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NBA-Clippers bat away Pelicans in overtime for 114-111 win

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Jan 11 (The Sports Xchange) – Point guard Chris Paul had 25 points as the Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys recorded a 114-111 overtime victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys on Sunday at Staples Center to notch their ninth successive win.

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Guard Jamal Crawford contributed 21 points for the Clippers (25-13), who had seven players reach double digits in scoring.

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Blake Griffin missed his eighth consecutive game with a quadriceps injury, but his absence has not hurt the Clippers.

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“I keep saying this … this isn’t our team until (Griffin) gets back,” said Paul of his injured team mate.

“We are happy that we are winning games. We want to continue to try to keep winning games and build our team as much as possible, but this is not our team without (number) 32.”

Guard Jrue Holiday had a game-high 29 points with 11 rebounds to lead the Pelicans (11-25) who slumped to their third successive loss. Guard Tyreke Evans finished with 26 points wholesale jerseys, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Forward Ryan Anderson, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, missed a game-tying three-pointer near the final horn.

“We battled hard today,” said Anderson, who scored 12 of his points in the first half. “It’s frustrating to lose a close one, but you can’t knock the effort.”

Davis, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder cheap nba jerseys, missed the game with a back contusion suffered in Friday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers Jerseys.

In overtime, consecutive three-pointers by Johnson and Paul put Los Angeles up 111-106 with 1:15 remaining. It turned into a free-throw parade from that point on, with Mbah a Moute hitting cheap cycling jerseys one of two with 20 seconds left to cheap cycling jerseys give the Clippers a 113-109 lead.

Evans made two foul shots to slice the lead to two, but Johnson hit one of two foul shots for a three-point cushion with 10.4 seconds left before Anderson failed to connect on his last-gasp three-point attempt.

“If you can weather the storm and learn lessons and win, then it’s a lot better than trying to learn in losses,” said Crawford, who hit eight of 16 shots from the floor and three of seven three-pointers.

“We went through a stretch where we messed up some plays, missed some shots and couldn’t make plays on defense. Yet, we still found a way to win.”

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan missed a game-winning shot just before the final horn in regulation, forcing overtime. (Editing by Ian Ransom)Sports & RecreationBasketballLos Angeles Clippers JerseysNew Orleans Pelicans JerseysChris PaulJamal CrawfordRyan AndersonBlake Griffin

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Three games postponed by severe snowstorm

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A severe winter snowstorm impacting the East Coast had caused the postponement of three NHL games as of late Saturday morning.

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The Washington Capitals game against the Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center will have to be rescheduled, the second game the Capitals had postponed in as many days wholesale jerseys. They were set to host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in a game that was originally moved up two hours in an attempt to beat the inclement weather; however, the NHL announced Friday afternoon it would not be played as scheduled.

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The New York Islanders Jerseys also had their game against the Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys scheduled for Saturday evening at Barclays Center postponed. The Flyers still held practice at the arena cheap nhl jerseys.

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Tonight’s game is off, but practice is on pic.twitter.com/2W9wFPDTmX — Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys (@NHLFlyers) January cheap jerseys free shipping 23, 2016_dicKeepLinks6

Tickets for each of these games will be honored for the rescheduled date, the Capitals and Islanders announced.

No makeup dates have been announced yet for any of the games.

The Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys are offering fans who were unable to make it to their Friday game against the New York Rangers Jerseys the opportunity to exchange their tickets for one of six games later this season. All ticket exchanges must take place at the PNC Arena box office.

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Mike Mularkey focused on Colts, not permanent job

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Tennessee Titans Jerseys interim head coach Mike Mularkey isn’t fretting what’s in store for him through the team’s season finale on Sunday. He’s focused on the Tennessee’s matchup with its AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts Jerseys.

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“I’m worried about the Colts right now,” Mularkey said per the Tennessean. “Maybe by Saturday, when (the game plan) is in place, you wonder … but we’ll know when this is over with next week.”

