The Falcons forced a pair of huge fumbles
The Falcons forced a pair of huge fumblesin Hähnchenführer 09.08.2018 10:54
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Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double Derrius Guice Color Rush Jersey , so he gets plenty of attention. Ricky Rubio just had a triple-double , earning him some time in the headlines. Donovan Mitchell has been great in his first three playoff games, so the fascination with the rookie star is only growing.
It’s easy to notice those guys.
Rudy Gobert should be getting noticed as well.
Utah is taking a 2-1 lead into their Western Conference first-round series against Oklahoma City on Monday night, and Gobert is probably as responsible for the Jazz being in that position than anyone. He’s controlling the backboards, he’s changing shots, he’s thwarting Westbrook and he’s showing why he’s the likely Defensive Player of the Year.
”It makes the guards’ jobs a lot easier,” Mitchell said of the French safety net with the 7-foot-9 wingspan who protects the rim for the Jazz. ”You feel more secure on the wing. … The whole season, I’ve been saying if somebody gets by me, it’s like, `All right, go ahead, try it. Because I’ve tried it. And it doesn’t work.”
Westbrook probably would agree: He’s 1 for 7 in this series with Gobert waiting at the rim for him.
There’s two Game 4s on the schedule Monday, with Houston at Minnesota leading off before the Oklahoma City-Utah game. The Rockets fell in Game 3 to the Timberwolves on Saturday, but still lead that series 2-1.
Westbrook is not happy, and the reigning NBA MVP wasted little time in vowing that things will be different in Game 4. He was talking about slowing down Rubio http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jonathan-allen-jersey , but he might be better served getting himself going again. Going back to the regular season, Westbrook hasn’t shot better than 40 percent in any of his last six games – the worst such streak of his career.
Here’s a look at Monday’s games:
ROCKETS AT TIMBERWOLVES
Rockets lead 2-1. Game 4, 8 p.m. EDT, TNT.
NEED TO KNOW: The Timberwolves bounced back from a 20-point loss in Game 2 with a sellout-crowd-inspired 16-point victory over the Rockets in Game 3 that was the franchise’s first win in the playoffs since 2004. Jimmy Butler had 28 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were more aggressive than they were in Games 1 and 2. ”I felt like they outworked us, and that should never happen,” Rockets guard Gerald Green said.
KEEP AN EYE ON: The Rockets shooting 3-pointers. They needed 41 attempts to make 15 behind the arc in Game 3, as many as the Wolves swished in 27 tries. Harden was just 3 for 8, his rainbows often drifting to the left, as the Wolves kept up what has been a better-than-usual defensive performance in this series. ”We’re just making it harder on them, making them take tough shots and just trying to find ways to stop a high-powered offense,” Towns said.
PRESSURE IS ON: Rockets center Clint Capela. After a 24-poin/t, 12-rebound production in Game 1, Capela had only seven points on six shots in Game 3. On the other end of the court, Towns finally got going after two bad games thanks in part to Capela’s defense. The Rockets could use a strong response from the Swiss standout in the attempt to keep the Wolves from tying the series.
INJURY UPDATE: Butler Jerome Baker Color Rush Jersey , who missed a total of 21 games this season due to trouble with his right knee, clutched his left ankle in pain after twisting it late in the first half of Game 3. He didn’t miss any time, though, and didn’t even acknowledge the injury when asked about it in his postgame interview. ”At the end of the day if you tell your mind it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t,” Butler said.
THUNDER AT JAZZ
Jazz leas 2-1. Game 4, 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT.
NEED TO KNOW: Utah has won each of its last five first-round series as the No. 5 seed, and the Jazz are halfway to extending that streak. The crowd in Salt Lake City was extremely loud on Saturday and will likely be again on Monday. The Thunder are 5-6 in their last 11 games, and no one needs to remind them of how low the success rate is for teams that go down 3-1 in a series.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook from deep. Paul George has been great from 3-point range (15 for 31) in the three games, but Westbrook and Anthony are a combined 9 for 31. The Thunder need to get something going consistently from the perimeter to soften up Utah’s stout interior defense.
