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BeitragVerfasst am: Fr Aug 10, 2018 9:17 am    Titel: the conversation would be different. Antworten mit Zitat

PORTLAND Authentic Sam Darnold Jersey , Ore. — The No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference is on the line Wednesday night at Moda Center when the Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Utah Jazz is what will have all the feel of a playoff game.

Portland and Utah come into the final regular-season game with a 48-33 record, but the teams have taken decidedly different routes to get there.

The Trail Blazers enjoyed a 13-game win streak in late February and early March but enter Wednesday’s contest coming off a four-game losing streak. Utah, meanwhile, joins the Houston Rockets as the hottest teams in the NBA. Since Jan. 24, when they were 19-28, the Jazz are 29-5 and have won six straight coming into the showdown at Portland.

The Jazz aren’t just winning games, they’re beating opponents up. In their recent stretch of victories, they’ve defeated Minnesota 121-97, trounced the L.A. Clippers 117-95 and topped the L.A. Lakers 112-97. On Tuesday, Utah annihilated Golden State 119-79 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“More than anything, I’m just really proud of our guys,” Utah coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “What these guys did collectively to get better. … I don’t want to diminish what this group has accomplished.”

But the Jazz know there is more to accomplish.

“The next thing is getting that No. 3 spot and homecourt advantage (in the first round of the playoffs) Alex Colome Seattle Mariners Jersey ,” Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell said. “That’s our big goal now.”

Utah will be playing the second of back-to-back games at Moda Center, but Snyder used no player more than 28 minutes in the rout of the defending champion Warriors.

More than a week ago, Portland was one victory away from locking down homecourt advantage. That win never came with the Blazers losing in succession to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Denver on a highly discouraging road trip. Now, it comes down to one more chance to clinch the No. 3 spot in the West.

Portland’s offense has been struggling in recent games, but never more so than Monday night at Denver, when the Blazers shot 33 percent from the field, including 7 for 33 from 3-point range. Was it a matter of just missing good shots?

“We can shoot the ball,” Portland point guard Damian Lillard said after the Denver game. “If we were shooting bad because we were taking bad shots, then that would be a problem. But we are getting good looks. … We shoot the ball. That’s what our team does. It’s not a concern. It always comes back.”

Portland coach Terry Stotts said he was encouraged by the defense the Blazers played at Denver, holding the Nuggets to 37.3 percent shooting. Another good sign: The performance of center Jusuf Nurkic Martin Fehervary Capitals Jersey , who scored 20 points and collected 19 rebounds — including a career-high eight off the offensive glass — against his old team. Nurkic’s matchup with Utah’s Rudy Gobert will be a key one Wednesday night.

The Blazers will be helped by the return of power forward Ed Davis, who missed four games with a sprained ankle. The veteran reserve, who provides rebounding, defense and energy off the Portland bench, came back to play 15 minutes against the Nuggets and should be closer to 100 percent against the Jazz.

Portland’s starting small forward, Moe Harkless, remains out after undergoing knee surgery March 27. He is expected to be back for the playoffs.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Of all the games in this four-years-running Finals saga between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, Game 3s have been Cleveland’s best.

As in, it’s the only game the Cavaliers have won more than once.

The Warriors are in Cleveland for Game 3 Wednesday with a 2-0 lead in this series. It was the same a year ago at this time and the Cavaliers were on the verge of winning another Game 3 but blew a six-point lead over the final 3:09 and lost, 118-113.

The year before, trailing 0-2 http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chris-herndon-jersey , the Cavaliers hammered the Warriors by 30 in Game 3 and eventually won the series for their first championship.

“All three games were really, really difficult,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “So we’re used to that. We’re used to the dynamic of being ahead in a series and then having everything shift when you go on the road. But especially when you play Cleveland — LeBron, this crowd and their environment, we know the kind of force they’re going to bring.

“And we have to be prepared for that. We know it. We’ll see if we can do it.”

James is averaging 40 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 10.5 assists so far in this series. He became the first player to ever score at least 50 points (51) in a Finals game and lose in Game 1, when the Cavaliers lost 124-114 in overtime.

Only 20 teams have ever recovered from an 0-2 deficit in the playoffs, but James was responsible for three of those comebacks. The latest was the last round against Boston, when the Celtics won the first two games at TD Garden but James and the Cavaliers took the series in seven.

“I know it feels like we’re down 2-0, and I don’t like the way I feel,” James said. “I don’t like the way — the mood that I’m in right now Mike McGlinchey Color Rush Jersey , knowing whatever. There’s no, like, OK, you’re down 2-0 and you feel better than when you’re down 2-0 before.

“I mean, when you’re down like this, in a deficit like this versus a team like this, there’s no good feeling,” James continued. “So I don’t feel good about it.”

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Rodney Hood, who fell out of the rotation for good early in the conference finals, would get a chance in Game 3.

Hood is 25 and 6-foot-8 who can score off the dribble in catch-and-shoot situations and can switch on defense. But he’s been miserable in the playoffs, averaging just 4.4 points and shooting 15 percent from 3-point range.

Lue didn’t say which player would lose minutes to Hood, nor did he address any other potential adjustments or lineup changes.

“We believe http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-baker-mayfield-jersey ,” Lue said. “We watched tape. We watched film and see the things that we can get better at, very minor things. The most important thing, I think, is physicality. Just being able to be on bodies, being physical, not let Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) and K.D. (Kevin Durant) roam freely.”

Curry set NBA Finals records for 3s (nine) and attempts (17) and is averaging 31 points and 8.5 rebounds in the series. Durant is giving the Warriors 26 points and nine boards so far in the Finals. Andre Iguodala (knee) was upgraded to questionable for Game 3. He hasn’t played since Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

Curry is looking for his third championship in four years — all against Cleveland.

“In the Finals, this is the only building I know what that experience is like,” Curry said. “We know how the atmosphere is here. We know how Cleveland plays here, with a lot of energy and force.

“We understand how hard it is to win in this building. No matter what’s gone on in the series, when you change venues, you’ve got to reassert your dominance and try to find that right momentum to start.”

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