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Mularkey was named the interim head coach following the termination of Ken Whisenhunt on November 3 — five days cheap jerseys us before a Week 9 matchup with New Orleans wholesale jerseys. Whisenhunt’s dismissal was untimely and awkward for the Titans. As Mularkey notes, it was not a seamless transition.

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“It was a difficult situation for a lot of people,” he said. “When it all went down, there just wasn’t room for change in a lot of areas, based on where we were Tuesday, getting ready to play a game on Sunday. You’re not changing personnel, you’re not changing scheme. It is what it is. This is the way we have to move forward. For the most part, I think there’s been some progress made.”

The Titans currently stand at 3-12 — two of those three wins were under Mularkey’s reign (Week 9, 13).

Mularkey said Monday that more time at the helm would be ideal cheap nfl jerseys.

“I think anybody would tell you yes on that,” he said. “If you had an opportunity to have a year, an offseason, from start to finish, it certainly helps. I’m not sure that one year is enough.”

Mularkey confirmed that he has not discussed his future (or that of his coaching staff) with general manager Ruston Webster.

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Espinosa, Nationals pound Bartolo Colon, Mets

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito threw two scoreless innings and his team pounded Mets starter Bartolo Colon Jerseys in Friday night’s 12-7 win at Tradition Field.

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Giolito allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one. He threw 26 pitches, 16 for strikes.

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The hit allowed was a single to Mets captain David Wright Jerseys, who went 2-for-3 in his first game of cheap wholesale jerseys the Grapefruit League season. cheap wholesale jerseys The third baseman said keeping his back loose is a little easier in the Florida weather. “The back felt good today,” Wright said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”

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Giolito was staked to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa highlighted the explosion with a three-run homer.

Colon was hit hard over five innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits (three homers). But he took it in stride afterward, saying he is working to improve his stuff. “I’m not going to change anything,” Colon said. “I’ll work on my breaking stuff. That’s what Spring Training is for.”

He gave up hits to the first four batters he faced. After a leadoff single from Michael Taylor, Daniel Murphy Jerseys and Stephen Drew followed with RBI doubles. Ryan Zimmerman then singled, setting the stage for Espinosa’s blast over the right-field fence.

Taylor made it 6-0 in the second inning with a one-out homer to right field. Taylor’s solo homer WSH@NYM: Taylor rips an opposite-field homer in 2nd3/18/16: Michael Taylor hits an opposite-field home run to right field in the 2nd inning, padding the Nationals’ early lead

The Mets sliced the lead to 6-2 in the third inning on a solo homer by Juan Lagares and an RBI double from Yoenis Cespedes, chasing home Wright from first base wholesale jerseys.

Back-to-back fourth-inning doubles by Reed Johnson and Jose Lobaton increased the Nationals’ lead to 7-2 before Chris Heisey Jerseys added a solo homer in the fifth.

The Nationals piled on with four more in the sixth inning for a 12-2 lead before T.J. Rivera answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth. Lagares’ solo homer WSH@NYM: Lagares launches a solo shot in the 3rd3/18/16: Juan Lagares blasts a solo homer, his first of the spring, to left field in the bottom of the 3rd inning

Michael Conforto’s grand slam with two outs in the ninth capped the offensive showcase.

Up next for the Nationals: Joe Ross will take the mound for his fourth Grapefruit League outing on Saturday when the Nationals face the Mets again, this time at Space Coast Stadium in Viera at 1:05 p.m. ET (watch live on MLB.TV). Ross, who is scheduled to throw five innings or 80 pitches, will be joined by most of the Nationals regulars, including Bryce Harper, Ben Revere and Anthony Rendon.

Up next for the Mets: Watch on MLB.TV at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday when Matt Harvey Jerseys makes the start against the Nationals. “The Dark Knight” has been lights out in two starts this spring (1-0, 1.29 ERA), including his last outing, a four-inning stint vs. the Marlins where he struck out four and allowed just one hit. He was recently named the Mets’ Opening Day starter.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

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Tailgating a highlight for Classic fans at Gillette

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Fans of the Montreal Canadiens Jerseys and Boston Bruins Jerseys were out in full force hours before the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, firing up their grills and tossing the football to create a party atmosphere in the Gillette Stadium parking lot.

