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In some other second-round action on Day 4, sixth-seeded Spa

 
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MessaggioInviato: Mer Nov 15, 2017 5:19 am    Oggetto: In some other second-round action on Day 4, sixth-seeded Spa Rispondi citando

OAKLAND, Calif.
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. -- Blake Griffin buried bank shots, turnaround jumpers and spinning layups. DeAndre Jordan gobbled up rebounds and opposing shots, often flexing his muscles and letting out a roar. The high-flying finishers who spawned the nickname "Lob City" are doing far more than dunking in the playoffs. The frontcourt tandem has carried the Clippers to a 2-1 lead in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors, who have found no answer for either with centre Andrew Bogut out with a fractured right rib. "Just two animals out there just beastin right now," Clippers guard Darren Collison said. And both are finally performing in places they havent always flourished -- on defence, in the playoffs and at the most pivotal points of games. Since losing Game 1 in Los Angeles, Griffin has dominated David Lee and every other defender the Warriors have thrown his way. And Jordan -- who tied a franchise playoff record with 22 rebounds and five blocks in the Clippers 98-96 win in Game 3 on Thursday night -- has been the kind of rim protector coach Doc Rivers had long believed he could become. The two big men, both just 25 years old, have caused so much disruption that Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Friday hes considering changing his starting lineup for Game 4 on Sunday. The most likely swap would insert Draymond Green at power forward and push Lee to centre for Jermaine ONeal in a smaller, quicker lineup. "Weve got to figure out a way to present some resistance. I think things are going a little too smoothly for Blake," Jackson said during a light shootaround at Golden States downtown Oakland headquarters. Griffin has scored 32 and 35 points the past two games, respectively. Hes shooting 64 per cent from the floor in the series and has been at his best in the biggest spots. The All-Star power forward made five straight baskets -- three bank shots, a mid-range jumper and a short turnaround -- against Lee to open the third quarter in Game 3, part of a run that put the Clippers ahead by 18 points. "Just continuing to believe," Griffin said, speaking to reporters at the teams downtown San Francisco hotel Friday. "My teammates give me the confidence to go out there and shoot every time Im open." Lee promised hed be better against Griffin in Game 4. He has mostly been tasked with guarding Griffin by himself, though Jackson hinted more double-teams might be on the horizon. "Hes playing at a high level right now," Jackson said. "We forced him to be a jump shooter, and hes making jump shots. On the block, hes aggressive. Hes having an outstanding series capping off an outstanding year." While Griffins star has shined brightest, Jordan has been the insult-to-injury figure. The Warriors tried to lure Jordan away from Los Angeles in the summer of 2011, signing him to a four-year, $43 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent. Instead, the Clippers matched the deal. Now the Warriors -- who waived Jeremy Lin and amnestied Charlie Bell to make room for the offer -- can only watch Jordan make a major difference on defence while Bogut -- acquired in a trade with Milwaukee in March 2012 to be Golden States franchise centre -- sits out with another injury. Three years ago, though, Jordans game was not nearly what it is now. Jordan fell out of favour at times under former coach Vinny Del Negro, who was let go after the Clippers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of last years playoffs. Jordans rising game speaks to the Clippers commitment on defence under Rivers, who challenged the young centre to focus on rebounding and protecting the rim this season. Jordan finished third in voting for the NBAs defensive player of the year award behind winner Joakim Noah of Chicago and runner-up Roy Hibbert of Indiana. "These guys really rely on me a lot defensively, and when Im out there, they have all the confidence in the world in me," Jordan said. "So its definitely a huge step for me in my career, but at the same time, its always something to build on and its more motivation for me. As long as Im my teams defensive MVP, thats all that matters to me."
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. -- Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew practiced in a limited capacity Friday, a positive sign he might be able to play against the Tennessee Titans.
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. The Montreal Canadiens goaltender has won three of his four games since returning from a lower-body injury that kept him out from the end of the Olympic break until March 15.
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. Toronto FC hosts the three-time Italian league champions in a friendly Aug. 7 at BMO Field, a game that Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said falls within a key part of their pre-season.Stuttgart, Germany - Top seeds Fabio Fognini and Mikhail Youzhny were a pair of second-round winners Thursday at the Mercedes Cup tennis event. The top-seeded reigning champion Fognini got past Kazakhstans Andrey Golubev 6-4, 6-4, while the second-seeded 2002 Stuttgart titlist Youzhny, of Russia, whipped Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-1 at Tennis Club Weissenhof. The Italian Fognini defeated German favorite Philipp Kohlschreiber in last years finale at this clay court tournament. A fifth-seeded Kohlschreiber finally played his first-round match on Thursday and defeated fellow German Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-4, 6-3. Rain prevented Kohlschreiber from playing here on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately for Kohlschreiber, he had to play two matches on Thursday and lost the second one, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), to Czech slugger Lukas Rosol in the round of 16..
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. . Third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut reached the quarterfinals by outlasting Irish lucky loser Louk Sorensen 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, while fourth-seeded Feliciano Lopez moved into the round of eight by overcoming fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-3. In some other second-round action on Day 4, sixth-seeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez held off Swiss qualifier Yann Marti 7-6 (15-13), 7-5, seventh- seeded Colombian Santiago Giraldo edged out Russian qualifier Philip Davydenko 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, and eighth-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis overcame German Benjamin Becker 6-7 (6-Cool, 6-4, 6-4. Fridays quarterfinals will pit Fognini against Giraldo; Youzhny versus Delbonis; Bautista Agut against his fellow Spaniard Garcia-Lopez; and Lopez versus Rosol. The 2014 Stuttgart champion will earn $105,000.
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