand that someone else fix their mistakes. They did it themselves. Olshey knew Portland’s roster was flawed after being swept by Davis and the Pelicans last season, that it wasn’t deep enough to handle injury issues. So he took a chance on Seth Curry, Warriors star Stephen Curry’s brother who wasn’t in the league last season, and signed him over the summer. He swung a trade in February and got Rodney Hood to fortify the bench. He fought off plenty of other clubs to sign Enes Kanter when he was freed by the New York Knicks — and that move proved enormous after center Jusuf Nurkic went down with a broken leg. But the moves Olshey didn’t make the last two summers are part of why the Blazers are here now. So are the moves he made three months ago. So, too, are the moves he made four years ago when the Blazers were rebuilders after LaMarcus Aldridge and three other starters left. “We had the roster turnover four years ago and everybody was quick to shoot us down, count us out,” Lillard said. “And at that point, we didn’t know for sure what direction we were going to go in.” Now they know. They’re heading to Oakland and the Western Conference final. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 13th, 2019Related News

Hood hopes to be ready for Game 1 after hyperextending knee

DENVER (AP) — Portland guard/forward Rodney Hood remains hopeful he can play in the opening game of the Western Conference Finals after hyperextending his left knee. Hood left Game 7 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) against Denver after colliding with Nuggets forward Torrey Craig on a screen in the third quarter. Hood stayed down on the floor, clutching at his left knee as trainers checked on him. Hood was helped into the locker room. [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] He had six points in 20 minutes as the Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets 100-96 to advance. “They checked my knee and everything was stable,” Hood said. “Major relief.” Game 1 of the conference finals is Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) at Golden State. “Day-by-day,” Hood said. “Hopefully the pain goes down. Hopefully it’s feeling better by Tuesday.” In a Game 6 win at Portland, Hood had 25 points. Nuggets coach Michael Malone referred to him as the “MVP of the series.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 13th, 2019Related News

No extra drama needed for Nuggets, Blazers in Game 7

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com DENVER -- All the posturing you can muster won’t win you this all-important game. No amount of name-calling, shoving, screaming, shouting or tough guy antics and gestures will save you when it’s all on the line in Game 7 of the NBA playoffs. And there are enough guys playing for both the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers that know it, even if most of them have only observed a Game 7 from the stands or even further afar. [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] It’s a simple proposition, these Game 7 affairs. You win, you play on. Your season continues and all of the goals you set are still attainable. You lose, you’re done. None of the things you believed in before that last opening tip of the season remain. Pack up your stuff and head home for the summer. That’s the reality, the fate both the Nuggets and Trail Blazers are facing Sunday afternoon (Monday morning, PHL time) at Pepsi Center, the all-important Game 7 showdown in the Western Conference semifinals that will define one team’s season and render the other’s mute. There’s a finality to it, a certain air of drama that cannot be found anywhere else in the postseason. So it doesn’t matter if you have “sassy *** dudes, frontrunners,” as Blazers reserve guard Seth Curry put it after things got chippy late in Game 6 Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), one side or broadcast talent on the other taking cheap and unnecessary shots at injured Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, Sunday afternoon's (Monday, PHL time) business is an up-and-down affair for all involved. Win and you play on or lose and you’re done. “I’m looking forward to Game 7,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Games 7s are special.” No extracurricular activity from either side will change that fact. “Both teams want to win the game,” said Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. “Basketball is an emotional game. Of course, we’re going to talk trash or whatever. Both teams just want to win the game.” That doesn’t mean you don’t look for every advantage possible to help fuel your cause. Blazers big man Zach Collins played a huge role in making sure this series found its way to Game 