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They?ve survived amid turmoil for months [url=]Isaiah Oliver Youth Jersey[/url] , their season morphing into the NBA?s most compelling reality show ? or, as some have called it, spectacle. The must-watch Cleveland Cavaliers have been hardened by the nonstop drama around them. So it?s not a surprise they?re calm despite trailing the Boston Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals. ?We know what it takes,? coach Tyronn Lue said. ?We?re down 0-2. No need to panic.? ?We know what we?ve got to do,? added All-Star forward Kevin Love on the eve of Saturday?s Game 3. The Cavs have been in dire straits before in the postseason. Just two years ago, Cleveland trailed 2-0 and then 3-1 in the NBA Finals to Golden State before coming back to win in seven games and end the city?s 52-year championship drought. And back in the 2007 playoffs, LeBron James rallied the Cavs from a 2-0 deficit against Detroit, the hardwood king commencing his legacy by scoring Cleveland?s final 25 points during a Game 5 road win. But while Cleveland has some comeback history on its side, Boston has momentum and the Celtics intend to keep it. ?We?re just gonna try to use it,? said forward Marcus Morris, ?and ride it.? As expected, James responded from a sub-par performance in Game 1 by scoring 42 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in Game 2. Still, the Cavs lost and the lack of production from several teammates, most notably guards J.R. Smith and George Hill. They have been totally outplayed by Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier so far, and that could be deflating. Not to the Celtics, who gained confidence in shrugging off James? haymaker. ?That?s a game-changer in itself,? said Morris [url=]Dan Bailey Jersey Elite[/url] , one of the many defenders Celtics coach Brad Stevens is using on James. ?LeBron came out and did everything he could. To his guys, they see that and they still came up short. That?s a feeling going back up, it kind of puts you in a mood you don?t want to be in.? Speaking of moods. James, who hasn?t spoken to the media since Tuesday?s game, screamed an obscenity in frustration while working on his jump shot following practice. He made 12 straight before a miss, but James, who is seeking his eighth straight Finals, knows he?s going to need to be near perfect from here on out. James, Love, Smith and Tristan Thompson are the only holdovers from Cleveland?s 2016 title team, which mounted its historic comeback in the Finals and now must rally again. ?I was talking to some of the guys in the training room and I was telling people it was already the Eastern Conference finals,? Smith said. ?Being in this situation repetitively for the past couple years, I don?t want to say you get numb to it because you don?t want to take it for granted because obviously guys don?t have this opportunity too many times, but this season alone has been an extremely weird year and we just got to figure it out.? To the outside world, Cleveland appears in trouble. They?re facing a younger, more physical team that has been written off several times already. To the Cavs, this is just another bump in the road. They?ve already staved off elimination against Indiana. ?We played a Game 7 [url=]Mike McGlinchey Youth Jersey[/url] ,? Lue said. ?The danger?s not like we come out and don?t play well tomorrow and lose, it?s over. We still have games to play. It?s not like it?s a Game 7. They did a good job taking care of their home court. They played well. Now we?re back at home.? ROAD WORK AHEAD: The Celtics haven?t traveled well in these playoffs. They?re just 1-4 outside Boston and their shooting percentages have dipped on trips to Milwaukee and Philadelphia. But after losing three road games to the Bucks in the first round, the young Celtics showed poise in stealing a Game 3 win in Philadelphia that has convinced them they can win in Cleveland. ?We?re pretty confident,? Brown said. ?Just as confident as we are at home. It?s different between being on the road and at home, just the energy disparity. At home, it?s for you, away it?s against you. But if you do what you?re supposed to do and you are who you are, it?ll show home or away.? NEED FOR SPEED: The Cavs know they need to play faster. On too many occasions in Games 1 and 2, Cleveland was slow bringing the ball up the floor, which allowed the Celtics to get back and set up their defense. Lue has been harping on his players to quicken the pace. ?We have to come out with a sense of urgency to attack early, don?t ease into the game or let this team off the hook,? Lue said after practice Friday. ?We know they play well at home and they had two good games, so now it?s our turn.? ? James Shields of the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds play in opposite leagues and rarely see each other, yet they currently have much in common. Now that they?re starting to make something out of what appeared to be a totally lost season, they?d like to keep it going. The Reds got off to the worst start in baseball at 8-27, one so bad that getting to .500 looked to be as much of a challenge as winning a division title would be for most teams. But when the Reds (36-48) take on the right-handed Shields and the White Sox on Monday night at Great American Ball Park, in the teams? first matchup since 2015 [url=]Da'Ron Payne Youth Jersey[/url] , they?ll be one of the majors? hottest clubs. They?ve won 11 of 14 after taking the final two games of a four-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and interim manager Jim Riggleman now has a 33-33 record for a last-place team. Considering that Riggleman took over a Reds team that was 3-15 under former manager Bryan Price, that?s something of an accomplishment. And the Reds own a 6-1 record in interleague games. ?We know we can play with these teams that are in first place in their division,? Riggleman said. They?re winning now in grand fashion, too. Jose Peraza hit the team?s major league-leading ninth grand slam Sunday in an 8-2 win over the Brewers, their second in two games (pitcher Michael Lorenzen hit a pinch-grand slam Saturday) and sixth in 17 games. They?ve already tied a club season record. ?We?ve been getting better at-bats ? and we?ve happened to have men on base,? Riggleman said. Cincinnati starter Matt Harvey pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings before being lifted after a rain delay, and the Reds dealt Brewers rookie Freddy Peralta (3-1), who gave up three runs in five innings, his first major league loss. Peralta allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings against the Kansas City Royals in his previous start. ?That?s probably the best I?ve felt since 2013,? said Harvey (4-5), who won his third straight start. Shields (3-9), likewise, is beginning to see a ray of sunshine in what previously was a gloomy season. He?s coming off his best start of the year, pitching seven shutout innings and giving up four hits Wednesday in a 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. It was his 12th quality start of the season, or five more than he had all of last season. Shields still isn?t the pitcher that won 13 or more games seven times from 2008 to 2015, but it hasn?t helped that he?s pitching for a team that?s off to the second worst start in franchise history. He has allowed a respectable six earned runs in his last four starts [url=][/url] , and twice yielded one or no runs while lasting at least seven innings. At age 36, Shields is making adjustments to compensate for his decreased velocity, yet has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his last 13 starts for a last-place team. ?My body?s feeling really good this year, and this is kind of what I?ve done my whole career,? Shields told reporters after the game against the Twins. ?I strive to go as deep as I possibly can in games and so far it?s been good. ?I?m not throwing as hard as I used to. If I were to throw over the top, I?d still throw a little harder than I am right now. (But) at the end of the day, I?m feeling really good with my delivery right now, my mechanics. It?s been a lot of fun making these adjustments.? Shields goes against Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (5-8), who was 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five June starts. He retired the first 11 batters he faced Wednesday at Atlanta, only to give up four quick runs on a walk and five consecutive singles, although the Reds came back to win 6-5. Castillo is 0-1 in two starts against American League clubs this season, giving up eight runs in six innings. He has never faced the White Sox. Shields is 18-18 with a 4.57 ERA in interleague play and 0-2 in two career starts against the Reds, the last of which was in 2015. The White Sox (29-54) ended a three-game losing streak Sunday by salvaging the final game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, winning 10-5 as Avisail Garcia went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI. The Reds have won five consecutive interleague games but are facing the White Sox at Great American Ball Park for the first time since 2009. The White Sox are 16-4 overall against the Reds and 10-2 in Cincinnati, though that success there predated any of the current players. .
