October 11, 2018 at 5:41 am #17015
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Now, this All-Star cast might welcome back two-time MVP Stephen Curry soon from a knee injury as the Warriors charge ahead toward the goal of a repeat championship.
Durant scored 25 points, Green led a smothering Golden State defense, and the Warriors held off the late-charging San Antonio Spurs 99-91 on Tuesday night to win Game 5 and advance to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Thompson had another stellar shooting performance with 24 points, and Green contributed all over with 17 points, a career-playoff high 19 rebounds and seven assists. Golden State looked dominant until the fourth quarter even without Curry – and he could be back soon from a left knee injury.
”Draymond can literally do everything. So these last two games, he’s been rebounding like a beast,” Thompson said. ”And his ability to take the ball from the rim and push the break is what sparks the offense so much.”
LaMarcus Aldridge converted a three-point play with 1:31 left that pulled the Spurs within 93-89, and then a pair of free throws at 57.2 to make it a two-point game. Green responded with a long jumper at the top of the key then made two free throws with 9.1 seconds remaining.
The Warriors will face New Orleans in the West semifinals with Game 1 Saturday at Oracle Arena, having smoothly eliminated the Spurs aside from a brief Game 4 blip Sunday at San Antonio. New Orleans, coached by former Golden State top assistant Alvin Gentry, swept Portland in the first round.
Durant didn’t have his usual steady shooting night, going 8 for 19 and missing his initial six 3-point tries. That hardly mattered. After a rebound late in the first half, the reigning Finals MVP drove coast-to-coast for a huge two-handed slam that helped Golden State grab momentum.
Aldridge had 30 points and 12 rebounds, and Patty Mills added 18 points with four 3-pointers for cold-shooting San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 10 points and seven assists in what might have been the 16th-year pro’s final game at age 40.
The Spurs fought for and without coach Gregg Popovich, away from the team following the death of his wife, Erin, last week following a long illness.
”I think it speaks highly of the character and spirit of this team, of never giving up [url=http://www.philadelphiaeaglesteamonlines.com/markus-wheaton-jersey]Authentic Markus Wheaton Jersey[/url] , of competing until the very end,” Pau Gasol said. ”And it was a game and a situation where we easily could have just thrown the towel at different points. But we didn’t. So that’s something that we can be proud of.”
Thompson swished a turnaround fadeaway as the halftime buzzer sounded and scurried for the tunnel hands raised high in triumph as Curry celebrated alongside his Splash Brother. Thompson hit 11 of 22 shots, his fourth time shooting at least 50 percent in the series.
Thompson became the third Warriors player ever to make 600 field goals in the postseason, and Golden State won its 12th straight playoff game at Oracle Arena.
Coach Steve Kerr challenged the Warriors to make ”simpler passes” – or ”keep hitting singles” as he put it in baseball terms – to avoid silly miscues after a sloppy showing in Sunday’s 103-90 loss that forced the series back to the Bay Area.
After Golden State committed 16 turnovers and managed only 19 assists in the defeat, the Warriors were far better taking care of the ball with just 10 turnovers while dishing out 25 assists.
They used a 13-3 burst in the second quarter to take a 35-26 lead.
Green followed up an 18-rebound outing Sunday with another brilliant night on the boards.
”One thing we spoke about coming into this series was trying to control the glass,” Green said.
THOUGHTS WITH POP
The Warriors congratulated the Spurs for their efforts under the difficult circumstances as Popovich mourns.
”What they were going through the last week was awful,” Thompson said. ”I can’t imagine how hard it is to go out there and perform under those circumstances.”
Spurs assistant Ettore Messina coached San Antonio for a third straight playoff game.
”Pop, if you’re watching out there, we love you,” Kerr said. ”Our whole team and coaching staff has been thinking about you every day. Your team reflected who you are tonight.”
Kerr didn’t want to guess when Curry might be cleared. The two-time MVP is scheduled to be re-evaluated later this week as he works back from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he injured March 23 the same night he returned from a six-game absence with his latest right ankle injury.
