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Campbells 43-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon brought
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cherry452



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Inscrit le : Mer Nov 09, 2016 2:04 am
Posté le : Mer Nov 09, 2016 2:27 am    

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Serge Ibaka walked slowly and carefully, but without a limp, before facing reporters Saturday afternoon. Much has been made of the Oklahoma City defensive stars absence in the first two games of the Western Conference finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. The 6-foot-10 power forward strained his left calf in the previous playoff series, and the Thunder said they expected him to be out for the playoffs. The team changed course Friday and declared him day-to-day. He worked out Saturday, but he didnt practice before addressing the media for the first time since his outlook changed. With Ibaka, the leagues leading shot blocker, the Thunder were one of the best defensive teams the NBA. Without him, the Spurs shot at least 50 per cent in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals and won them by a combined 52 points. As he stood for the five-minute session wearing a black compression sock over the calf, he deflected claims that he could be a saviour heading into Game 3 on Sunday. "Ive been hearing a lot of people saying my team lost two games because I was out," he said. "Thats not true. I believe in my guys. I believe in my teammates. They can be better with me or without me. Its no excuse because Serge Ibaka was not there. Just San Antonio, the first two games, they played better basketball." Ibaka said he sometimes screamed at his television set when he watched scenarios in which he could have made plays during the losses. He is not sure if he will play in Game 3 -- he said it is up to doctors, and much will depend on how he feels in the morning. For now, he will depend largely on rest, ice and luck. His presence is needed, even if he is less than fully healthy. Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison and Perry Jones have struggled against the Spurs big men. Kevin Durant, normally a small forward, has played some power forward in the series because of Ibakas absence, and his relative lack of physical strength and unfamiliarity with playing post defence has been exploited. The Spurs prepared all along as though he would return. "It gives them another hell of a player," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "but we are who we are and weve got to be who we are. We cant change what we do." Even if Ibaka returns, it will not fully solve Oklahoma Citys problems defending the perimeter. San Antonio has made 18 of 40 3-pointers in the series and guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are slashing into the paint with stunning frequency, often scoring or finding their teammates for open shots. The Thunder say it starts with basics. "Its just an individual effort," Perkins said. "Got to put it in your mind that you want to stop the guy in front of you, and thats it. Backside got to be ready. But the thing is when they penetrate, thats what opens those threes. Well do a better job of keeping the ball in front of us, but weve just got to be individual and youve got to want the match up." To be fair, San Antonio shares the ball like no one else. The Spurs led the league with 25.4 assists per game during the regular season. That average is up to 27.5 against Oklahoma City. Parker and Ginobili generate many of the assists, but many others come from simple ball movement. "We dont have a Durant," Ginobili said. "We dont have a Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James) that can go one against one and finish every single time. We need to pass the ball to find open teammates, and thats what we do, and thats what weve been doing. We all feel proud about it. We know when we have 25 assists or 30, we are much better and we try to do that every time." Because the Spurs generally have five capable scorers on the floor at a time, it forces opponents to have a greater attention to detail than usual. "Theyve got threats," Durant said. "Everybody on their team is a threat because of their offence. They move the ball. Theyve got 3-point shooters. You take away 3-point shooters, they get the role guys and they get the paint points. You take away that and they start hitting the threes. So we have to do both. We have to be able to close the paint up and get out to shooters. Easier said than done, but we can do it." The Spurs are off to a good start, but experience tells them they wont have as easy a time in Oklahoma City. And in 2012, Oklahoma City fell behind San Antonio 2-0 in the Western Conference finals before winning the series 4-2. "Weve got to know that in their arena its going to be different," Ginobili said. "Theyre going to be way more aggressive, theyre going to be pushed by their fans. We just won two games. They are going to make more shots, they are going to attack harder, they are going to go to the free-throw line more.So, there are a lot of things that they can do much better and were not going to make as many shots." Haloti Ngata Lions Jersey . Born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, where he later pitched for the As, Ross beat the Giants for the first time in six career appearances by throwing eight scoreless innings to lead the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory Friday night. Tavon Wilson Lions Jersey . Walcott is available for Saturdays home match against Southampton as Arsenal looks to extend its two-point lead at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners are currently the second highest scorers in the league but Wenger insists Walcott will add something extra to his team. http://www.lionsfanspro.com/Black-Matt-Prater-Lions-Jersey.html?cat=894 .35 million, avoiding arbitration. Davis led the majors last season with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs, both career highs. He earned $3. Ziggy Ansah Lions Jersey . Ellis had a season-high 37 points and two key assists late, Dirk Nowitzki led a fourth-quarter rally with 14 of his 35 points, and the Mavericks spoiled Howards best offensive night in Houston with a 123-120 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night. Marvin Jones Jr Lions Jersey . -- Jerome Williams glanced at Philadelphias schedule and realized he would be facing the Oakland Athletics yet again, with another new team. CLEVELAND -- Jay Cutler felt the pressure and knew he had to perform well. There was no other option. This wasnt the time to buckle. Not with his teammates, his coach, and frankly, all of Chicago counting on him. Once the rust came off, Cutler came through. Shaking off two first-half interceptions, Cutler threw three touchdown passes in his first start since Nov. 10, leading the Bears to a 38-31 win on Sunday over the Cleveland Browns. Cutler, who missed Chicagos previous four games with a sprained left ankle and reclaimed his starting job from Josh McCown earlier this week, threw a 4-yard TD pass to Earl Bennett with 5:41 left as the Bears (8-6) rallied in the second half and stayed in contention for an NFC playoff spot. Cutler finished 22 of 31 for 265 yards and validated first-year coach Marc Trestmans decision to stick with him over McCown, who had played so well while filling in for Chicagos starter. Trestmans choice didnt come without controversy. There were reports of division within Chicagos locker room, but on a brutally cold and blustery day in Cleveland, the Bears were united. "The guys rallied around me," Cutler said. "Id be lying if I didnt say there was (pressure) with everything on the outside and as well as Josh has played. But this was the plan all along and no one really flinched in our building." Michael Bushs 40-yard TD run with 2:17 left sealed it for the Bears, who completed a four-game sweep of the AFC North and won their first road game since Nov. 4, when McCown led them to a win over Green Bay. Trestman had promised Cutler would keep his job once he was healthy. And after Cutler was cleared earlier this week to practice, Trestman kept his word and started the not-always-popular veteran, a decision that had some Bears fans questioning whether it might be better to stick with the hot McCown, who has thrown 13 TD passes and just one interception this season. Trestman said there was no doubt the Bears believed in Cutler. "They played hard for him today and they had his back," Trestman said. "Hes a captain -- an elected captain -- and Im sure he would tell you that not just the offensive guys, but throughout our football team, they stuck together and won for each other today." Cutler looked shaky in the first half with the two picks, but he settled down and brought back the Bears, who fell behind 24-17 when Cleveland safety T.J. Warrd returned a fumble 51 yards for a TD.dddddddddddd Backed up at his own 5 in front of Clevelands Dawg Pound section early in the fourth, Cutler drove the Bears 95 yards -- with the help of two defensive penalties -- and hit Alshon Jeffery with a 45-yard scoring pass to tie it with 10:59 left. Cutler lofted a deep pass toward the front of the end zone to Jeffery, who wasnt open but hauled in the throw when safety Tashuan Gipson badly mistimed his jump. Chicagos Brandon Marshall had six catches for 95 yards and a 5-yard touchdown. Marshall knew Cutler was playing with more at stake than usual, and could understand his teammate being nervous. "Hes not going to show it, but the human side of things, you got a guy -- Josh McCown -- playing lights out, probably playing better than any quarterback in the National Football League," Marshall said. "Thats what I love about Jay, man. Doesnt matter the situation, hes going to be the same guy. Thats what I respect about him as a player, as a captain, but also as a friend." Chicagos Zackary Bowman returned an interception 43 yards for a TD to give the Bears a 17-10 lead in the third quarter. Gipson had one of two defensive touchdowns for the Browns (4-10). But as has been the case in recent weeks, Clevelands defence couldnt get the big stop when it needed one. The Browns have lost five straight, eight of nine and dropped at least 10 games in six straight seasons. "It kinds of defines our season," said Browns quarterback Jason Campbell, who finished 23 of 39 for 273 yards and one touchdown. "There were some good things and some bad things. Its frustrating." Campbells 43-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon brought Cleveland within 38-31 with 59 seconds left. The Browns, who lost a heartbreaker in New England last week when they couldnt recover a late onside kick, were then penalized for illegal formation trying one of their own and the Bears ran out the final seconds. NOTES: The Browns lost star CB Joe Haden in the second half with a hip pointer. His absence allowed Cutler to pick on rookie CB Leon McFadden. Chudzinski said the team will know more about Hadens injury Monday. ... Gordon finished with three catches for 67 yards. He was involved in a minor car accident Saturday. ... The Bears limited the Browns to 93 yards rushing. Chicago came in ranked last in the league, allowing 157 yards per game. Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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