Vols’ coaching search on La. Tech’s White

White has averaged 28 wins his past two years at Louisiana Tech. (USATSI) Tennessee’s search to exchange Cuonzo Martin as its men’s basketball coach is now focused on Louisiana Tech’s Michael White, multiple sources informed CBSSports.com on Saturday.

Vols’ coaching search on La. Tech’s White

White has averaged 28 wins his past two years at Louisiana Tech. (USATSI) Tennessee’s search to exchange Cuonzo Martin as its men’s basketball coach is now focused on Louisiana Tech’s Michael White, multiple sources informed CBSSports.com on Saturday.

Contender Fabricio Werdum Outclasses Travis Browne in UFC on Fox 11

Contender Fabricio Werdum Outclasses Travis Browne in UFC on Fox 11

Fabricio Werdum beat Travis Browne at his own sport all night. |

 

Fabricio Werdum spent five rounds exposing the gulf between himself and Travis Browne Werdum dominated the bottom exchanges and carved up the Hawaiian with straight punches, knees and leg kicks, as he cemented his place because the No. 1 contender within the Ultimate Combating Championship heavy weight division with a clear-lower…

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NCAA prez Emmert: Food rule was ‘absurd’

NCAA Food Rules: Absurd, Dumb NCAA president Mark Emmert said Friday that he was happy to take pressure off his organization and its member schools as the governing body’s legislative council voted earlier this week to eliminate all previous restrictions on food for athletes.

NCAA prez Emmert: Food rule was ‘absurd’

NCAA Food Rules: Absurd, Dumb NCAA president Mark Emmert said Friday that he was happy to take pressure off his organization and its member schools as the governing body’s legislative council voted earlier this week to eliminate all previous restrictions on food for athletes.

Florida, OU tie for gymnastics championship

The athletic director with the largest budget in the nation said Thursday he doesn’t support paying athletes nor a system in which they can market themselves, and doesn’t understand the recent quest by some Northwestern football players to unionize.

Florida, OU tie for gymnastics championship

The athletic director with the largest budget in the nation said Thursday he doesn’t support paying athletes nor a system in which they can market themselves, and doesn’t understand the recent quest by some Northwestern football players to unionize.

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/report-if-raiders-cannot-find-trade-will-get-rid-of-qb-pryor/Report: If Raiders cannot find trade will get rid of QB Pryor
 
 Terrelle Pryor probably won’t be carrying this uniform next year. (USATSI) 
 
It doesn’t matter what, it seems as if quarterback Terrelle Pryor won’t be on the Raiders roster for the beginning of the 2014 season.
With Oakland buying former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub earlier this offseason, the workforce has been making an attempt to trade Pryor, but if the Raiders cannot discover a partner, they reportedly will cut him Monday, in accordance with Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez.
This apparently was set in movement by Pryor, who requested a trade when he realized that he would, at finest, be the No. 2 quarterback behind Schaub. There was also a chance he could possibly be No. three behind Schaub and Matt McGloin, and contemplating Pryor appears like he ought to be a starter – or, no less than, actually, really wants to be a starter – he must really feel there’s not a lot level in staying in Oakland.
Though Pryor had a bit of success final year, you may see why the Raiders feel he is not their quarterback of the future. He went three-6 as the starter final 12 months, completing fifty seven.4 p.c of his passes for seven touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 69.1.
Based on the Football Outsider metrics, Pryor ranked forty fourth of 45 quarterbacks in 2013 (forward of solely Brandon Weeden), and he did not fare much better by the Professional Football Focus measurements, rating thirty ninth out of forty two quarterbacks.
It also appears seemingly that the Raiders will draft a quarterback subsequent month (two of the 5 CBSSports.com mock drafters assume that’ll occur within the first spherical either with UCF’s Blake Bortles or Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel), so there probably wouldn’t be room for Pryor even when he wished to try to stick round in Oakland.
All of which is OK, although. Even with out Pryor hanging round, not less than one particular person believes Schaub is the man that can take Oakland to the

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/report-if-raiders-cannot-find-trade-will-get-rid-of-qb-pryor/

Report: If Raiders cannot find trade will get rid of QB Pryor

 

Terrelle Pryor probably won’t be carrying this uniform next year. (USATSI)

 

It doesn’t matter what, it seems as if quarterback Terrelle Pryor won’t be on the Raiders roster for the beginning of the 2014 season.

