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Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle was going through his usual routine Monday Authentic Will Dissly Jersey , preparing if needed for a save, when general manager Mike Rizzo sought him out.

Rizzo wanted to discuss two things: The Nationals were trading for two-time All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera, and Doolittle was going to keep his ninth-inning job.

Getting a jump on the trade deadline, the Nationals picked up right-hander Herrera from the Kansas City Royals for three minor leaguers, adding him to a back end of the bullpen that already includes the lefty Doolittle and righties Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler.

”It’s almost their way of saying, `Here’s some help. Here’s some reinforcements.’ I think it’s one of those situations where you can’t have too many options down there,” Doolittle said. ”You get a guy who’s pitched in every high-leverage role from the seventh inning on. He’s won a World Series. … We’re planning on playing some really meaningful games down the stretch and making a run into the playoffs. We’re gonna need some help. I think it’s awesome.”

As for the effect on his role, which the Nationals say won’t change Lucas Giolito Jersey , Doolittle called it ”definitely a confidence boost” to hear that it’s ”still my job.”

”You want to add some stuff, but you don’t want to have too many cooks in the kitchen,” Doolittle said. ”It’s not necessarily that guys are super-attached to their roles, but they like to know what to expect – when they’re going to pitch in a game, when to get ready, that sort of stuff.”

The Nationals sent infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and 17-year-old pitcher Yohanse Morel to Kansas City in the deal announced during Washington’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Gutierrez heads to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Perkins will be assigned to Class A Wilmington Authentic Troy Apke Jersey , and Morel goes to rookie ball.

Herrera has 14 saves and a 1.05 ERA this season. He’s allowed three earned runs in 25 2/3 innings while striking out 22 batters and walking two.

”It’s just a moment you don’t want to see,” Herrera said about leaving his only major league home. ”It’s always hard. I was born and raised (as) a player here.”

The 28-year-old helped Kansas City win the 2015 World Series – and is among the last players left from that title team. He is 23-27 with 57 saves and a 2.75 ERA across 442 games in relief over eight seasons in the majors.

”We’ve known Kelvin since he signed with us when he was 16 years old. He’s one of the very best competitors that I’ve ever been around, probably that this organization has seen,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. ”Without him, there is no way we can ever make it to the World Series, win a World Series.”

Kintzler, the usual seventh-inning man for Washington, went on the disabled list June 10 with a right forearm flexor strain Jose Cruz Jr. Jersey , and Madson spent time on the DL earlier this season.

Madson was a teammate of Herrera’s on the 2015 champions.

”He’s a bulldog,” Madson said. ”I take it with welcoming arms. Let the old horse rest a little bit.”

Instead of waiting to make moves at the July 31 non-waiver deadline, the Nationals opted to strike now. They are the two-time reigning NL East champions but have never won a postseason series. Washington also currently stands in second place in the division, entering Monday 3 games behind the Atlanta Braves.http://chikoz.com/public/album_photo/80/1f/1f61_9177.jpg?c=2a26

The Royals, meanwhile, are way out of contention in the AL Central in last place and 22-49 going into the day. They already shipped Jon Jay to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a pair of minor leaguers earlier in June.

”We’d like to be holding onto our players longer,” Moore said, ”but where we are in the standings and what we’re faced with and how we’re playing Cheap Philadelphia Eagles Hoodie , if we can get the right move, it’s important to move.”

AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta and freelancer Alan Eskew in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.

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The Washington Capitals don’t need a history lesson. Neither do the Winnipeg Jets for that matter.

The Capitals are well aware of their penchant for letting opportunity after opportunity slip away Hernan Perez Jersey , frequently at the hands of Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And just in case Alex Ovechkin and his teammates ever forget about their playoff missteps, they need only step in front of a camera or a microphone, where the same questions are posed year after year.

There’s only one way to hop off the hamster wheel: close out the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins this week – preferably at the end of Game 6 Monday night (7 p.m., NBCSN) in Pittsburgh – to earn the franchise’s first trip to the Eastern Conference finals in 20 years.

”I don’t know if I could tell you exactly what it would mean,” Washington forward T.J. Oshie said.

”None of us have ever been there. We’re just looking to get the job done and maybe after we can talk about the feelings. But right now we still got a lot of work to do.”

Work that in the past has proven to be too much. Four previous times during the Ovechkin Era – including in 2009 and 2017 against Pittsburgh – the Capitals have won three games in the second round of the playoffs. It’s that fourth one that’s proven elusive.

No pressure or anything. All Washington has to do to produce a cathartic breakthrough is hand the Penguins their first series loss in 37 months.

Pittsburgh has never lost an elimination game under head coach Mike Sullivan, capturing a pair of Game 7s – including a 2-0 shutout in Washington in the second round – during its run to a second straight Cup last spring and rallying from a 3-2 deficit against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals two years ago.

”They know what it takes to win,” Sullivan said. ”They’re not afraid of challenges and they embrace these types of situations.”

To become the first team in 35 years to earn three consecutive titles Addison Russell Jersey , the Penguins don’t really have a choice.

They were the better team for long stretches in Game 5 only to have the Capitals surge past them in the third period for a 6-3 win – the second time in three games Pittsburgh lost in regulation when leading after two, something it didn’t do at all in the regular season.

No matter. Recovering quickly and moving forward has kind of been their thing under Sullivan. The Penguins are 17-5 following a playoff loss with Sullivan on the bench.

Pushing that number to 18-5 would send the series back to Washington and force the Capitals try to explain – again – how this time will be different.

”We knew it was going to be a tight series,” Crosby said. ”We need to make sure we leave it all out there, give ourselves a chance to get back (to Washington).”

At least the Capitals put themselves in position for playoff heartbreak. That’s hardly the case with the Jets, who until a month ago had won exactly zero postseason games in their 18 years of existence and now find themselves one victory away from the Western Conference finals.

Winnipeg has never been this far. Ever. The Jets put themselves in position when they stunned Nashville by scoring four goals in the second period against Vezina Trophy finalist Pekka Rinne during a 6-2 romp in ”Smashville” in Game 5, sending them home for Game 6 (9:30 p.m., NBCSN) with a chance to wrap up the series.

Not that the Jets want to talk about it.

”That’s noise. It’s kind of a distraction Authentic Michael Gallup Jersey ,” Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said.

”What we’re focused on is what’s given us success all year long, and that’s just finding a way to win one hockey game. If we’re able to do that, then when it’s all said and done you’re reflecting on the season and you’ll think about what you were able to accomplish and the magnitude of the situation. But we can’t make it bigger than a game.”

The Predators, unlike the Jets, have been here before. They faced elimination in the first round against Anaheim in 2016 but came back to advance, triumphing in the crucible of Game 7 for the first time in franchise history in the process.

