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MessagePosté le: Mer 17 Oct - 04:40 (2018)    Sujet du message: t in the first quarter to lead 29-22 Répondre en citant

MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra said he mentioned how daunting the task would be only once. Oscar Klefbom Jersey . Back in September, when the Miami Heat assembled to begin training camp, Spoelstra addressed his team about furthering its championship legacy and how rare it is for a team to find its way to the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons. "Weve never brought it up since then," Spoelstra said. Itll get brought up now. The seed the Heat coach planted in the Bahamas at that training camp took root. The Heat are finals-bound -- for the fourth straight time. The sputtering stretches of play in March and April, surrendering the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs to Indiana, winning 12 fewer games in this regular season than a year ago, they all seem moot and meaningless now. The Heat have a chance at a third consecutive NBA title, with the finals starting Thursday night against San Antonio in a title-series rematch. "Its amazing to make it to one finals," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "To do it four times in a row for some of these guys, its a tremendous, tremendous accomplishment and it speaks volumes to the dedication, luck, and perseverance that you need to do it." Spoelstra spoke of that luck factor when he gathered his team for a locker-room huddle moments after the celebration started Friday night, after Miami wrapped up its fourth straight East crown with a 117-92 win over Indiana to win the series in six games. His words were interrupted twice by LeBron James, which nobody minded. "We dont take this for granted," Spoelstra said. "No, sir," James added, nodding. "We do not take it for granted," Spoelstra repeated. "No way," James interjected. "How tough it actually is and how many things have to go our way," Spoelstra continued. "Four times, you guys who havent been here with us the whole time, you guys inherit everything that weve experienced." Only six current Heat players appeared in the 2011 post-season, Miamis first of the "Big 3" era and the last in which it actually lost a series. James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Udonis Haslem are the last holdovers. Battier and Norris Cole arrived after the 2011 finals loss. Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis -- all playing huge roles these days for Miami -- came after the first title run of this Heat era in 2012. The core of last seasons title squad, with the exception of amnestied Mike Miller, was back to try it again this time around. Even with all that talent, with that championship experience, Spoelstra knew a tone had to be immediately set when the season began. "What I was really encouraged about was our attendance and commitment in training camp in the Bahamas," Spoelstra said. "Right from there, and we communicated during the summer that, if were real about this, about how difficult that journey is, that you cannot shortcut, that we would show it immediately in training camp." Theyre still showing it now. Miami is 12-3 in these playoffs, 8-0 at home, and has won a road game in 15 straight post-season series. The Heat will need to extend that streak to win the NBA Finals; the Spurs will hold home-court advantage. "Obviously, going through the weeks and weeks and weeks and grinding months of a regular season, it was a toll on all of us," James said. "But I felt like down the stretch, if we could get healthy, we could get everyone in uniform and have our full strength, it didnt matter what seed we were. I felt like we can represent the Eastern Conference again in the finals if we had the health, and we were able to accomplish that." At times, like Friday night, they make winning look easy. Collectively, they insist its much harder than it appears. "You still have to go out and do it every single night," Allen said. "Its the toughest thing Ive ever done and I guarantee the guys in this locker room would say the same thing." Only the Lakers and Celtics have appeared in four straight finals, with Boston (1984-87) the last to do so. Wade was 5 when that run ended, James was 2, and Cole, Michael Beasley and Greg Oden hadnt even been born. Now the Heat are in that club. And regarding what Spoelstra said in that first-day conversation, the point of his words then has become perfectly clear to his team now. "Having a chance to win is always a special thing," Bosh said. "We always talk about not taking it for granted from Day One. We know its a very long season. It has its rewards in the end if we stick together and do what were supposed to do. But it hasnt really hit us yet. I would rather it hit me in two weeks." Darnell Nurse Jersey . Levante, which had lost five straight including a Copa del Rey game last weekend, fell behind at its Ciutat de Valencia stadium when Ionut Sapanura opened the