Cleveland’s defense triggered that offense.

That’s how many points per game the Warriors scored in transition in the postseason, the most of any team in the league. While fast-break scoring typically drops off in the playoffs, the Warriors saw a dip from their league-high 24.7 points per game in transition during the season, a difference of only 2.7 points. Compare to last season, when they dropped from 22.5 points on the break in the regular season to 18.2 in the postseason. This time around, even in the playoffs, they’ve continued to run.

One other thing: Cleveland’s defense triggered that offense.
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In order to be successful you have to defend, especially against a team like this who move the ball, share the ball, move bodies, and they are very precise with their offensive sets, James said. You have to defend, and that allows us to get out to our best attribute at times, and that’s to get out on the open floor.

James then put on that long-awaited show in the fourth quarter with 15 points. He threw down an emphatic jam over Jaylen Brown. He delivered a well-timed 3-pointer with 3:51 left. A drive-in layup over Jonas Jarebko put the Cavs back up by double digits in the final minutes. There wasn’t a dagger, but rather a series of cuts in crunch time that put Boston on the brink of elimination. Isn’t that what everybody came to see?
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Well, everybody but Boston coach Brad Stevens. How did the Celtics lose that lead?

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Stevens said. That would be my answer. Irving was incredible at the end of the third, and LeBron had all those baskets in the fourth.

This will go down as a big-time, bounce-back performance by James, which seemed improbable after that fourth foul in the first half. That’s what the great ones do.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise James added Tuesday’s unique challenge to the list of those he has answered. He’s ready for the next one, too.

The close-out game is always the hardest, James said. And Boston is going to make it even harder.

What a day in baseball: Record-setting seven grand slams and a no-hitter

Saturday was a grand day for baseball.

Not only was there the first no-hitter of the 2017 season, but the day saw seven players hit grand slams — including Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who launched a fourth-inning grand slam against the Twins for the 600th home run of his career.

The seven grand slams broke the MLB record for the most in one day. Coupled with the no-hitter tossed by Miami’s Edinson Volquez, it was the first time in MLB history there five grand slams hit in a single day. Pujols then had the sixth before Seattle’s Mike Zunino hit the seventh of the day with a fifth-inning blast against the Rays.

Lynch is fulfilling his final duties for Fox in Houston at the Super Bowl, which is why his introductory press conference was over the phone. The Niners had kept his candidacy private, something for which Lynch said Monday he was grateful.

I’m appreciative in this world things stayed quiet, Lynch said. It allowed me to survey the situation and address tough questions.

York has a lot of faith in Lynch and gave him a six-year contract, which is almost unprecedented for a first-time GM.

Having already helped lead a team to a Super Bowl title as a player, John is equipped with tremendous insight into what it takes to create a culture that breeds sustained success, York said. Having spent the last eight seasons as an analyst with FOX, he has honed his skills as a talented communicator while also developing valuable relationships around the league and a vast knowledge of the NFL that will be beneficial to our team.sharks_154

Kevin Durant says don’t blame him because other teams are ‘not that good’

The NBA playoffs were a bit of a bore this year because everyone was just waiting for the inevitable. The Cavs and Warriors rolled into the NBA Finals with a combined one loss between them, and the rest of the games weren’t that exciting.
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That led to a reporter asking the Warriors’ Kevin Durant about how boring the playoffs are, to which he replied, If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.
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Durant was asked that question specifically because some blame him for not staying in Oklahoma City, which would have made the Thunder a strong contender for the Warriors. But the former league MVP told USA Today it’s ridiculous to blame him for the lack of parity in the NBA.

After the game, officiating crew chief Mike Callahan and fellow official John Goble explained the confusing situation.

When the technical foul was called on Draymond Green, we reported it to the table, Callahan said, via the MercuryNews.com. The table informed us that it was his second technical foul and ejected. We informed the table that it was not his second technical foul.

And that’s the explanation, which seems to make sense of a bizarre situation. In one bit of officiating insight from the interview, Callahan explained the simple double-check officials use to make sure the technical gets assigned to the right person — they listen to the PA announcer’s call.

At that time, we did not do a very good job of listening to the PA announcer and we did not hear him announce it, Callahan said. I take full responsibility for that.

NBA playoffs 2017: LeBron James ‘focused on the present’ after awful Game 3

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The Celtics pulled the ultimate shocker over the Cavaliers Sunday when they rallied in Game 3 for a 111-108 victory.

The Cavs were none too pleased, especially J.R. Smith, who said star LeBron James wasn’t aggressive or confident enough during that game.

James was quick to shut down any residual feelings about his tepid performance as Cleveland practiced ahead of Tuesday’s Game 4.

Past it, James said, via ESPN.com. I’m focused on Game 4. We know what we did wrong in Game 3. We know ways we can get better. I’m focused on the present, not the past.

