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06.12.2018 04:35
and a really special one Antworten

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder showed Wednesday night that they dont always need to have Kevin Durant score in the fourth quarter to win a close game. Bob Gainey Jersey . Durant scored just two of his 26 points in the final 12 minutes and his teammates -- including Derek Fisher, Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson -- stood in the gap, helping Oklahoma City pull away for a 106-97 win over a Minnesota Timberwolves team without Kevin Love and two other starters. Jackson added 20 points (seven in the fourth quarter) and nine assists for the Thunder, who won for the 12th time in their last 13 games and became the NBAs first team this season to 40 wins. The Thunder won for the ninth straight time at home against Minnesota, which entered the game 3 1/2 games behind Dallas in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot from the Western Conference. The Thunder have won eight straight home games and are 15-1 this season against Western Conference foes at Chesapeake Energy Arena. "We just focus on doing our job every night and living with the results and theyve been pretty good for a while now," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We have expectations to a standard that we want to play at and I think weve done a good job with that going into the All-Star break. "This is funky time for a lot of teams because a lot of players are probably thinking about the break and what theyre doing, getting their plans together. Weve never been a team that has done that and I dont anticipate that happening this year." Love, an All-Star forward, sat out with a stiff neck after taking a hard fall Tuesday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Center Nikola Pecovic (ankle injury) and forward Corey Brewer (family leave) also didnt play for the Timberwolves. Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said he was proud of the way his undermanned team fought. "I think it shows that these guys compete," Adelman said. "They werent afraid to go play them with three starters out. It gave the other guys an opportunity to play. I couldnt be prouder of the way they competed. We just ran a little bit out of gas at the end." With Minnesota devoting its defensive energies to stopping Durant, other Thunder players made the key plays in the final minutes. The score was tied in the closing seconds of the third quarter when Fisher attempted a 3-pointer from the corner that appeared to be long, but Minnesotas Gorgui Dieng accidentally tapped it into the basket to give the Thunder an 80-77 lead. Fisher finished with 13 points, his second-best offensive outing of the season. "Ive never seen that before," Durant said of the goaltending call on Dieng. "That guy is a rookie . so Im sure hes going to learn from that one. But that gave us a boost and at the start of the fourth those guys came out and played extremely hard and thats what we needed." Lamb opened the fourth quarter with another 3-pointer to push Oklahoma Citys lead to six points. The Thunder finished off the 16-4 run with a dunk by Lamb with 7:17 left that made it 93-81, but Oklahoma City suddenly went cold from the field. Durant was called for a technical foul with 4:39 left after protesting a no-call, but Ricky Rubio missed the ensuing free throw, leaving the score at 93-86. Minnesota pulled within 95-89 after a 3-pointer by Robbie Hummel with 3:45 left, but the Timberwolves came no closer. "We came into the game aggressive and we fought all the way through, but in the last five minutes, I think we missed too many free throws and easy shots while they made shots at the end," said Rubio, who had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Thabo Sefolosha, who missed his first seven 3-point attempts, made one from the corner with 1:43 left to extend the Thunders lead to 100-90 and Minnesota came no closer than nine points the rest of the way. "Theyre NBA players, too," Durant said of his teammates. "Its not like Ive been scoring every point in the fourth. We play off each other. Guys hit big shots and we got stops. . We play a team game here." Durant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists, continued his strong play against the Timberwolves. He had a triple-double in a home win over the Timberwolves on Dec. 1 and scored 48 points in a win at Minnesota on Jan. 4 before his outburst Wednesday. The Timberwolves led by as many as six points in the second quarter, but Oklahoma City took a 56-54 lead after Durant swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Durant had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists by halftime. Dante Cunningham added 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting for Minnesota. Serge Ibaka had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder. NOTES: Brewer didnt travel with the team following the birth of his son on Tuesday. The Timberwolves say hes expected to return for Fridays game at New Orleans. