Rockets face Celtics with revenge on their minds

Their losses have been so few and far between that the Rockets are rarely in position to circle a game on the schedule and set out for revenge against a particular opponent.

However, the Rockets (48-13) on Saturday will have the opportunity to make amends for one of their small handful of ugly defeats when they host the Boston Celtics at Toyota Center. Houston blew a 26-point lead in falling 99-98 at TD Garden on Dec. 28, the fourth setback in what would develop into a season-long five-game losing skid for the then-shorthanded Rockets.

Houston played that night without starters Chris Paul and Clint Capela and reserve swingman Luc Mbah a Moute. The Rockets nevertheless led 64-38 early in the second half before coming undone, their stellar offense unraveling against the Celtics’ suffocating defense soon thereafter.

“There’s always things we’d like to tinker with, we just don’t want to go crazy thinking we can solve everything,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Some of it is you just make shots (or) you miss shots and we’re in a period now … after the All-Star break we’re not going to be as sharp as we were before. But we’ll give it another couple weeks and we’ll see.”

The reigning MVP had 43 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 56 seconds to play, and the Thunder scored the final 10 points of the game to escape with a 124-116 victory over the Suns on Friday night.

“They always play us tough, especially here,” Westbrook said. “We stayed with it and made big plays down the stretch.”

Paul George scored 20 points for Oklahoma City. Westbrook also had 14 rebounds and eight assists.

“His passion, his energy that he brings every night is Cheap Kids Football Jerseys unbelievable,” Phoenix guard Devin Booker said.

Booker scored 39 points, his career high for a home game. At 21 years, 123 days old, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 4,000 career points. Only Cheap Jerseys Wholesale LeBron James and Kevin Durant were younger.

Booker said he’s grown to admire Westbrook more and more.

Curry tweaks ankle, has 28 as Warriors top Hawks

Golden State coach Steve Kerr wasn’t going to gamble on leaving Stephen Curry in a close game, even after Curry’s dramatic proof of how well he could play after turning his right ankle.

Curry scored 28 points, including 15 in the final seven minutes of the first half after returning from the ankle injury, and the Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

Jonas Valenciunas and reserve Fred VanVleet added 12 points apiece for Toronto.

Otto Porter Jr. led Washington with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Bradley Beal rebounded from an eight-point effort Wednesday against Golden State to finish with 23.

But 18 Washington turnovers — including six by point guard Tomas Satoransky — led to 27 Toronto points.

“I think it was bad decision-making, especially on my part,” Satoransky said. “I think I have to do a much better job. Especially the first half. I felt like that kind of had an influence on my game There were some bad mistakes I usually don’t do.”

Invariably, when looking for the moment when a young player is ready to fulfill his full potential, I look to 3-point production. Volume usually arrives a little before efficiency, especially for top players such as LeBron and Antetokounmpo. Big expectations beget volume.

“Basically their call,” Curry said. “Frustrating, but big picture, I understand. … I don’t think it’s going to be anything that will keep me out.”

Kerr said Curry was “limping a little bit” in the third quarter, leading to the “precautionary” decision to take him out of the game for good.

“He wanted to stay in but we didn’t want him to stay in just because of the potential to make it worse,” Kerr said.

Kevin Durant also had 28 points for the Warriors, who are unbeaten since the All-Star break.

Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder, who had 27 points, sank three free throws with 19 seconds remaining to cut Golden State’s lead to 111-109. Durant made only one of two free throws to Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike push the lead to three points before Andre Iguodala’s steal from Kent Bazemore and layup clinched the win.

“Kent lost the ball and it just fumbled to me,” Iguodala said.

Kerr said the steal was “a hell of a play, an attacking, defensive Baseball Jerseys Custom play. Pretty impressive basically just to take the ball from Kent and go down and finish the game. … That was amazing.”

Bazemore led the Hawks with a career-high 29 points.

Nothing unusual about that situation, right?

Nothing unusual about that situation, right? It’s second down, the Jags still have a timeout left, and they need two scores regardless. Most coaches would just keep trying for the touchdown and take their chances on the onside kick … but Marrone is not most coaches. He sent out his special teams unit for a 54-yard field goal instead.