”We’ll see. We are locked in on tonight. Steph has been coming into the gym every day working and he’s doing his thing and we are doing ours,” Kerr said. ”We are just hoping for the best. Not making any predictions.”
Spurs: Danny Green was 0 for 5. … San Antonio is 2-8 all-time on Golden State’s home floor in the postseason. The Spurs were swept in the Western Conference Finals by the Warriors last year. … The Spurs shot 37.2 percent, going 7 for 30 from 3-point range.
Warriors: Thompson joined Rick Barry (699) and Curry (652) as the Warriors with 600 postseason field goals. … … Durant (3,189) passed Paul Pierce (3,180) for 20th and Kevin McHale (3,182) for 19th place on the career NBA postseason scoring list. … Golden State is 18-2
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Back in a game for the first time in 20 months, Ryan Tannehill had plenty of time to throw Thursday night.
“The protection was awesome,” coach Adam Gase said. “He was back there peeling an orange.”
An untouched Tannehill completed passes on the first four plays in his return from two serious injuries to his left knee, and the Miami Dolphins lost their exhibition opener to Tampa Bay 26-24.
Tannehill, seeing his first action since December 2016 [url=http://www.officialkings.com/authentic-adidas-dion-phaneuf-jersey]Youth Dion Phaneuf Jersey[/url] , led a 40-yard drive that ended with a missed field goal in his only series. He was off-target on his final two throws and finished 4 for 6 for 32 yards.
“We didn’t end up with points, which is what you want to do,” Tannehill said. “But I thought for our first time hitting the field, my first time hitting the field in a long time, it felt good to be back out there.”
New Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro made a 26-yard field goal with 23 seconds left to cap a 67-yard drive and give them the win.
Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston played the second quarter against Miami’s second team and led a group of reserves to 10 points on drives of 32 and 40 yards. He went 11 for 13 for 102 yards in four series.
“Man, it was just great to play against another team,” Winston said. He’s suspended for the first three games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bucs on a 57-yard, six-play touchdown drive on their first possession. It was capped by Peyton Barber’s 4-yard run.
Miami’s David Fales, battling Brock Osweiler for the backup quarterback job, led the second-string offense to a field goal against the Buccaneers’ first-team defense. Fales also directed a 75-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, and he finished 8 of 11 for 115 yards.
Osweiler went 10 for 21 for 83 yards. Gase didn’t give either reserve QB an edge in their competition.
“This is going to take all of training camp,” Gase said. “It’s going to take all preseason.”
Dolphins fourth-round draft pick Kalen Ballage rushed for 37 yards in 10 carries and caught three passes for 23 yards. He also lost a fumble.
Bucs second-round pick Ronald Jones was held to 9 yards in eight carries, but scored on a 2-yard run.
Catanzaro missed his first extra-point attempt and missed a 53-yard field goal try, but also made two field goals.
“It was great to see him have the chance to get the game-winner,” coach Dirk Koetter said. “The good news is he got that missed extra point out of the way so we don’t have to repeat that again. He mishit one, and I know he’ll be his worst critic.”
Rookie Jason Sanders, battling rookie Greg Joseph for the Dolphins’ kicking job, made field goals of 29 and 23 yards but missed a 53-yarder. Joseph made a 48-yarder.
Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson and defensive end Robert Quinn protested during the anthem. Stills and Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Quinn stood and raised his right fist. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers.
Stills kneeled during the anthem during the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by NFL players.
Bucs: CB Vernon Hargreaves III left in the first quarter with a groin injury and didn’t return. … First-round draft pick DT Vita Vea didn’t play. He has missed most of training camp with a calf injury.
Dolphins: Reserve LB Mike Hull left the field on a cart in the second quarter with a left knee injury.
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay plays at Tennessee on Aug. 18.
Dolphins: Miami plays at Carolina on Aug. 17.
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