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute replaced Brewer in the starting lineup. ... Durant was the Western Conference player of the month for January. He averaged 35.9 points per game while shooting 54.9 per cent during the month, leading Oklahoma City to a 10-game winning streak. He scored 30 or more points in 12 straight games. ... Olympic gold-medal winning gymnasts Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci, who live in nearby Norman, attended the game. ... Hummel saw his first action since Jan. 6 at Philadelphia. He played 17 minutes and scored five points. .. Oklahoma City C Kendrick Perkins matched his season high with 12 rebounds. Tomas Plekanec Jersey .C. -- LeBron James called comments on an audio recording of a man identified as Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "appalling" and said hes not sure if he would suit up for the remainder of the NBA playoffs if he played for the Clippers. Shea Weber Jersey .com) - One point guard will return, while another will sit when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit American Airlines Center to take on the Dallas Mavericks. http://www.officialcanadiensfanstore.com/authentic-dominic-moore-canadiens-jersey/ . - Alex Dostie scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Gatineau Olympiques to a 5-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday. NEW YORK -- With the 55th and last swing on the longest of many long points in the U.S. Open final, Rafael Nadal pushed a backhand into the net to get broken by Novak Djokovic. It could have been the beginning of the end for many players. Not for Nadal, who is as resilient as they come. A year after watching the Flushing Meadows title match on TV at home with a bad left knee, he is fit as can be -- and, just maybe, better than ever. The No. 2-ranked Nadal emerged with his 13th Grand Slam title, and second at the U.S. Open, by withstanding No. 1 Djokovics similar brand of hustle-to-every-ball style and pulling away Monday to a tense, taut 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. "This season is probably the most emotional one in my career. I felt that I did everything right to have my chance here," said Nadal, who dropped to the court and rolled over on his stomach, crying, after the last point. "I have to be almost perfect to win." Hard to believe this is the same Nadal who missed seven months with a knee injury, but was able to cover every inch of the court, tracking down shot after shot from Djokovic. Hard to believe this is the guy who used to be considered a clay-court specialist, but is 22-0 on hard courts in 2013. "I never thought something like this could happen," Nadal said. "I feel very lucky about what happened since I came (back). Its true that I worked, but even like this you need luck to be where I am today." He and Djokovic started in sunlight and finished at night, a 3-hour, 21-minute miniseries of cliffhangers and plot twists with a pair of protagonists who inspired standing ovations in the middle of games. There was no quit in either of them, during points that lasted 15, 25, even more than 50 strokes. Those rallies went so long, rarely over when they appeared to be, and spectators often shouted out during the course of play, prompting Nadal to complain to the chair umpire. "Its what we do when we play against each other, always pushing each other to the limit," Djokovic said. "Thats the beauty of our matches and our rivalry, I guess, in the end." This was their 37th match against each other, the most between any two men in the Open era, and Nadal has won 22. It also was their third head-to-head U.S. Open final in the last four years. Nadal beat Djokovic for the 2010 title, and Djokovic won their rematch in 2011. They know each others games so well, but in the end, it was Nadal who was superior. "He was too good. He definitely deserved to win this match today and this trophy," Djokovic said. "Obviously disappointing to lose a match like this." Djokovic, who won the Australian Open in January, will hold onto his No. 1 ranking for the time being. But its clear to everyone who the top player in tennis is at the moment. Nadal is 60-3 in 2013 with 10 titles, including at the French Open, which made him the first man with at least one Grand Slam trophy in nine consecutive seasons. The 27-year-old Spaniards total of 13 major championships ranks third in the history of mens tennis, behind only Roger Federers 17 and Pete Sampras 14. Nadal has won a record eight titles at the French Open, two each at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, and one at the Australian Open. "Thirteen Grand Slams for a guy who is 27 years old is incredible," said Djokovic, who owns six himself. "Whatever he achieved so far in his career, everybody should respect, no question about it." Nadal no longer wears the strips