Thursday, February 23, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017
Paul Pierce played 15 seasons with the Celtics. In those 15 seasons he would make 10 All Star games, he totaled 24,000 points, and he won an NBA Title.
He may have been a visitor in Boston yesterday, but it was like home again one last time. Before the game he would kiss the Celtics logo at half court and with 11 seconds to go he would drain a three. The fans in Boston gave him a huge standing ovation when they introduced him before the game and after the game the fans gave him another standing ovation. During a time out during the first quarter there was a tribute to say thanks to a legend who would wear a Celtics uniform.
Moments like this is what makes sports so great. Yea, the competition is there, but to go out in another team's uniform after playing for one team for 15 years and still get the respect he got was heart felt.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Although the New York Rangers weren't happy with every aspect of the game, they were glad to get a needed win at home.
Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast scored 3:12 apart in the middle of the third period to help the Rangers beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Sunday for their second victory in their last seven at Madison Square Garden.
"We're aware obviously of the record we've had here the past few weeks and it's something we want to improve," said New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 29 shots. "Obviously there's no better feeling than to win in front of your own fans. ... This is the place where you gain the most confidence when you win."
Michael Grabner had a goal and an assist, Rick Nash also scored and J.T. Miller had two assists to help the Rangers win for the fifth time in seven games overall and improve to 5-0-1 in their last six against Calgary.
"I don't think we had our `A' stuff, but we did a good job defending and not getting hurt by it," Rangers center Derek Stepan said.
Flames veteran Kris Versteeg got ejected after losing his jersey during a fight in the third period, and waved to jeering fans as he skated off.
Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with Chicago and not known as a brawler, tangled with Pavel Buchnevich and got his jersey pulled over his head during the scrap. The 30-year-old forward was tossed because, by rule, his jersey hadn't been properly tied down.
The Flames, who practiced on an outdoor rink in Central Park on Saturday, had won three in a row.
Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, and Dougie Hamilton and Troy Brouwer also scored for the Flames. Brian Elliott finished with 28 saves and Mikael Backlund had two assists.
"I thought we deserved to get some points out of this building," Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. "These are the types of games that make you better and we were good tonight, we just didn't get the points."
The Rangers outlasted Calgary in a furious third period that began with the score tied at 1.
Kreider put the Rangers ahead 3-2 as he brought the puck up the left side and sent a shot from outside the left circle that deflected in off the skate of defenseman Dennis Wideman for his career high-tying 21st goal at 8:20.
Fast made it 4-2 with about 8 1/2 minutes left off a pass from Miller.
The Flames took advantage of a Rangers giveaway less than a minute later as Backlund fired a shot that deflected off Tkachuk past Lundqvist.
Grabner gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 1:54 of the third, taking a pass from Brady Skjei in the right circle and putting it into the top right corner for his 23rd.
Brouwer tied it at 4:40 as he got the deflection of Johnny Gaudreau's shot and put it past Lundqvist for his ninth.
Nash appeared to give the Rangers the lead in the final second of the second period, but it was waved off after a review showed the puck went in after the clock had expired.
After the Rangers outshot the Flames 15-13 in the opening period, the chances slowed down in the second.
"It was an awful period from both sides," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "In the third, I thought we executed better ... and we were able to get two points."
Hamilton gave the Flames a 1-0 lead on the power play when his shot from the point deflected off Rangers defenseman Nick Holden and past Lundqvist's glove side for his eighth at 6:59 of the first.
The Rangers tied it on their own power play less than two minutes later. Nash got a pass in front from Stepan in front and his second attempt went in for his 15th at 8:55. Ryan McDonagh also had an assist on the goal for his 200th career point.
New York scored on the man advantage for the second straight game after going 0 for 15 over their previous five.
NOTES: Gaudreau had an assist for the fourth straight game, giving him six points (one goal, five assists) in that stretch. ... The Flames fell to 5-1-0 this season when Hamilton scored a goal. ... Miller now has 18 points (seven goals and 11 assists) over his last 15 games. ... New York improved to 9-1-0 against the Pacific Division this season.
Flames: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday night in the finale of a three-game trip.
Rangers: Host Anaheim on Tuesday night in the second game of a stretch of four straight at home.