7, joining Rodney Hood in providing a huge boost off the bench in Game 6. And it was more than just his season-high 29 minutes and playoff career-high 14 points and five blocks. It was his physicality and activity around the rim and in the paint on both ends of the floor, his refusal to allow the Nuggets to find a groove. “We’ve just got to go in and keep playing our game,” Collins said. “I said it after the game, [Denver] has been way too comfortable for a lot of games in this series and [in Game 6] we made them a little uncomfortable. We just need to continue that, regardless of if it’s a Game 7 or not. Obviously, it’s win or go home for both teams. It’s going to be very difficult, especially in [Denver] to go in and get a win, but we can do it.” The Nuggets leaned on their sterling 34-7 record at Pepsi Center during the regular season, the best home mark in the league, as a confidence booster two weeks ago. “We have the best home court advantage in the NBA,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “We’re going to rely on that once again and try to close it out in Game 7.” The Nuggets owning that recency advantage: they needed a Game 7 win here to survive the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, means something. The game and that series provided lessons Malone’s postseason rookies need to tap into this time around, even if they don’t realize it now. “It’s weird,” Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said. “Everybody keeps talking about experience. And I just want to say that we’ve been here before. [We go] back home and regroup like we did for San Antonio, come back with energy and just … be ready to play. I think we had too many lapses [in Game 6]. Dame [Lillard] felt really comfortable, he wasn’t comfortable last time, so we need to be tougher on him … like I said, just regroup, come back and get a win.” If only it was that simple. The pressure to get out of the first round is one thing. The opportunity to make the conference finals is a different monster. The Nuggets last played in a conference final in 2009, when Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Nene led the way. That group had a mix of seasoned pros who had championship (Billups) and extensive experience (Billups and Martin) competing on a championship level, to go along with younger and emerging superstar talent like Anthony. And they were ultimately no match for the Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol-led Los Angeles Lakers. So these current Nuggets are well within their right to acknowledge the very real anxiety that comes with a game of this magnitude. “No nerves, “Jokic said. “I just felt something different the first game of the playoffs because it was something different. Just because we call it the playoffs, Besides that, everything else is the same.” The Blazers haven’t seen a Game 7 since a 2003 first-round series against Dallas. But they do not believe the absence of experience in this case makes any bit of difference. “It’s just another game -- a game we want to win, obviously,” Blazers guard CJ McCollum said. “We understand what’s at stake. Somebody’s got to go home. Somebody’s got to go to Cabo, go to Cancun, as Chuck [Barkley] would say. For us, it’s go out there and compete, find the coach’s game plan, understanding that it’s going to be a pretty hostile crowd and they’ll be confident at home, but we’ve got to bring the energy and pressure just like we did [in Game 6].” Damian Lillard has guided his team this far and promised to stick to the basics in the days and hours leading up to the game. Rested bodies and minds are crucial. “The number one thing is have our minds right,” he said. “Don’t overthink, don’t make some big crazy deal or anything like that. We’re going to play a basketball game. It’s a big game and we’ve won on their floor before and we know what type of mentality we had when we did that. We’ve got to go out there, be tough, be physical, be sharp in our scouting report, play for each other, play with each other on both ends and just put the pressure on them. “Make them earn everything on their offensive end and then when we get the ball, make sure that we get shots up,” Lillard continued with his simple but extremely detailed breakdown of what needs to be done. “Value every possession, don’t go out there turning the ball over, playing into their hands where they get an opportunity to get their crowd involved. So that has to be our mentality, to just be sharp, be physical, go in there ready to take the game, because the only way it’s going to happen is us going in there and taking it.” It’s a Game 7, after all, no extra drama needed. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 12th, 2019Related News