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Ray Lewis arrived in Baltimore shortly after the transplanted Cleveland Browns [url=]Mitchell Trubisky Bears Jersey[/url] , who were attempting to start anew in a city that had gone 12 years without an NFL team. Selected 26th overall in the 1996 draft after establishing himself as a star at the University of Miami, Lewis had no idea what he was getting into. ?We had no team. We had no logo. We had nothing,? Lewis recalled. ?There was nothing to really respect.? Over the next 17 years, the Baltimore Ravens reached the postseason nine times, won two Super Bowls and built a hard-hitting and relentless defense in the image of Lewis, their unquestioned leader. A 13-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Lewis helped make the Ravens far better than respectable while establishing himself as one of the best linebackers to play the game. His unparalleled play and unmatched leadership made him an obvious first-ballot entrant into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lewis received the news last February, and still gets chills thinking about it. ?That knock on the door was like the first time I got my first jersey,? Lewis said. ?It was like when you ran home and you wanted to put on your pads. You weren?t playing no game, you just wanted to put on your pads because you were part of an elite team. You made it. So, it?s almost like the same feeling.? He will be enshrined Saturday, joining offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden as the second Ravens star to have a bust in Canton, Ohio. ?It?s pretty clear Ray was the heart and soul of the Ravens for 17 years. If anyone is deserving of this honor, it?s Ray Lewis,? Ogden said. ?He is a guy we all looked to ? both on offense and defense ? to lead our team.? There are many great linebackers in the Hall of Fame. Few of them combined skill and authority the way Lewis did. After delivering an emotional speech before the game , Lewis would continue to push his teammates in the huddle before taking ownership of the middle of the field, looking to punish anyone in a different jersey. ?One of a kind. I think he?s the best that ever played [url=]Jim Kelly Jersey Youth[/url] ,? Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. ?It?s not just the on-field play; it?s the whole package.? Harbaugh acknowledged he carries the bias that comes with coaching Lewis for the final five years of his NFL career. Others, however, back the assertion. ?He?s the best I?ve seen,? said Mike Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker and former assistant coach in Baltimore. ?If people thought I was good, I know that Ray was better.? It?s hard to determine Lewis? most notable quality. His ferocity on the field? His teaching and leadership skills? Or was it his relentless drive to win? Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, a teammate of Lewis? on the 2000 Super Bowl team, chooses all of the above. ?What needs to be said about a guy who was, by far, the best leader I witnessed in my 17 years of play? His singular focus to be the best player and teammate he could be what separates him from other Hall of Famers,? Woodson said. ?His play was off the charts. He was a virtual tackling machine ? and a playmaker. He caused fumbles, recovered fumbles, interceptions, tipped passes. He did it all for longer than anyone who played his spot in the middle.? The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Lewis spent countless hours in the weight room and took an equal amount of pride in mastering the mental aspect of the game. He derived great pleasure from matching wits with great quarterbacks, most notably Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. ?Those two guys were chess players,? Lewis said. ?The game was one thing [url=]Cheap Quenton Nelson Jersey[/url] , but it was the preparation before the game that was a totally different thought process. And then, every time we walked off the field, we gave each other mad respect.? Lewis wasn?t perfect. He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder in Atlanta in 2000. Those charges were dropped, and he pleaded to obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor. But questions about his role in the crime were an underlying theme before Baltimore faced the New York Giants one year later in the Super Bowl, a game which the Ravens won 34-7 and Lewis was voted MVP. ?Ray Lewis is going to be Ray Lewis. He?s not going to apologize for who he is,? Harbaugh said. ?But whenever he made a mistake, he was the first one to acknowledge it.? In his first season in Baltimore, the Ravens finished 4-12. In his final season, which he dubbed ?my last ride? entering the playoffs, Baltimore beat San Francisco 34-31 in the Super Bowl. It was a whirlwind career filled with ups and downs, and Lewis promises that kind of speech at his enshrinement. ?This moment for me is one you dream about your entire life,? he said. ?Savor that moment. You don?t have to run a 40, you don?t have to do bench presses, you ain?t got to do none of that. All you have to do is deliver something I think a lot of people want to hear. ?And so, whether it becomes my greatest (speech) or not, I?ll tell you this: it will have people and myself on a roller coaster that we will never forget.? ? It?s been several years since Jason Garrett?s future as coach of the Dallas Cowboys was a hot topic waiting for owner Jerry Jones at the start of training camp. Jones doesn?t seem too caught up in the issue now despite the Cowboys missing the playoffs for the fifth time in Garrett?s seven full seasons last year. The outspoken billionaire started with a flat ?no? when asked if this was a playoffs-or-bust season for one of the backup quarterbacks from the Cowboys? Super Bowl-winning era of the 1990s. ?That?s the best answer I can give [url=]Andy Dalton Jersey[/url] ,? Jones said in his annual pre-camp news conference the day before Thursday?s first practice. ?And the fairest.? Among the 11 current NFL coaches with at least seven years of experience, Garrett has the fewest playoff appearances with two. The only coach with fewer than Garrett?s one postseason win is Marvin Lewis, who is 0-7 in the playoffs in 15 years with Cincinnati. Seven of the 10 besides Garrett have won at least one Super Bowl, and two others (Kansas City?s Andy Reid when he was in Philadelphia and Carolina?s Ron Rivera) have reached the title game. None of those numbers faze the leadership of the Cowboys. ?I think you can always pull up stats on a lot of different things,? executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said. ?We?re just big believers that, one, we really like Jason and what he?s all about as a leader and as a coach. We?ve had some really good football teams that he?s led.? Garrett?s seat was the hottest going into 2014, when Dallas won the NFC East at 12-4 and just the franchise?s second playoff game since the last of five Super Bowl titles during the 1995 season. Before that, the Cowboys finished 8-8 with season-ending losses that kept them out of the postseason in each of the first three full seasons under Garrett. He coached half the 2010 season after Wade Phillips was fired with Dallas at 1-7. The Cowboys went first to worst at 4-12 in 2015 in large part because of quarterback Tony Romo?s twice-broken collarbone. Then they were the top seed in the NFC a year later despite another Romo injury when Dak Prescott set an NFL rookie record for passer rating and fellow first-year sensation Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing. There was another extenuating circumstance when Dallas missed the playoffs last year: Elliott?s six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations halfway through the season. The issue hung over the team all season. ?I think it?s as logical as watching my step as I walk off this stage that Jason is better and the right man for this job, even though he didn?t get coach of the year last year,? Jerry Jones said. ?We see better than anybody in the world, Jason. Consequently, I?m excited about him being our head coach.? Garrett has steadfastly deflected talk about his job security with his ?control what you can control? mantra. That?s what he did as the last of three straight 8-8 seasons was ending in 2013, and again the next summer. Then he had a season that earned him a five-year contract, and virtually guaranteed that Garrett would outlast all of Jones? previous hires, including Bill Parcells. Garrett has two years left on that deal. ?I would think that every aspect of what my responsibilities are as head coach, hopefully I?ve gotten better at those things [url=]Cheap Breeland Speaks Jersey[/url] ,? Garrett said. ?Everyone of us is a work in progress. I put myself at the top of the list as a person, as a coach, in every aspect of my life.? Garrett is now second in tenure to Tom Landry, the franchise?s only coach for its first 29 years before Jones bought the Cowboys and hired Jimmy Johnson, a two-time Super Bowl winner. The 52-year-old Garrett is also second to Landry?s 250 regular-season wins with 67. But his .558 winning percentage (67-53) trails Landry, Barry Switzer, Chan Gailey and Phillips. After missing the playoffs at 9-7 last season, the Cowboys changed much of the coaching staff under Garrett, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. But Jones hasn?t indicated that means the next overhaul starts at the top. ?If I may be so bold, I?d say he?s a lot better coach today than he was last year or the year before that or the year before that,? Jones said in response to the opening question, which didn?t have a specific reference to Garrett. ?That?s the way it works when you are driven and motivated.? ? .
