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the first victory of his playoff career.

    • 223 posts
    August 10, 2018 7:13 am IST
    TAMPA [url=http://www.authenticstampabaybuccaneers.com/cheap-vinny-curry-jersey]Vinny Curry Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Fla. — In order to avoid falling in to a hole, the Tampa Bay Lightning know they need to shake off any rust that may have set in after a week of inaction.

    The Lightning put forth a strong effort in Game 1, but it has to be stronger and better against the Boston Bruins in Monday’s Game 2, particularly against Boston’s top line, which accounted for 11 points in the series-opening game.

    Tampa Bay went about that with an intense practice on Sunday as the coaching staff looks to deliver the message that the opening-game effort was good but not nearly at the level needed to compete in the second round of the playoffs.

    “The purpose of our practice was to put us in the best position to be ready to play (Monday) night, and we got to play the game faster, we got to play the game harder,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

    “Oftentimes a lot of things in your game you develop in practice. We had a week off. We did some good things, but our game was not at a playoff level like the other team that had just played in a Game 7 and that’s what we have to bring (Monday) night or it’s going to be a (short) series for us.”

    If Tampa Bay can’t slow down the trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, it won’t matter much even if the Lightning do improve in other areas of the ice. The Boston top line has now accounted for 41 points in the postseason [url=http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrell-edmunds-jersey]http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrell-edmunds-jersey[/url] , all of those coming in the five playoff wins the Bruins have registered. That line has been kept off the scoreboard in the three Boston losses.

    How do the Lightning slow them down?

    “You have to be hard on them,” Cooper said. “You have to respect them as a group, but you can’t fear them. You got to see it as a really good challenge. Play hard on them. You make life miserable.

    “At the end of the game, you want their players to say, ‘Oh, man. We got to play them again’ and we didn’t make them feel like that. It was more, ‘Man, can’t wait to play those guys again,’ and that’s got to change.”

    The Bruins, which opened the first series against Toronto by winning the first two games before going on to win in seven, knows the second victory against the top-seeded Lightning will be no easy task and much harder than the first one.

    Boston enters Monday’s game with a clean mindset.

    “We’ve got to let it go [url=http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jk-scott-jersey]http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jk-scott-jersey[/url] , let this one go here,” Marchand said. “We’ve got to come back hard on the next one. We know they’re going to come back faster and harder than they did and they played a really good game. They came out fast, they came hard and it was tough to weather that storm early on. So we can expect more of that.”

    Getting more solid play from goaltender Tuukka Rask, who stopped 34 shots in the opener, will be a big boost as well.

    “I thought that during the second period they gave us a really strong push and we handled it well,” defenseman Zdeno Chara said. “We made some strong defensive plays and obviously Tuukka made some really big saves for us in a crucial time of the game.”

    Kevin Durant helped the defending champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Golden State Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on Saturday.

    Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors’ intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.

    Thompson found his shot and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots [url=http://www.authenticstampabaybuccaneers.com/cheap-alex-cappa-jersey]Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey[/url] , while 7-footer JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr’s center-by-committee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes.

    Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting.

    Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night at Oracle Arena.

    76ERS 130, HEAT 103

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and Philadelphia romped again without Joel Embiid, beating Miami for its 17th straight win.

    Embiid was a spectator in Game 1 of the first-round series because of a broken orbital bone around his left eye. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series. The Sixers could end this one early with Embiid back in the lineup.

    Simmons dished and dazzled in the paint and the Heat had no answer for Sixers reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one. They used a 15-0 run in the third in their first postseason game in five seasons under coach Brett Brown to get the rout rolling.

    JJ Redick scored 28 points to lead the Sixers, who host Game 2 on Monday. Belinelli had 25 and Ilyasova 17.

    RAPTORS 114, WIZARDS 106

    TORONTO (AP) – Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Toronto snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff series openers by beating Washington.

    DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12 [url=http://www.jetsfootballauthentics.com/sam-darnold-jersey-authentic]Youth Sam Darnold Jersey[/url] , and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round against Philadelphia in 2001.

    Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.

    The top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, Toronto made 16 of 30 3-point attempts, with Miles making four, and Ibaka and Wright each hitting three.

    The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday.

    John Wall had 23 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, while Markieff Morris had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

    PELICANS 97, TRAIL BLAZERS 95

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Anthony Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and New Orleans beat Portland in Game 1 of their playoff series.

    Jrue Holiday added 21 points [url=http://www.authenticsphiladelphiaeagles.com/cheap-dallas-goedert-jersey]Dallas Goedert Color Rush Jersey[/url] , outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans held on after Portland erased almost all of a 19-point deficit.

    Rajon Rondo finished with 17 assists, eight rebounds and six points as New Orleans won the backcourt battle on top of Davis dominating the interior.

    Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while McCollum had 19 points.

    The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the NBA playoffs. Nikola Mirotic had 16 points, 11 rebounds and also blocked four shots to help Davis earn the first victory of his playoff career.

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