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Adebayo’s block helps Heat win Game 1 over Celtics

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jayson Tatum thought he had a dunk to tie the game.

Bam Adebayo had other ideas — and in the biggest moment of his young NBA career, Miami’s All-Star big man more than rose to the occasion.

Jimmy Butler’s three-point play with 12 seconds left put Miami ahead for good, Adebayo finished it off with a stunning rejection of Tatum at the rim on the ensuing Boston possession, and the Heat struck first in the Eastern Conference finals with a 117-114 win in Game 1 on Tuesday night.

“When you have great competition like this, you just have to make plays that you can’t even really explain,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And that was Bam tonight.”

The Heat were down by 13 in the opening minutes, down by 14 in the final quarter and felt like a bad call took the lead from them in the final seconds. They found a way in overtime, improving to an NBA-best 9-1 so far in these playoffs.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points, Jae Crowder scored 22, Butler had 20 and Adebayo had 18. But even after a night when Butler made a go-ahead 3-pointer late in regulation and had the go-ahead-for-good points again in overtime, he pointed at Adebayo for his favourite moment.

“Bam. That seals the game for us,” Butler said. “I love how he does any and everything that you ask him to do. I really do. You ask him to pass the ball, he does that. Score, he does that. Come up with a huge defensive stop, block, he does that. He’s a huge part to our winning. I’ve been saying it all year long and I’ll repeat it again.”

Kemba Walker’s basket with 23.2 seconds left in overtime put Boston up by one, before Butler muscled his way to the rim for a score while getting fouled by Tatum. The Celtics went to Tatum on the ensuing possession, only to watch him get denied by Adebayo.

“He made a great play,” Tatum said. “That’s all it is. … Can’t do anything about it.

Tatum scored 30 points for the Celtics, Marcus Smart had 26 points, Walker had 19 and Jaylen Brown added 17. The Celtics had been 156-1 since the shot-clock era started 65 years ago — winners of 92 straight — when leading by 12 or more points going into the fourth quarter of a playoff game.

They’re 156-2 now.

“Got to make better decisions,” Walker said.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens tipped his cap to Adebayo afterward.

“He is a tremendous defender,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to figure out, again, better ways to attack, especially late. I thought we really moved it at times, then we did get stagnant.”

Miami’s Tyler Herro was one assist shy of a triple-double — finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He would have been the second-youngest player in the last 40 years to have a post-season triple-double, one day older than Magic Johnson was when he got his first.

Johnson weighed in postgame on Twitter, lauding Miami.

“Bam Adebayo’s block on Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt was the best defensive play I’ve seen ever in the playoffs!!!!” Johnson tweeted.

Boston led 85-71 early in the fourth and kept the lead for almost all of the final period — until Butler connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 22 seconds left for a 106-105 Miami edge.

The Celtics tied it before the clock even started again. Derrick Jones Jr. was called for an away-from-the-play foul while Miami defended the inbounds pass, a call where the Heat argued to no avail that he got shoved instead. Tatum went to the line, tied the game with the free throw, and Boston all of a sudden went from needing a score to being able to run out the clock.

Tatum’s 3-point try at the end of regulation was short, and to overtime they went.

“Made a hell of a block,” Adebayo said. “That doesn’t dictate the series, though. We’re only up 1-0.”

TIP-INS

Heat: Miami has gotten into early trouble in all three of its Game 1s in these playoffs — down eight to Indiana early in the first round, down 11 to Milwaukee in the opening quarter of the second round and down 13 to Boston in Tuesday’s first quarter. … Andre Iguodala, who played in zero conference-final games in his first 10 seasons, has now played in 22 since 2015.

Celtics: Boston’s record for consecutive Game 1 wins is 11, from 1985 through 1987. The Celtics won eight straight from 1959 through 1962. … Gordon Hayward (ankle) was inactive again, though the Celtics believe he can play in this series. … Brad Wanamaker had five steals for Boston.

MIAMI VS. BOSTON

Tuesday was the 141st meeting all-time between the Celtics and Heat. It also marked the 39th all-time matchup between the Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins — but it was the first time those four clubs all faced off on the same date. The closest they previously came to colliding was 2012, when the Heat topped the Celtics in Game 7 of the East finals on June 9 and the Red Sox and Marlins opened a series two days later.