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SAINT PAUL [url=]Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey[/url] , Minn. ? March Madness is certainly not limited to the college basketball court, when one considers the NHL?s made scramble of teams to sign their college draftees and finalize playoff spots. That?s the case in both scenarios for the Minnesota Wild, who host the Dallas Stars on Thursday having just gotten one of their college prizes in uniform, and as they hover near the clinching point in the Western Conference playoff race. The Wild return home after a shootout loss in Nashville on Tuesday night ? a game which all involved agreed had a real playoff feel. With the Predators already in the postseason and the Wild close to clinching a sixth consecutive trip, a May meeting between those teams is not a far-fetched idea. For Minnesota, Tuesday also marked the NHL debut of prized collegian and Olympic forward Jordan Greenway, who signed with the Wild less than 24 hours after his Boston University career ended with a Terriers? loss to Michigan on Sunday in the NCAA East Regional final. Greenway won?t be skating in the NCAA Frozen Four, which will be played at Xcel Energy Center in a week. Instead, he?ll skate as part of the home team on the Wild?s home ice for the first time on Thursday. ?You see that he?s going to be a good player,? Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said after Greenway?s debut in Nashville. ?Positionally he was fine and he?s got great reach. This is a tough game for number one for a young man?s career, but I thought he handled it well.? Although the rookie is less of a story than the cagey veteran in Minnesota these days, after Eric Staal became just the second player in franchise history to record a 40-goal season on Tuesday. ?It?s nice. It feels good [url=]Josh Allen Youth Jersey[/url] ,? said Staal, who joins only Gordie Howe in NHL history to have 40-goal seasons nine years apart. ?When you?re at 39 you always want to get it out of the way, especially when you?ve got people texting you, calling you, my kids and people are watching, so it is nice and it was nice to get it in that moment.? For Dallas, the eight-game streak without a win (0-6-2) is finally over after they beat the Flyers in overtime on Tuesday. Unfortunately, their hopes of making the playoffs are all but over as well. Statistically, the Stars need to go unbeaten in their final five games, and get plenty of help, to have a chance of sneaking in, meaning that every game is like an elimination game now. ?We live to fight another day. We?ve got to go win a road game and that?s the players? attitude [url=]Josh Rosen Jersey[/url] ,? Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said after the home win over Philadelphia. ?Everybody is kind of focused on that.? The teams have split their first two meetings of the season, with the Wild winning at home in late December, and the Stars handing Minnesota one of its worst losses of the season, 6-1, in Dallas in early February. The will follow up Thursday?s game in Minnesota with a Saturday night meeting in Texas. Tina Weirather won a World Cup super-G Saturday to overtake Lara Gut for first place in the discipline?s standings with one race left The Olympic bronze medalist from Liechtenstein overtook Gut to go top of the standings. Weirather will carry a 46-point lead over her Swiss rival, who finished the race in seventh, into the final event on March 15 at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden. Weirather won the globe for the best super-G racer last season, edging Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia by five points. Set for another close showdown with Gut, Weirather called winning the trophy again ?very important.? ?It?s the biggest prize you can win in our sport,? she said. ?This means more than an Olympic medal, which is just one race and where luck always plays a part. But a globe is never a matter of luck.? On a shortened course due to weather conditions [url=]Breeland Speaks Jersey[/url] , Weirather timed 1 minute, 2.17 seconds to beat Olympic silver medalist Anna Veith of Austria by 0.36. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland trailed by 0.38 in third for her career best super-G result. Gut finished 0.59 off the lead. The surprise gold medalist from the Pyeongchang Olympics, Ester Ledecka of Czech Republic, didn?t compete as she started in a snowboard parallel giant slalom in Turkey. Also, overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and her American teammate Lindsey Vonn both sat out the race. Shiffrin was preparing for next week?s technical races in Ofterschwang, Germany, while Vonn will only race again at the finals. Shiffrin?s lead over Holdener, her only remaining rival for the overall championship, was reduced to 611 points on Saturday, but the Swiss skier has been left with only a mathematical chance of closing the gap with seven races remaining. Wearing bib No. 7, Weirather was able to learn from problems at the final jump before the finish for most of the early starters, including runner-up Veith. They came wide and lost time in making the next gate. ?I did a good job today. At the start I watched the first four skiers and saw they had big problems [url=]Dan Bailey Jersey[/url] ,? said Weirather, who competed in a Europa Cup super-G on the same course last Wednesday. ?This is the most difficult hill all year,? she said. ?Every time I misjudge something, so it was important to find out how the rolls are, how the course feels.? Veith acknowledged she probably lost the victory just before the finish. ?Everything was possible today,? the former two-time overall champion said. ?I felt like I wanted too much and that?s why I made the mistake at the bottom part.? A combined event, adding the results of another super-G and a slalom run, is scheduled for Sunday. .