With Oakland buying former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub earlier this offseason, the workforce has been making an attempt to trade Pryor, but if the Raiders cannot discover a partner, they reportedly will cut him Monday, in accordance with Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez.

This apparently was set in movement by Pryor, who requested a trade when he realized that he would, at finest, be the No. 2 quarterback behind Schaub. There was also a chance he could possibly be No. three behind Schaub and Matt McGloin, and contemplating Pryor appears like he ought to be a starter – or, no less than, actually, really wants to be a starter – he must really feel there’s not a lot level in staying in Oakland.

Though Pryor had a bit of success final year, you may see why the Raiders feel he is not their quarterback of the future. He went three-6 as the starter final 12 months, completing fifty seven.4 p.c of his passes for seven touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 69.1.

Based on the Football Outsider metrics, Pryor ranked forty fourth of 45 quarterbacks in 2013 (forward of solely Brandon Weeden), and he did not fare much better by the Professional Football Focus measurements, rating thirty ninth out of forty two quarterbacks.

It also appears seemingly that the Raiders will draft a quarterback subsequent month (two of the 5 CBSSports.com mock drafters assume that’ll occur within the first spherical either with UCF’s Blake Bortles or Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel), so there probably wouldn’t be room for Pryor even when he wished to try to stick round in Oakland.

All of which is OK, although. Even with out Pryor hanging round, not less than one particular person believes Schaub is the man that can take Oakland to the

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/nova-on-dl-with-elbow-problem/Nova on DL with elbow problem
 
Ivan Nova has a partially torn UCL. (USATSI) 
Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova had an MRI Saturday night time and it revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, the Yankees have announced. The club further introduced that Nova has been positioned on the 15-day disabled list and he’ll return to New York for futher evaluation by staff physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.
If completely torn, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the one within the elbow that requires Tommy John surgery to restore. Nova is not slated to take that step simply but, nevertheless it will not be shocking if he is pressured to do so.
Nova, 27, is 2-2 with an eight.27 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 20 2/three innings to this point this season.
The Yankees haven’t announced a rotation substitute for Nova just yet, but Vidal Nuno is an effective guess.

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/nova-on-dl-with-elbow-problem/

Nova on DL with elbow problem

 

Ivan Nova has a partially torn UCL. (USATSI)

Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova had an MRI Saturday night time and it revealed a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, the Yankees have announced. The club further introduced that Nova has been positioned on the 15-day disabled list and he’ll return to New York for futher evaluation by staff physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

If completely torn, the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is the one within the elbow that requires Tommy John surgery to restore. Nova is not slated to take that step simply but, nevertheless it will not be shocking if he is pressured to do so.

Nova, 27, is 2-2 with an eight.27 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and 12 strikeouts in 20 2/three innings to this point this season.

The Yankees haven’t announced a rotation substitute for Nova just yet, but Vidal Nuno is an effective guess.

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/nationals-harper-benched-for-lack-of-hustle/Nationals’ Harper benched for ‘lack of hustle’


Harper Pulled From Nats’ Loss

 


Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was benched for lack of effort in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Manager Matt Williams apparently was not happy with Harper’s effort running to first base during a groundout in the sixth inning. He replaced Harper with Kevin Frandsen.
When asked about the incident after the game, Williams attributed Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” as the reason for the benching.
"Lack of hustle. That’s why he came out of the game," Williams said. "He and I made an agreement, this team made an agreement, that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times."
The 21-year-old Harper, a two-time All-Star, said he understood the decision.
"I respect what he did," Harper said. "That’s part of the game."
Harper, who finished the game 0-for-3, has missed time recently with a quad injury, though he said it felt “fine” Saturday, according to The Washington Post.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said after the game that he backed Williams’ decision.
"I unequivocally support the manager’s decision 100 percent," he said, according to the Post.
Harper is expected back in the lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Cardinals.