No rest for the weary: Nuggets, Blazers back at it

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets could use the kind of break everybody else is getting in the second round of the NBA playoffs. If anybody deserved some time off, it’s the All-Star center who just played 65 minutes in a game. But there’s no rest for the weary now. The Nuggets and Trail Blazers will be back on the court Sunday (Monday, PHL time) for Game 4, surely a little low on fuel after they tied an NBA record by playing four overtimes Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) in Portland’s 140-137 victory. [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] “Both teams are exhausted, so it’s the same for them as it is for us,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “We will not use that as an excuse. We haven’t used it all year long and we won’t start using it now.” The conference semifinal round is a series of starts and stops, where it’s difficult for any team to build much momentum because there have been so many gaps between games. Philadelphia and Toronto, who have Game 4 of their series Sunday (Monday, PHL time), play just twice in a seven-day span. In the other Eastern Conference semifinal, Milwaukee and Boston had two days off in between both Games 2 and 3, and Games 3 and 4. When Golden State and Houston played Game 3 of their series Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time), it was their first time back on the court since Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Then there’s Denver and Portland, who barely had time to catch their breath after the Trail Blazers’ victory in Friday’s marathon gave them a 2-1 lead. They are playing every other day to start their series, and would only have an extra day between games if it’s extended to a seventh game. So while Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid has ample opportunity for treatment on his sore left knee that was such a problem when the postseason began, Portland’s Enes Kanter’s left shoulder has little time to heal before he’d have to get back on the court to resume tussling with Jokic. “As far as the minutes, everybody’s tired. Were built for what’s happening right now. That’s what we had to do to win the game,” Portland’s Damian Lillard said. “Now we’ve got to go do our jobs away from the floor to make sure that at 4 o’clock Sunday we’re ready.” At least Portland wrapped up its first-round series against Oklahoma City quickly, earning some down time after Lillard’s long three-pointer ended the series in five games. But the Nuggets had to go the distance against San Antonio, meaning they had only one day off between ending one series and starting the next. Recover quickly and win Sunday (Monday, PHL time), and they’ve evened the series and regained home-court advantage. But if not, the No. 2 seeds are facing a 3-1 hole, which is a tough spot no matter their energy level. The seven-foot, 250-pound Jokic insists he’ll be ready. “They always talking about I’m not in shape. I’m in really good shape. I don’t know what they’re talking about,” Jokic said. “When I came here I was maybe a little bit chubby, but there’s really no difference in me now. I’m feeling good.” A look at Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) games: RAPTORS AT 76ERS Philadelphia leads 2-1. Game 4, 3:30 p.m. EDT (3:30am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: The 76ers have won the last two games after Toronto’s Game 1 victory. The Raptors have not lost three straight since Nov. 12-16. Kawhi Leonard’s 31.5 points per game rank second to Kevin Durant so far, but Toronto has averaged just 91 per game in the last two games. INJURY WATCH: Toronto is listing forward Pascal Siakam, one of the leading candidates for the Most Improved Player award, as doubtful because of a bruised right calf. Siakam, averaging 22.9 points, was called for a flagrant foul when he stuck his right leg in the path of Embiid during the fourth quarter of Game 3. Embiid’s knee appeared to strike Siakam’s calf. Siakam left the game moments later and did not return. KEEP AN EYE ON: The score at halftime. The 76ers had 64 at the break in Game 3, the fourth time they’ve reached 60 in the first half this postseason, and Leonard noted that was an area the Raptors had to improve. PRESSURE IS ON: Kyle Lowry. All Toronto’s players need to step up more in support of Leonard but the point guard in particular acknowledged he needed to be better after a dismal 2-for-10, seven-point performance in Game 3. NUGGETS AT TRAIL BLAZERS Portland leads, 2-1. Game 4, 7 p.m. EDT (7am, PHL time) NEED TO KNOW: CJ McCollum, who scored 41 points in 60 minutes, along with Lillard (58 minutes) and Kanter (56) are the Blazers who went the longest in Game 3. So there might be an opportunity for Rodney Hood, who scored seven points in the fourth OT, or one of Portland’s big men to get a little more time Sunday (Monday, PHL time). INJURY WATCH: Kanter posted a photo of himself on the training table getting treatment soon after Game 3. He finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds and said afterward he didn’t know if he’d be able to play in Game 4. Whatever it freaking takes #RipCity pic.twitter.com/ok9l0Mf5I8 — Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 4, 2019 KEEP AN EYE ON: The energy levels. Game 4 might be one of those that isn’t determined by who plays better, but rather by who has the most left in the tank. PRESSURE IS ON: Jokic’s supporting cast. The Serbian has three triple-doubles and ranks second among all players in both rebounds (12.6) and assists (9.1) per game in his first postseason. But the Nuggets probably can’t count on him staying at that level Sunday after he played the fourth-most minutes in NBA playoff history in Game 3, falling just two short of the record, so other players have to take on some of his usual load. ___ AP Sports Writer Anne Peterson in Portland, Oregon contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 5th, 2019Related News

George helps Pacers rally past Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Paul George scored 24 points, Jeff Teague had 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers used a big second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 106-100 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Indiana trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half, and then outscored Sacramento 65-40 in the final two quarters to win for the seventh time in eight games. Reserve Al Jefferson had 20 points in 17 minutes for the Pacers, and Myles Turner had 16 points. DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for Sacramento, which lost Rudy Gay to a torn left Achilles tendon in the third quarter. It was Cousins' fifth career triple-double. The Kings closed out a 1-6 homestand and have dropped 8-of-10 overall. Gay, Sacramento's second-leading scorer, fell to the floor while driving to the basket and was carried off the court. Gay, who had 21 points, will be evaluated Thursday. George made a jumper and Teague connected on two foul shots to give Indiana a 99-98 lead with 1:56 left. George then hit another jumper and Thaddeus Young's block on Cousins set up a key dunk by Turner in the final seconds. Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos each had 11 points for the Kings. Collison also had nine assists and four steals. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pacers: /strong> /em>Shot 41 percent from the field in the first half and were out-rebounded 24-11. Rodney Stuckey (sore left hamstring) was not in uniform and has not played since De. 28. em> strong>Kings: /strong> /em>Reserves Omri Casspi (strained tendon) and Ty Lawson (ankle sprain) were unavailable. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pacers: /strong> /em> Face the struggling Lakers on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in Los Angeles. em> strong>Kings: /strong> /em>Visit Memphis on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) for the start of a season-high eight-game road trip. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 19th, 2017Related News