of white tape he once used to bolster his left knee, and the way he covered the court against Djokovic -- switching from defence to offence in a blink -- proved that while he says he still feels pain in that leg, he definitely does not have problems moving around. "The hardest part is the pain, always," Toni Nadal, Rafaels uncle and coach, told The Associated Press. "You have pain, and you play. But the problem is you never know if you can run so fast, like before, or if you can play against the best players. From one day to (the next), its difficult, always." Nadal sure has managed to hide it well. He improved to 8-3 against Djokovic in Grand Slam matches, including a thriller of a semifinal at the French Open, wwhich Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set after trailing. Antti Niemi Jersey. These two also played the longest Grand Slam final in history, a nearly six-hour struggle that left both needing to sit in chairs during the ceremony after Djokovics victory at the 2012 Australian Open. This time, Nadal was relentless from shot to shot, yes, and from point to point, too, but what might have been most impressive was the way he stayed steady when Djokovic recovered from a rough start and began asserting himself. At the outset, Djokovic was his own worst enemy on many points, a touch or two off the mark. Nadal claimed 12 of the last 14 points in the first set, with Djokovic looking almost bored. The world saw this sort of listless, lacklustre Djokovic two months ago in the final at Wimbledon, where Nadal had exited a Grand Slam tournament in the opening round for the only time in his career. That time, Djokovic went through a difficult semifinal -- at 4:43, the longest in Wimbledon history -- and barely put up much resistance in a straight-set loss to Andy Murray two days later. In New York, Djokovic was coming off another four-hour semifinal victory, and the key stat in the first set Monday was that he made 14 unforced errors, 10 more than Nadal. There were no surprising or innovative tactics from Nadal. In the simplest of terms, he reached nearly every ball Djokovic delivered, and Nadals replies nearly never missed the intended spot, accented by his huge uppercut of a swing and loud grunts of "Aaaah!" By matchs end, Djokovic had made 53 unforced errors, Nadal only 20. "Credit to my opponent. He was making me run," Djokovic said. "I had my ups and downs." The Serbs biggest ups came in the second set. Nadal was broken a grand total of once through his first six matches in the tournament -- a string that reached 88 games by early in the finals second set. But with Djokovic raising his level, and gaining control of more of the many extended exchanges, he broke Nadal three times in a row. "Novak was playing just amazing," Nadal said. "When Novak plays (at) that level, I am not sure if (anybody) can stop him." The initial break came for a 4-2 lead in the second set, thanks to the crescendo of that 55-swing exchange. Djokovic used superb defence to elongate the point, tossing his body around to bail himself out repeatedly by blunting Nadals violent strokes. When the memorable point ended, Djokovic bellowed and raised both arms, and thousands of fans rose to their feet, chanting his nickname, "No-le! No-le!" Now Djokovic was energized, and Nadal was suddenly in a tad of trouble. "I felt really tired after that point," Nadal said. "But my thinking was positive." As Toni Nadal put it: "Rafael was always there, there, there. ... He was so strong in his mind. That was the difference." The final momentum shift came with Nadal serving at 4-all in the third set. Djokovic earned three break points, thanks in part to a tremendous lob-volley and another point when Nadal slipped and tumbled to his backside. But a quick forehand winner by Nadal, a forehand into the net by Djokovic on a 22-stroke point, and a 125 mph ace -- Nadals only one of the evening, it drew shouts of "Vamos!" from Uncle Toni -- helped avoid another break. "I didnt do anything I felt (was) wrong in these few points," Djokovic said. "He didnt make a mistake." In the very next game, Nadal broke Djokovics serve and, apparently, his will. When that set ended with Djokovic pushing a forehand long on a 19-shot point, Nadal screamed as he knelt down at the baseline, his racket on the court and his left fist pumping over and over and over. "A really important set," Nadal called it later, "and a really special one." Djokovic made one last serious stand, holding break points in the fourth sets first game, but Nadal saved those, then immediately broke to go ahead 2-0. Once again, Nadal withstood Djokovics best and was on his way to another Grand Slam celebration. Afterward, his newest silver trophy at arms reach, Nadal was asked about catching the only two men whove won more. Nadal smiled and replied: "Let me enjoy today." cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '

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