I should reiterate that — the Jaguars tried a 54-yard field Cheap Original Soccer Jerseys goal on second down, 10 points behind, with 1:12 and a timeout left. Oh, and the kicker, Josh Myers, already missed a field goal earlier in the day. He’s easily one of the worst kickers in football, but the Jags keep trotting him out for some reason.

There’s “we’re trying to hide Bortles in the offense,” and there’s “we have so little faith in Bortles that we’re trying a field goal on second down instead of letting him go for a touchdown.” Naturally, Myers missed the kick by about 50 miles and the Rams comfortably knelt out the clock.

Prosise is expected to return to the lineup this week after missing time because of an ankle injury. When on the field, he gives the Seahawks their best passing game option out of the backfield, which is the path that will lead him to being worth the modest investment.

In the Saints’ first game without Peterson, Kamara carried the ball 10 times for 75 yards and added another 12 yards receiving on four grabs. And the rookie should expect to see that same level of volume Cheap Penguins Jerseys moving forward (12-15 touches per game). Kamara has the ability to impact the passing game and his speed on the edge creates opportunities for big plays. With a matchup versus a Packers defense that is giving up an average of 24.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (19th), Kamara is a solid value play as a versatile threat in the Saints’ offense. — Matt Bowen

8 things to watch in NFL’s Week 6: Kirk Cousins gets to audition for the 49ers

Washington’s contract situation with its starting quarterback is tenuous. The club has steadfastly refused to give Kirk Cousins the big-money, long-term contract he desires, instead locking him in to franchise player designations that keep him from the free agent market on one-year deals. Cousins is making $23.9 million in 2017 and would cost $34.5 million to franchise again next fall or $28.8 million for one year under the Cheap Dan Marino Jerseys transition tag.

Earlier this week, Cousins gave the exact kind of cliched responses to questions about his future as you’d imagine. But that won’t stop the speculation from now until free agency.

More recent years hold some potential — though Corey Coleman’s inability to stay healthy threatens to derail his career. Shelton is a solid space-clogger up front. Myles Garrett has three sacks in two professional games. Jabrill Peppers is flawed, but athletic enough to develop into a plus starter in the Cleveland secondary.

Those are big numbers, albeit against second-string competition. Hundley will have the biggest opportunity of his football life when he fills Rodgers’ role in the lineup. A big performance wouldn’t just keep Green Bay afloat while its starter recuperates — it would also lead to a big payday in 2019. The UCLA product has one year remaining on his contract after this season, and a solid showing would make him a commodity in a league where Mike Glennon can sign a three-year, $45 million deal to throw at the feet of Chicago’s receivers.

He didn’t get off to a great start against the Vikings, who pressured him throughout the afternoon. While he tossed a touchdown, he balanced that out with three interceptions. He finished the game Cheap Dri Fit Jerseys with 157 yards, but needed 33 passes to get there.

You thought it was loud today? It’ll be even louder in Game 4.

But the impossible was possible a theme of the Stanley Cup Final so far and the Predators again fed off the unmatched energy of Bridgestone Arena to beat the Penguins 4-1 and even the series at two games apiece as it returns to Pittsburgh.

Unlike Saturday when an early Penguins goal ever so briefly quieted the gold-clad crowd, the Predators struck first when Calle Jarnkrok scored 5:09 remaining in the first period.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan challenged, alleging interference with goalie Matt Murray, but the goal was upheld and Tim McGraw made a second appearance on the jumbotron.

The lone break in Smashville’s newly famous unrelenting chants came 1:06 later, courtesy of Sidney Crosby.

On a breakaway, Crosby deked Rinne on the forehand and tucked a beautiful backhander inside the far post as the Preds goalie was slow to get over in time. It was Crosby’s first goal in a Final game since 2009, a span of 12 such games.

Ryan Poehling (No. 25 overall, MTL): His uncle, Stan Palmer, was drafted 177th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1977 NHL Draft. His older brothers, twins Jack and Nick, played alongside him at St. Cloud State in 2016-17.