Hood injured in Jazz's victory versus Magic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 19 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 114-107 on Saturday night. Joe Ingles made two 3-pointers in the final 1:07 to wrap up the victory that was tempered by the loss of Rodney Hood to what looked like a serious knee injury with 2:54 remaining. Hood had 14 points. The Magic led 102-97 after Aaron Gordon's 3-pointer and Elfrid Payton's driving layup with 3:54 to play, but the Jazz scored 13 straight points en route to their fourth victory in five games. Orlando has lost five of six. Payton had a career-high 28 points and added nine rebounds and nine assists. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Hood helps Jazz rout Pistons by 33 points

em>By Kareem Copeland, Associated Press /em> SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Rodney Hood scored a season-high 27 points and the Utah Jazz rolled over the Detroit Pistons, 110-77 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). The third-year guard has been inconsistent this season, but Friday (Saturday, PHL time) was easily his best game, going 7-for-8 from three-point range and aggressively looking for opportunities on offense. The Jazz put the game away in the third quarter with a 28-9 run highlighted by a heavy dose of George Hill, including a pair of back-to-back three-pointers. They shot 65 percent in the quarter. Hill finished with 22 points and Gordon Hayward added 20. Tobias Harris scored 13 for Detroit and Andre Drummond grabbed 19 rebounds. The Pistons looked lost on defense in the second half. Their poor play was summed up on a third-quarter sequence in which Hayward chased down a loose ball in the backcourt that led to a three-pointer by Hill while Detroit passively watched the ball bounce away. The Jazz led 45-43 at halftime after the teams exchanged runs in the first 24 minutes. Utah jumped out to a 10-0 lead as the Pistons missed their first five shots to go with a pair of turnovers on their first seven possessions. Detroit responded with a 12-2 stretch to close the first quarter thanks to six points from Harris. The Jazz closed the half with a 9-0 run, including five from Hayward, before Pistons forward Stanley Johnson beat the buzzer with a three-pointer. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 14th, 2017Related News

Hayward helps Jazz hold off LeBron, beat Cavs

em>By Kareem Copeland, Associated Pres /em> SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gordon Hayward went blow for blow with LeBron James in the second half to help the Utah Jazz beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-92 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Hayward had 22 points and went back and forth with James during a decisive third quarter. James brought the Cavs back from a 15-point halftime deficit before Hayward drove the lead back to 14. Hayward had 11 points while the Jazz used a 16-0 run midway through the quarter to lead 74-60. The Cavs had a 17-0 roll after halftime thanks an aggressive James and his 13 third-quarter points. Trey Lyles had eight straight points, including a pair of three-pointers, in the fourth quarter to help the Jazz hold on. James finished with 29 points and Kyrie Irving added 20 for the defending champs. The Jazz led 56-41 at halftime after closing the second quarter on a 10-0 run highlighted by Hayward's alley-oop and three-pointers from George Hill and Rodney Hood. Utah dominated the second quarter 27-12 while shooting 50 percent in the first half. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em>Cleveland is 8-3 against Western Conference opponents. The Cavs shot just 36.5 percent and 29.0 percent from behind the arc. James is 5-9 on the road against the Jazz. em> strong>Jazz: /strong> /em>Rudy Gobert posted his franchise-best 25th consecutive game with 10-plus rebounds (14). He added 11 points for his 27th double-double this season. strong>DEBUT /strong> Kyle Korver made his first appearance with the Cavs after being traded in a deal that sent Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams, a protected first-round pick and cash considerations to the Hawks. He scored two points and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes. 'I've always felt the better the players are around me, the better I can be,' Korver said. 'And this is the most talented team I've ever been on.' strong>HEALTHY /strong> The suddenly healthy Jazz started Hill, Hood, Hayward, Derrick Favors and Gobert for just the sixth time this season. The Jazz are now 5-1 when that unit starts. 'It's different, that's for sure,' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about having the full roster available. 'I hesitate to say it's more challenging. It's different for the players, too. We'll have to find out more about ourselves and guys individually and how they play together.' strong>QUOTABLE /strong> 'First thing I told him when he walked in the locker room the other day was, `If you want to fit in, shoot the ball every time you get it,' James said of Korver. 'Soon as it touches your hand, shoot it. We don't care.' 'We've got about four guys who have the ultra-green light. J.R. [Smith], Kev [Love], now Kyle, Channing [Frye] and Champ [James Jones]. And then you've got green lights for Kyrie. Then you have like a flashing light for myself. I've got to make sure I get everybody involved so I can decide if I want to stop at the light or I can just cruise through there. So, the fluorescent light guys, they can do whatever they want. They have no other responsibilities besides let it go.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Cavaliers: /strong> /em> Travel Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) to face a struggling Portland Trail Blazers team that had lost seven of 10 entering Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Jazz: /strong> /em>Host Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the league's best centers. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 11th, 2017Related News