Kill mode all the time, is how Fox described his mindset before the UCLA game in March. Shut LaVar Ball up, is how he explains it a few months later.

Of course, he says he had other motivations, too. UCLA fans were talking too much. And he always plays better in big games. And he loved Kentucky. When they lost to North Carolina two days later, he was in tears in the locker room as his career came to an end.

He’s still cool with Lonzo and his brothers. The elder Ball was just a puzzling wrinkle that added some motivation along the way. In the last year, he became relevant for some reason, Fox says. When I knew Lonzo in high school, I’d never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence.

And here’s the off-court version of court vision: Fox understands the consequences of LaVar Ball’s comments and behavior. LaVar has, as Fox puts it, put a target on [Lonzo’s] neck.

That’s to say every guard in the NBA has the same motivation: to shut LaVar Ball up.
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Not just the great point guards, Fox said. Every point guard. Like Patrick Beverley’s not going to do it offensively, but he’s gonna be like, ‘Yo this kid’s not about to get past half court.’

For Raiders and Mark Davis, it’s still ‘Vegas, baby,’ no matter who pays for it

Everybody connected to the Raiders’ caravan to Las Vegas has been swearing up and down since Monday night that nothing (even a major investor pulling out of the deal) will stop the team from moving from Oakland.

Believe them. They’re all in too deep to let this one fall apart.

And while Nelson turns 32 in May, an even bigger 2017 season seems possible based upon his accomplishments in 2016.

The body has felt great, to be honest with you, all year long,’ Nelson told Lions media before Green Bay’s season-finale in Detroit. ‘For me, the more work I do throughout the week, the better I am. The moment I started getting days off like after our bye week, it was invigorated. It’s been great to be out there in practice every week and be prepared for games.

That first year back from major joint surgery, it’s tough,’ Packers coach Mike McCarthy told media in late December. ‘It’s a grind because everything is a little different. He’s done a great job working through it, though.

The statistics Nelson posted weren’t a given. Nelson began training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and didn’t appear in a preseason game. As a result, his receiving numbers were modest (six catches for 32 yards and one touchdown) in Green Bay’s season-opener against Jacksonville.jays_1208_1bd902cc19c0f5f7-180x180

Raiders lose support of Sheldon Adelson in pursuit of move to Las Vegas

The Raiders will have to complete their planned move from Oakland to Las Vegas without the support of Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson, the billionaire casino owner, announced Monday his family is withdrawing its pledge to commit $650 million toward a $1.9 billion stadium that would house the Raiders and UNLV. Adelson said the Raiders demonstrated last week they did not want Adelson to be part of the project.

Limited Womens Dan Skuta Jersey A source told Sporting News’ Alex Marvez that Kubiak had shown no indications of Sunday being his final game for the Broncos during this past week of practice. But, considering his prior health issues, Kubiak’s resignation wouldnt be a shock like some of the abrupt resignations of other NFL head coaches.

NFL owners were told at their meeting Wednesday in New York that the Raiders had secured that financing option, Steelers owner Art Rooney II confirmed to the Review-Journal. (That owners meeting was the same one in which Dean Spanos confirmed the Chargers’ move to L.A.)

Team owners denied the Raiders’ attempt to move back to Los Angeles in a vote last year, instead approving the Rams’ relocation and giving the Chargers the first option of joining them if they couldn’t get a new stadium in San Diego. The Raiders would’ve had the L.A. option if the Chargers had stayed in San Diego.
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Now, it’s unclear whether the Raiders have the three-quarters support from the 32 owners to move to Nevada, but at least one variable has been removed: the $650 million the casino mogul Adelson had committed to the 65,000-seat retractable-roof stadium.

A vote isn’t likely until the owners’ annual meetings in late March in Phoenix.

Patriots’ Michael Floyd inactive for AFC championship game

Don’t expect to see Michael Floyd on the field during the AFC championship game.

The Patriots receiver is a healthy scratch for Sunday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announcedabout an hour before kickoff.

Floyd, acquired off waivers from the Cardinals in December,had a tough time in the Patriots’ 34-16 win over theTexans last week, which is likely the reason for his benching.

The 27-year-old only caught one of three passes for nine yards and had a pass juggle out of his hands, allowingthe ball to be caught by a Texans defender.

Floyd was arrestedDec. 12 and faces DUI charges, leading to his release by Arizona.
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Malcolm Mitchell is expected to take Floyd’s spot in the lineup. Mitchell has been sidelined since Dec. 24 with a knee injury, but now that Floyd is out he can slide back into the lineup.

At Michigan State, where he led the Big Ten in rushing as a junior before declaring for the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell was known for hurdling defenders in the open field but remained more a straight-ahead runner. Still, you could see the beginnings of the fancy footwork for which he’s become famous.