”It’s pretty simple, we win we keep playing Cheap Ito Smith Jersey ,” Nashville forward Filip Forsberg said. ”If we don’t, we don’t play anymore. Obviously that desperation level is going to be a determining factor for sure.”

It’s a feeling long familiar in Washington. The Capitals received a dose of good news on Sunday when coach Barry Trotz said center Nicklas Backstrom will travel with the team after http://chikoz.com/public/album_photo/80/1f/1f61_9177.jpg?c=2a26leaving in the third period of Game 5 with an upper-body injury.

Whoever is on the ice will be forced to shoulder the weight of playoff failures, one Trotz is confident his team is finally ready to shrug off for good.

”I can tell you there’s not a player, a coach, a trainer, ownership, (general manager) who is not trying to do everything they can to win this series Bobby Cox Jersey ,” Trotz said. ”Trust me. We’re trying as hard as we can and at the end of the day that’s all we can promise.”

AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, and AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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The grizzled veteran. The comeback kid. The hotshot rookie.

The New York Jets‘ quarterback competition is an intriguing mix of experience Authentic Johnny Townsend Jersey , charisma and hype with Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold all going for the starting job this summer.

And any of the three could end up under center when the regular season begins in September.

”It’s a fun room to be a part of,” McCown said Tuesday as the Jets’ three-day minicamp began. ”Just personally because of the character of those guys, but also professionally because of how they approach their job and what they bring to the table.”

McCown is the incumbent starter, so he entered offseason workouts as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart.

All three got work with the starting offense Tuesday. McCown, who turns 39 on July 4, got the bulk of the snaps with the starters in team drills. But he’s also well aware that he’s not the future of the franchise. That label would go to the 21-year-old Darnold, who was the No. 3 overall pick out of USC.

Darnold got the most overall snaps during the team periods and showed his usual quick release, including a terrific pass that zipped past defenders and into the hands of tight end Eric Tomlinson for a touchdown. He was also nearly intercepted by rookie Parry Nickerson on a throw intended for tight end Jordan Leggett.

Some really good moments and some not-so-great moments for Darnold. But he has shown steady improvement in the short time he has been with the Jets.

”Every day, I feel like he goes out and gets better,” McCown said. ”I think for all of us, but particularly young players Tony Wolters Jersey , you’re discovering something new every time you step on the field. … Being that’s the stage he’s in, he’s learning a lot about these plays and the ins and outs of them, so he’s done a good job with that.”

Darnold will certainly have the chance to win the job, but he insists that’s not his focus at the moment.

”That’s not up to me,” Darnold said. ”It’s really a coaching decision. I’m going to come in here and work every single day. I’m just going to work and grow to be the best quarterback I can be and help this team do well.”

When asked if he believes that opportunity is within his grasp, the rookie said all the right things – again.

”Yeah, I mean, I would say anything is possible,” Darnold said. ”I think I’m capable of a lot of things. But, again, that’s not up for me to decide.”

Coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates certainly will have plenty to consider in two months, when the competition really shapes up.

McCown is the wise Jackie Bradley Jr Jersey , old sage – a veteran leader whose even-keeled approach and overall positive vibe played key roles in keeping New York’s locker room a united group despite a 5-11 season. If McCown, who is also coming off a career-best season, is the best of the three quarterbacks, the Jets will have no problem starting him against Detroit on Sept. 10.

But if Darnold continues progressing at this rate through training camp and the preseason, and shows he’s at least even with the veterans, it could be him from Week 1.

”His learning is outstanding,” Bowles said. ”The process and the steps which he’s taken, he’s been very steady. We’re very pleased with him.”

Bridgewater can’t be ruled out, however, especially with the way he has looked throughout the offseason.

The 25-year-old quarterback who signed a one-year deal with the Jets is still working his way back from a severe knee injury that threatened his career nearly two years ago. But he has shown no ill effects or limitations in the non-contact practices while wearing a brace on his left knee. Bridgewater has also looked good commanding the offense, including making some throws on the run.

That very fact seemed almost impossible on Aug. 30, 2016 Shane Greene Jersey , when Bridgewater – then with the Vikings – went down with a non-contact injury to his knee. He had torn the anterior cruciate ligament and had other structural damage, including a dislocated knee joint.

”It was scary,” Bridgewater recalled. ”But at the end of the day, I was still breathing.”

Minnesota teammates took knees and prayed on the field when the quarterback was hurt that day, but Bridgewater was proud of himself for keeping his emotions together. Last November, he was back on the sideline with the Vikings and in uniform, and he couldn’t control his emotions that day.

”This game means a lot to me,” Bridgewater said. ”I’ve been playing football since I was 5 years old, and it brought tears to my eyes because it showed me that you’re never out of it. You’re never out of the fight.”

The comeback continues with the Jets, who have had quite a few quarterback competitions over the years. This one, however, could set the franchise up for years to come.

”We’re all at a little bit different stages in our career Andy Pettitte Jersey ,” McCown said. ”But we’re all wanting the same thing. And that’s, A, for the quarterbacks of the Jets to play productive football and play good football. But also for each guy individually to do so, and I think we root for that. … We know that when we compete and a guy’s playing well, it’s going to bring the best out of the other two guys.

”Ultimately, that’s great for the quarterbacks room because the other two guys get better, but also it’s better for the Jets.”

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The Latest on Thursday night’s NBA draft (all times local):

11 p.m.

The Atlantic Coast Conference Cheap Weston Richburg Jersey , which tied its record with nine NCAA Tournament teams earlier this year, had the most players selected in the first round of the NBA draft: six players.

Duke accounted for half the ACC’s total with Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr. and Grayson Allen.

After setting a league record with eight NCAA teams, the Southeastern Conference ranked second again with five first-round picks – but only two from Kentucky. The SEC also tied its own mark with four lottery picks for the second time in four years for the league.

The Big Ten matched its four NCAA teams with four first-round draft picks.

The Big 12 fell far short of matching its seven NCAA berths with only three first-round picks. But the Pac 12, which had Arizona’s Deandre Ayton taken No. 1 overall, matched its three NCAA teams with three draft picks.

And Villanova, the defending national champ, helped the Big East top its two No. 1 seeds. Three Wildcats wound up drafted among the first 30 picks.

9:10 p.m.

Michael Porter Jr. insists that he’s the best player in this draft.

Apparently, 13 teams disagreed.

Porter Jr. Cheap Isaiah Oliver Jersey , whose college career at Missouri was all of three games because of back surgery, fell to the very last lottery spot in Thursday night’s draft. The Denver Nuggets decided Porter Jr. was worth the gamble, taking him with the No. 14 selection.

Porter played just 53 minutes in college and cancelled a workout in recent days because of what was described as a hip issue.

The freefall is going to cost Porter some money. The top pick in this year’s draft, Deandre Ayton, is guaranteed to make at least $6.7 million. Porter Jr. is only guaranteed $2.4 million.

9 p.m.