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Inside and out, the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots Jerseys was taken over by hockey fans and their passion for the game. Though the majority of fans were from the Boston area, many Canadiens fans made the trip from Montreal to revel in the excitement and take some lighthearted ribbing from the Boston faithful.

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“Bruins fans have been great,” said George Tsopeis of Montreal, who left home at 4 a.m. to make it to the game. “Some friendly jabs and some good lucks. It was really nice. It’s my first time experiencing this. For a Montrealer to watch a Bruins game in this venue, it’s beyond description.”

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Sebastian Cote of Montreal, J.D. Beaudoin (a native of Drummondville, Quebec now living in New Haven, Conn.) and Hubert Prodencher of Saint-Ferdinand, Quebec were tailgating since 9:30 a.m. while their wives were shopping. Though they’ve been to their share of games at Bell Centre, the outdoor experience brought back childhood memories.

“It’s our first time in a stadium like that and it’s amazing,” Cote said. “Just the cheap world cup jerseys size of the stadium right now is quite amazing. And to be outside, to have the feeling that it’s old-school going back when we were kids playing at the ice rink or our neighborhood … and tailgating in Canada is not that big, so it’s pretty nice to be able to experience that with hockey.”

Lou Charello of North Providence, R.I., was among a group of 20 in Lot 22 enjoying sizzling steaks, burgers, smoked sausage, cold beer and homemade blonde brownies. Charello was a Patriots season ticket holder before trading them for Bruins tickets. Even when he was at Gillette Stadium for football, he could tell how much the Bruins mean to the region.

“Even when you come here for an early-season Patriots game, you see a lot of Bruins jerseys in the parking lot,” Charello said. “They’re football fans, but they’re Bruins fans.

“This is the first time I’ve tailgated for hockey and it’s about the same [as football], the same enthusiasm.”

Elsewhere, 7-year-old Cormac Cunningham was playing hockey with friends and about to see his first NHL game. Cormac said his favorite players are Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron Jerseys and Seth Griffth, who signed a stick Cormac received for Christmas.

Living in Cumberland, R.I., a 15-minute drive to Foxborough wholesale jerseys, Cormac’s father, Mark, grew up a fan of the Hartford Whalers Jerseys and played hockey through high school before going to college on a golf scholarship. He coaches hockey at Bishop Feehan High School in Attelboro, Mass., and youth hockey with Bruce Berard, the brother of retired NHL player Bryan Berard.

“I’ve played all my life and my son plays, and just to share this experience with him …,” Cunningham said. “For me, wearing a Bruins hat is almost like wearing a Yankees hat. You can never take hockey out of my blood. It’s always a part of me.”

While the sounds of live music pulsated from cheap world cup jerseys nearby Spectator Plaza, which hosted 90,000 square feet of interactive hockey-themed attractions, three Bruins fans were polishing off their drinks before heading into the stadium and weren’t shy about expressing their pride for their team and their city.

“The hockey vibe in this town in unprecedented,” said Ian Baker of Dorchester, Mass. “There are no better fans in the country.”

The passion was obvious during pregame.

“Beers, tailgating, the fun times are flowing,” said Joe Kane of West Roxbury, Mass.

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Eagles OC denies Murray expressed issue with role

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DeMarco Murray Jerseys did not have a prominent role in the Eagles’ stunning upset win over the Patriots in Week 13. On Tuesday, Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent a significant portion of his media availability deflecting questions about the expensive free-agent acquisition.

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ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Tuesday that Murray addressed frustrations with his offensive role with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie during a team flight. Shurmur denied that Murray had expressed displeasure about his role and refused to endorse Murray as the team’s top option in the backfield moving forward.

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“We have a group of running backs that we feel good about putting in all the time,” Shurmur said, via Eagles Twitter.

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Murray played 14 snaps and had just eight carries in the 35-28 win in New England. In March, Murray signed a five-year, $40 million contract that included $21 million guaranteed. Shurmur was asked what had changed in Philly’s backfield.