Check out this run against Northwestern in which he halts at the line of scrimmage, then sticks his foot in the turf to make a man miss, then spins to force two more defenders to miss.

Game Kids Chuck Foreman Jersey By his rookie season, during which he rushed for 860 yards and eight scores for the Steelers, Bell had begun hesitating at the line of scrimmage to buy himself more time, then finding a crease and taking off. This play against the Ravens typifies his calculated cleverness.

Phillies place Cesar Hernandez on 10-day DL

The Phillies have placed Cesar Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, the team announced Sunday.

The second baseman initially suffered the injury while making a throw during the team’s 3-2 loss to the Cardinals on Friday and was scratched from Saturday’s 7-0 shutout.

In a corresponding move, the Phillies activated reliever Joaquin Benoit from the disabled list after he was shut down with a knee injury. Howie Kendrick is expected to take over at second base during Hernandez’s absence.
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Hernandez, 27, is batting .277 with with five home runs, 14 RBIs and a team-leading 40 runs scored as Philadelphia’s leadoff batter this season.

Judge was far from polished as a baseball player in high school 鈥?Linden High School, relatively close to Sacramento 鈥?but the A’s couldn’t resist taking a guy with his size and raw power. The decision for Judge to play college ball at Fresno was clearly the right choice for his development ; the Yankees grabbed him in the first round of the 2013 draft and he’s well on his way to legend status in the pinstripes.

Worth noting a couple other outstanding players were picked in the 31st round of that 2010 draft; Kevin Kiermaier signed with the Rays after being chosen 941st, and the Red Sox picked Hunter Renfroe 953rd, though he didn’t sign.

Mazzone recalled the sessions in Sain’s RV in West Palm Beach, not long after the men met. Sain would cook cornbread and beans and the men would sip vodka and talk pitching into the night.

James Conner Game Jersey Mazzone quickly realized about Sain that he was the most intelligent man I ever heard when it came to talking about pitching and talking about the common sense of keeping arms healthy.

Atlanta’s defense had shown improvement over the final two months of the season prior to last Sunday’s matchup

Although the two moves may have been in the works win or lose last Sunday, they were made following the greatest collapse in Super Bowl history. New England rolled for 546 yards to overcome a 28-3 deficit midway through the third quarter en route to a 34-28 overtime win at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Atlanta’s defense had shown improvement over the final two months of the season prior to last Sunday’s matchup. The Falcons also matched their highest sack total (34) since the 2008 season but still finished ranked No. 25 overall in average yards allowed (371.2) and No. 27 in points (25.4).

Smith, 61, became Atlanta’s defensive coordinator upon Quinn’s 2015 arrival. His NFL coaching career began in 1988 with previous defensive coordinator stints in Miami (2005) and Houston (2006-08).

The Texas bill is similar in scale and tone to North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 (HB2) law. The state has paid a high economic price since that law passed in March 2016, as the NBA withdrew the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte and the NCAA withdrew several championship events, including first- and second-round NCAA basketball tournament games, with more sanctions looming if the law isn’t repealed.

“Despite persistent misinformation in the media, under Senate Bill 6, all Texas teams will be able to set their own policies at the stadiums and arenas where they play and hold their events,” Patrick spokesman Alejandro Garcia said.

However, the legislation would apply to most college athletic facilities. Given the NCAA has already set a precedent by withdrawing events from North Carolina, Texas could expect the same treatment.
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It’s about shutting the Atlanta Falcons down.

Throw in Freeman and Tevin Coleman, with his 520 rushing yards and 31 receptions out of the backfield and fullback Patrick DiMarco, who added seven catches for 52 yards, and the Patriots will have their hands full.

“It’s not about shutting me down,” Jones said. “It’s about shutting the Atlanta Falcons down.”

But the problem is the Bears won’t want to part with the No. 3 overall pick for Garoppolo. It also will be hard for them to trade down from that spot, right behind Cleveland and San Francisco, to convert it into a reasonable first-rounder they can send to the Patriots. Given how much the Browns and 49ers also may want Garoppolo, waiting until draft day to finagle something would be too late for the Bears.
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They also don’t have the same enormous cap space to compete with the Browns and 49ers when it comes to a long-term deal for Garoppolo. In the short term, they are trying to make it work with another expensive free-agent priority, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. It’s hard to see a scenario in which Garoppolo and Jeffery will be Bears together.
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The Bears found their feature back in Jordan Howard, but they still have less to be desired at wideout, offensive tackle and tight end. In conjunction with a Cutler cut, there’s also an opportunity to re-sign Brian Hoyer as a cheap backup/stopgap to pair with a rookie draft pick as a more conservative financial move in line with their thinking.