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TOPIC: from AHL Charlotte on Sunday.

from AHL Charlotte on Sunday. 2 months 2 weeks ago #4800

  • liny195
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BOSTON — When the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward to a huge free-agent contract and traded for Kyrie Irving in the offseason http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dorance-armstrong-jr.-jersey , they created what was supposed to be Boston’s new Big Three, along with holdover Al Horford.

Hayward was lost for the season with a gruesome leg injury in the first quarter of the first game of the season. Irving was eventually lost for the year, also because of injury.

That left Horford, a big man who draws the ire of some Celtics fans because of how quietly he goes about his business.

His coach loves him. The fans want more.

On Sunday, in the series opener against the Milwaukee Bucks, the fans got more.

“It’s go time,” Horford said after the overtime he helped fuel with 24 points and 12 rebounds in 44:19 of the game’s 53:00. “This is the time where you want to play. You want to be in these games setting the tone. It all starts on the defensive end. I try to set the tone on defense and kind of go from there. I guess it’s doing whatever I can do to help us win. That’s what it’s all about.”

Horford also had four assists, three blocked shots and two steals in the win that gave the second-seeded Celtics a 1-0 series lead heading into Tuesday night’s Game 2 at TD Garden.

All this after TV analyst Charles Barkley ripped Horford’s pedestrian season totals — 14.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 32 assists, saying, “When I was averaging his numbers http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sam-darnold-jersey , they made me retire.”

But with Irving, Hayward, Marcus Smart and rookie Daniel Theis missing, Horford is more important to the offense.

“We’re going to ride Al,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “He’s been unbelievable in being a facilitator for us all year. He has his moments, because of the way we’re being defended, where he gets to be more of a featured scorer. With where we are now, he’s going to be more of a featured scorer, and facilitate, and guard (Giannis Antetokounmpo), and do everything.

“He’ll probably run our film session (on Monday).”

If Horford is nothing else Rich Hill Los Angeles Dodgers Jersey , his basketball IQ is high and he does many things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. His salary dictates higher numbers, but Stevens knows what he has in this player.

The Bucks, seeded seventh, tied Sunday’s game on a miraculous 35-foot jumper by Kris Middleton at the regular buzzer, but the Celtics found a way to win the game.

“We played well and we played hard and that’s what this series is going to be — both teams fighting,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said.

Eric Bledsoe, making his first playoff appearance since 2014 — as the Bucks look for their first series win since 2000 — was beaten by Terry Rozier for the 3-pointer with half a second left that appeared to have won the game in regulation. Bledsoe scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting and posted four assists and five turnovers.

He was also unintentionally slighted after the game by Rozier, who scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and the OT. The Boston guard called Bledsoe “Drew Bledsoe,” an inadvertent homage to the former New England Patriots quarterback.

And Antetokounmpo fouled out guarding Horford, who was 5 of 8 from the floor and hit 13 of his 14 free throws. Antetokounmpo felt like he failed despite 35 points, 13 rebounds http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-paulsen-jersey , seven assists and three steals.

“I’ve got to do a better job guarding Horford,” Antetokounmpo said. “He’s a really big body, he’s under control, he knows what he’s doing down there. Hopefully in Game 2, I won’t play on my heels. I’ll play more on my toes and be able to defend without fouling, too.”

LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw’s comeback from a third back injury in three years will continue Thursday afternoon when he faces the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a four-game series.

It is the last time the Dodgers and Cubs will meet in the regular season, but as the last two National League Championship Series have shown, a high-profile series in October is a possibility.

Thursday’s afternoon game at Dodger Stadium is also the end of a jammed-packed run that will see the Cubs and Dodgers face each other for the seventh time in 10 days. Each team has beaten the other three times after the Dodgers earned a 7-5 victory Wednesday.

Kershaw (1-4, 2.94 ERA) has already had two disabled list stints this season. He missed nearly four weeks in May with left biceps tendinitis, and after only five innings of his return from that injury, he hit the DL again with a lower back strain.

In his return Saturday at New York against the Mets Ito Smith Color Rush Jersey , Kershaw gave up two runs on five hits over three innings, as he was held to 55 pitches. He was supposed to have a minor league rehab start that day, but a poor weather forecast for their Triple-A Oklahoma team led the Dodgers to shift gears.

While Kershaw is expected to get more leeway Thursday, he still figures to be on a pitch restriction that manager Dave Roberts will determine.

“I feel 100 percent,” Kershaw told ESPN this week. “It’s just a matter of building up pitch-count wise and just make sure we’re getting to that 110-, 120-pitch count limit.”

Kershaw is 5-3 with a 2.64 ERA in nine career starts against the Cubs.

Kershaw will square off against fellow left-hander Jose Quintana (6-6, 4.26) on Thursday. Quintana has not thrown 100 pitches in any of his last six starts and has completed six innings once in four June starts.

Quintana has not won a start since May 31 while posting a 4.15 ERA over 21 2/3 June innings. He has not given up an earned run in two career starts against the Dodgers, but is 0-1 against Los Angeles

The Cubs have scored 14 runs in two nights after hitting coach Chili Davis held a meeting with the offense. And while the improved offense was much needed, the Cubs are 1-1 in those two games since the meeting.

Now comes a matchup with Kershaw, who is never a pushover, whether he is coming off an injury or not.

“I’m still looking forward to Jaleel Scott Color Rush Jersey , as we get more mature in the batter’s box, that we chase less,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I like homers just like everybody else does, but there are so many other ways to score. Industry-wide, that’s probably everybody’s biggest problem. I want power and I want that little dumper to the right side.”

For the Dodgers, it has been all about power in June. They hit three more home runs Wednesday and now have 51 in June, two short of the club record for a single month.

Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger hit home runs Wednesday. Pederson has a major league-leading 10 home runs in June, Muncy has nine and Bellinger has eight.

The Cubs are 1-6 on their eight-game road trip to Cincinnati and L.A. and are 3-9 in regular-season games at Dodger Stadium since the start of 2015.

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