Morgan Frost (No. 27 overall, PHI): His father, Andy, is a popular radio host in Toronto and served as the Maple Leafs public address announcer at the Air Canada Centre from 1999 to 2016.

Columbus traded this year’s first-round draft pick (No. 24 overall) and a second-rounder in 2019 as assurance Vegas won’t select forward Alexander Wennberg and Josh Anderson and backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. The Blue Jackets were also able to dump the contract of David Clarkson on the Knights.

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Stanley Cup Final injury update: Pens’ Patric Hornqvist, Preds’ Mike Fisher may return

Two key players could be back for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, their coaches said Sunday.

Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist, who has missed six games with an upper-body injury, practiced Sunday and could return for Monday’s series opener in Pittsburgh (8 p.m. ET, NBC).

Coach Mike Sullivan called Hornqvist’s availability as game-time decision, but added, Based on the way that he practiced [Sunday], we’re certainly encouraged.

With the ink barely dry on their trade agreement, the Canadiens promptly signed Drouin, a restricted free agent to be, to a six-year contract extension worth $33 million ($5.5 million AAV). Negotiations between Montreal GM Marc Bergevin and Allan Walsh, Drouin’s agent, came together in less than two hours.

Drouin and the Lightning seemed to have reached an understanding this past season, as the 22-year-old wing scored 21 goals on the way to a 53-point campaign. That showing came on the heels of a 2015-16 season that saw Drouin sit out for six weeks after the Lightning didn’t heed his request to be traded. He found his way back into the team’s good graces and ended up scoring five goals in the 2016 playoffs before his breakout 2016-17.

Even so, the end of this Lightning season once again prompted speculation that Drouin could be on the move, as he was Tampa Bay’s prime trading chip in its effort to shore up a woeful defense.

Sergachev, just 18, may not fill that need right away, but the ninth overall pick in last summer’s NHL Draft has put up eye-opening numbers for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires the past Got Cheap Jerseys two seasons — racking up 43 points (10 goals) and 71 penalty minutes in just 50 games this Jerseys China year.

Yzerman sidestepped any question of lasting acrimony playing a role in trading Drouin.

Though he performed well on the ice for Tampa Bay, Drouin was not as great a fit with the club. Two years ago he was suspended by the team for failing to report to the minor leagues; and his agent, Allan Walsh, engaged in a public war of words with the organization, ultimately demanding a trade. Yzerman refused to give in to that demand.

On Thursday, Yzerman sidestepped any question of lasting acrimony playing a role in trading Drouin. He did, however, point out that dealing Drouin, a pending restricted free agent at the time of the deal, helped the Lightning in terms of their salary cap, as well as in deciding which of their stable of talented forwards to protect in the upcoming expansion draft.

Three stars

3. Andre Burakovsky, Capitals — Much of the burden to produce has fallen on the Caps’ stars — rightly so — but it sure helps when key depth scoring comes from a guy like Burakosvky, who chipped in his second and third goals of the postseason.

2. T.J. Oshie, Capitals — Oshie now has four goals and set a playoff career high with 12 points, one behind Backstrom for the team lead.

1. Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals — Backstrom’s fourth goal of the series was Monday’s most critical as it gave the Capitals a 3-0 advantage 16 seconds into the third period. He also assisted on the game’s first goal, running his playoff point total to 13.

“I’ll be honest, I never heard the introduction to the lineup,” Predators Cheap Zach Parise Wild Jerseys coach Peter Laviolette said, asked about his favorite in-game fan ritual. “I like Design Cheap Jerseys Online the way the Pittsburgh lineup got introduced last night.

Knicks hit Derrick Rose with hefty fine for skipping game

Knicks rogue point guard Derrick Rose has been fined $200,000 for missing Monday’s loss against the Pelicans, according to the New York Post.

Coach Jeff Hornacek indicated the team subtracted 1/110th of his $21 million wage to reach the roughly $200,000. That is the standard NBA code for a player suspended one game.

The team fined him a pretty hefty amount — the amount of the fine for missing a game,” Hornacek said.