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The back of Ryan Tannehill?s left knee brace suggested a new [url=]Cole Beasley Jersey Elite[/url] , improved version of the Miami Dolphins? quarterback when he took the field Thursday for the first training camp practice. ?TANNEHILL 2.0,? it read. ?I have so many braces that they had to label them somehow,? Tannehill said. ?I guess that?s how they figured it out.? Tannehill hasn?t played in 19 months. He missed the entire 2017 season when he tore his ACL in training camp, and a serious injury to the same knee forced him to miss the final four games in 2016. Tannehill wasn?t limited during offseason drills and said he has full confidence in his knee. ?I was able to do everything in the spring, and it?s only gotten stronger,? he said. ?At this point it?s like nothing ever happened. It?s second nature. You?re not even thinking about it.? ? >Shout it from the top of Mount Washington: It?s the Game of the Year!Perhaps the Game of the Decade!! Maybe the Game of the Millennium!!!Or, very possibly, a big dud.Until their flop in Miami on Monday night, the New England Patriots were playing as many thought they would heading into the season: like a powerhouse. And the Pittsburgh Steelers were squeezing past inferior foes , bringing into question whether they could slow the Foxborough freight train.The Dolphins did just that, one day after the Steelers needed another late rally to edge archrival Baltimore and clinch the AFC North.So while Sunday?s contest at Heinz Field will almost certainly decide the top seed in the AFC, it?s not exactly Ali-Frazier, two undefeated heavyweights facing off.?It?s good to be in big games than be in ones nobody?s watching [url=]Ronald Jones II Buccaneers Jersey[/url] ,? Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says. ?We better be appreciative of this spot and not resist it in any way. This is what we?ve been fighting for since March. Why would you fight that? It?s an awesome thing.?Forget their ?A? game, which the Steelers (11-2) seem to have misplaced for much of the past two months despite winning eight straight, with a half-dozen of them close (decided by one, three, three, three, five and six points.They will need their ?AAA game? against New England (10-3), which knows a loss eliminates it from topping the conference heading into the postseason.?It?s all about us being prepared to play Pittsburgh,? Patriots safety Devin McCourty says, mimicking his coach. ?All the extra stuff comes with it, but it?s just if we worry about the playoffs, we?ll go down there and we?ll get killed, honestly.?The action got started Thursday night in a game with no playoff implications [url=]Evander Kane Sharks Jersey[/url] , the Denver Broncos? 25-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Brock Osweiler threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in relief of the injured Trevor Siemian, and C.J. Anderson rushed for 158 yards on 30 carries as Denver (5-9) won its second straight and handed the Colts (3-11) their fifth consecutive loss. Siemian injured his left shoulder in the first quarter and did not return.On Saturday, Detroit beat Chicago 20-10, and the Los Angeles Chargers were at Kansas City at night.In Detroit, Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and avoided mistakes, allowing the Lions (8-6) to stay in the playoff picture. The Bears (4-10) have lost six of seven.Dallas (7-6) at Oakland (6-7)Oakland might need to win out for any shot at the postseason. Same for Dallas, chasing a wild card in the much-stronger NFC.With star RB Zeke Elliott suspended for one more game, the combination of Dak Prescott throwing to Jason Witten and Dez Bryant has been the focal point on offense. Prescott?s coming off his first 300-yard passing game of the season with a career-high 332 against the woeful Giants.After fizzling in KC, Oakland needs to rediscover its offense and get pressure on Prescott from Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack.Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle (8-5)The Rams lost two of four in the midst of a very difficult stretch. Now, the key division matchup with the banged-up, penalty-prone Seahawks.Seattle, whose air of invincibility at home has been punctured with two losses in the past three, won the first meeting and would have the tiebreaker with a repeat. This easily could come down to Russell Wilson [url=]Derrius Guice Youth Jersey[/url] , making a late run for league MVP, lighting up the skies against Rams QB Jared Goff, one of the NFL?s most-improved players in 2017.LA is 3-0 after a loss; the Eagles beat the Rams last Sunday.Green Bay (7-6) at Carolina (9-4)Huge one for both sides, and this time the Packers head into it with Aaron Rodgers back at quarterback.Recovered from his broken collarbone 鈥?Green Bay stayed relevant without him, going 3-4 鈥?Rodgers might have some rust. Still, was there ever any doubt he would replace Brett Hundley when his wing was healed??Hopefully it gives a lift to some of the guys but I?m not coming back to save this team,? Rodgers said. ?I?m coming back to play quarterback the way I know how to play it.?Rodgers will face a formidable defense that includes end Julius Peppers, who left Green Bay for a return to Carolina this season and has 5 陆 sacks in the past four games against his former team, and LB Luke Kuechly (100 tackles in six straight seasons.)New York Jets (5-8) at New Orleans (9-4)New Orleans owns the tiebreaker over Carolina thanks to a season sweep, and gets fortunate here. Josh McCown, having the best season of his lengthy, vagabond pro career, has a broken hand [url=]Jessie Bates III Bengals Jersey[/url] , so untested Bryce Petty gets the start.The Saints lost two of their past three, against top-level opponents, so they aren?t likely to fall into any traps. Their well-balanced and top-ranked offense could go wild against the inconsistent Jets, and no team has improved more on D than Nawlins.Atlanta (8-5) at Tampa Bay (4-9), Monday nightWhile the Buccaneers spiral enough to put coach Dirk Koetter?s job security in question, it?s the defending NFC champ Falcons who have been maddeningly up and down. Get this: Atlanta is 4-3 in its new, billion dollar palace.That means the Monday night spotlight should be fine, especially for WR Julio Jones. He had a season-best 12 receptions for 253 yards and two TDs against the Bucs three weeks ago 鈥?his NFL-record third game with 250-plus yards receiving. No other receiver in league history has more than one.Cincinnati (5-8) at Minnesota (10-3)Vikings will secure NFC North crown for second time in three seasons by winning, and the Bengals have never won in five trips to Minnesota. Cincinnati didn?t even show up at home last Sunday in being routed by the Bears. Yes, the Bears.Minnesota?s defense had an off day at Carolina, but is formidable enough to win big. The combined record of teams the Vik.
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The Nashville Predators have signed forwards Connor Brickley and Rocco Grimaldi []Walter Payton Jersey[/url] , and defenseman Jarred Tinordi to one-year, two-way contracts. Tinordi?s contract is worth $650,000 in the NHL and $325,000 in the American Hockey League. Brickley?s contract is worth $650,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL. Grimaldi?s contract is worth $650,000 in the NHL and $175,000 in the AHL. Brickley, 26, had four goals and eight assists in 44 games for the Florida Panthers this past season. Grimaldi, 25, had a goal and two assists in six games with the Colorado Avalanche in 2017-18. He had 15 goals and 16 assists in 49 games with the AHL?s San Antonio Rampage. Tinordi, 26 [url=]Breeland Speaks Chiefs Jersey[/url] , had five goals and 16 assists with the AHL?s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2017-18. The first taste of the NBA playoffs for Timberwolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns has been rather bitter, thanks to the 3-point-happy Houston Rockets. The two-game totals tell a frustrating story for the 22-year-old: just 13 points, 5 for 18 shooting and a 2-0 deficit in the series against the Rockets. Towns has found himself the subject of pointed criticism from analysts, fans and even his own team. The switch-heavy Rockets have double-teamed Towns to a stifling effect, and the Timberwolves sure haven?t helped their 7-footer out by getting him the ball in favorable situations in the post. ?They?re coming to double. He knows that. He has to face up, be strong with the ball, make quick moves,? point guard Jeff Teague said. ?But we have to figure out how to get him running, get him some easy buckets.? The team?s struggles have taken a little luster off Minnesota?s first postseason home game in 14 years, but the fans who remember the Timberwolves reaching the Western Conference finals in 2004 will surely be eager to witness the playoffs in person no matter the daunting challenge in this first round. ?This organization, all of our fans, they deserve this moment,? Towns said. And they want a win. The Timberwolves host the Rockets on Saturday night in Game 3. Earlier in the day [url=]Andy Dalton Bengals Jersey[/url] , Miami takes on Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference and New Orleans hosts Portland, both in Game 4. Later, Utah visits Oklahoma City in Game 3. Towns tried his best to shrug off the bad vibes and stinging rebukes when speaking with reporters on Friday. ?You dwell too much on the past, you forget that you?ve got to take care of the present,? Towns said. The chatter on TV and Twitter, he said, has escaped him. ?I live my life very Amish-like,? Towns said. ?Other than video games, I don?t think I have a reason for electronics. It?s a life that I?ve always loved.? ? 