PRESSURE IS ON: Utah. Most would think it’s the team trailing that would feel the most pressure, but Utah has a chance to take total command of the series. A loss would be doubly deflating; not only would the Jazz lose home-court, but they would go back to Oklahoma City for Game 5 with the Thunder thinking they have control of the matchup.
INJURY UPDATE: Westbrook was getting treatment on some sort of upper-body issue in Game 3 and was coy about it afterward, pointing out that most players are ailing at this time of year. But if he’s limited in any way, that’s obviously a huge problem for the Thunder.
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report
PHILADELPHIA — The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles will compete in their first playoff game in four years when they host the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles lost MVP candidate Marquis Haynes Color Rush Jersey , quarterback Carson Wentz, down the stretch but still managed to finish 13-3 and earn the No. 1 seed with backup Nick Foles. Ironically, Foles was the quarterback in 2013 when the Eagles fell to the New Orleans Saints 26-24.
The Falcons received the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC, then promptly traveled to the West Coast and defeated the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 in the wild-card round.
Philadelphia became the first No. 1 seed to open as an underdog in the playoffs. In the last two regular-season games, the offense sputtered under Foles with a 19-10 win over the Oakland Raiders and a 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Foles did sit out the majority of the regular season finale against the Cowboys.
“Yeah, there’s going to be wonder,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said when asked how his team will respond in the postseason. “But I’m going to tell you, ‘Listen, these guys are football players.’ I think sometimes the outside, whether it be the media, the fans, can make it bigger than it really is. When you boil it down, it’s football at the end of the day. It’s football at the end of the day. Just go do your job.
“Do what you’ve been coached to do all week long and give it your best effort on Saturday. If it’s good enough, great. If it’s not, then we focus on next season.”
Foles was 4 of 11 for 39 yards and an interception against the Cowboys and struggled to throw the ball downfield. Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld was 19 of 23 for 134 yards Leighton Vander Esch Color Rush Jersey , but the Eagles have repeatedly made it clear that Foles is the starter.
“As much as we and everybody else wants to run the football, you have to be able to stay aggressive in the pass game and get the ball down the field,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “Nick has proven that over the length and entirety of his career. He not only can get the ball downfield, he can do so very well. He wants to throw the ball downfield. He’s aggressive in his mindset, as aggressive a guy as I’ve been around. He’s looking to throw it down the field. Some guys are the dink-and-dunk kind of guys. That’s not Nick. Nick is aggressive.
“So we need to be good in the run game and be able to mix in our play-action, take our shots down the field, keep the defense off guard and keep them guessing and that starts with good production on first down,” Reich added.
The Falcons, who finished the regular season at 10-6, are preparing for their second road playoff game. Quarterback Matt Ryan (personal reasons) and wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle, ribs) both missed practice Tuesday but are expected to start on Saturday.
Ryan was 21 of 30 for 218 yards and a touchdown in the 13-point win over the Rams. It was his first road playoff win in three starts.
“We’re not here just to get here,” Ryan told reporters. “We want to make noise while we’re here. This is what it’s all about. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity this time of the year to compete and play in games like this, and to win games like this.”
Ryan led Atlanta to the Super Bowl last season in what wound up being a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New England Patriots. He was able to guide the Falcons back to the postseason once again.
“He’s a hell of a competitor, and those of you that know him know the nice guy you see through the media, but in between those white lines Chad Thomas Color Rush Jersey , he is a wolf,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn told ESPN.com. “I love what he stands for as a competitor, and his teammates know that, too. I thought there’s all sorts of examples, getting hit and bouncing back up, getting ready for the next one. He really showed that kind of toughness to his teammates.”
Ryan, who was raised in nearby Exton, Pa., and attended Penn Charter High School — is 1-3 all-time against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
The Falcons forced a pair of huge fumbles and turned them into 10 points against the Rams. Kicker Matt Bryant also booted four field goals.
“We know that they’re a good team, and we know that they beat us last year,” Atlanta free safety Ricardo Allen told ESPN.com of the Eagles. “We know we’re going to have to go there and fight.”