According to TMZ Sports, Greene was staying at his girlfriend’s house when he sneaked out and broke into two homes in the same neighborhood.

At the first home, he saw a 56-year-old woman sleeping, but left the house. He then broke into a second home, where he allegedly went into the bedroom of a 40-year-old woman.

He then reportedly began rubbing the woman’s buttocks and kissing her neck, causing the woman to wake up and begin screaming. Greene then ran back to his girlfriend’s home, according to a police report cited by TMZ. He was arrested shortly after the incidents.

Greene was a second-round NBA Draft pick out of Florida in 2005 by Boston. He began his career NBA Jerseys For Sale with the Celtics, but was traded to the Pacers in 2006, where he was used sparingly.

He was with the Kings for three months in 2007 before bouncing around for teams in the Nike NFL Jerseys 2014 D-League, New Zealand, Mexico and Libya.

Greene recently signed with Guaros de Lara in Venezuela.

NBA trade rumors: Kyrie Irving’s request leaves Cavs hurting, Adam Silver smiling

In a span of a month, the Cavaliers have managed to do something that carried the air of impossibility as the last NBA year limped to a close. Cleveland has set up next season to be, blessedly, an Ravens Cheap Jerseys interesting one.

Even as Golden State easily won this year’s NBA Finals, the running question throughout the five-game series was just how many times fans could be expected to get excited for a Warriors-Cavaliers championship matchup. A meeting of the two next June was all but inevitable, the only question being whether we’d get the same pairing in 2019, too.

But the history of the NBA shows that you’d lose a lot of money USA Cheap Jerseys over the years betting on presumed dynasties. Too much can happen. Look at, say, the Shaq-Kobe Lakers of the early 2000s, the “Big Three” Celtics of 2008 on and the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh Heat. None won as many championships as projected. (Weren’t the Heat still supposed to be winning titles now, seven years later?) Injuries take their toll. Egos get in the way, on the court and off it.

The came an at-times tense segment in the TNT studio Thursday. Panelist Shaquille O’Neal, a former teammate of James’ in Cleveland, appeared visibly upset with Barkley, who kept saying James has enough help to win a championship and that Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook would love to have James’ all-star supporting cast. O’Neal kept saying that it wasn’t about the stars but the role players, which is the type of player James wants.

Shaq said he would have reacted the same way James did to that comment, and then some. “I would have came up here and punched you in your face, that’s what I would’ve did,” O’Neal told Barkley.

Chuck tried to joke that Shaq isn’t a good fighter (let’s go to the videotape). Shaq wasn’t in a laughing mood.

Red Sox studs Rafael Devers, Chris Sale dominant in win against Mariners

Red Sox ace Chris Sale recorded his 14th 10-plus strikeout performance of the season Wednesday in a 4-0 win against the Mariners.

The American league Cy Young candidate tossed seven shutout innings with just three hits allowed and 11 strikeouts to improve to 13-4 with a 2.37 ERA this season.

Sale’s 14 10-plus strikeout outings are good for third-most in Red Sox history, trailing only Pedro Martinez’s 19 in 1999 and 15 in 2000. With a little over two months remaining in the regular season, Sale has a great chance to break that record.

The other three quarterbacks in the NFC South have all gone to the Super Bowl; one has won, and two have won regular-season MVPs. Some who know would take Jameis Winston right now over all three, which is why the Bucs are the team to watch.

Winston now also has DeSean Jackson and rookie O.J. Howard helping him. If the whole roster matures fast and collectively, they could make the leap many are predicting for them.

It has taken some super-human feats to compete in this division lately — who saw it sending two straight teams to the Super Bowl — and this year, it might need the same to win it.

Everybody should look over their shoulders. Good thing the Falcons are used to that.

On the occasions where Wall does push the ball himself, he has a way of drawing multiple defenders into the paint as one of the league’s elite transition scorers. As long as Cheap MLB Authentic Jerseys Porter sprints to the corner or fills a lane to the basket, the Wizards often end up Cheap NBA Jerseys From USA with easy points to show for it.