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Game 3 is Saturday in Cleveland.

    • 189 posts
    September 7, 2018 12:40 pm IST
    OTTAWA — Two teams sliding toward the regular-season finish line and early tee times will meet up on short rest at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night.

    The Ottawa Senators (26-38-11) will be the hosts 24 hours after having their losing streak extended to five games with a 4-1 road beating by the Carolina Hurricanes. The Senators [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jermey-parnell-jersey]Jermey Parnell Jersey[/url] , who are still very much in contention for the dubious distinction of owning best draft lottery odds, have now been outscored 22-7 in their last four games.

    Supplying the opposition will be a New York Islanders (31-35-10) team still had a shot at qualifying for the postseason tournament the last time they won two in a row. Unfortunately, that was Feb. 15-16.

    Since then, the Islanders are 2-10-4 and — after being shut out 3-0 at home by the Florida Panthers on Monday — have now dropped three straight.

    The loss officially eliminated the Islanders from the playoffs for the second spring in row.

    “We got off to a pretty good start this season (but) the second half of the season really hasn’t been very good,” captain John Tavares told reporters after the game. “We put ourselves in this position.”

    The future of Tavares comes under even closer scrutiny now that the Islanders final six games have no significance. The rest of the NHL will be watching closely for signs of whether they’ll be able to sign their first overall pick of the 2009 entry draft or if he hits the free agent market on July 1.

    In nine seasons with the Islanders, Tavares has played 663 games and scored 615 points.

    Asked about his plans on Monday, Tavares was brief with his response.

    “I’m just focused on playing,” he said.

    The Senators were without their own captain, Erik Karlsson, when they travelled to Carolina. That meant they had three rookies on their blue line — Thomas Chabot [url=http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-t.j.-jones-jersey]T.J. Jones Jersey[/url] , Ben Harpur and Christian Wolanin.

    Playing his first NHL game was center Ben Sexton, whose father Randy was one of the franchise’s founding fathers as well the team’s second GM.

    Senators coach Guy Boucher compared having so many fresh faces in the lineup to “throwing lions into the den.”

    “They’ve got to learn somehow, right,” said goalie Craig Anderson, who made 26 saves in Carolina. “Right now, it’s a good time. You see some guys stepping into roles they’re not used to playing and doing quite well with it.”

    The Senators and Islanders have met twice this season, with the Islanders scoring a 2-1 win Nov. 25 at Canadian Tire Centre and Ottawa taking a 6-5 victory out of Barclays Center one week later.

    With Christopher Gibson playing Monday, the Islanders are expected to go with Jaroslav Halak in Ottawa. He has a 7-7-3 career record against the Senators.

    Mike Condon is expected to play the second of Ottawa’s back-to-backs. He has a 3-1-0 all-time mark versus the Islanders.

    The only player to score for either team on Monday was Senators winger Bobby Ryan, who now has two goals in two games and 10 on the season.

    The Celtics punched the Cavaliers first and never looked back in rolling to a Game 1 rout.

    LeBron James took a literal shot to the jaw in Game 2 but kept right on scoring.

    So did the Celtics.

    Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and Boston withstood a 42-point night by James to beat Cleveland 107-94 on Tuesday and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

    Terry Rozier added 18 points, while Al Horford finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

    Boston improved to 9-0 this postseason at TD Garden. The Celtics have never blown a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs.

    ”We’re going to fight [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-telvin-smith-jersey]Telvin Smith Jersey[/url] ,” Rozier said. ”At this point we don’t care if we win by half a point. If we win, that’s all that matters.”

    James added 12 assists and 10 rebounds. He scored 21 of Cleveland’s 27 points in the first quarter , tying his playoff career high for points in a period. His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of this postseason. James had just 15 points and missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the Cavs’ Game 1 loss.

    But he didn’t seem to play with the same force after straining his neck in a first-half collision and the Cavaliers wilted in the second half, with the Celtics outscoring them 59-39.

    ”I think I’ll be fine. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. You go out and when you lay everything on the line, at the end of the day, you can live with that,” he said. ”They did what they had to do, and that was protect home, and now it’s our time to try to do that, as well.”

    Kevin Love finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland.

    As expected [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-ezekiel-elliott-jersey]Ezekiel Elliott Jersey[/url] , Tristan Thompson started in place of Kyle Korver in the hopes his presence could energize what was a sluggish Cavs offense in Game 1. Thompson got Cleveland’s first basket of the night and helped to limit Horford’s effectiveness on the inside early on.

    Korver added 11 points off the bench for Cleveland. But starters Thompson, JR Smith and George Hill combined for just 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

    Tempers flared with 3:49 to play with Boston leading 97-89. Marcus Smart got in Smith’s face after Smith pushed Horford in the back to prevent a layup. Smith shoved Smart and the pair had to be separated.

    Smith was assessed a flagrant foul and both received technical fouls.

    ”I felt like it was uncalled for that type of play there,” Horford said. ”We have each other’s backs. … We moved on to the next play way and we locked in after that.”

    Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play.

    ”I blatantly pushed him. It wasn’t like I was trying to low bridge him or something. Just make sure he didn’t get it,” Smith said. ”It was a good, hard foul.”

    Boston’s balanced attack was effective again, with six players reaching double figures. Cleveland had 15 turnovers leading to 13 Boston points. The Celtics turned it over just six times.

    Boston led 84-77 after three quarters and took command late in the fourth with the Cavs getting little offense other than from James. Cleveland’s starters were pulled with 1:48 left and the Cavs down 14.

    James was on the attack from the opening tip. He turned the ball over the Cavs’ first possession. But it was one of his only miscues in the first quarter.

    James was also astoundingly efficient, using his dribble to create space, while he knocked down an assortment of jump shots.

    He finished the opening quarter 8 of 13 from the field and 4 of 7 from the 3-point line.

    His momentum was stunted briefly at the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when Jayson Tatum was whistled for a foul after catching James jaw with his shoulder as he attempted a steal. James stayed in the game and connected on one of his ensuing free throws, but then exited to the locker room with Cleveland leading 47-36.

    The Cavaliers said James had a neck sprain. He returned after missing less than two minutes of game time.

    Boston flurried just before the half [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-russell-shepard-jersey]Russell Shepard Jersey[/url] , getting six points from Morris in the final minute to trim Cleveland’s lead to 55-48 at the break.

    ”I think we just have a group of guys that really believe in each other,” Horford said. ”Our group in tough times, we’ve always found a way.”

    TIP-INS

    Cavaliers: Were outscored 50-42 in the paint after being outscored 60-38 in Game 1.

    Celtics: Went 10 of 31 from the 3-point line.

    QUOTABLE

    ”We’ve got to be tougher. I think they’re playing tougher than we are. We see that. They’re being physical. They’re gooning the game up and we’ve got to do the same thing.” – Cavaliers coach Ty Lue

    40-POINT MAN

    According to Elias Sports Bureau, James now has three career playoff 40-point triple-doubles. That is the most in NBA postseason history.

    DEFENDING A TEAMMATE

    Smart said Smith’s play was a ”dirty shot.”

    ”That’s not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us,” he said. ”It’s like a bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he’s going to pick on you until you finally stand up. And that’s what I tried to do.”

    UP NEXT

    Game 3 is Saturday in Cleveland.



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