“We’re talking about a one-game deal, right?” Shurmur replied, per the Delaware News Journal.

When cheapjerseys com asked to evaluate Murray’s performance this season, Shurmur answered, “We’re going to do everything we can to beat Buffalo.” Consider this telling. Murray has not been the same player he was with the Cowboys last season, and the Eagles shouldn’t be faulted for leaning on Ryan Mathews Jerseys and Darren Sproles Jerseys.

Of course, giving former sixth-round pick Kenjon Barner more touches than your $40 million running back is another story. Murray may not be happy with the Eagles, and we don’t doubt the feeling is mutual.

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Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza get calls to Hall

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Since there are all sorts of good words that rhyme with “Hall,” it’s not uncommon to hear some clever quippy phrases this time of year as elite ballplayers wait to hear if they’re headed to Cooperstown.

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“[Insert legendary player’s name here] gets the call to the Hall,” is an inevitable headline, somewhere. That phrase becomes quite literal when a player is elected to the Hall of Fame, as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were this year — Griffey breaking the record for highest percentage of votes at 99.3. He gets a call — an actual phone call — which, over time, has become as much of the viewer experience as listening to Hall president Jeff Idelson as he reveals the electees.

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Griffey sets Hall vote mark; Piazza gets call
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Multimedia coverage More coverage ¬DYK: HOF class of ’16 makes historyCalls open electees’ expressway to Hall of FameFor Griffeys, Hall call part of special bondHoffman makes strong debut on HOF ballotBagwell’s near miss bodes well for ’17 Hall callRaines gains, but falls short of Hall electionTrammell falls short in final year on HOF ballotEdmonds falls short, will not remain on HOF ballotFormer teammates praise HOF-bound GriffeyBonds, Kent make gains in Hall of Fame voteRangers could see Pudge enter HOF in ’17McGwire doesn’t make it in final year on ballotOptimism for Edgar despite no Hall callTribe has big names headed to HOF ballotAn ode to Mike Piazza, Hall of FamerRanking Ken Griffey Jr., the pop culture idolSheffield’s HOF support drops slightly in ’16Schilling receives boost in Hall of Fame votingSosa sees vote total dip in latest Hall ballotingNo call to Cooperstown for slugger McGriffNomar falls off Hall ballotGriffey thrilled White Sox en route to HOFDespite impact, Walker’s Hall of Fame support lags4 former Angels fall off Hall of Fame ballotTwins’ time to shine on HOF ballot on its wayClemens, McGriff fall short in Hall of Fame bidsHoffman’s push highlights ex-Brewers’ Hall tallyFormer Braves come up short in Hall votingEx-Mets Kent, Wagner get some Hall supportBonds, Kendall not elected to Hall of FameRaines nearly makes Hall in penultimate yearSchilling falls short in 4th year on HOF ballotAside from Bagwell, other Astros improve Hall chancesSweeney falls off Hall ballot after 1 year

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The call comes from Jack O’Connell, a longtime member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. O’Connell has the yearly privilege of informing players that they have been bestowed the highest honor of their profession — election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thanks to the way things are done in modern times, those phone calls are now brought to our televisions and smart phones within minutes of the actual call being made.

Candidates are asked to stay by their phones in the event they’re elected. For Griffey, of course, the call didn’t come as any big shock. It’s unlikely he was pacing his kitchen wondering if he made it. The only mystery that remained was whether he’d be the first unanimous selection (he wasn’t, falling three votes short of perfection, but nonetheless surpassing Tom Seaver’s record of 98.84 percent).