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid played his 100th NHL game on Sunday, and it was an eventful one.
McDavid was kept off the scoresheet, but he led all forwards with 20:43 of ice time and drew three penalties in the Oilers' 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Leon Draisaitl's shootout goal.
The 20-year-old McDavid also got booed at Bell Centre, starting in the first period when the sellout crowd of 21,288 got on him for what it felt was a dive when Shea Weber was called for what looked like a phantom trip in the neutral zone 8:40 into the game.
"I don't mind it at all," McDavid said of the booing. The talented forward was more upset with being thought of as a diver.
After the incident, Montreal's Andrew Shaw threw him to the ice, but there was no call on the encounter.
"It wasn't anything serious," McDavid said. "They might have already had a penalty coming up there. It's tough to call two on a play like that.
"I drew some penalties, which was good. A guy was getting on me a bit but it was definitely not diving. All three of those chances, I'm trying to make a play at the net and stuff ended up happening, but it was definitely not diving or anything like that."
McDavid, the first overall pick of the 2015 draft, has 108 career points and seems to be getting better with each game. He leads the NHL with 42 assists and 60 points.
"He's electrifying," teammate Milan Lucic said. "For a lot of reasons - his speed, skill, his ability to finish and pass. I kind of compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo, of hockey. It's been fun to play with him so far."
Cam Talbot had 22 saves as Edmonton (29-18-8) salvaged the finale of a three-game trip that included only one regulation goal for the Oilers.
The Canadiens (30-16-8) dropped to 1-3-1 in their last five games. The Atlantic Division leaders were coming off a 3-2 loss to Washington on Saturday.
McDavid had a breakaway in overtime, but he was denied by Al Montoya. Talbot also turned away a big drive for Shea Weber at the other end.
Montoya finished with 32 saves.
"He was unreal," Weber said. "He played one of his best games of the year for us and that's why we had a chance to win it."
After coming close early on when Alexei Emelin hit a cross bar, the Canadiens generated little on attack until picking up the pace in the third period.
The Oilers had a 30-20 shot advantage in regulation time and outshot Montreal 32-22 overall.
NOTES: Both teams were playing a third game in four days.
Oilers: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Canadiens: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Philipp Grubauer starts rarely enough that he doesn't want to show his face when he loses. He can show it plenty until his next chance.
Grubauer stopped a season-high 38 shots to shut out the Los Angeles Kings as the Washington Capitals ended Peter Budaj's shutout streak in a 5-0 rout Sunday. Washington snapped Los Angeles' winning streak at five and Budaj's shutout streak at 147:21 in winning its third game in a row.
Despite being outshot 38-20, the Capitals were opportunistic in shelling Budaj, limiting quality chances and relying on Grubauer to make the routine saves.
"He doesn't get in there all the time, but when he does he's just been really good," said Brett Connolly, who scored his 10th goal of the season. "There was a couple times we turned the puck over and they had a good chance in front and he was there to bail us out."
Grubauer denied Marian Gaborik from close range in the second period but didn't have to make too many 10-bell saves for his third shutout of the season. Coach Barry Trotz liked the team defense in front of Grubauer, who compared the new NHL-mandated slimmer goalie pants to "European skinny jeans."
"The guys did an amazing job keeping (shots) to the outside today," Grubauer said. "I don't think we gave up too many Grade-A chances."
The Kings did.
They left Lars Eller, Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams wide open on their goals, and Connolly was in all alone on a semi-breakaway to score his. T.J. Oshie's goal popped the cap off Budaj's water bottle, sending water flying and adding insult to injury.
Budaj, who leads the NHL with seven shutouts, was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in two periods. He had stopped all 39 shots in his past two starts, but this loss was more on the Kings' defensive miscues than their goaltender.
"When you don't manage the puck well and give them opportunities to score, they're going to score," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "You give them a little space and they capitalize on that. That's the danger, and we gave them too much space."
Coach Darryl Sutter said no one wants to get into an All-Star Game against the Capitals because the Kings are "not in that class." When the Capitals are getting this kind of goaltending and depth of scoring, few teams in the league are.