scoring for Elche in the 26th minute. Cam Talbot Jersey . The post-season, Pierce said repeatedly, is no time to panic. And the Heat, apparently, are nothing to fear. http://www.oilersauthority.com/authentic-wayne-gretzky-oilers-jersey/ . Coming off a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal endured another demoralizing result after rallying for a 2-1 lead -- only to concede a fluke equalizer.OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant often says hell do whatever his team needs. In the second half against Memphis, his mission was simply to score as often as possible. He had 30 of his 37 points after halftime to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Grizzlies 113-107 on Friday night. Durant made 10 of 15 shots and all eight of his free throws after halftime to help the Thunder hold off a furious rally. "I just told myself to be aggressive, to score," said Durant, the NBAs scoring leader. "Thats all I said to myself at half. I was frustrated with the shots I was taking. I felt that I wasnt disciplined. I worked my fundamentals. I just wanted to be aggressive to score. I think thats what my team needed." Russell Westbrook had 21 points and six assists in 28 minutes, Serge Ibaka had 16 points and nine rebounds and Reggie Jackson added 14 points for the Thunder, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Oklahoma City had dropped every game since Westbrook returned from his latest knee surgery -- and nearly lost again because Mike Miller scored all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter to rally Memphis. Westbrook wasnt worried about the fact that the Thunder almost squandered the 16-point lead they had heading into the fourth. "We won, thats what Im going to take from it," Westbrook said. "We lost three in a row. We just won." Marc Gasol had 17 points and Zach Randolph added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who had won five of six. Memphis ran into a team that was tired of losing. "Theyre extremely talented, but they were very focused, locked in," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "They played at a very, very high level, I thought tonight, as well as Ive seen them play against us in a long, long time." Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha left in the first half with a left calf strain and did not return. The Grizzlies made 26 of 40 shots in the second half, but couldnt stop Oklahoma City in the final minutes when the game got close. The Thunder offence broke out of a lull in the second quarter when Westbrook returned from a rest. He scored 10 points in the final 5:36 to help Oklahoma City take aa 57-42 lead at the break despite getting just seven points from Durant on 2-for-9 shooting. Ryan Stanton Jersey. Randolph was held to 2-for-10 shooting in the first half, and the Grizzlies shot just 38 per cent. Durant got it going in the opening minutes of the third quarter with a 3-pointer and a dunk to help Oklahoma City take a 65-47 lead. Westbrook showed some of his old form when he froze Tayshaun Prince with a crossover dribble, then drained a mid-range jumper to give the Thunder a 70-55 edge. Durant scored 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the third quarter to help the Thunder take an 87-71 lead at the end of the period. Miller came off the bench and made three 3-pointers in the fourth to help the Grizzlies trim the deficit to 103-97 with 4:22 remaining. "In the fourth quarter, our bench was unbelievable," Prince said. "We (the starters) put them in a bad situation and they almost got us out of it." Memphis cut the margin to three before Durant made a baseline jumper on an assist from Westbrook with 1:24 to play, then a floater with 33 seconds remaining to seize control for good. "We cant afford to dig ourselves a hole like we did," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. "Theyre too good of a team, especially at home. They came out and they wanted to win this game from the very beginning." The Thunder finally resembled the team that has earned the top record in the Western Conference. They won for the first time since Feb. 13 and for the first time at home since Feb. 9 "It feels great," Durant said. "You never take it for granted. We learned a lesson after losing three in a row. Its tough to swallow, so its good to get a W." NOTES: Thunder centre Steven Adams played through flu-like symptoms. The 7-foot rookie from New Zealand started in place of Kendrick Perkins, who will miss about six weeks with a left groin strain. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before the game that Adams might not play. ... Oklahoma City shot 50 per cent in the first quarter to lead 29-22 at the end of the period. ... Memphis Kosta Koufos committed four fouls in his first 5 minutes of play in the first half. 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MessagePosté le: Mer 17 Oct - 04:40 (2018)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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