Before Deandre Ayton was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the first pick of the draft, he had signed a multimillion deal with Puma.

Ayton, one of three players in this class who made the choice to go with Puma over bigger brands such as Nike and Adidas, says it was an easy and personal decision for him.

He says, ”In the Bahamas Jimmy Wynn Jersey , a lot of people cannot afford Nike or Adidas. Puma is the main brand and it’s very affordable, and growing up around that brand, I’m used to that brand.”

Ayton, who played at Arizona, is from Nassau, Bahamas. The inside of his draft tuxedo not only featured Bahama’s flag but also Nigeria and Jamaica ones. His mom is Jamaican and Bahamian. His dad is Nigerian.

Marvin Bagley III and Zhaire Smith also signed with Puma.

Ayton says he wants to ”start my own thing,” adding, ”I want to be dominant in my own brand, and I want to have my own signature one day to make it global.”

7:50 p.m.

Luka Doncic won a championship on Tuesday. For Real Madrid. In Spain.

Two days later Cheap Jessie Bates III Jersey , he’s in the NBA.

The Slovenian teenager -considered one of the best prospects to come out of Europe- was picked No. 3 overall by the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, amid reports that he would quickly be traded to Dallas for the No. 5 pick and a future first-round selection.

This marks the seventh time in the last 13 drafts that at least one player has gone in the top five and will be entering the NBA directly from an international team. Andrea Bargnani went No. 1 overall in 2006; the last top-five to come from an international roster was Dragan Bender, who went No. 4 to Phoenix in 2016.

The international touch on this draft is already pronounced, with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton being born in the Bahamas.

7:40 p.m.

Only eight years after playing basketball for the first time, Deandre Ayton is the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

The Phoenix Suns made the long-expected move official on Thursday night, taking the Arizona center with the top overall pick. He’s the first Arizona player to go No. 1 in the draft; Mike Bibby was No. 2 in 1998 and Derrick Williams was No. 2 in 2011.

It’s history for Ayton, and history for his homeland as well.

Ayton is just the second player born in the Bahamas to go No. 1, joining Mychal Thompson – the top pick in the 1978 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 7-foot-1 Ayton, who didn’t start playing basketball until he was 12 Cheap Shaquem Griffin Jersey , averaged 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in his lone college season. He’s the ninth consecutive one-and-done player to be taken No. 1 overall.

7:25 p.m.

The players in New York who were headed to the Green Room were individually introduced on stage before the draft officially started. They had their names announced, special accolades and where they are from. Parents also got to walk out with their sons.

Members of the Jr. NBA lined up to clap and cheer, creating a walkway for the draft prospects as they went to sit down at their respective tables.

This is the first time NBA has started the draft with an elaborate introduction.

6:40 p.m.

Avery Johnson is back at Barclays Center, home of some turbulent times.

Draft night will be a celebratory one for the Alabama coach, who is seated at the green room table of star Crimson Tide point guard Collin Sexton.

Johnson was the Nets‘ coach when they moved to Brooklyn in 2012 but was fired with a 14-14 record early in that first season shortly after they were blown out at home by Boston in a nationally televised Christmas Day game.

He eventually ended up at Alabama and coached here last season when the Crimson Tide played in the Barclays Center Classic. They finished their championship game los. Womens Rasheem Green Jersey , Adidas Logan Couture Jersey , Authentic Womens Mike Remmers Jersey , Authentic Womens Bradley Chubb Jersey ,

Jonathan Lucroy flied out in his first chance at getting the winning hit. The next time up Jake Odorizzi Jersey , he didn’t miss.

Lucroy hit an RBI single off the center-field wall with the bases loaded in the 11th inning and the Athletics capped their comeback Sunday with a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

”They stacked the left side up, so you don’t want to roll into a double play right there,” Lucroy said. ”I was trying to stay inside the ball and hit it somewhere up the middle or the other way.”

The A’s rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it at 5, an inning that ended when Lucroy hit a flyball with runners on first and second.

Jed Lowrie led off the 11th with a single and Jake Jewell (0-1) hit Khris Davis with a pitch. After Matt Olson flied out Jose Ramirez Jersey , Eduardo Paredes replaced Jewell and walked Mark Canha to load the bases.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought left fielder Justin Upton in for a five-man infield but it didn’t matter. Lucroy hit a deep drive to win it.

”We had a couple guys coming out of the bullpen just brought too many walks with them and hit batters,” Scioscia said. ”We put too many guys on base from the ninth inning on and those guys got it done.”

Canha hit an early two-run homer, and added a tying single with two outs in the ninth. Marcus Semien homered to begin the Oakland ninth.

Blake Treinen (4-1) got the win.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols hit his 625th career home run

It was another blown save for Scioscia’s bullpen, the 15th by the Angels this season.

Blake Parker gave up two runs in the ninth. He also had a blown save Wednesday in Seattle. Canha’s tying single came off Cam Bedrosian.

”We made them work early on and they picked us up every single time Kenta Maeda Jersey ,” Angels starter Andrew Heaney said. ”They may be struggling now and some guys are having their issues and that’s part of baseball.”

Chris Young homered and Mike Trout reached base five times for the Angels.

Pujols’ drive off Daniel Mengden was his fourth this month and 11th overall this season. It also moved the Angels’ 38-year-old slugger within five home runs of tying Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth place all time.

Pujols also had an RBI single in the third.

Trout had homered in four of his previous six games. He had singles in the fifth and ninth, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.

NICE BUT NOTHING TO SHOW

Heaney allowed Canha’s home run in the second and a sacrifice fly to Olson in the seventh. Beyond that, the left-hander was stellar with eight strikeouts in eight innings. ”One mistake to Canha that was a changeup down the heart of the plate,” Scioscia said. ”Outside of that he was dotting that outside corner Carlos Asuaje Jersey , moving the ball in and changing speeds with his breaking ball all day.”

LOSING CONTROL

Mengden has issued 10 walks in his three June starts. He had only eight in his first 12 starts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (right thumb contusion) added throwing to his regimen, one day before his scheduled visit with a hand specialist in Los Angeles. Chapman’s biggest hurdle remains swinging a bat. … LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is headed for Arizona to pitch in extended spring training.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61 ERA) faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a two-game series Monday in Anaheim. Barria’s ERA is the lowest among all rookies with at least 40 innings this season.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05 ERA) starts against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday to begin Oakland’s 10-game road trip.

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Chris Paul has a long history of playoff heartbreak.

So does James Harden.

And Mike D’Antoni has more than either of them combined.

Separately Cheap Minnesota Vikings Hoodie , they’ve never gotten it done at playoff time. Together, their fortunes might change. They’ve led the Houston Rockets to the NBA’s best record going into these playoffs, and in a league that Golden State and Cleveland have dominated in recent years, it may not be overly surprising to see the Paul-Harden-D’Antoni triumvirate win it all this spring.