76ERS AT HEAT 76ers lead 2-1. Game 4, 2:30 p.m. EDT, TNT NEED TO KNOW: It?s simple: The team that has imposed its will is 3-0 in this series. Philadelphia took the pace where it wanted it in Games 1 and 3. Miami out-toughed the 76ers in Game 2. The Heat have to find a way to keep Philadelphia?s 3-point shooting in check; the 76ers made 18 shots from beyond the arc in Game 3. Joel Embiid is back from a concussion and a broken bone around his eye, and an already-confident Philadelphia bunch seems to have even more swagger now. KEEP AN EYE ON: 76ers guard Marco Belinelli. The 76ers are 25-6 when he plays and 14-1 when he scores at least 15 points. In this series, he?s 13 for 27 on shots from 20 feet and deeper [url=]Joe Namath Jersey[/url] , and many of those makes have been daggers for Miami. PRESSURE IS ON: Heat center Hassan Whiteside . Backups Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo have played a combined 145 minutes in this series, while Whiteside has played only 41, with 11 points, nine fouls, seven turnovers and three field goals in the three games. There?s no room for error now for Miami, so either Whiteside will figure it out fast in Game 4 or the Heat will get someone else into his spot. HISTORY LESSON: This is the fourth time in Dwyane Wade?s career that the Heat have trailed an Eastern Conference opponent 2-1. In the three previous Game 4s in that scenario, Miami has won all three with Wade averaging 26.7 points in those second-round games against Indiana (2004 and 2012) and Toronto (2016). ? TRAIL BLAZERS AT PELICANS Pelicans lead 3-0. Game 4, 5 p.m. EDT, TNT. NEED TO KNOW: The sixth-seeded Pelicans are on the cusp of a surprising sweep of the third-seeded Blazers, and their margin of victory has grown in each game. They dominated Game 3, leading by as many as 20 points in the first half and 33 in the second. Veteran guard Rajon Rondo has masterfully run the offense, and the Pelicans have played unselfishly with a different scoring leader in each game: Anthony Davis with 35 in Game 1, Jrue Holiday with 33 in Game 2 and Nikola Mirotic with 30 in Game 3. KEEP AN EYE ON: Portland?s body language [url=]Baker Mayfield Jersey Youth[/url] , intensity and aggressiveness. Guard Damian Lillard challenged the Blazers to ramp up those aspects of their game, stressing that the Pelicans were ?a lot more aggressive than we were and we didn?t dish it back out. I think in the playoffs and in a situation like this, when a team is coming for you like that, you?ve got to maybe go out of your way to do it back, even if that means foul trouble or some altercations happen out there.? PRESSURE IS ON: Lillard. The Pelicans have sold out to stop the Portland star, who missed nine of 14 shots in Game 3. ?It?s either going to be a tough shot, or I?ve got to give the ball up,? Lillard said. ?I?ve got to trust making the right play, and when it comes time I?ve got to take my chances and I?ve got to take those tough shots.? INJURY UPDATE: Blazers starting forward Evan Turner missed Game 3 because of a toe injury in Game 2. The team did not update his status on Friday. ? ROCKETS AT TIMBERWOLVES Rockets lead 2-0. Game 3, 7:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN. NEED TO KNOW: The Rockets cruised to a 20-point victory in Game 2 despite only 12 points on a staggering 2-for-18 shooting performance by James Harden. After squandering their chance to steal Game 1 on the road in a three-point loss, the Wolves are back home in a big hole against the team with the best record in the NBA. They?ll need a big boost from a home crowd celebrating the team?s return to the postseason to send the series back to Houston for a Game 5. KEEP AN EYE ON: Ger.
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Le?Veon Bell?s next season with the Pittsburgh Steelers will almost certainly be his last. The Pro Bowl running back and the defending AFC North champions failed to reach an agreement on a new contract by Monday?s deadline [url=]Authentic Devin Hester Jersey[/url] , meaning he will play under the franchise tag for a second straight year and hit the open market next spring. Bell tweeted that he ?both sides worked extremely hard? to try and find common ground but ultimately could not. ?The NFL is a hard business at times ? to the fans that had hope, I?m sorry we let you down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date,? Bell posted. The 26-year-old Bell is one of the league?s most versatile players and he has long maintained he wants to be paid accordingly. In addition to serving as a workhorse in the backfield ? his 321 rushing attempts last season led the NFL ? he also caught 85 passes [url=]Josh Gordon Jersey Elite[/url] , good enough for 10th in the league. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said the team will make another attempt to re-sign Bell in the 2019 offseason, but another Pro Bowl-type season by Bell would likely make him too expensive. Bell will make $14.5 million whenever he signs his franchise tender, which likely won?t be until the end of training camp. It?s the path Bell followed last summer after the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him for the first time. He arrived the weekend after the end of the exhibition season and got off to a bit of a slow start before finding his footing in October while helping the Steelers to a second straight division title and fourth consecutive playoff appearance. The depth chart behind Bell is uneven at best. James Conner showed signs during his rookie season last fall before a knee injury. The team drafted Jaylen Samuels ? who did a little bit of everything at North Carolina State ? in the fifth round this spring. Samuels was an effective receiver for the Wolfpack but he lacks Bell?s unique overall skillset. One the Steelers ? barring an unusual turn of events ? will have in the fold for just one more year. ? 鈥?The Miami Dolphins decided receiver Jarvis Landry is worth any headaches he causes, even if the cost is $16 million.Landry was given a non-exclusive franchise tag Tuesday after leading the NFL with 112 catches in 2017. The move by the Dolphins came on the first day that teams could assign franchise tags.The tag?s value is expected to be about $16 million. Landry made $894 [url=]Jarvis Landry Jersey Youth[/url] ,000 last season.Landry has said he wanted to remain with the Dolphins, and they said they wanted him back. But his volatile personality has been cause for a concern 鈥?especially on a team that went 6-10 last year in part because of poor discipline.Landry was ejected in the fourth quarter of the season finale, a loss to Buffalo, and coach Adam Gase said the episode was embarrassing and ?extremely bad.? But Landry was by far the highest-profile Dolphins player eligible for free agency [url=]Billy Price Jersey[/url] , and perhaps the best player on an offense that sputtered throughout 2017.Miami still hopes to sign Landry to a multi-year deal, a person familiar with the team?s plans said. The person didn?t want to be identified because the Dolphins haven?t publicly discussed contract negotiations with Landry.Landry had a franchise-record 112 catches and a career-high nine touchdowns in 2017, the final season of the contract he signed before his rookie season. He has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls and has 400 career receptions, a record for a fourth-year player.The non-exclusive tag allows Landry to sign an offer sheet with another team. The Dolphins could match that offer [url=]Jimmy Garoppolo Youth Jersey[/url] , and if Landry leaves, they would receive two first-round picks from his new team. Miami also could withdraw the tag..