2016 Hall of Fame results 440 votes were cast, 330 needed for election

Votes Player Percentage

437 Ken Griffey Jr. 99.3%

365 Mike Piazza 83.0%

315 Jeff Bagwell 71.6%

307 Tim Raines 69.8%

296 Trevor Hoffman 67.3%

230 Curt Schilling 52.3%

199 Roger Clemens 45.2%

195 Barry Bonds 44.3%

191 Edgar Martinez 43.4%

189 Mike Mussina 43.0%

180 Alan Trammell 40.9%

150 Lee Smith Jerseys 34.1%

92 Fred McGriff 20.9%

73 Jeff Kent 16.6%

68 Larry Walker 15.5%

54 Mark McGwire 12.3%

51 Gary Sheffield 11.6%

46 Billy Wagner 10.5%

31 Sammy Sosa 7.0% Players who missed the 5 percent threshold and are no longer on the ballot: Jim Edmonds (2.5%), Nomar Garciaparra (1.8%), Mike Sweeney (0.7%), David Eckstein (0.5%), Jason Kendall (0.5%), Garret Anderson (0.2%), Brad Ausmus (0.0%), Luis Castillo (0.0%), Troy Glaus (0.0%), Mark Grudzielanek (0.0%), Mike Hampton (0.0%), Mike Lowell (0.0%) and Randy Winn (0.0%).

Still, intrigue aside, the phone call exchange always has a certain charm.

Griffey, standing in what looked like his kitchen, looked down at his iPhone as he heard the familiar ring tone jingle.

“Can I seahawks jerseys cheap speak with Ken Griffey, please?” O’Connell asked.

Once Griffey had established O’Connell had called the right number, O’Connell passed along the big news.

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“I’m calling to tell you that the writers have elected you to the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” O’Connell said.

“Thank you,” Griffey responded. “Thank you.”

O’Connell then told Griffey that he had made history, earning the highest vote total ever. Applause (presumably from Griffey’s family) broke out in the background, and Griffey allowed a small smile and said, “OK. Now, I’m a little nervous.”

Griffey will forever be linked with Piazza, and that alone comes along with coincidences. One random happenstance is that they were both were born in Pennsylvania. But, more significantly, they have made history together — Griffey as the only No. 1 overall Draft pick to be elected to the Hall, and Piazza, as the lowest Draft pick to ever gain election.

Griffey was the No. 1 overall choice in 1987, going to the Mariners in a selection that surprised no one. Piazza was the 1,390th choice in all of baseball a year later, going to the Dodgers in the 62nd round, more as a favor to Piazza’s dad (who was friends with manager Tommy Lasorda) than anything related to his ability. Piazza gets the call to the Hall Mike Piazza receives the nod to CooperstownMike Piazza receives the phone call from Jack O’Connell of the BBWAA giving him the nod to the Hall of Fame

Regardless, both are headed to the same place in July — Cooperstown.

“It’s a great honor,” Piazza said when he received the call that he had been elected. “Something I always loved about this game is the history and you guys just do an amazing job up there of just reminiscing and recalling the memories of players and the history of this game.”

Both soon-to-be inductees have always had a place in baseball’s history. In July, it’ll just feel a little more official.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

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Lillard sets the tone for Blazers in Game 3 win

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PORTLAND, Ore. — The 3-pointer against the Houston Rockets Jerseys with nine-tenths of a second remaining in Game 6 of the 2014 first round was more concussive because it won the series and sent the Portland Trail Blazers Jerseys to the Western Conference semifinals. Averaging 25.3 points while shooting 49.1 percent over the final three meetings with the Memphis Grizzlies Jerseys in the 2015 first round was a defining statement because it was prolonged stardom.

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Damian Lillard’s Saturday night, though. It was his typical playoff clutch even without a dagger in the final second. And his 32 points all may be misplaced amid the 21 rebounds and nine assists from Mason Plumlee, the 27 points from C.J. McCollum and Portland’s 96-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys at Moda Center that got the Trail Blazers within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
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Damian Lillard leads the Trail Blazers to a win in Game 3 scoring 32 points and adding 5 rebounds.

But make no mistake. What happened as the Blazers at the very least guaranteed a trip back to L.A. for a Game 5, with the chance to pull into a tie with the Clippers here on Monday night, was anything but understated. It was nothing less than the latest step in Lillard’s evolution into a superstar, turning this into a moment that will mean something into the future for a franchise with renewed optimism even if it ends up meaning nothing in these playoffs.