With two regular-season games left, the Rockets have already piled up a franchise-record 64 wins to secure the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. But this group – perhaps fueled by past playoff shortcomings – knows it has much more work to do.

”The ultimate goal is holding that trophy up,” Harden said. ”So until we do that there’s no celebrations … we haven’t done anything yet.”

D’Antoni, who’ll turn 67 next month and would be the oldest coach to win an NBA title if Houston gets it done, has revived his career in Houston. He got the Rockets to the West semifinals in his first year with them last season. And on the eve of these playoffs, D’Antoni insists he won’t spend a second thinking about all the times things went wrong in his previous postseason trips.

”Zero Authentic Carlton Davis Jersey ,” he said when asked how much he thinks about his playoff failures. ”Twenty-nine teams look back every year. It’s hard to win.”

D’Antoni might know that better than most.

In 2004-05, his Phoenix Suns won 62 games in the regular season and reached the conference finals before losing to eventual champion San Antonio in five games. The Suns advanced to the conference finals again the following year, but were eliminated by Dallas in six games. They lost in the second round in 2007, the first round in 2008.

More failures followed in his stints with New York and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Knicks were swept by Boston in 2011, the Lakers swept by the Spurs in 2013, both of those coming in the first round. Before last season, D’Antoni hadn’t won a playoff game in nine years.

”We’ve had a great regular season, but it doesn’t matter,” he said. ”But what it does mean is that we’re pretty good and if we make big shots and do what we’re supposed to do … then we’ll see if we can do it.”

Paul’s failures in the postseason may be even more scrutinized. The nine-time All-Star Authentic Will Dissly Jersey , who came to Houston in an offseason trade, has made nine playoff trips without advancing past the second round. The worst of those flops came in 2015, ironically against Houston, when Paul and the Clippers had a 3-1 lead in the conference semifinals. They got blown out in Game 5, wasted a 19-point second-half lead in Los Angeles in Game 6, then fell in Game 7 at Houston.

That was then, Paul said.

”It is cool when you stop and think about it,” Paul said. ”But for us right now we’re trying to enjoy the moment. Trying to enjoy the process and not worry about all that stuff. Maybe after it’s all said and done you can reflect on it.”

Harden knows playoff pain as well. His splendid 2016-17 season was so promising, especially after Houston routed San Antonio Dellin Betances Jersey , on the road, in Game 1 of the West semifinals. The Spurs won four of the next five, including a 114-75 embarrassing series-clincher in Houston where Harden was held to 10 points.

”These last few years I’ve learned that obviously you can’t do it by yourself,” Harden said. ”You need guys to step up, make big shots, make big plays and so we have enough guys in here on any given night that can change a playoff series. So that’s what you need. That’s what puts you over the top.”

Paul might be the topper Harden needed.

From the moment Paul arrived in Houston, Harden raved about what he would bring to the team. After playing with him for a season, the normally reserved Harden was even more effusive in his praise of the fellow guard.

”I don’t mean to sound too mushy or what-not but it was like love at first sight,” Harden said. ”It was just meant to be.”

This will be Harden’s ninth playoff appearance after three trips with the Thunder and five in Houston. He’s led the Rockets to the postseason in each of his seasons in Houston Shelby Miller Jersey , but his failure to shine in big games has dogged him for years.

Bringing a title to Houston, which hasn’t seen the Rockets hoisting a Larry O’Brien Trophy since the back-to-back crowns in 1994 and 1995, will render all those criticisms moot.

”We’re all in this together,” Harden said. ”That’s what it’s all about. We talk about it every single day. We’re in this together and if one fails we all fail. So we’re going to ride this thing out together.”

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The Dallas Stars are celebrating 25 years in Texas by hosting the NHL draft for the first time.

The headliner for the home team had a little anniversary of his own: retired franchise icon Mike Modano marking 30 years since he was the No. 1 overall pick by helping introduce the Stars’ first-round pick Authentic Kalen Ballage Jersey , Canadian forward Ty Dellandrea, on Friday night.

Sharing the stage with high-scoring Dallas winger Jamie Benn, Modano only had to look up to see his No. 9 hanging from the rafters at the other end of American Airlines Center.

The highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history was the first pick by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, five years before the franchise moved to North Texas.

”I’ve been thinking about it,” Modano said. ”Didn’t really ring a bell till about a month ago when they started saying some stuff Authentic J'Mon Moore Jersey , called me to do some intros. I was like, `Dang, yeah, ’88, 2018.’ I was like Cheap Lamar Jackson Jersey , `That was quick.”’

Modano watched hockey grow from almost nothing in North Texas, but couldn’t say he was surprised his old franchise got the draft since a new arena that opened in 2001 brought the All-Star game six years later. The 48-year-old figured it was just a matter of time.

”I think a lot of things happened along the way that we didn’t think,” Modano said. ”Just kind of gives people a little bit of knowledge of the town. There’s hockey down in Texas and it’s alive and kicking. Brings a lot of attention to this town for hockey for a good week.”

Modano gigged the current captain of the Stars during their presentation, saying he wasn’t on stage when Benn got drafted and Benn responding that they didn’t bring fifth-round picks to the stage.

Benn, the 2015 Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL’s points leader Authentic Lamar Jackson Jersey , is up to fifth on the club’s career scoring list after getting taken 129th overall in 2007. Benn’s rookie season was Modano’s last in Dallas.

”We worked on that for a little bit,” Modano said with a smile.

Dellandrea, the 13th overall pick, was 10 when Modano retired in 2011 after one season with Detroit. Modano debuted as an 18-year-old with the North Stars and spent 20 seasons combined in Minnesota and Dallas. His American records are 557 goals and 1,359 points.

”I might have been a little young Cheap Johnny Townsend Jersey ,” said the 17-year-old Dellandrea, who spent the past two seasons with Flint of the Ontario Hockey League. ”But both of them have been tremendous role models to look up to as a young hockey player.”

Now one of them is a teammate.

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Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave have been called up from Triple-A by the Minnesota Twins three times apiece this season Authentic Courtland Sutton Jersey , and the All-Star break is still more than one week away.

Their contributions to this struggling team on Thursday night were sure worthy of a longer stay.

Slegers picked up his first major league win with six smooth innings, Cave reached base all four times he batted, and the Twins stopped their six-game losing streak by hanging on for a 5-2 victory over the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

”I know that I think, and I know Slegers thinks the same thing, that we can play big league baseball,” Cave said. ”We’re ready to go anytime the team needs us, and that’s just kind of how you’ve got to think of it.”

Logan Morrison homered and Cave drove in an eighth-inning insurance run with one of his two doubles for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney in the ninth for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances. Slegers (1-0) gave up only one run, on the first of two homers by Jonathan Schoop.

”It’s fun to have that in the stat column Anthony Santander Jersey , to be a major league winner,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my life.”