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/nationals-harper-benched-for-lack-of-hustle/

Nationals’ Harper benched for ‘lack of hustle’

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was benched for lack of effort in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Manager Matt Williams apparently was not happy with Harper’s effort running to first base during a groundout in the sixth inning. He replaced Harper with Kevin Frandsen.

When asked about the incident after the game, Williams attributed Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” as the reason for the benching.

"Lack of hustle. That’s why he came out of the game," Williams said. "He and I made an agreement, this team made an agreement, that when we play the game, that we hustle at all times."

The 21-year-old Harper, a two-time All-Star, said he understood the decision.

"I respect what he did," Harper said. "That’s part of the game."

Harper, who finished the game 0-for-3, has missed time recently with a quad injury, though he said it felt “fine” Saturday, according to The Washington Post.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said after the game that he backed Williams’ decision.

"I unequivocally support the manager’s decision 100 percent," he said, according to the Post.

Harper is expected back in the lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Cardinals.

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/qbs-fail-to-impress-in-alabama-spring-game/QBs fail to impress in Alabama spring game


QB Struggles A Concern For Alabama

 
QB Struggles A Concern For AlabamaQB Struggles A Concern For Alabama

Offense Shines In Auburn’s Spring GameOffense Shines In Auburn’s Spring Game

Spring Game Wrap-Up: April 19Spring Game Wrap-Up: April 19

Saban: Peyton’s Visit: ‘Mutually Beneficial’Saban: Peyton’s Visit: ‘Mutually Beneficial’



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alec Morris may have had the biggest impact of any Alabama quarterback during the Crimson Tide’s spring game Saturday. The problem, however, is that he stood out most as a punter, booming 15 kicks for an average of 38.4 yards.
In a game that was built up as a quarterback showcase, the defense ultimately stole the show while the passing game went missing in action.
AJ McCarron was on hand for A-Day in Tuscaloosa, but only to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. His potential replacements under center, meanwhile, looked far away from fulfilling his legacy as a starter.

Alabama’s quarterbacks struggled in front of coach Nick Saban and 73,506 fans Saturday at A-Day in Tuscaloosa.


Blake Sims, McCarron’s backup a year ago and the early leader in the quarterback race this spring, threw for an underwhelming 178 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 13-of-30 passing. A 55-yard touchdown pass to Chris Black late in the fourth quarter helped salvage some of his day as the “Crimson” team starter, but it was a far cry from his reported 515 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in two earlier scrimmages this spring, both of which were closed to the media.
"Blake had a really good spring and did a really good job in the scrimmages," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I thought.. the game speeded up today and he tried to speed up with it, rather than just staying in his rhythm."
Cooper Bateman, a former four-star recruit who redshirted last season, had the two best moments of the day as the “White” team starter, delivering a 34-yard pass over Robert Foster’s right shoulder in the first half and then a 32-yard touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart in the fourth quarter. But he was ultimately inconsistent, finishing with 156 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-24 passing. He was also sacked three times.
Morris, the third quarterback in a three-man race, couldn’t separate himself as a passer either, throwing for 9 yards and an interception, though he did make himself valuable as a punter on special teams.
The fourth and fifth quarterbacks in the rotation, freshmen Parker McLeod and David Cornwell, couldn’t get out of their own way, either. McLeod came on in the fourth quarter and threw an interception on his first pass attempt. Cornwell would later take the first snap of his career at Alabama only to let the ball slip out of his hands and fall to the turf. It was ruled an incompletion and not a fumble, but it was that kind of day for all of Alabama’s quarterbacks.
The good news for Alabama is that another quarterback is on his way. In fact, he was one of the 73,506 fans in attendance at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.
Jacob Coker, who is on track to finish his undergraduate degree at Florida State and enroll at Alabama later this month, was on hand to watch A-Day. The 6-foot-5 redshirt junior, who backed up Jameis Winston last season, is expected to jump right into the mix when he arrives on campus in Tuscaloosa.
"As I said all along, we recruited a guy," Saban said of Coker. "Blake knows this and Blake embraced the guy before the game. They’re going to compete through the summer and through fall camp, and we’ll see what we need to do at the position to have a guy be effective."
Sims was said to have made sizable progress before Saturday’s showing. The former running back/wide receiver had worked to become a better pocket passer and even spent his spring break working with a quarterback coach in Florida. But given his production at A-Day, he may be behind the eight ball as Alabama heads into the offseason.
The hope for Saban is that the spring game was more a blip on the radar and not the start of a trend for Sims. The playbook was limited, the protection broke down often and Sims’ best asset – his athleticism and escapability – was hampered by the format of the game, which made quarterbacks subject to two-hand touch rules.
Ryan Kelly, Alabama’s starting center, agreed with Saban’s assessment that Sims was pressing too much. At the same time, Kelly took some of the blame on himself.
"Sometimes that happens," he said. "You’re going to have bad days. But I think that’s where the offensive line could have come in and given him more time in the pocket."
Sims and the other quarterbacks will undoubtedly take the heat for their poor performance at A-Day, but the offense as a whole wasn’t much better. Aside from a so-so effort from the offensive line, there wasn’t much scoring in Lane Kiffin’s debut as offensive coordinator. Alabama’s first eight drives resulted in seven punts and a missed field goal. All 30 points in the game came in the second half.
Saban, for his part, tried to look at things optimistically.
"We did make some plays, but it wasn’t really the consistency that you’d really like to see in the offense," he said. "But when you play against each other, what’s good for one is not so good for the other. So you have to give the defense some credit."