WELCOME, DEUCE

Tatum’s son young Deuce cleared quarantine and was reunited with his dad — and the rest of the Celtics — in the bubble on Tuesday. “Ultimately, it’s just nice for them to see their families,” Stevens said. “I walked down the hallway with Deuce today, which was the highlight of my 70 days here. I think that’s just really cool.”

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Source: – TSN

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Wolff takes lead into final round at U.S. Open – pgatour.com

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The final tee time will feature two of the most iconoclastic talents in the game. DeChambeau is trying to win his first major and his second title (Rocket Mortgage Classic) since bulking up to add driving distance.

“The past two majors I’ve played in I’ve been right in contention,” he said, noting his T4 finish at the PGA Championship last month. “It’s definitely validating, albeit there’s a lot more to go. I’ve got to figure out a lot more. I am excited to be in this position for sure. There’s no better place to be.”

Should Wolff hang on, he would be the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923, and the first 21-year-old U.S. Open winner since Jordan Spieth in 2015. Wolff would also be the first player to win the tournament in his debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.

He would also stamp an exclamation point on an up and down 2020.

Wolff, who edged Morikawa and DeChambeau for his first PGA TOUR victory at the 3M Open just over a year ago, finished 35th in the recently concluded FedExCup. That wasn’t great, but he began playing better over the summer. The 54-hole leader at the Rocket Mortgage, he shot 71 to finish second to DeChambeau (65), and they each tied for fourth at the PGA.

His mistake in Detroit, Wolff said, was looking ahead and getting “antsy” to start the final round, a gaffe he is hoping to avoid Sunday. He said he has played this week while thinking about his agent, who was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer, putting the golf into perspective.

Those behind Wolff and DeChambeau include Louis Oosthuizen (68, 1 under, four back), plus the threesome of Harris English (72), Hideki Matsuyama (70) and Xander Schauffele (70).

“You know, it doesn’t take much around here,” said Rory McIlroy, whose 68 got him to 1 over for the tournament, six back. “Someone gets off to a decent start, maybe 1- or 2-under through 5 and then the leader goes the other way, 1- or 2-over through 5, and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things.”

The weather for Sunday’s final round is expected to be more of the same, which is to say cold in the morning, followed by crisp sunshine in the afternoon. Autumn in New York.

“It feels like I should be tailgating right now,” said Zach Johnson (68, 2 over total).

Much like Morikawa in San Francisco last month, Wolff will play the final round not in front of boisterous New York galleries, or any type of galleries, but amid the quiet of his own thoughts.

That’s not insignificant.

Said McIlroy, “Just makes it a touch easier for the guys at the top.”

Wolff, sometimes described as fearless, admits he will almost certainly be nervous for the final round but doesn’t argue with that adjective. Sunday might be his greatest test yet.

“I go out there and I play my game,” he said. “There’s a lot of holes out there that maybe people would try to hit it in the fairway or maybe take the safe play because it is a U.S. Open and they know that pars are a good score, but I don’t really like to think of it that way.

“I like to go out there and do what I feel comfortable with,” he added, “rip dog and see how it goes from there. I feel comfortable with every part of my game so I don’t like to shy away from things when I’m feeling confident, and I’m probably going to do the same tomorrow.”

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Lightning not reaching for easy excuses after Game 1 letdown – Sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — The evidence that the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to make this an interesting Stanley Cup Final can’t be found as much in what they did as what they didn’t do.

Namely, they didn’t seize on any of the excuses easily on offer after a 4-1 loss here to the Dallas Stars in Game 1.

The most clear example came on the Jamie Oleksiak goal that stood up as the winner. The puck was clearly fired into the Tampa zone from the wrong side of centre ice by Miro Heiskanen, which was accompanied by an animated response from the Lightning bench in real time.

Yet, by the time everyone had a chance to double-check the receipts, a collective set of amnesia had taken hold.

“I didn’t really see it,” said Tyler Johnson.

“I didn’t look at the play,” said Yanni Gourde. “I don’t know.”

“To be honest, I can’t really remember the play,” said Kevin Shattenkirk. “Sorry, me either.”

As dull as those quotes might read in print, that’s exactly the response a team needs following an emotional loss. The Lightning had a built-in explanation for why this game might not have turned out in their favour, but the true reason for a 1-0 series deficit was found more in the slow start and a strong goaltending performance by Anton Khudobin than anything else.