With eight right-handers in the Orioles lineup, except for Chris Davis, Slegers put his sinker to good use against the second-lowest scoring team in MLB. The Orioles managed just three hits against the 6-foot-10 Slegers, who was the latest to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation. Manager Paul Molitor stopped short of a commitment, but he indicated Slegers earned another turn after needing only 72 pitches to complete those six innings in his first major league start this season.

”Sometimes you make tough decisions to protect those young guys when they’ve had good outings and make sure they feel good when they come out of the game,” Molitor said.

The Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner (2-9) and lost for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.

Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several accomplished players on expiring contracts. Baltimore has essentially been in that boat since April Archie Bradley Jersey , with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered the best asset on the market this summer.

CASHED OUT

Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.

”It’s not like we didn’t want to score for him,” Schoop said. ”I hope things start changing.”

Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major leagues this season.

”I probably had the worst stuff I’ve had this season, but I thought I just grinded throughout the game,” Cashner said. ”When you’re not scoring runs, I feel like I keep my mind sharp on what I want to do out there and thinking pitch to pitch.”

WHOOPS

Cashner was charged with an error in the third Blake Treinen Jersey , when he was covering first base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.

WHIFFS

Rodney struck out Davis to start a perfect ninth, pushing the sputtering slugger into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He is tied with Cal Ripken Jr., who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.

MAN, CAVE

Cave, who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis in the fourth inning. Cave doubled twice, driving in one run Nick Wittgren Jersey , to go with a single and an intentional walk.

”He can really flash it out there,” Slegers said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for his season-ending surgery on July 12. He’ll need six months to recover.

DOZIER’S DAY

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who has started 80 of 84 games and appeared in all but one this season, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .218.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night. Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.

Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season. He gave up seven runs in Chicago to the Cubs in just 1 2/3 innings.

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The NFL has promoted Maryann Turcke to chief operating officer Authentic Trent Murphy Jersey , making her the highest-ranking woman at the league offices.

Turcke has overseen NFL Network in the last year. She replaces Tod Leiweke, who has left the league after three years in the job.

Turcke will lead the marketing, communications, human resources Authentic DJ Moore Jersey , international and events and technology departments.

”Since joining NFL Media last year, Maryann has distinguished herself by leading NFL Network to a record-setting year,” Commissioner Roger Goodell. ”We look forward to Maryann building upon this success, and her previous achievements as president of Bell Media Authentic Markus Wheaton Jersey , as she steps into this larger role. I expect her leadership, vision and corporate governance experience to help evolve our organization and take it to a higher level.”

Goodell also praised Leiweke.

”During his time here in New York, Tod was instrumental in guiding our long-term strategic process and has been a valuable resource, not only to me but to ownership Jimmy Wynn Jersey , our clubs and the entire league,” he said. ”I thank him for his passion and dedication to the mission of the NFL.”

Turcke has been based in Los Angeles, but will move to the New York offices. NFL Network had a strong year with Turcke in charge, ranking second to ESPN in viewership during the season.

Goodell says more changes at NFL headquarters are coming. Recently Authentic Dontae Johnson Jersey , Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones criticized the quality of leadership at the New York offices.

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Another attempt at a no-hitter Authentic Harrison Phillips Jersey , a reliever alternating between the mound and first base, and postgame pushing and shoving.

The Tampa Bay Rays pulled off an odd one for their fifth straight victory.

Nathan Eovaldi took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before an unusual combination of relievers in the ninth completed a three-hitter as the Rays beat Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals 1-0 Tuesday.

Eovaldi (2-3) lost his no-hit bid when Bryce Harper hit an opposite-field double off the left-field wall with two outs in the sixth. The right-hander, who struck out nine, walked two and hit a batter over six innings, was making his sixth start since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in August 2016.

However, it was the ninth inning that stole the spotlight.

After Diego Castillo went two innings Pedro Martinez Jersey , lefty Jose Alvarado began the ninth by walking Harper before moving to first base when Chaz Roe relieved him. Roe struck out Anthony Rendon before Alvarado returned to the mound and gave up singles to lefties Juan Soto and Daniel Murphy that loaded the bases.

”We wanted to get our best matchups possible,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”The gamble, I guess, was hoping that nobody hit a ground ball to first.”

Sergio Romo replaced Alvarado and got his sixth save by getting Trea Turner to fly out and Michael A. Taylor to strike out.

”I was a little jealous that it wasn’t me going out and playing a position,” Romo said.

Alvarado declined to talk to reporters after the game.

There was a brief scrum near the mound after Taylor struck out when Romo exchanged words with the Washington outfielder, who had stolen second in the sixth inning of the Nationals’ 11-2 over Tampa Bay on June 6.

”I don’t disrespect anybody on that team other than the person that I felt disrespected me and my team George Springer Jersey ,” Romo said.

Said Taylor: ”I understand the situation. Obviously they think different but I’m not worried about that. The talking and things like that, I’m not big on drama.”

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Romo’s unhappiness was misdirected.

”If he gets mad, he should get mad at me, but don’t show up one of our players,” Martinez said.

Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the Rays’ 11-0 rout of the Nationals on Monday night. Washington finished that game with two hits.

Scherzer (10-4) gave up one run, four hits Hanley Ramirez Jersey , three walks and struck out four in seven innings for the Nationals, who have lost nine of 12. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has lost three straight decisions for the first time since August 2015.

The Rays took both games of the series with Washington on the heels of a three-game sweep last weekend over the New York Yankees, who have the best record in the majors.

Tampa Bay is 7-5 during a stretch of 16 games against the Yankees, Nationals and Houston Astros.

Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the first when Kevin Kiermaier singled, advanced to third on Matt Duffy’s base hit during a 10-pitch at-bat and scored on Jake Bauers‘ grounder.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (strained right hamstring) had a 30-pitch bullpen session, which could the final step before rejoining the rotation.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) remains on schedule for a three-inning simulated game Thursday and could be back around the All-Star break.

FUN TIMES

Rays OF Mallex Smith was doing a live TV interview wearing a buffalo hat – honoring teammate Wilson Ramos Authentic Marcus Davenport Jersey , the leading vote-getter for AL All-Star starting catcher – when Tampa Bay OF Carlos Gomez got Smith in the face with a shaving cream pie.

MORE HIGH JINKS

As Harper walked to the plate in the first inning, Frank Sinatra’s ”New York, New York” played over the Tropicana Field sound system for the potential free agent after this season. In the sixth, the musical selection was Sinatra’s ”Chicago.”

UP NEXT

Nationals: Washington has not announced its rotation for a four-game series at Philadelphia that begins Thursday night.

Rays: RHP Ryne Stanek (1-1) wil start the first of a four-game set Thursday night with Houston.

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Chalk up another milestone for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 11th career playoff shutout Authentic Jeremy Kerley Jersey , Shea Theodore scored in the first period and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 on Wednesday night to win the franchise’s first playoff game.