New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/qbs-fail-to-impress-in-alabama-spring-game/

QBs fail to impress in Alabama spring game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alec Morris may have had the biggest impact of any Alabama quarterback during the Crimson Tide’s spring game Saturday. The problem, however, is that he stood out most as a punter, booming 15 kicks for an average of 38.4 yards.

In a game that was built up as a quarterback showcase, the defense ultimately stole the show while the passing game went missing in action.

AJ McCarron was on hand for A-Day in Tuscaloosa, but only to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. His potential replacements under center, meanwhile, looked far away from fulfilling his legacy as a starter.

Nick Saban

Alabama’s quarterbacks struggled in front of coach Nick Saban and 73,506 fans Saturday at A-Day in Tuscaloosa.

Blake Sims, McCarron’s backup a year ago and the early leader in the quarterback race this spring, threw for an underwhelming 178 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 13-of-30 passing. A 55-yard touchdown pass to Chris Black late in the fourth quarter helped salvage some of his day as the “Crimson” team starter, but it was a far cry from his reported 515 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in two earlier scrimmages this spring, both of which were closed to the media.

"Blake had a really good spring and did a really good job in the scrimmages," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "I thought.. the game speeded up today and he tried to speed up with it, rather than just staying in his rhythm."

Cooper Bateman, a former four-star recruit who redshirted last season, had the two best moments of the day as the “White” team starter, delivering a 34-yard pass over Robert Foster’s right shoulder in the first half and then a 32-yard touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart in the fourth quarter. But he was ultimately inconsistent, finishing with 156 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-24 passing. He was also sacked three times.

Morris, the third quarterback in a three-man race, couldn’t separate himself as a passer either, throwing for 9 yards and an interception, though he did make himself valuable as a punter on special teams.

The fourth and fifth quarterbacks in the rotation, freshmen Parker McLeod and David Cornwell, couldn’t get out of their own way, either. McLeod came on in the fourth quarter and threw an interception on his first pass attempt. Cornwell would later take the first snap of his career at Alabama only to let the ball slip out of his hands and fall to the turf. It was ruled an incompletion and not a fumble, but it was that kind of day for all of Alabama’s quarterbacks.

The good news for Alabama is that another quarterback is on his way. In fact, he was one of the 73,506 fans in attendance at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday.

Jacob Coker, who is on track to finish his undergraduate degree at Florida State and enroll at Alabama later this month, was on hand to watch A-Day. The 6-foot-5 redshirt junior, who backed up Jameis Winston last season, is expected to jump right into the mix when he arrives on campus in Tuscaloosa.

"As I said all along, we recruited a guy," Saban said of Coker. "Blake knows this and Blake embraced the guy before the game. They’re going to compete through the summer and through fall camp, and we’ll see what we need to do at the position to have a guy be effective."