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It was a much-needed win for the San Francisco Giants [url=]Jim Kelly Jersey Youth[/url] , but it came at a great cost. Pablo Sandoval?s tie-breaking two-run single in the 16th inning lifted the Giants past the Miami Marlins 6-3 on Thursday, but the Giants also lost third baseman Evan Longoria to a broken left hand after he was hit by a pitch. ?A great win, but a tough loss,? Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Longoria sustained a fracture to his fifth metacarpal, which could require surgery. A decision is expected in the next couple of days. ?Obviously the goal is to decide something as soon as possible and then get going in the right direction, whether that?s put a cast on it and just let it sit or have some sort of surgery and go that route,? Longoria said. Longoria initially stayed in the game to run after he was hit in the fourth inning, but came out in between innings. ?It wasn?t my legs,? Longoria said. ?I just hate coming out of the game right away. I?ve always thought it looked bad. I knew right away that it didn?t feel right, but I just figured I could run and in the meanwhile let (Alen Hanson) get loose and come into the game.? Longoria is hitting .246 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs in 67 games. ?It?s a tough loss,? Sandoval said. ?I don?t know how many days he?s going to be out, but we?re going to miss the guy. He?s a great hitter, great defensive player, and a great teammate. I hope he recovers well and comes back to help us get to the postseason.? Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer to continue his torrid month and Mac Williamson also homered for the Giants [url=]Denzel Ward Jersey[/url] , who salvaged the final game of a four-game series and beat the Marlins for only the second time in the last 10 meetings. ?It was a great win to head home on after a tough series,? Bochy said. ?I?m looking forward to getting out of Miami, trust me.? Giants? starter Dereck Rodriguez pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs with his father and former Marlins? World Series championship catcher Pudge Rodriguez sitting behind home plate. Ty Blach (4-5) also pitched 6 2-3 innings for the Giants without allowing a run. He gave up seven hits, walked two, and struck out three. ?Two quality starts in one game. I?ll take it,? Rodriguez said. Sam Dyson came on for Blach to get the final out with two runners on for his first save of the season. McCutchen started the 16th with a single, Brandon Crawford walked and Alen Hanson singled to load the bases of Elieser Hernandez (0-4). Sandoval?s single to center made it 5-3, and Gorkys Hernandez added a sacrifice fly later in the inning. The runs were the first for the Giants since the second. ?I just tried to calm down ? everyone was tired ? and tried not to do too much,? Sandoval said. Miami had two runners on in the bottom of the 16th for Bryan Holaday, who flew out to end the game. ?Epic game,? Bochy said. It was the longest game of the season for the Giants and the second-longest for the Marlins, who went 17 innings in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on March 30. Both teams had opportunities in extra innings after the Marlins tied the game in the bottom of the ninth off Hunter Strickland on a sacrifice fly by Lewis Brinson. Second baseman Joe Panik was unable to hold onto a pop up near the foul line, allowing the lead-off runner to reach. It was the eighth time in the series the Marlins came back to tie the game. ?It was one of those series where you kind of play back and forth [url=]Connor Williams Jersey[/url] ,? Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ?Close games. Good for a lot of situations.? The Giants looked to take the lead in the 11th on a double by Hanson, but Crawford was thrown out at the plate. Miami threatened in the 13th when Bochy ordered an intentional walk to Starlin Castro load the bases with two outs and Hernandez due to bat because the Marlins were out of position players. Hernandez bounced out to Blach. ?With Castro up there, that was an easy one,? Bochy said. ?I wasn?t going to let him beat us there. We were in a pretty good situation there.? The Marlins had another opportunity in the 15th with runners on the corners and one out, but Justin Bour grounded into a double play. Bour slammed his helmet to the ground in disgust. ?I saw it off the bat and I thought we might have a chance,? Blach said. McCutchen hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the second straight game. Five of his eight home runs have been this month. He went 3 for 7 to raise his batting average to .339 (19 for 56) in June, historically the best month of his career. He has 11 multi-hit performances in his last 18 games. Williamson?s fourth home run of the season gave the Giants a 3-0 lead against Dan Straily in the second inning. JT Riddle?s solo shot, his third, cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fifth. Holaday?s two-out base hit to left pulled Miami within 3-2 in the seventh, ending Rodriguez?s outing. ?It?s really good to see everyone in this room just continues to keep working toward every single at-bat, getting a hit, getting a hit, just no one giving into anything, everyone scratching and clawing through every single pitch [url=]Cheap Harold Landry Jersey[/url] ,? Straily said. Rodriguez scattered seven hits and struck out four in his third start. SMITH EXPECTED TO GO ON BEREAVEMENT LIST Miami?s Caleb Smith was not with the club due to a funeral and is expected to go on the bereavement list. Mattingly said Smith will make his next scheduled s Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard promised to be smart in free agency. He declined to be swayed by splashy moves and refused to overspend ? on his players or anyone else?s. Now Ballard is diving head first into the second wave of free agency. After signing tight end Eric Ebron on Monday, he added receiver Ryan Grant and offensive lineman Matt Slauson on Tuesday. ?I?m going to bring myself and everything that comes with me which is energy, fun, excitement and a will to win,? Ebron said on a conference call Monday night. ?Everything after that, you guys are going to have to see for yourself because I?ve learned a lesson not to talk about anything before it happens.? Ballard is sticking to his game plan. He has repeatedly said he intends to build through the draft, develop players in-house and merely supplement the Colts? roster in free agency. Even though he went into the offseason with more than $70 million to spend, he?s remained frugal. has reported that Ebron?s deal is for two years and up to $15 million. Slauson signed a one-year deal worth $3 million, and Grant agreed to a one-year deal worth $5 million after initially joining Baltimore ? the Ravens cut him loose after he failed a physical. Grant injured his ankle in Week 17 and has been working his way back. He was surprised by the Ravens? decision. ?I can?t control what they did. I can?t control their assessment of my ankle,? Grant said during a conference call. ?I?ve gone other places, I?ve seen multiple doctors and I?ve passed physicals, so that should pretty much speak for itself.? The only other player Indianapolis has signed is defensive lineman Denico Autry, who signed a three-year deal worth $17.8 million. All four fill needs, though. Autry recorded a career-high five sacks with the Oakland Raiders last season and could help new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus create a more consistent pass rush. The Colts finished 31st in the NFL last year with 25 sacks. Grant spent his first four seasons with the Washington Redskins and is expected to compete with Chester Rogers for the starting job opposite Pro Bowler T.Y. Hilton following Donte Moncrief?s departure. The 6-foot [url=]Shaquem Griffin Jersey[/url] , 204-pound Grant produced his best season in 2017 ? 45 receptions, 573 yards and four TDs. Slauson has started 108 games since entering the league with the New York Jets in 2009. He was in Chicago when Ballard was working with the Bears, and Slauson played for new Colts offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo with both the Jets and Chargers. Ebron, the Detroit Lions? first-round pick in 2014, was released last week after developing a reputation for dropping passes. In Indianapolis, he?ll have a chance to jump-start his career playing alongside Jack Doyle, who appeared in his first Pro Bowl last season, and Erik Swoope, a converted basketball player who climbed into the No. 2 spot on the Colts? depth chart. The happiest guy might be Andrew Luck, who gets two new receivers and a potential upgrade along the line, which has been a major hole since Luck entered the league as the top overall pick in the 2012 draft. Slauson has played both guard and center and is willing to do either with his new team. Ballard?s biggest offseason move was the trade he pulled off Saturday. He swapped first-round picks with the Jets, giving up the No. 3 overall pick to get the No. 6 pick and two additional second-round picks this year and the Jets? second-round pick in 2019. That deal gives Indianapolis four picks in the top 50 this year and three picks in the first two rounds next year. ?We need to add some young talent to this roster,? Ballard told the team?s web site following the trade. ?So the ability to tab seven guys in the next two years who are all first and second round picks over the next two years was attractive to us.? ? .