The expansion club will try to take a 2-0 lead in its first-round playoff series Friday night.

”It’s another first for our organization, it’s a big playoff game and I love the way our team responded,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”Both goalies made some real key saves. It really wasn’t a 1-0 game, it was probably a 4-3 game for somebody, but the goaltending was excellent. Everybody had a big part of us winning the hockey game tonight.

Fleury got his first playoff shutout since last May, when his Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

”They’re a big team, they like to shoot from the points with a lot of guys in front of the net and trying to screen and tip pucks; maybe I got a few little more sticks in my legs than the (regular) season, and my face, but it’s all part of the playoffs Carlos Correa Jersey ,” Fleury said. ”I felt good, but my teammates were great also. They helped me out a lot, blocking shots and grabbing guys in front of the net, so it makes my job a little easier.”

The Kings, who entered with a combined 928 games of playoff experience, outhit the Golden Knights, 68-59. But it was Vegas that came out looking like a seasoned bunch ready for the postseason. Just like the Golden Knights mascot who slayed a bumbling king at center ice during a pregame show, Vegas was physical from the start.

William Carrier led the team with 10 hits, and Vegas’ aggressive forechecking kept Los Angeles off its game throughout. But Carrier’s diligence on the offensive end seemingly frustrated Los Angeles’ veteran defenseman Drew Doughty Ryne Sandberg Jersey , who slammed his shoulder into Carrier’s jaw in the third period. The hit sent the left wing to the locker room for the remainder of the game, while drawing the ire of Gallant.

”Obviously we all seen what happened with the hit … I thought it was a bad hit, but it’s not for me to decide,” Gallant said. ”The referee didn’t think it was a penalty, but I’m sure people will look at that hit and make a decision on it.”

The Golden Knights have dealt with a rash of injuries down the stretch of the regular season, including Carrier, who Gallant said is day-to-day.

Theodore got on the board 3:23 into the first. Tomas Nosek came from behind the goal to fire a pass to Theodore, and he blasted a wrist shot through traffic for the Golden Knights’ first playoff goal.

”It was a great play by Nosey and sometimes you’ve just got to get `em on net and that’s kind of the goals that happened in the playoffs,” Theodore said. ”We knew they were going to come out hard Authentic Will Hernandez Jersey , they’re a physical team. But I feel we are, too. We’re a fast team and we can counter that. We were putting pucks in great positions … so when you can kind of put it in the corners and forecheck hard, I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”

The Kings, who were 0 for 3 with a man advantage, blew a chance to tie it in the second period, when Doughty’s rebound found Dustin Brown, who was staring into an empty net 2 feet away. He lifted his shot over the goal.

”I thought our guys played hard tonight and I thought we created some opportunities to get some offense, but I think we’ve got to make it a lot tougher on (Fleury) seeing the puck,” Kings coach John Stevens said. ”They’re a good offensive team Steve Cishek Jersey , they create on the rush, they create in the zone and their power play is dangerous. So, we’re going to have to be good defensively to have success in the series.”

NOTES: The Golden Knights were 34-5-2 in the regular season when scoring first, second in the NHL. … NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance for the first playoff game in Las Vegas. … Los Angeles, which allowed a league-low 202 goals and had the league’s best penalty-killing unit, stopped the Golden Knights on all three of their power plays. … Los Angeles has won 10 of the last 12 playoff series it has played, but it has lost 21 of the last 29 series in which it has lost Game 1. … The Golden Knights wore Humboldt Broncos stickers on their helmets in honor of the junior hockey players who were killed when their bus crashed on a Saskatchewan highway.

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Chicago White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada knows he is capable of excellence at the big league level.

But the 23-year-old admits that his confidence has wavered at times during an up-and-down sophomore campaign. Moncada flashed his talent with a career-high six RBIs in his most recent game Customized Arizona Cardinals Jerseys , and he hopes to build on that success Tuesday night as Chicago welcomes the Minnesota Twins to open a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Every time you are passing through a rough moment, you have doubts,” Moncada said through an interpreter in comments posted on the team’s official website. “You have questions. But when you keep working hard, you can answer those questions. For me Youth Lorenzo Carter Jersey , that was it.

“I had a few moments with doubts and questions why things weren’t going my way. But I keep trying. I’m just working hard and hopefully the good results are keeping for a long time.”

Collectively, Chicago (26-51) is trying to stay positive despite a disappointing first half. The White Sox are coming off a series split against the Oakland Athletics and have won or tied five of their past six series at home.

Meanwhile, Minnesota (34-40) will go for back-to-back wins after posting a 2-0 victory over the Texas Rangers in Sunday’s series finale. The shutout win offered a breath of fresh air for the Twins, who had surrendered 26 runs in their previous three games.

Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar is one of several batters who have provided run support for the starting staff. Escobar ranks first in the majors with 33 doubles in 71 games. He is hitting .293 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs.

“God gave me this talent Ronald Jones II Jersey Elite , so I just go out there and swing hard and that’s what’s happening,” Escobar recently told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I like to swing hard.”

That could make for compelling drama against White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (2-5, 3.59 ERA), who throws hard. Lopez will make his 16th start of the season and the 30th of his young career.

In his most recent outing Youth Indianapolis Colts Jerseys , Lopez struggled in a 12-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He gave up five runs (four earned) and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He also walked four and struck out six.

It marked the fifth time this season that Lopez has walked at least four batters. The 24-year-old will look for better command in his third appearance against the Twins. He is 0-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings against the club.

For the Twins, right-hander Lance Lynn (5-5, 4.64) is set to make his 15th start. The former St. Louis Cardinals hurler struggled badly after signing a free-agent deal just before the start of the season, but he has settled down remarkably in the past month. He is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA (seven earned runs in 36 1/3 innings) in his past six starts.

In four career starts against the White Sox Cheap Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , Lynn is 2-0 with a 1.78 ERA. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder has walked three and struck out 33 in 25 1/3 innings.

Minnesota has a 6-3 edge over Chicago in the season series. The Twins have outscored the White Sox 44-32.

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The Patriots have had a knack for getting sometimes unexpected production out of late-round draft picks and undrafted free agents during Bill Belichick’s tenure.

From Tom Brady to Julian Edelman to Danny Amendola to last season’s Super Bowl star James White Cody Latimer Jersey Giants , the list is long and lauded.

This season has been no exception with 2011 seventh-round draft pick Lawrence Guy and Ricky Jean Francois, a seventh-round pick in 2009, each providing contributions that have helped solidify New England’s defensive line that has thrived during the second half of 2017.

The Patriots want to make life as miserable as possible for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in Sunday’s Super Bowl.

It puts the spotlight on Guy and Jean Francois, with Deatrich Wise (concussion) and Malcolm Brown (foot) both dealing with injuries.