Washington leads the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference by seven points and is five up on the Minnesota Wild in the Presidents' Trophy race that also comes with home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Trotz said the team isn't thinking about the standings but is focused on each game.
Good thing for the Capitals that with Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby and Grubauer, they have a goalie they can turn to each game who can steal points if needed.
"Both goalies are tremendous," captain Alex Ovechkin said. "I think we have best duo in the league. When Holts have a break, Grubi stepping up and show he can be tremendous as well."
NOTES: Jeff Zatkoff stopped four of five shots in relief of Budaj, allowing Williams' 18th goal of the season. ... Connolly has 10 goals in 39 games after scoring nine in 71 games for the Boston Bruins last season. ... Oshie's goal was the pending unrestricted free agent's 20th of the season. ... The Kings put C Jordan Nolan on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered Wednesday. ... Ovechkin was honored before the game for recording his 1,000th point last month. NHL senior vice president Jim Gregory presented him with a Tiffany crystal, while Capitals owner Ted Leonsis gave Ovechkin a gold stick. During the ceremony, Leonsis held up a cutout of Ovechkin's head that was given to all fans.
Kings: Travel to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday in their third stop on a four-game road trip.
Capitals: Look to make it four in a row when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, the teams' second meeting in just over two weeks.
Kyle Lowry was already ill, then he was injured.
Neither was going to keep him off the floor with the Toronto Raptors badly needing a victory.
Lowry finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth career triple-double, and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 103-95 on Sunday.
Already feeling sick, Lowry needed four stitches after cutting his right forearm on a camera mounted to the basket stanchion. But he played more than 39 minutes and recorded his first triple-double of the season.
"It's a part of the game. You're going to get injured, you're going to get hurt," Lowry said. "It's just how you find ways to get through it, and I'm always going to find a way to get through it."
Playing again without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, the slumping Raptors ended a two-game skid and won for just the third time in 11 games. Jonas Valanciunas led them with 22 points.
Terrence Ross had 17 points for the Raptors, who extended their longest winning streak ever against the Nets to eight.
Brook Lopez scored 20 for the Nets, who had 16 turnovers in the first half and finished with 22. They have lost nine in a row overall and 12 straight at home, where they haven't won in 2017.
"I thought in the second half we improved," coach Kenny Atkinson said. "That's why we gave ourselves a chance, because our defense was not great but decent enough to have a chance to win the game."
Brooklyn cut a 17-point deficit to four midway through the fourth quarter but Lowry soon took over, throwing a lob to Valanciunas for a basket, making a pair of free throws and then finding DeMarre Carroll for a basket that pushed the lead back into double digits at 92-82.
DeRozan has missed seven of the last eight games because of right ankle injuries during a frustrating time for the Raptors, who snapped a five-game road losing streak.
"Good teams, bad teams, whatever it is, frustration's a part that you've got to fight through as a team," coach Dwane Casey said.
Raptors: Lowry finished 0 for 5 from 3-point range and remained with 799 3-pointers with the Raptors, two behind Morris Peterson's franchise record. ... Patrick Patterson also sat out after leaving Toronto's loss in Orlando on Friday with a bruised left knee. He has missed 11 of the last 20 games with knee injuries.
Nets: Lopez entered averaging 21.7 points against the Raptors, second-highest among Nets players with at least 10 appearances. Former Toronto star Vince Carter averaged 23.3 in 18 appearances after being traded to the Nets. ... Rookie Caris LeVert sat out to rest his sore knee.
The Raptors' struggles cost Casey a chance to coach the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game. The coach whose team had the second-highest winning percentage through Sunday's games - Cleveland's Tyronn Lue is ineligible after coaching last year - earned the spot, and Boston's Brad Stevens clinched it Friday. Casey said he was disappointed, but only because that meant the Raptors weren't playing well.
"I'd much rather for us to be playing well right now more so than coaching in the All-Star Game," Casey said. "If we were in third playing well I'd be happy, but I'm more upset about not playing well and everybody not being healthy than coaching in the All-Star Game."
O NO CANADA
Raptors players and coaches looked around in confusion during the singing of Canada's national anthem, as Broadway performer Amber Iman included some lyrics that aren't in "O Canada."