Sims was said to have made sizable progress before Saturday’s showing. The former running back/wide receiver had worked to become a better pocket passer and even spent his spring break working with a quarterback coach in Florida. But given his production at A-Day, he may be behind the eight ball as Alabama heads into the offseason.

The hope for Saban is that the spring game was more a blip on the radar and not the start of a trend for Sims. The playbook was limited, the protection broke down often and Sims’ best asset – his athleticism and escapability – was hampered by the format of the game, which made quarterbacks subject to two-hand touch rules.

Ryan Kelly, Alabama’s starting center, agreed with Saban’s assessment that Sims was pressing too much. At the same time, Kelly took some of the blame on himself.

"Sometimes that happens," he said. "You’re going to have bad days. But I think that’s where the offensive line could have come in and given him more time in the pocket."

Sims and the other quarterbacks will undoubtedly take the heat for their poor performance at A-Day, but the offense as a whole wasn’t much better. Aside from a so-so effort from the offensive line, there wasn’t much scoring in Lane Kiffin’s debut as offensive coordinator. Alabama’s first eight drives resulted in seven punts and a missed field goal. All 30 points in the game came in the second half.

Saban, for his part, tried to look at things optimistically.

"We did make some plays, but it wasn’t really the consistency that you’d really like to see in the offense," he said. "But when you play against each other, what’s good for one is not so good for the other. So you have to give the defense some credit."

    New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/well-off-pace-hawks-hammer-no-1-indiana/Well off pace: Hawks hammer No. 1 Indiana


Hawks Shock Pacers In Game 1

 


INDIANAPOLIS – Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan.
As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly.
The Pacers didn’t have an answer.
Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points, Paul Millsap added 25 and the eighth-seeded Hawks won their first road playoff game in three years, shocking top-seeded Indiana 101-93 to take a 1-0 lead in the first-round series.
"I just wanted to win," the Indianapolis native said after beating his hometown team.
Perhaps that’s why Teague finally cracked a hesitant smile in the locker room before stepping to the podium.
Or it could be that Teague remembers the frustration Indiana caused when it clinched last year’s 4-2 first-round win on Atlanta’s home court. As one of the few remaining links to that team, Teague wasn’t about to let something like that happen again.
This time, surrounded by a mostly new group of 3-point shooters, a first-year coach and a game plan that the Pacers never adapted to, Teague kept getting to basket.
He wound up 9 of 19 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line with five assists and three rebounds on a night the Hawks snapped an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs and became the first team to beat Indiana on its home court twice this season.
Atlanta won its first road playoff game since Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals at Chicago, and they’ll have a chance to do it all again Tuesday in Game 2 before the best-of-seven series moves to Atlanta, where the Pacers have won only two times since December 2006.
"I think getting off to such a good start against such a good team is important," coach Mike Budenholzer said after his fifth win in six games. "It’s really not something we talked about. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason."
Meanwhile, the Pacers’ stunning struggles showed no sign of abating.
Indiana was just 5 of 19 from the field in the decisive third quarter and shot just 35.6 percent in the second half, a 24-minute span in which it spent most of the time trying to dig out of a double-digit hole.
Paul George had 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Lance Stephenson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds and George Hill added 12 points.
But the Hawks’ ability to spread the floor essentially nullified All-Star center Roy Hibbert, who had eight points and eight rebounds, and David West, who had eight points and three rebounds.
And Indiana wasted no time in giving back the home-court advantage it spent the entire season chasing.
"It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating, but it’s a long series," George said before explaining he believes the Pacers can regain the upper hand – if they figure out how to defend better. "It’s just one game and that’s the way we have to look at it."
That won’t be easy against this team.
Atlanta set a franchise playoff record with 30 3-point attempts and matched the franchise’s second-highest playoff total for 3-pointers made (11). Both were set May 10, 1996, when the Hawks were 12 of 27 on 3s in a 26-point loss to Orlando.
"I thought our ball movement was great," Kyle Korver said after scoring 12 points. "That’s one of the things we’ve tried to play to all year and tonight it kind of worked out."
They made it look easy, too.
Korver’s buzzer-beating putback, following an Indiana turnover in the closing seconds of the first half, tied the score at 50.
Atlanta then opened the third quarter with eight straight points and when the Pacers rallied to get within 60-58, Teague and Millsap took control.
Millsap opened the decisive 14-0 run with two free throws. Teague followed that with a driving layup, his only 3 of the game, another layup and two free throws. And when Millsap ended the run with a three-point play, the Pacers trailed 74-58.
They couldn’t even cut the lead to single digits until Stephenson’s 3 made it 99-91 with 33.6 seconds left and by then it was too late for the league’s best home team to rally.
"All year, we’ve encouraged Jeff to be aggressive," Budenholzer said. "When he’s aggressive, it just creates opportunities for himself and opportunities for his teammates."
And headaches for everyone else.
Game notes
Atlanta made eight of its first 12 shots in the third quarter… Indiana hasn’t reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive years since 2003-04 and 2004-05… The Game 1 winner has won each of the five previous playoff series’ between Atlanta and Indiana… Hawks forward
DeMarre Carroll
has 12 points and 10 rebounds.