Guy said experiencing his first Super Bowl has validated the path he took to get here.

”My journey’s still going,” he said. ”I wasn’t thinking about this a couple of years ago. I was just thinking about doing what I could do to play harder and harder, study film and stay on the team and contribute. But now I’m blessed to be here.”

Guy started 15 games during the regular season at either defensive tackle or defensive end Lamar Jackson Jersey Ravens , and he’s started both playoff games.

Jean Francois appeared in six games after signing with the Patriots in early November and started New England’s AFC championship game win while playing defensive end.

”My appreciation is high for this,” said Jean Francois, 31, who came to the Patriots following stops in San Francisco, Indianapolis, Washington and Green Bay. ”I’m having fun. Clowning around with my teammates. Sitting down Phillip Gaines Jersey Bills , watching film. Just appreciating the moment.”

Jean Francois will be getting his second shot at a Super Bowl. He was on the 49ers team that lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl to cap the 2012 season. It’s an opportunity he acknowledged he wasn’t sure he’d get again.

”It’s crazy. I never thought there’d be a point when I’d be starting in the AFC championship game again,” Jean Francois said.

”I started in one for the Colts (2014 season), but the next year I was gone. But to be on a team like this and be able to start again in a short period of time. That shows you how much trust and how much I had to do to be in that position.”

Since starting with Green Bay in 2011, each of Guy’s subsequent stops in Indianapolis and San Diego ended with him getting waived. He had his longest run after being picked up by Baltimore in 2014. He played 11 games for the Ravens in 2014, and appeared in every game over the next two seasons.

The Patriots grabbed him in free agency last March, signing him to a four-year Cheap New England Patriots T-Shirts , $20 million deal. He’s had one of his best seasons so far, starting 15 games and finishing with a career-best 34 tackles and a sack.

Guy said he’s never been deterred by the ”ups and downs” he’s experienced.

”It can happen at the beginning of your career, it can happen at the end of your career. But sooner or later you’re probably gonna get waived here and there,” he said.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia says Guy’s attention to detail has allowed him to play several different positions in the Patriots’ system. Patricia said Guy’s been able to help not only against the run, but he’s been able to transition ”into a little bit more pass rush into the pocket and push and be up in the quarterback’s face.”

Even in his sixth season, Guy said he’s tried to keep learning from older players around him.

”Everything I’ve gone through made me more of a man and made me better as a player Youth Kendall Wright Jersey ,” Guy said.

”To experience this type of week is great. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime situation that you can never get back.”

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For a team that had been 0-23 when trailing at halftime in road playoff games Vikings Elite Jerseys , the Toronto Raptors sure went about ending that drought and advancing in the playoffs in an usual way: The second unit, led by Fred VanVleet, created the comeback.

Using a tremendous effort at both ends of the court from reserves, and 24 points from Kyle Lowry, the Raptors came back to beat the Washington Wizards 102-92 in Game 6 on Friday night and end their Eastern Conference first-round series.

”Those guys have some ugly possessions, but most of the time, they figure it out,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said about his bench players, who overwhelmed Washington’s in points, 21-6, and rebounds Youth Marquis Haynes Jersey , 15-3, in the second half. ”We trust them. We trusted them all year.”

Toronto fell behind by 12 points in the first quarter and by 53-50 at the end of the second.

The Raptors’ first lead did not come until the third quarter, and they were back down by five points entering the final period.

Never in franchise history had the Raptors won after trailing at halftime in a postseason away game, the team said, citing the Elias Sports Bureau.

”It’s a different year. It’s a different team,” VanVleet said. ”We’ve just got to keep our composure going forward and leave the past in the past.”

With star guards Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who had a personal series-low 16 points, resting to begin the fourth, VanVleet steered the turnaround, and the Raptors outscored Washington 29-14 in the last quarter. Bothered by a bad right shoulder, VanVleet had played a total of three minutes in the series until Friday Chiefs Elite Jerseys , but he was just what Toronto needed in this game, with five points, four assists and four rebounds.

”On the road, in a hostile environment, I just wanted to be another support guy out there, that can ease the starters a bit,” VanVleet said. ”You know, me running the team and playing defense and stuff, I can do those things in my sleep.”

It allowed DeRozan to play only 33 1/2 minutes total, and Lowry 31 1/2, compared with more than 40 each for Washington’s All-Star guards Youth New York Giants Hats , John Wall and Bradley Beal, who looked tired by the end.

”It was great to have our full bench back. Freddie back out there with the guys,” DeRozan said. ”Just a testament to what they did all year.”

Pascal Siakam had 11 points and eight rebounds and used his length to hound Wall, while VanVleet was a pest to Beal.

Jakob Poeltl and C.J. Miles each scored seven. It was VanVleet’s 3-pointer with center Marcin Gortat in his face that tied the game at 78, and Miles’ 3 with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining that gave Toronto its first lead of more than a single point, at 84-80.

”I’m still looking for that manual that says you can’t play that second unit. They’re too young. They’re too this. They’re too that,” Casey said. ”They closed it out for us tonight.”

The home team had won each of the first five games, but the Raptors were finally able to break that road hex. The East’s No. 1 seed will face LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers or the Indiana Pacers next. The Pacers forced a Game 7 on Sunday by avoiding elimination with a 121-87 victory over the Cavs on Friday night.

Asked whether he has a preference for the upcoming opponent, DeRozan answered with one word: ”No.”

This marks the Raptors’ third consecutive trip to the second round of the playoffs; they last failed to get that far in 2015, when they were swept in the opening round by the Wizards.

But this time, Washington bowed out earlier than it was hoping when the season began with grandiose talk of a run to the conference finals. Instead Cheap Cleveland Browns Hoodie , the Wizards were without Wall for 41 games and wound up with the No. 8 seeding.

Wall had 23 points and eight assists in Game 6; Beal scored 32. But none of that mattered to the fans who started heading to the exits early as the Wizards’ run of eight home playoff wins in a row came to a close.

”We got some looks,” said Wall, whose entire team had only 12 assists. ”We just missed them.”

TIP-INS

Raptors: After averaging 18.5 turnovers in Games 3 and 4 at Washington, Toronto had only seven in Game 6.

Wizards: Were without starting SF Otto Porter Jr., who had a medical procedure Friday to prevent permanent muscle damage because of compartment syndrome in his left leg. … Kelly Oubre Jr. started in place of Porter and hit his first 3-point attempt, before missing all six other shots he took.

UP NEXT:

Toronto will host Games 1 and 2 in the second round, no matter the opponent. The Raptors lost to the Cavaliers each of the past two seasons – swept in the second round a year ago, and beaten in six games in the conference finals in 2016.

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Taking on the NFL and football’s Super Bowl champs Customized Detroit Lions Jerseys , President Donald Trump gave the boot to a White House ceremony for the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday and instead threw his own brief ”Celebration of America” after it became clear most players weren’t going to show up.