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WASHINGTON ? A pair of old friends will reconnect when the Boston Red Sox visit the Washington Nationals on Monday night. Former teammates Rick Porcello (9-2 [url=]Saquon Barkley Jersey[/url] , 3.60) of the Red Sox and Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.04) square off for the first time in the opener of a three-game series. Porcello and Scherzer spent five seasons together with the Detroit Tigers, reaching the 2012 World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants. Since leaving Detroit, Porcello won the 2016 American League Cy Young Award and Scherzer is making a strong case for his third straight National League Cy Young. Both have been aware this matchup was coming. ?Looking forward to it. We?ve been texting back and forth,? Porcello told the Boston Globe. ?We?ve had a good time with it and I?m sure we?ll both get a kick about going against each other once the game starts.? Scherzer is looking for his first win since June 5, though he?s pitched well enough to win each of his past four starts, allowing two earned runs or less in each outing. The Nationals are 1-3 in those starts and were shut out in each loss. ?I think everybody?s been punched in the face before of not having success,? Scherzer told The Washington Post after his last start, a 1-0 loss to the Marlins. ?This is the big leagues; they are going to keep coming down your throat and keep attacking you.? Scherzer [url=]Derwin James Jersey[/url] , Washington?s only dependable starter of late, is 4-4 with a 6.05 ERA in 10 starts versus Boston. Porcello allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last time out in a no-decision against the Angels. He?s 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his lone start against Washington, an eight-inning effort in April of 2015. The Nationals (42-40) squandered an early 3-0 lead in Philadelphia on Sunday and fell 4-3 in 13 innings on Andrew Knapp?s pinch-hit walk-off home run as Washington dropped a second straight weekend series to their division rivals. Washington managed only four hits in eight innings against the Philadelphia bullpen in the finale. ?Offensively, we?ve got to do more,? outfielder Adam Eaton told The Post. ?That?s plain and simple. We score early and then we can?t coast. We can?t take our foot off the accelerator. We got to keep going.? The Nationals are now 6-15 in their past 21 games and fell six games behind Atlanta in the NL East. In each of their last nine losses, they?ve scored three or fewer runs. ?We?ve got to start striking out less,? manager Dave Martinez told MASN, ?putting the balls in play, driving in runs when we have the ability to drive in runs.? Boston (56-29) finished a three-game series against the Yankees on a forgettable note Sunday night [url=]John Ross Youth Jersey[/url] , getting routed 11-1 behind starter David Price as New York blasted six home runs, including three by Aaron Hicks. Price allowed eight runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. The Red Sox dropped two of three and travel south percentage points behind the Yankees in the AL East. During the first day of Bengals minicamp, the offense ran through new plays. A day later, some of them were gone. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor decided they didn?t look as good on the field as they did in his overhauled play book. ?You keep moving, keep evolving,? Lazor said Wednesday before practice. ?That?s what we?re in the process of doing.? Cincinnati?s offense is a work in progress, a year after it finished last in the league for the first time in franchise history. Lazor was elevated to interim coordinator after Ken Zampese was fired two games into the season. He?s been retained and given discretion to redesign the playbook. Players say the terminology and some of the play designs have changed significantly. Fans and the rest of the league won?t start noticing the differences until the season begins. For now, the staff is trying to get the offense into a final form. Lazor decided on a major overhaul after the Bengals? 7-9 finish, their second straight losing season. The offense was bad all-around [url=]Lamar Jackson Ravens Jersey[/url] , with Andy Dalton getting little time to throw and the running backs finding little room to run behind a struggling offense line. ?I don?t know if we have enough time to talk about what didn?t go the way we wanted,? Lazor said. ?We?ve got to focus on the now.? One emphasis in minicamp is setting a standard for practice and encouraging players to hold each other accountable. ?We just keep putting it in front of them: This is our standard,? Lazor said ?This is what we want to establish and what we expect in practice, and continue to put it on the players to help hold each other accountable. To me, the greatest thing we?ve done as a group right now is set the standard.? Lazor has noticed a different atmosphere since the new playbook was installed. ?I think it got a lot of the players? attention, just got people going,? he said. SOCCER FEVER: Defensive end Carlos Dunlap was delighted to hear that North America won the bid to host the 2026 World Cup. Dunlap grew up playing soccer and basketball in South Carolina ? his mother didn?t allow him to become a football player until eighth grade ? and he?s attended FC Cincinnati games. Dunlap is excited about the possibility of attending a World Cup game. ?I?ve tossed it around many times, going over there to see World Cup because the energy they have at their games and stadiums is second to none ? unless it?s us against the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the Florida Gators against Georgia in the Cocktail Party [url=]Jessie Bates III Jersey[/url] ,? said Dunlap, who attended Florida. ?It rivals those.? STILL NO EIFERT: Tight end Tyler Eifert missed a second straight day of practice because of an undisclosed injury. He wasn?t available in the open locker room period, and coach Marvin Lewis declined to provide any specifics. Eifert was on the field in a jersey, but didn?t have a helmet or participate in drills. Eifert signed an incentive-laden, one-year deal after being limited to two games last season because of chronic back problems. ? .