Tampa didn’t respond particularly well to the 48-hour turnaround after winning the Eastern Conference Final and couldn’t reverse a 3-1 deficit even while outshooting Dallas 22-2 in the third period.

The Oleksiak goal was a back-breaker. The lineseman didn’t raise his arm for icing when Heiskanen fired the puck in from the wrong side of centre, which is almost certainly why Victor Hedman never got below the faceoff dot to get the puck there.

“Well you wouldn’t be asking the question if you didn’t think the same that we may have thought. But it’s a moot point now. So you can’t go back and change the call,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

They also couldn’t go back and find more purpose in the opening minutes. Dallas dictated the pace, grabbed an early lead and parked the bus.

That raised some questions about a Lightning team that has given up the first goal in six straight games. However, they’ve responded with the 1-1 goal each time, and lost their grip here in a second period where Dallas regained the lead.

“I’m just disappointed in the fact that we got away from our strengths,” said Lightning defenceman Ryan McDonagh. “They’re a great skating, great structured team, but I think we could have played to our strengths a little bit better. Simplified our game and get going north a little bit more early on and allow ourselves to so-called find our game with our forechecking and our offensive zone play.”

Those will be key talking points before Monday’s Game 2 at Rogers Place.

When the Lightning look at this Cup opener with clearer eyes, they’ll focus on creating more chaos in front of Khudobin. The power play will be a natural focus after going 0-for-3 in the third period and seeing it fall quiet late in the Islanders series.

“He’s a very good goalie,” said Johnson. “When he’s on, he’s on. I thought we generated some pretty good chances and he made some really big saves. Did we do enough? No, because we lost the game. I mean we’ve got to do more. We’ve got to do more than score one goal.”

Still, deep down, there were no excuses in this loss. Tampa didn’t play with nearly the same verve it had in the previous rounds.

But the Lightning have been buckling in for a real series.

“I think we probably dipped our toes in the water a little bit and watched them skate around for a bit,” said Cooper. “It’s too bad, but you’ve heard me say it a million times: Turn the page and move on.

“Short memory in the playoffs.”

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Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees – 9/19/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction – Sports Chat Place

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New York Yankees (29-21) at Boston Red Sox (19-32)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm (Fenway Park)

J.A. Happ (1-2) (3.96) vs. Chris Mazza (1-1) (5.57)

The Line: Boston Red Sox / New York Yankees — Over/Under:
Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox meet in an AL East division matchup in MLB action from Fenway Park on Saturday.

The New York Yankees will look to keep the ball rolling after nine straight wins following a 6-5 win over the BoSox on Friday. Gary Sanchez led the way, going 2 for 5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs while DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton each had a double and an RBI and Luke Voit added an RBI as well to finish off New York’s scoring as a team in the win. Aaron Hicks went 2 for 5 at the dish while Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge all had base hits as well to finish the offense for the Yankees in the victory. Jordan Montgomery allowed four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts over 4.2 innings in the start, not factoring in the decision. Jonathan Loaisiga got the win to improve to 3-0 on the year in relief. J.A. Happ will start here and is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 30 strikeouts this season. In his career, Happ is 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 116 strikeouts against Boston.

Check Out Our Cosensus Report To See How Many Handicappers are On A Play

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox Free Pick 9/19/20 MLB Pick and Prediction MLB Tips (skip to 1s)

The Boston Red Sox will try to rebound after blowing an opportunity against the Yankees on Friday. Christian Arroyo went 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs while Christian Vazquez went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI to round out Boston’s scoring as a team in the win. Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 5 while Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. all had base hits to finish off the offense for Boston in defeat. Martin Perez threw six shutout innings, giving up just three hits while striking out seven, not factoring in the decision. Ryan Weber took the loss in extras to fall to 1-3 on the year, Chris Mazza is expected to start here and is 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts this season. This will be Mazza’s second career start against the Yankees.

Trends will be updated once they’ve been released.

Part of me would’ve liked to consider the over as I don’t trust either of these pitchers as far as I can throw them, and you never really know about which Happ you’re going to get. With that said, I think that the Yankees keep the train rolling here and Mazza’s already faced New York this season, allowing four runs in three innings of work. I don’t see how Mazza keeps the Red Sox in this one. Give me New York by at least two so I’ll side with the Yankees on the run line in this one.

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Chris’s Pick
New York Yankees -1.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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