Both sides traded hot accusations about who was to blame.

Trump tried to turn the fracas into a referendum on patriotism and tie it to the dispute over players who have taken a knee during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality. However, Eagles players never knelt during the ”Star-Spangled Banner,” throughout the 2017 season and their march to the Super Bowl.

The White House accused Eagles team members of pulling a ”political stunt” and abandoning their fans by backing out at the last minute. Indeed, few apparently were going to come, though some expressed disappointment that they’d been disinvited and complained Trump was unfairly painting them as anti-American.

Through it all, Trump appeared to revel in fanning the flames of a culture war that he believes revs up his political base.

Trump had long been leery of the Eagles’ planned visit to the White House, in part because the team’s owner, Jeffrey Lurie, has been a Trump critic, and because several players have been vocal critics of the league’s new policy that requires players to stand if they’re on the field during the national anthem or else stay in the locker room.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the team notified the White House last Thursday that 81 people, including players Carlton Davis Jersey Buccaneers , coaches, managers and others would be attending the Super Bowl celebration. But she said the team got back in touch late Friday and tried to reschedule, ”citing the fact that many players would not be in attendance.” The Eagles proposed a time when Trump would be overseas.

Eagles officials declined comment on the White House version of events, sticking with a simple earlier statement: ”We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”

No one connected with the team said the players’ reluctance to attend had anything to do with the national anthem, as Trump tried to portray the situation. And comments by star players in the current pro basketball finals indicated it’s not about football.

”I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going,” said LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. There was no disagreement from Stephen Curry, who angered Trump last year when he said he wouldn’t go to the White House after the Warriors’ NBA triumph, leading the president to disinvite him and his team.

Trump, furious about the small number of Eagles who were coming, scrapped Tuesday’s visit Bears Elite Jerseys , believing a low turnout would reflect poorly upon him. He had told aides last year he was embarrassed when Tom Brady, star quarterback of that season’s champion New England Patriots, opted to skip a White House visit.

Instead, the president held what he dubbed a ”patriotic celebration” that was short and spare. A military band and chorus delivered the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America, with brief Trump remarks sandwiched in between.

”We love our country, we respect our flag and we always proudly stand for the national anthem,” Trump said.

The White House crowd of roughly 1,000, mostly dressed in business suits, was light on Pennsylvanians and heavy on administration and GOP Party officials. Several in attendance blamed the players, not the president Cheap Indianapolis Colts Hoodie , for torpedoing the Eagles event.

John Killion, a lifelong Eagles fan who now lives in Florida and traveled to Washington to see his team, said he was ”devastated and infuriated” by a breakdown he blamed on the Eagles owners.

”I waited my whole life for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl and they were going to be congratulated at the White House. And I don’t really care who you like or dislike, it shouldn’t be about that,” he said.

Bill Fey, a Republican state committeeman from southern New Jersey and an Eagles fan, called the decision ”a black eye as far as I’m concerned with the NFL. I think that everyone should come to the White House. This is the peoples’ house.” Still, he said, ”I think the Eagles did what they thought was necessary. I don’t blame anyone.”

Trump’s own patriotic event was not without its controversy. Following the playing of the anthem, a heckler shouted from the audience: ”Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem!” prompting boos. A Swedish reporter posted video of a man kneeling as the anthem was played.

In a statement Monday, Trump placed the blame on Eagles players he said ”disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem Kenny Young Jersey Ravens , hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

Besides the fact that none of the Eagles had taken a knee during the anthem in 2017, defensive end Chris Long said the NFL anthem policy change and Trump’s reaction to it were not even discussed by the players in meetings about making the visit.

Those deciding to stay away had various reasons beyond Trump’s opposition to the protests, including more general feelings of hostility toward the president, one official said.

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had planned to skip the ceremony ”to avoid being used as any kind of pawn,” said in a . Authentic Womens Da'Ron Payne Jersey , Detroit Lions Elite Jerseys , Cheap Stephen Curry Jersey , Carlos Gomez Jersey Womens ,

The Brooklyn Nets have been creative in their attempt to start from scratch after selling away the future of the franchise five years ago hunting for a championship that never came.

Two months after capping a third straight losing season Sam Darnold Jersey Jets , the Nets hope their latest acquisitions might be part of the solution.

Brooklyn continued its rebuild Thursday night, selecting Dzanan Musa with the 29th overall pick and Rodions Kurics at No. 40 in the NBA draft.

Musa was taken with the pick acquired from the Toronto Raptors in a trade last July, which also landed forward DeMarre Carroll.

The Nets have been trying to salvage something of the previous drafts after the last regime sent three unprotected first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to the Boston Celtics and the right to swap first round picks in the 2017 draft for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.

The trade netted Brooklyn a disappointing second-round exit that season and sent the organization into a downward spiral with no draft assets to show for it.

So now, the Nets are looking abroad.

Brooklyn has invested heavily in its international scouting department since New Zealand-born general manager Marks took over in February 2016 Youth Denver Broncos Jerseys , and that group led them to Musa and Kurics.

Musa, 19-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina, spent the last three seasons with KK Cedevita, leading them to the Croatian League championship. At 6-foot-9, he averaged 13.3 points and shot 46.2 percent from the field in 30 league games.

Brooklyn was impressed with what they had seen at the international level from Musa, who has been playing professionally since the age of 16.

”I think from scouting perspective we’ve enjoyed watching him play. Very dynamic Chris Herndon Jersey Jets ,” general manager Sean Marks said. ”Obviously his offensive skills are pretty special. (A good) size for (his) position. He has been playing at a very, very high level. A very competitive young man.”

Kurocs, a 6-foot-9 prospect, was tabbed by draft experts in years’ past as a first-round selection but sat mostly on the bench for FC Barcelona in the Spanish ACB League and in Euroleague competition this past season. He averaged 1.4 points in 10 games.

”I am not sure why he was there when we picked, but he is a guy that we had been targeting for some time,” Marks said. ”We’re thrilled to get our hands on Rodions.”

Marks said he expects both players to join the Nets roster for the upcoming season.

Musa has a $1 million buyout clause with KK Cedevita. Rodions’ contract calls for a $4 million fee to free him up from his Spanish club.

”There is a lot of development there with their bodies and so forth. Again Youth Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , I think both (are) really great development pieces for our coaching staff, performance (and) so forth to get their hands on,” Marks said. ”I am intrigued to what they can do for both player. Playing in an elite level in Europe for quite some time, I think that transition that we talked about before will hopefully won’t be seamless.”

Brooklyn also drafted at the 45th spot, taking Kentucky shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, and traded his rights to the Charlotte Hornets as part Wednesday’s deal for Dwight Howard Cheap Pittsburgh Steelers T-Shirts , who is expected to be bought out by the Nets.

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