    New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/well-off-pace-hawks-hammer-no-1-indiana/

    Well off pace: Hawks hammer No. 1 Indiana

    Hawks Shock Pacers In Game 1

     

    INDIANAPOLIS – Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan.

    As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly.

    The Pacers didn’t have an answer.

    Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points, Paul Millsap added 25 and the eighth-seeded Hawks won their first road playoff game in three years, shocking top-seeded Indiana 101-93 to take a 1-0 lead in the first-round series.

    "I just wanted to win," the Indianapolis native said after beating his hometown team.

    Perhaps that’s why Teague finally cracked a hesitant smile in the locker room before stepping to the podium.

    Or it could be that Teague remembers the frustration Indiana caused when it clinched last year’s 4-2 first-round win on Atlanta’s home court. As one of the few remaining links to that team, Teague wasn’t about to let something like that happen again.

    This time, surrounded by a mostly new group of 3-point shooters, a first-year coach and a game plan that the Pacers never adapted to, Teague kept getting to basket.

    He wound up 9 of 19 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line with five assists and three rebounds on a night the Hawks snapped an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs and became the first team to beat Indiana on its home court twice this season.

    Atlanta won its first road playoff game since Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals at Chicago, and they’ll have a chance to do it all again Tuesday in Game 2 before the best-of-seven series moves to Atlanta, where the Pacers have won only two times since December 2006.

    "I think getting off to such a good start against such a good team is important," coach Mike Budenholzer said after his fifth win in six games. "It’s really not something we talked about. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason."

    Meanwhile, the Pacers’ stunning struggles showed no sign of abating.

    Indiana was just 5 of 19 from the field in the decisive third quarter and shot just 35.6 percent in the second half, a 24-minute span in which it spent most of the time trying to dig out of a double-digit hole.

    Paul George had 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Lance Stephenson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds and George Hill added 12 points.

    But the Hawks’ ability to spread the floor essentially nullified All-Star center Roy Hibbert, who had eight points and eight rebounds, and David West, who had eight points and three rebounds.

    And Indiana wasted no time in giving back the home-court advantage it spent the entire season chasing.

    "It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating, but it’s a long series," George said before explaining he believes the Pacers can regain the upper hand – if they figure out how to defend better. "It’s just one game and that’s the way we have to look at it."

    That won’t be easy against this team.

    Atlanta set a franchise playoff record with 30 3-point attempts and matched the franchise’s second-highest playoff total for 3-pointers made (11). Both were set May 10, 1996, when the Hawks were 12 of 27 on 3s in a 26-point loss to Orlando.

    "I thought our ball movement was great," Kyle Korver said after scoring 12 points. "That’s one of the things we’ve tried to play to all year and tonight it kind of worked out."

    They made it look easy, too.

    Korver’s buzzer-beating putback, following an Indiana turnover in the closing seconds of the first half, tied the score at 50.

    Atlanta then opened the third quarter with eight straight points and when the Pacers rallied to get within 60-58, Teague and Millsap took control.