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The Minnesota Vikings announced Sunday that offensive line coach Tony Sparano passed away unexpectedly at聽age 56 [url=]Anthony Miller Jersey Youth[/url] , survived by wife Jeannette, two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.With deep regret the Minnesota Vikings announce that Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano unexpectedly passed away early this morning. Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 22, 2018"Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony," owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement. "Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony's presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed."Sparano's football coaching career began at New Haven in 1984, where he served as the offensive line coach. He then got his first NFL gig in 1999,聽 becoming the quality offensive control coach for the Cleveland Browns.After gigs with the Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys, Sparano became head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He took over a team that won just a single game in 2007, but led them to the 2008 AFC East division title with an 11-5 record. Sparano remained head coach of the Dolphins until 2011 [url=]Carlton Davis Youth Jersey[/url] , when he was fired late in the season, finishing with a 29-32 record. Sparano spent one year as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, then became an assistant/offensive line and later interim head coach for the Oakland Raiders.After a brief stint as the San Francisco 49ers tight end coach, Sparano was hired to coach the Vikings offensive line in 2016. After a disappointing finish that season, Sparano re-worked Minnesota's offensive line, which was instrumental in helping the team reach the 2017 NFC Championship Game.Multiple Vikings players took to Twitter to pay their respects to Sparano.Really tough to see this, so much respect for this guy, great coach and great person! You will be missed by so many, thoughts and prayers to your family! RIP Coach Adam Thielen (@athielen19) July 22, 2018Thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Sparano, his family and everyone in the @Vikings organization.. life鈥檚 precious and we just never know when it鈥檚 our time.. RIP Coach.. Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) July 22 [url=]Christian Kirk Youth Jersey[/url] , 2018Sparano was extremely admired and respected by his players, bringing a notably humble attitude and working closely to develop close ties with them. The NFL world is at a loss right now, as we've lost one of the most brilliant minds.Tony Sparano was 56. The Golden State Warriors, so used to making things look easy, overcame one of their toughest tests to return to the NBA Finals. They climbed out of huge holes in the last two games of the Western Conference finals to beat Houston, but may have to play in the first half the way they have after halftime if they hope to knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and repeat as champions. ?They played a great series, they made us work for everything ? I?m just proud of the way we battled,? Klay Thompson said. ?We?ve been through a lot with this team, and believe it or not, it?s not all success with the Warriors.? ?We?ve got our bumps throughout the season,? he continued. ?But to get to this point again [url=]Blake Martinez Jersey Elite[/url] , we earned it.? Without Andre Iguodala again, the Warriors shook off another terrible first half in Game 7 on Monday night to rally for a 101-92 victory that made them the fifth team in NBA history to advance to the finals in four straight seasons. Golden State trailed by 11 at halftime after being behind at the break by 10 points in Game 6, becoming the first team to win multiple elimination games in the same series when trailing by double digits after two quarters. Coach Steve Kerr lamented that Golden State?s first half on Monday night was ?one of the most bizarre first halves? his team has played since he?s been with the Warriors and joked that he thought of resigning at halftime before getting serious. ?Our talent took over,? Kerr said. ?It?s as simple as that. We?ve got three of the best shot-makers in the league ? we stayed with it.? The trio ? Thompson, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant ? combined to score 47 points in the second half to pull away from a Rockets team that missed 27 straight 3-pointers from the second quarter to the halfway mark of the fourth quarter. ?I think it was just a level of experience and maturity from our group that helped us get to the finish line,? Curry said. The Warriors outlasted the Rockets despite missing Iguodala for the last four games with a bone bruise on his left leg. It?s unclear if the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will return for Game 1 on Thursday, but if he does it will give Golden State a boost in trying to slow down James. While Golden State certainly isn?t happy the way it started the last two games, its ability to turn things around in the second half gives the Warriors confidence heading into the next challenge. The Warriors outscored Houston 122-63 in the second half of the final two games. Houston gave them a much bigger test than the Warriors have had in quite some time and this series was their first with three losses since the Cavaliers won the 2016 finals 4-3. ?Just keeping our composure was big for us the entire series,? Curry said. ?Whether we figured it out, win or lose, we showed a lot of fight [url=]Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey 49ers[/url] , a lot of grit and resiliency to stay positive as we went through the series no matter what the situation was.? Thompson was clear that the mistakes he made before halftime on Monday night won?t happen again. After scoring 35 points in Game 6, he collected three fouls in less than four minutes to force him to sit out most of the first quarter. ?I cannot do that next series, and that?s a big no-no,? he said. ?Learned my lesson. Those guys are great at drawing fouls but I?ve got to be smarter than that. That really hurt. I hated not being out there when I was supposed to.? Curry, before he could look forward to the finals, he took some time to reflect on what it took to get past the Rockets and appreciate the accomplishment of having another shot at the title. ?This was a part of our story that we hadn?t been through before,? he said. ?Our backs against the wall, not having home-court advantage, needing to win two games to keep ourselves alive. This is a true testament to how hard it is to get to the finals, how hard it is to have a chance to play for a championship.? .
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KANSAS CITY [url=]Darius Leonard Jersey[/url] , Mo. ? The Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals, two diametrically opposite clubs, meet in a three-game series beginning Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. To say they are polar extremes would not be an exaggeration. The Red Sox own the best record in the majors at 59-29. They have won eight of their past 10 and 10 of their past 13. They are 30 games over .500 for the first since they ended the 2013 season 32 games above. Boston leads the American League with 463 runs and has outscored its opponents by 130 runs. On the flip side, the Royals have lost six straight, 18 of 21 and 25 of 30. They are 25-61 and are 36 games below .500 for the first time since ending the 2006 season 62-100. Kansas City ranks last in the American League with 297 runs and has been outscored by 167 runs. ?We didn?t have opportunities to manufacture runs,? manager Ned Yost told reporters after Wednesday?s 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. ?We had opportunities with runners in scoring position that we couldn?t capitalize on. And that?s been a major problem for us all year long.? The Red Sox are 31-17 on the road. The Royals have lost 12 of their last 13 games at Kauffman Stadium and their 11-32 home record is the worst in the majors. The Royals have not scored more than four runs in 25 of their last 26 games. They have failed to collect double-figure hits in 25 of their last 26 games and are batting .191 with 55 runs in that stretch. And who do the Royals face in the opener of this series? None other than dominant left-hander Chris Sale, who leads the American League with 164 strikeouts and is averaging 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents own a .179 batting average versus Sale (8-4, 2.41 ERA). ?He looks like the best pitcher in the big leagues right now [url=]Anthony Miller Jersey[/url] ,? Boston manager Alex Cora said. Sale, who ranks among the league leaders in overall ERA, owns a 2.32 road ERA and a 2.45 night ERA. He enters the game having not allowed a run in his past 15 innings. Sale is 3-1 with a 1.03 ERA in his past five starts after striking out and allowing a first-inning single to Giancarlo Stanton in seven dominant innings in an 11-0 win at Yankee Stadium over the New York Yankees on Saturday. ?He was outstanding again,? Cora said. ?Fastball command and off-speed pitches, it was a great performance.? Sale is 10-10 with a 2.92 ERA in 33 career appearances, 22 starts, against Kansas City. He held the Royals to two runs and five hits while walking two and striking out six over seven innings in a no-decision on May 1 at Fenway Park. Sale is 2-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last four starts in Kansas City, striking out 34 and walking five. The Royals will counter with right-hander Jason Hammel [url=]Joe Namath Jersey[/url] , who is 2-10 with a 5.56 ERA. He is tied for the AL lead in losses and has yielded 15 runs in his last two starts. He is 0-5 with a 4.33 ERA in seven home starts this season. Against the Red Sox, Hammel is 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA in 16 career appearances, nine of them starts. He dropped a 10-6 decision on April 30 to Boston, allowing eight runs on eight hits, including a pair of home runs, and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. While Sale was the AL Pitcher of the Month for June, Hammel went 0-5 with a 6.43 ERA in six starts last month after ending May with back-to-back victories. Hammel?s biggest challenge will be Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. They rank 1-2 in the majors in slugging percentage with Betts at .669 and Martinez .642. Betts has 21 home runs and a .338 batting average. Martinez is hitting .327 with a major league-best 26 home runs, which is more than any Boston player hit in 2017. Betts also hit three homers at Fenway Park on May 2 and went 4-for-4 in that game. DETROIT ? Out of the playoff picture and with only a few games remaining in 2017-18 [url=]Michael Gallup Cowboys Jersey[/url] , the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators are focusing on young players who will, hopefully, be part of their futures. Detroit will host Ottawa on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in a matinee game. Anthony Mantha, in his first full NHL season, leads the Red Wings with 24 goals. He had a goal that ended an 11-game drought, his longest of the season, and an assist in Thursday night?s 6-3 road win over the Buffalo Sabres. At 6 feet 5 and 230 pounds, Mantha has the talent and size to develop into a consistently dominant player. Mantha has been dominant at times this season and he?s working on being more consistent. ?I think my consistency this year was a little better the whole year [url=]Leighton Vander Cowboys Esch Jersey[/url] ,? Mantha, 23, told .
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