For all the postseason memories he cheap jerseys com had already stacked up by age 25, having long ago proved more clutch than a lot of players with triple the experience, there had never been dependable performances like this. LaMarcus Aldridge had been around before, Nicolas Batum too and sometimes Wesley Matthews. In the spring of 2016, though, the Blazers are unquestionably Lillard’s team and so it was on him and mostly him alone to stare down the 0-2 deficit. It’s what a dependable leader does. It’s especially what a dependable leader does after missing 26 of 39 shots those previous two games.

Lillard knew it and rather than shrink from the moment he accepted the responsibility. He wanted it. He had not played well in the first two games and the plan was to do something about it, because stars respond in the playoffs.

Not simply going for redemption in the form of the 32 points, a game high, while making 10 of 20 field goals and all nine free throws, Lillard charged at the pressure. The opening tip was like a starter pistol going off. There was an immediate energy, an example for the other Blazers to emulate whether his shot came around or not.

“His leadership really set the tone, I thought,” Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. “He was taking charges. He was all over the place, flying all over the court, but him being very aggressive early definitely set the tone for them and the rest of team followed.”

The sense of urgency to have a big night came from none other than Lillard himself, aware not only that he didn’t generate much offense the first two games as the Trail Blazers labored to just 95 and 81 points after averaging 105.1 in the regular season. But it was worse than his poor shooting of 33 percent during the first two games in Los Angeles. He was struggling to get involved as the Clippers’ defense took him out of the game for long stretches.

By the time the Blazers practiced Friday, Lillard was openly noting how “I know I’ve got to be big in the next game” and “I struggled shooting the ball in the first two games. They’re giving me a lot of attention. They’re making it hard. When I do get good opportunities I’ve got to knock those shots down. I’ve got to do a better job getting the ball out of the double teams. Stuff like that.” There was solace in at least getting good looks early in Game 2, as opposed to Lillard not being able to find any opening, but also the counter that, bottom line, he wasn’t making many.

The Blazers by all indications were remaining positive after losing by 20 and 21 points in L.A., maybe because they had just spent about nine months in a similar situation, counted out since July as four of the five 2014-15 starters left as free agents or in trade and Lillard, the leftovers and replacements were talked down to about their impending lottery life. Being down in the series and being down emotionally were two different things.

“Because it happens,” Lillard said when asked how 33.3 percent and 0-2 had not put him in a bad place. “I think if you put anybody in that position, getting the type of attention that I’m getting, it’s like I literally can’t get a good look some times. All season long they’ve been pretty much the only team to trap me this way. And they’ve taken it up. They trap higher on the court and in more situations than they even did in the regular season. I’m sure of myself, you know what I mean? Sometimes you just don’t make shots. Sometimes teams have good game plans and when you take good shots and you don’t make them it turns into a bad-shooting game. It’s been two games where I haven’t shot well. The first game I didn’t get a lot of attempts up. But last game I came out, I was trying to be aggressive, it didn’t go in.”

While he was counting on all the Blazers to play better with the series now in Portland, Lillard didn’t wait for the energy boost delivered by one of the league’s best fan bases, amped even more than usual for the start of a game by McCollum being presented with the Most Improved Player award at midcourt a few minutes before tipoff. The crowd roared. Then Lillard did.

He quickly took control by aggressively looking for his shot, trying to put the Blazers where they need to be: his shoulders. Lillard had 12 points in the first 11 minutes, and a tone was set.

“The start that he got off to, I think it lifted everybody up because he didn’t shoot the ball well in the first two games and the fact that he got us going just encouraged everybody, like ‘We’re going to be OK,’ ” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “As far as the other things, his leadership — I’ve spoken about this before — his leadership in the huddles, not letting up, encouraging guys when he wasn’t in the game, allowing C.J. to have the game that he had. Just a lot of different things that you need from your best player.”

The Blazers had gotten some of these different thing from Lillard before. Never like this, though. Never when it was his team in the playoffs, never when he needed a personal recovery while also trying to show an entire team the way. There had never been postseason clutch like this.