    Millsap opened the decisive 14-0 run with two free throws. Teague followed that with a driving layup, his only 3 of the game, another layup and two free throws. And when Millsap ended the run with a three-point play, the Pacers trailed 74-58.

    They couldn’t even cut the lead to single digits until Stephenson’s 3 made it 99-91 with 33.6 seconds left and by then it was too late for the league’s best home team to rally.

    "All year, we’ve encouraged Jeff to be aggressive," Budenholzer said. "When he’s aggressive, it just creates opportunities for himself and opportunities for his teammates."

    And headaches for everyone else.

    Game notes

    Atlanta made eight of its first 12 shots in the third quarter… Indiana hasn’t reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive years since 2003-04 and 2004-05… The Game 1 winner has won each of the five previous playoff series’ between Atlanta and Indiana… Hawks forward

    DeMarre Carroll

    has 12 points and 10 rebounds.

    New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/thunder-handle-grizzlies-to-win-at-home/Thunder handle Grizzlies to win at home


Thunder Fight Off Grizzlies In Game 1




OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant put a dazzling end to Memphis’ gritty comeback.
The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the league’s scoring champion, got hot. He scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
The Thunder already were regaining control in the fourth quarter before Durant took over. He scored 11 points in a 5-minute, 21-second surge that stretched Oklahoma City’s lead from seven points to 14 and put the game out of reach.
"We just stayed together," Durant said. "We made plays in the fourth quarter. The third quarter was tough for us, but we stayed together. We didn’t stray away."
Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half.
"We’ve got to make adjustments to get off to a better start," Randolph said. "We can’t exert so much energy trying to come back from 20 points. It’s the first game, we’ve got to stick together. We’ve been here before, we know what we’ve got to do and come out and be ready for Monday."
Memphis shot just 36 percent from the field and made just 18 of 31 free throws.
"We got good looks. I can’t say it was anything other than that," Conley said. "We got good looks. We got some open 3s. Our bigs got some good looks in the post. We just didn’t knock them down. We have to be more focused at the line as well. Making free throws is a big deal for us. We got opportunities. We’ve got to make them."
Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the postseason, but the Thunder nearly made it four losses for higher seeds after getting outscored 31-13 in the third quarter.
"We didn’t want to be the leading trend on losing a home game," Westbrook said. "We’re just happy we won a game. We did a great job of just coming out and hitting them first. They’re a physical team and we did a great job of going by our game plan."
The Thunder pushed the pace to take an 8-0 lead, and Memphis called a timeout less than three minutes into the game. Conley finally scored Memphis’ first point at the 9:04 mark after the Grizzlies missed their first five shots.
The Thunder led 29-16 at the end of the first period. Oklahoma City shot 52 percent in the first 12 minutes while holding the Grizzlies to 17 percent shooting.
Oklahoma City continued the onslaught into the second quarter and took a 56-34 advantage into the locker room.
Memphis scored the first six points of the second half, and though Oklahoma City quickly called a timeout, the Grizzlies continued their surge. A three-point play by Allen trimmed the Thunder’s lead to 60-51, and by the end of the third quarter, Memphis had cut its deficit to 69-65. Allen scored nine points in the third quarter, and Randolph scored eight. Memphis held Oklahoma City to 3-for-16 shooting in the period.
"I just think as a point guard, my job is to set the tone, and I didn’t do a great job of that in the third quarter, of coming out and setting the tone," Westbrook said. "I had a few bad turnovers and kind of let them get easy baskets. I’ve got to do a better job of that."
The Grizzlies had whittled Oklahoma City’s lead down to three early in the fourth before a powerful drive and jam by Caron Butler brought life back to the nervous arena and gave the Thunder a 74-69 lead with just under nine minutes to play. Memphis’ Mike Miller came back with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, but the Thunder responded with a 13-1 run.
Though Oklahoma City held on, Memphis will take confidence from its rally into Game 2.
"We see what we did," Randolph said. "I think we cut it down to two, and they made another run, but we see what we can do. We know what we can do and we’ve got to come like that at the beginning of the game."
Game notes
Saturday was the 19-year anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. The crowd observed a moment of silence before tip-off… Memphis reserve point guard
Nick Calathes
has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy, starting Saturday. The league said Friday night in a release that Calathes tested positive for tamoxifen. “It is what it is,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said before the game. “We’ve dealt with adversity all season.”.. Thunder rookie
Steven Adams
blocked three shots in the first quarter in just 1:26. The Thunder blocked five shots in the period.