"I'm going to leave that alone, but yeah, that anthem was a lot different than I've heard over the last five years. A lot different," Lowry said. "Her voice was beautiful but the anthem, the song, the words ... have her come to Toronto, we'll come and get somebody to give her some lessons."
Raptors: Host the Clippers on Monday. Los Angeles won the first meeting this season after the Raptors won the previous four.
Nets: Travel on Tuesday to Charlotte, where they have lost three in a row.
Stephen Curry just plain missed when it mattered most and said so afterward. Steve Kerr insists he got what he deserved being ejected for going absolutely crazy at the refs and losing his cool. The Golden State Warriors showed some flaws and played one of their worst games yet.
Draymond Green failed to knock down a 3-pointer from the top of the arc at the final buzzer and DeMarcus Cousins scored six of his 32 points in overtime and overcame several key mistakes as the Sacramento Kings snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Warriors with a wild 109-106 win Saturday night.
"We got what we deserved - before I was tossed and after," Kerr said. "It was one of the worst games we played all season. We had no purpose. The ball didn't move. I didn't even recognize our team out there tonight. Maybe we were due for one."
Curry's layup attempt with 4.9 seconds left clanked off the rim and the two-time reigning NBA MVP also missed a short jumper with 6.9 seconds left, but finished with 35.
Cousins was unable to corral the rebound on the first miss and the ball went out of bounds at the baseline to the Warriors for one more try with 6.2 ticks remaining.
"I just missed it," Curry said. "Tough way to end the game with a shot at point-blank range to erase all the mishaps earlier."
Darren Collison scored 18 points and the bench added 45 for Sacramento, which lost 117-106 to Golden State at the Golden 1 Center last month as the Warriors rallied in the second half.
Kerr was tossed with 3:34 left in the third and had to be held back near midcourt by assistant coach Mike Brown as the reigning NBA Coach of the Year moved toward official Bill Spooner. Kerr, irate and swearing after a pair of loose ball fouls on Kevon Looney 18 seconds apart, pointed and gestured while repeating profanities.
"I got what I deserved. I deserved to be ejected - so I was. I have no complaints," Kerr said. "I was angry."
After four straight Kings free throws - one for a technical on Green - Kerr erupted. Curry and Klay Thompson hit consecutive 3s, but that momentum was short-lived.
Golden State dropped to 0-3 in OT this season.
A night after recording his sixth career triple-double, Cousins had 12 rebounds and nine assists to just miss another. This win could provide some much-needed momentum for Sacramento, in a stretch with 11 of 13 home games.
With Sacramento ahead 96-95 in regulation, Cousins also became furious with Spooner and received a technical with 2:08 to play for yelling and gesturing in frustration. Curry hit the tying free throw to tie it at 96.
"There are no excuses. It's something we've been preaching for a long time," Cousins said. "I'm so proud of my team. We came out and got a big win. We competed from start to finish."
Green walked off on his own after missing a driving layin at Cousins 1:17 before halftime and going down hard by a cameraman. He grabbed his right knee, an X-ray was negative and he was back on the court by the 10:09 mark of the third.
Sacramento guard Arron Afflalo was back after missing Friday night's 105-103 home loss with a stomach virus.
Green returned from a one-game absence with a bruised left shoulder and Shaun Livingston also was back after being sidelined the past two games with a strained mid-back.
DURANT'S OFF NIGHT
Typically the epitome of efficiency, Kevin Durant wasn't his usual steady self.
KD was held without a field goal until his dunk 3:19 before halftime and wound up with 10 points in a rare off shooting night. He was 2 for 10 from the field and missed all six of his 3-point tries, but had nine rebounds and five blocks.
Warriors: F David West, out since sustaining a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City, continues to make progress and could return as soon as Wednesday given the team has a couple of days to practice and work him back into the mix.
Kings: F Omri Casspi, out the last 10 games with a strained right calf, will not return until after the All-Star break. "We're going to be a little conservative with it," coach Dave Joerger said.
Warriors: Golden State has a rare and helpful three-break between games before hosting Chicago on Wednesday.
Kings: Host the Bulls on Monday looking to snap a four-game skid in the series and get their first home win against Chicago since Nov. 20, 2014.