Trail Blazers vs. Clippers Game 4 Preview

The GameTime crew takes a look ahead to Game 4 of the Trail Blazers and Clippers Western Conference first round series.

Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him 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. Trending

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Fantasy Friday: 16 New Year’s resolutions for 2016

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Welcome to 2016, fantasy owners. This is your chance to regroup and rebuild your roster.

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With the official midway point of the fantasy hockey season just days away, it’s time for you to give your team an honest assessment. Where can you improve? Do you have an abundance of goals? If so, maybe you should deal one of those goal-scorers for someone who cheap jerseys usa helps in another category you’re lacking. Is your goalie tandem really strong in save percentage but not getting you the wins you need? Maybe you should consider trading one of them for a goalie on a better team that can get you wins but might not have as strong a save percentage.
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There are plenty of options and potential solutions. But now is the time to address the areas you might cheap jerseys usa need via trade or free agency. Don’t be afraid to make changes, even if they seem bold.

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In order to help you try and find some trade targets (or players to avoid), here’s a look at 16 New Year’s resolutions for 16 different players (in no particular order). Many of these players could end up being the difference between first place and second place in your league.

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins – I will raise my shooting percentage.

Crosby currently has nine goals on 106 shots for a shooting percentage of 8.5. That percentage is easily the lowest of his career, with his career average at 14.1 percent. Expect this number to rise in the second half of the season and for Crosby to start scoring more goals.

2. Corey Perry Jerseys, Anaheim Ducks – I will shoot the puck more.

Perry has 96 shots on goal in 36 games this season. That’s 2.67 per game. Prior to this season, he averaged 3.07 shots in 722 games. Simply put, Perry needs to be shooting the puck more. If he does, his goal total should increase as well.

3. Mark Giordano Jerseys, Calgary Flames – I will continue to perform like I have over the past 30 days.

Giordano ranks 39th among defenseman in Yahoo leagues with 10 goals, 10 assists and a minus-10 rating. But over the past 30 days he has been the eighth best fantasy defenseman with five goals, seven assists and a plus-4. That’s more like it.

4. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers – I will perform like I did for the first 30 days of the season.

In nine October starts, Lundqvist was 5-2-2 with a .943 save percentage (SV%) and a 1.87 goals-against average (GAA). In 10 December starts, he was 4-5-1 with a .892 SV% and a 3.27 GAA. It has been a tale of two different players this season for Lundqvist. Fantasy owners need the early season King to return.

5. Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks – I will stay healthy.

This one isn’t a performance issue. It has just been a matter of bad luck for the 26-year-old forward, who has suffered two different injuries that have kept him out of 30 of the Sharks’ 36 games this season. At the start of this season, I ranked Couture 26th among all players in my preseason fantasy rankings. He has tremendous potential, he just needs to stay on the ice.

6. Ryan Johansen Jerseys, Columbus Blue Jackets – I will get out of John Tortorella’s doghouse.

Johansen reached a low point in his young NHL career when he was a healthy scratch on Dec. 17 for new head coach John Tortorella. In the five games since the benching, Johansen has three assists and also dropped the gloves with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vladimir Namestnikov, perhaps winning over Tortorella to a degree. Overall, Johansen has six goals and 25 points in 36 games for Columbus, but if he can remain on his coach’s good side, there’s reason to believe Johansen will turn his season around in the second half.

7. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning – I will score more goals.

Hedman has two goals in 37 games this season, or 0.05 per game. Last season, he had 10 goals in 59 games (0.17 goals-per-game), and in 2013-14, he had 13 goals in 75 games (also 0.17 goals per game). The good thing is, Hedman is shooting the puck more than he did last season and almost as frequently as he did in 2013-14. The goals will start coming.

8. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators – I will increase my save percentage.

Last season Rinne had a .923 SV%. This season it sits at .907. His career average is .918. The Predators are allowing just 26.9 shots against per game, second best in the NHL. They just need Rinne to stop more of them.

