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Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals jumps up Monday night when the Indiana Pa
09-07-2018, 12:50 PM
Post: #1
200
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals jumps up Monday night when the Indiana Pa
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals jumps up Monday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Jared Spurgeon Jersey . The top-seeded Pacers advanced after a tough seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round. Washington, the fifth seed in the East, moved on with a five-game series victory over the Chicago Bulls. Paul George led the Pacers to victory Saturday night. He had 30 points and 11 rebounds, shot 11-for-23 from the field and was lucky just to be on the floor for the decisive game. George took a few steps onto the court during a skirmish between teammate George Hill and the Hawks Mike Scott in Game 6. Traditionally, that has warranted a suspension, but a slight change in the language of the rule probably kept George from missing the critical contest. "This was a long series," said the Indiana All-Star. "Were happy to get over this hump and get ready for the next task, which is preparing for the Wizards." Roy Hibbert, the Pacers other All-Star this season, had his best game of the series on Saturday. He played sparingly in the later games of the series, but scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked five shots in Game 7. "You always feel for guys on your team that are struggling," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "You do what you can to push them or encourage them, challenge them when they need to. Its like your family, its like your children. You want the best for them. (It was) very gratifying to stay with him and then to see him step up the way he did." The Wizards have been home since Tuesday, which is a pretty long wait for a group that doesnt have a ton of postseason experience. "It is what it is," said Washington coach Randy Wittman. "Whether you like rest, or whether you want to keep going, we dont have a choice." The Wizards held the Bulls to an average of 90 points a game while being led by their dynamic young backcourt of All-Star John Wall and sharp-shooter Bradley Beal. Against Chicago, the leagues best defensive unit in terms of scoring, Wall averaged 18.8 points and 6.8 assists. Beal led the Wizards with 19.8 points on 45 percent shooting from long range. "The main thing is to focus in and know what this team is capable of," said Wall after dispatching the Bulls. Defense is Indianas calling card. The Pacers finished second in the NBA in opponents scoring during the regular season and first in opponents field- goal percentage. The Wizards werent shabby on the defensive side of the ball either. They tied for eighth in the league in fewest points allowed and actually rank first in that category so far during the postseason. The two teams have never met in the postseason and Indiana has owned this series in recent history. The Pacers won two of three this season against Washington, both at home, but the dominance extends far past the 2013-14 campaign. Indiana has won 11 of the last 13 matchups and 15 of the last 19. The Wizards wont be intimidated playing in Indiana, despite being winless in their last 12 trips there, a span dating back to April 2007. Washington took all three road contests in the series against the Bulls. Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Indianapolis. Daniel Winnik Wild Jersey . The (11-11-4) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 26 points. Fifth place Dallas and sixth-seeded Nashville also have 26 points, but the Stars have three games in hand on Winnipeg while Nashville has two. Mikael Granlund Jersey . The Blue Jackets announced the injury through their official Twitter account Friday afternoon. Gaborik, 31, has scored five goals and six assists in 17 games with the Blue Jackets in 2013-14. http://www.authentichockeyshopwild.com/a...ild+jersey . The post-season, Pierce said repeatedly, is no time to panic. And the Heat, apparently, are nothing to fear.ATLANTA -- Tommy La Stella is making an impression on Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. Since coming to the big leagues in late May, La Stella is 6 for 7 with the bases loaded, driving in 13 runs in those at-bats. "When we got him from Triple-A, all our minor league and player development people said that this guy can hit," Gonzalez said after Sundays 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. "He can find the barrel with the ball. He sure has done that. Hopefully, that continues." La Stella drove in three runs and Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer to back Alex Wood. The Braves have won of five of seven and remained second in the NL East, one percentage point back of Washington. Wood (7-7) allowed one run and three hits in six innings with eight strikeouts to win for the first time four starts. He retired his last 13 batters. The first five innings were played in a steady drizzle before heavy rain caused a 1-hour, 39-minute delay in the middle of the sixth. Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the second when John Mayberry Jr. homered, but the Braves went up 2-1 in the bottom half on Johnsons seventh homer. Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (4-10) got in trouble in the third, walking B.J. Upton, hitting Freddie Freeman with Justin Upton with pitches and forcing in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Jason Heyward that make it 3-1. After Johnson lined out, the Braves went up 6-1 on La Stellas three-run double. La Stellas latest big hit came two days after the second baseman he replaced, Dan Uggla, was released. La Stella relishes getting a chance to bat with runners in scoring position. "Youre going to find yourself in those situations whether you want them or not," La Stella said. "I think it goes a long way to see yourself in those situations and see yourself succeeding." Kendrick gave up six runs, five hits and two walks in five innings, dropping to 1-4 with a 6. Matt Cullen Jersey. 99 ERA in his last six starts. "Its been a tough year for me," he said. "I dont know why. Its just been a bad year. Guys have bad years. So far, thats how its been. Just keep pitching." Wood, who returned to Atlantas rotation on June 25 after nearly seven weeks in relief, improved to 4-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 starts. "It felt pretty good when (Johnson) hit that two-run homer, so that was definitely a big confidence booster for me," Wood said. "After he did that, I felt like I could kind of take the game over, and thats what I was able to do." After the rain delay, Phillies reliever Mario Hollands gave up two runs in the sixth on Andrelton Simmons bases-loaded walk and Freddie Freemans RBI single. Philadelphia has lost four of five and dropped 11 games back in the NL East. Just 9-42 when scoring three runs or less, the Phillies missed a chance to score with the bases loaded in the eighth when Jimmy Rollins grounded into a double play and Chase Utley popped up. Marlon Byrd hit his 19th homer in the ninth off David Carpenter. NOTES: When Mayberry misplayed Kendricks pickoff attempt nf B.J. Upton in the third, it was Philadelphias first error in 78 innings. ... Phillies LHP Cliff Lee is expected to return from the DL Monday at home against San Francisco after missing nine weeks with a strained left elbow. In six career starts against the Giants, Lee is 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA. ... Braves C Evan Gattis, sidelined since June 29 with a bulging disk in his lower back, is expected to end a rehab assignment and return to the lineup for Mondays home game against Miami. He went 2 for 6 with two RBIs Sunday as designated hitter for Triple-A Gwinnett. ... RHP Julio Teheran starts Monday for the Braves and is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins. 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