    New Post has been published on http://wonderpunter.com/thunder-handle-grizzlies-to-win-at-home/

    Thunder handle Grizzlies to win at home

    Thunder Fight Off Grizzlies In Game 1

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant put a dazzling end to Memphis’ gritty comeback.

    The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the league’s scoring champion, got hot. He scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.

    The Thunder already were regaining control in the fourth quarter before Durant took over. He scored 11 points in a 5-minute, 21-second surge that stretched Oklahoma City’s lead from seven points to 14 and put the game out of reach.

    "We just stayed together," Durant said. "We made plays in the fourth quarter. The third quarter was tough for us, but we stayed together. We didn’t stray away."

    Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder.

    Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half.

    "We’ve got to make adjustments to get off to a better start," Randolph said. "We can’t exert so much energy trying to come back from 20 points. It’s the first game, we’ve got to stick together. We’ve been here before, we know what we’ve got to do and come out and be ready for Monday."

    Memphis shot just 36 percent from the field and made just 18 of 31 free throws.

    "We got good looks. I can’t say it was anything other than that," Conley said. "We got good looks. We got some open 3s. Our bigs got some good looks in the post. We just didn’t knock them down. We have to be more focused at the line as well. Making free throws is a big deal for us. We got opportunities. We’ve got to make them."

    Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the postseason, but the Thunder nearly made it four losses for higher seeds after getting outscored 31-13 in the third quarter.

    "We didn’t want to be the leading trend on losing a home game," Westbrook said. "We’re just happy we won a game. We did a great job of just coming out and hitting them first. They’re a physical team and we did a great job of going by our game plan."

    The Thunder pushed the pace to take an 8-0 lead, and Memphis called a timeout less than three minutes into the game. Conley finally scored Memphis’ first point at the 9:04 mark after the Grizzlies missed their first five shots.

    The Thunder led 29-16 at the end of the first period. Oklahoma City shot 52 percent in the first 12 minutes while holding the Grizzlies to 17 percent shooting.

    Oklahoma City continued the onslaught into the second quarter and took a 56-34 advantage into the locker room.

    Memphis scored the first six points of the second half, and though Oklahoma City quickly called a timeout, the Grizzlies continued their surge. A three-point play by Allen trimmed the Thunder’s lead to 60-51, and by the end of the third quarter, Memphis had cut its deficit to 69-65. Allen scored nine points in the third quarter, and Randolph scored eight. Memphis held Oklahoma City to 3-for-16 shooting in the period.

    "I just think as a point guard, my job is to set the tone, and I didn’t do a great job of that in the third quarter, of coming out and setting the tone," Westbrook said. "I had a few bad turnovers and kind of let them get easy baskets. I’ve got to do a better job of that."

    The Grizzlies had whittled Oklahoma City’s lead down to three early in the fourth before a powerful drive and jam by Caron Butler brought life back to the nervous arena and gave the Thunder a 74-69 lead with just under nine minutes to play. Memphis’ Mike Miller came back with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, but the Thunder responded with a 13-1 run.

    Though Oklahoma City held on, Memphis will take confidence from its rally into Game 2.

    "We see what we did," Randolph said. "I think we cut it down to two, and they made another run, but we see what we can do. We know what we can do and we’ve got to come like that at the beginning of the game."

    Game notes

    Saturday was the 19-year anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. The crowd observed a moment of silence before tip-off… Memphis reserve point guard

    Nick Calathes

    has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy, starting Saturday. The league said Friday night in a release that Calathes tested positive for tamoxifen. “It is what it is,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said before the game. “We’ve dealt with adversity all season.”.. Thunder rookie

    Steven Adams

    blocked three shots in the first quarter in just 1:26. The Thunder blocked five shots in the period.