9. John Tavares, New York Islanders – I will increase my power play production.

Tavares had 31 power-play points last season, tied for fifth most in the NHL. This season he has eight power-play points, despite the fact he’s averaging almost the same power play ice time per game as last season.

10. Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens – I will improve my plus-minus rating.

Pacioretty was tied for the NHL lead with a plus-38 rating last season. This season he’s a minus-1, including a minus-10 in 14 games during December.

11. Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings – I will distribute the puck more frequently.

In his first season with the Red Wings, Green has 11 assists in 32 games. That puts him on pace for 26 assists this season. Last season, with the Washington Capitals, Green had 35 assists in 72 games (tied for 17th most among defensemen).

12. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets – I will be my team’s No. 1 goalie for the rest of this season.

Hellebuyck has started eight of the past nine games for the Jets. Even with veteran goalie Ondrej Pavelec nearing a return from injury and Michael Hutchinson’s emergence from last season, Hellebuyck should be viewed as the team’s starting goalie, and deservedly so. In 11 starts this season, he’s 7-4-0 with a 2.11 GAA, .926 SV% and one shutout.

13. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers – I will continue to thrive alongside Taylor Hall.

Eleven players average at least one point per game (at least 10 games played). Fifth on that list, behind Patrick Kane Jerseys of the Chicago Blackhawks, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators is Draisaitl at 1.07 points per game. The 20-year-old has nine goals and 22 assists in 29 games with nearly 50 percent of his ice time coming alongside Hall (according to dobberhockey.com), who also averages more than a point per game.

14. Kyle Palmieri Jerseys, New Jersey Devils – I will continue to have a career year.

Palmieri already has set a career-high with 16 goals and is three points away from setting a new high in that category. He’s on pace for 34 goals and 62 points. Palmieri’s ranked 30th among all players in Yahoo fantasy leagues and could be considered the biggest surprise in the game to this point. Can he keep it going?

15. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres – I will lead all rookies in points by season’s end.

Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin leads the rookie race with 34 points in 39 games. Eichel sits 11 points behind Panarin with 23 points in 38 games. However, the month of December was Eichel’s most productive, with 11 points in 14 games.

16. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars – I will win a second straight Art Ross Trophy.

Benn is four points behind Kane for the scoring lead with 52 points in 39 games. After recording a career-high 87 points last season en route to his first Art Ross title, Benn is on pace for 108 points. Is there a more fun and complete player to own in fantasy hockey? I don’t think so.

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Raiders GM: DeAndre Washington a ‘complete back’

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Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talked all offseason about finding a running back to pair with Latavius Murray Jerseys.

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Oakland waited until the fifth round to address the position, but McKenzie believes he’s found an answer in DeAndre Washington out of Texas Tech.

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“DeAndre, he’s more than just a third-down back,” McKenzie told KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, via the cheap wholesale team’s official website. “He can pound it up in there. The Raider Nation will find out fast just how physical he is.”

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While just 5-foot-8, Washington “is short but compact and certainly does not lack the toughness to transition into the NFL,” per NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein.

We asked on Tuesday’s Around the NFL Podcast if the Raiders did enough to complement Murray, whose 4.0 yards per carry was a full 1.2 yards off his 2014 numbers. Murray brings size and speed to the game, but his 266 totes from last season aren’t something the Raiders want to duplicate again, with McKenzie saying in March: “The way this league is with the pounding you’re taking, you can’t just have one guy getting beat up all year.”

With only Taiwan Jones Jerseys, George Atkinson and Roy Helu Jerseys behind Murray, Washington has the chance to make an impact as a rookie.

“We think he’s a complete back, and when he gets out in space, he can make you look silly.” McKenzie said. “He can catch the ball, but he can run between the tackles as well as bouncing it outside. We think he’s the total package as a runner. We really like him.”

If Washington can carry his own, the Raiders have added another weapon to an offense that boasts quarterback Derek Carr Jerseys, wideout Amari Cooper and one of the league’s finest offensive lines. The optimism in Oakland is real.