After the gam

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After the gam

Postautor: elaine95 » 4 wrz 2018, o 08:37

Though James Harden and most of the Houston Rockets were misfiring throughout the first half Trey Burton Jerseyl , their confidence never wavered.

In the third quarter, those sharpshooters sure came to life.

Harden had 22 of the team’s near-record 50 points in the third, launching the Rockets past the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-100 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

”We had the mentality to be aggressive, make or missed shots,” said Harden, who went 7 for 10 in the third quarter and finished with 36 points. ”That’s what we do. We shoot the basketball, and eventually they’ll start falling.”

Chris Paul scored 15 of his 25 points in the near-record third for the Rockets, who still had a 50-49 halftime edge despite their rough start. With those torrid 12 minutes, they built a 31-point lead and were up 104-69 about a minute into the fourth. The only team in the history of the NBA playoffs with more points in one quarter was the Los Angeles Lakers, who scored 51 points in the fourth on March 31, 1962, in a loss to the Detroit Pistons.

”It was a good time to do it. We’ve been talking about it for two years, putting the 50-piece up,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”And that starts with the intensity and the right spirit and everything.”

Clint Capela added 14 points and 17 rebounds, Eric Gordon finally got going with 18 points off the bench and the Rockets left the Wolves wondering what hit them after 3 1/2 games of decent defense against one of the league’s most dangerous offensive teams. The Rockets scored on 11 straight possessions after an opening stop by the Wolves, and Harden alone scored 17 of their first 20 points.

”I’ve got to watch it again Malik Hooker Jersey ,” Paul said. ”We just, I don’t know, got hot.”

Wolves star Jimmy Butler, on the other hand, began forcing off-balance shots. Teague and Paul, the two former Wake Forest point guards, engaged in some intense trash talk. Paul baited Teague into a pushing foul for a pair of add-to-the-pile free throws. Gordon tacked on another 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 100-69 lead.

”I think we came out a little flatter than last game. We didn’t come out right away with that straight grit in the third quarter,” said Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota missed 14 of 21 shots, producing several panicked possessions over the third. Perhaps that’s because they were so rattled by how suddenly and quickly the Rockets were scoring.

”We came out lackadaisical on both ends of the floor,” Butler said. ”We didn’t take anything away from them. They got whatever shot that they wanted.”

The Timberwolves rebounded from their two defeats on the road by matching the Rockets with 15 makes from 3-point range in Game 3. They wisely took another tack for Game 4, attacking the basket in the first half with relentless abandon and plenty of success.

Derrick Rose, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds, was the catalyst off the bench with multiple muscle-his-way-in layups on both fast breaks and in the half court. Starting point guard Jeff Teague, meanwhile, had only two points on 1-for-7 shooting while fighting through dislocated right pinky finger.

The Wolves were in front by as much a 36-29 John Elway Jersey , but with as poorly as the Rockets were shooting they badly needed a larger lead than that. They went 21 for 44 from the field (47.7 percent) in the first half, but with all the layups and putbacks in the mix they easily could have made more.

Trevor Ariza made the first three 3-pointers attempted by the Rockets, who then missed on 13 of their next 14 tries from behind the arc. Harden didn’t make a basket until 5:57 remained in the second quarter, when his 10-foot floater fell in to cut Minnesota’s lead to 39-37. He swished one of his signature step-back 3-pointers on the next possession, and Houston was right back in front to sow the seeds for the staggering third quarter.

”Once we get going, it’s hard to stop us,” Capela said.

FULL CIRCLE

The last time the Timberwolves were in the first round of the playoffs in 2004, their opponent was Denver and Nene was a 21-year-old starter for the Nuggets. This is his 16th season in the NBA, the second with the Rockets.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Ariza finished with 15 points, after missing his last eight 3-pointers. … Harden is averaging 30.3 points in the series. He’s 38 for 91 from the floor (41.8 percent). … Capela is leading the league in the playoffs in rebounding, averaging 14 per game.

Timberwolves: Backup point guard Tyus Jones was available on an emergency-only basis because of a sore right knee. Rose played 33 minutes. … Butler (19 points) and Andrew Wiggins (14 points) combined to shoot 12 for 31 from the floor.

UP NEXT

The series shifts back south to Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday night.



Chris Sale got an earful from the biggest crowd at Yankee Stadium this season while walking from the bullpen to the bench prior to the first pitch.

The Red Sox ace said he didn’t hear the boos and insults.

By the second inning, the catcalls weren’t for him, anyway.

Sale pitched his latest Bronx gem, Rafael Devers went 5 for 5 with a first-inning grand slam and Boston held New York to two hits during an 11-0 rout Saturday night to take back baseball’s best record.

Sale (8-4) allowed only Giancarlo Stanton’s clean single over seven innings, striking out 11. He has a 1.73 career ERA against the Yankees, best among pitchers with at least 10 starts against them since 1920. His ERA at Yankee Stadium is 1.86 Da'Shawn Hand Jersey , second only to Seattle’s Felix Hernandez among pitchers with five starts.

”He looks like the best pitcher in the big leagues right now,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

Boston is a major league-leading 56-28, just ahead of the Yankees at 53-27. New York held the best mark by percentage points after winning Friday’s series opener 8-1.

Yankee Stadium hosted a season-high sellout of 47,125, and the crowd ripped into starter Sonny Gray (5-6) after he gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander dropped to 0-4 with a 9.35 ERA against Boston since being acquired by New York from Oakland last season.

”I expect to come out and perform and make it fun,” Gray said. ”The way I’ve thrown the ball, I don’t think it’s been fun. I feel like we’re the best team in baseball four out of five days, and then I come out and do that.”

Devers had a career-best five hits. He nearly socked another homer in the seventh, but right fielder Aaron Judge reached over the wall and knocked Devers’ shot back into play with his glove. Devers ended up with a double following a video review.

Since June 5, the 21-year-old Devers has raised his OPS from .675 to .741.

”We take it for granted because he’s talented and did what he did last year, but he’s still a kid,” Cora said, adding that Devers has been working hard with Boston’s staff to shore up the holes left in his game from racing through the minor leagues. ”He’s staying with the program.”

Sandy Leon brought in Devers with a two-run homer into the second deck in right field. J.D. Martinez had three hits and three RBIs, and Mookie Betts added two hits and two walks as Boston piled up 17 hits.

Heath Hembree and Hector Velazquez closed it out with a hitless inning each. Velazquez gave up a groundball single to Gleyber Torres in the ninth for New York’s second hit.

New York had won seven consecutive games against left-handed starters and was a major league-best 19-5 against them this season, but Sale had them spinning. The Yankees hit just four balls out of the infield against Sale, and he retired his final 16 batters.

”Got punched in the face last night LeSean McCoy Jersey , so you obviously want to respond well,” Sale said.

Judge struck out three times against the lefty in three at-bats, giving him 13 punchouts in 18 career at-bats against Sale. That’s the most strikeouts for Judge against any pitcher.

Torres also struck out three times against Sale during his first career start in the leadoff spot. This was the fourth time New York was shut out this season, all in the past 18 games.

GRAY DAY

Gray quickly disposed of Betts and Andrew Benintendi to open the game, but a well-placed grounder by Martinez sparked a big first inning. After Martinez’s infield single, Mitch Moreland’s walk and Xander Bogaerts‘ single, Gray floated a waist-high 1-2 curveball that Devers lofted just over the left-field wall. It was Devers’ second career slam – both this season – and his 14th homer of the year.

Benintendi and Martinez each added an RBI in the second, and Yankee Stadium fans jeered loudly as Gray walked off in the third.

JUMPING JACKIE

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. caught Aaron Hicks’ drive in the third while leaping and slamming into the wall in front of New York’s bullpen.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Boston reliever Tyler Thornburg pitched two innings for Double-A Portland on Friday and a clean inning Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket, perhaps a final hurdle for the right-hander before he returns to the majors following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last June.

Yankees: Hicks was visited by a trainer after being hit by a pitch on his right foot or ankle in the first inning. He remained in the game. … C Austin Romine was pulled in the seventh inning and sent for a precautionary MRI with left hamstring tightness. Results were negative, and he is day to day.

ROSTER MOVE

After the game, the Yankees optioned RHP Giovanny Gallegos to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

UP NEXT

Boston LHP David Price (9-5, 3.66 ERA) and Yankees ace Luis Severino (12-2, 2.10) square off in prime time Sunday. Price is 7-1 with a 2.72 ERA in nine starts since being diagnosed with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome that caused him to miss a turn against the Yankees in early May. Severino had his worst start this season vs. Boston on April 10, allowing five runs in five innings, but then matched a season high with 11 strikeouts in a strong outing against the Red Sox on May 8.



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