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Celtics vs. Raptors score, takeaways: OG Anunoby hits buzzer-beater as Toronto cuts series deficit to 2-1 – CBSSports.com

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The Toronto Raptors are back in the series. Down 2-0 to the Boston Celtics heading into Game 3, they were trailing by two with 0.5 seconds remaining, and appeared to be on their way to another defeat. That’s when OG Anunoby stepped up and drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Raptors a 104-103 win. 

Anunoby was the hero for the Raptors, and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in a very solid game overall. But Kyle Lowry was the one who kept them in it all night long, finishing with 31 points, six rebounds and eight assists, including the in-bounds pass on the game-winner over the outstretched arms of Tacko Fall. 

Kemba Walker led the way for the Celtics, going for 29 points, three rebounds and three assists, and made what would have been the play of the game in the closing seconds, finding Daniel Theis for a go-ahead dunk with 0.5 seconds left. Unfortunately for Boston, that turned out not to be a game-winner. 

Anunoby plays hero

OG Anunoby isn’t one of the Raptors’ stars, but he is a hero after his game-winning 3-pointer in Game 3. With just 0.5 seconds left, the Raptors were down two, and needed something close to a miracle to avoid going down 3-0 in the series. Anunoby delivered with the biggest shot of his young career. 

Spotting up in the corner, he took the lobbed pass from Kyle Lowry and, thanks to some lackadaisical defense from Jaylen Brown, was able to get off a lightning quick release to beat the buzzer by a split second. The shot hung in the air and nestled into the net, changing the entire trajectory of this series. 

The third-year wing didn’t even get to play in the Raptors’ title run last season due to an unfortunately timed appendectomy, but he’s taking advantage of his opportunity this season. He’s been arguably the Raptors’ most consistent player in this series, putting up 14.7 points and eight rebounds per game, while shooting 57.1 percent from downtown.

Raptors stay alive

Once they went down 2-0 in this series, the Raptors put themselves in a really tough spot. Only seven squads have come back from that sort of deficit in the last decade, and while they were actually one of them, battling back to beat the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals last season, you can’t bank on that sort of turnaround again. 

But while 2-0 is a challenge, the Raptors might as well have packed up and left the bubble if they lost on Thursday night. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit since postseason series shifted to seven games. And so, in essence, their season was on the line in Game 3. 

They still have a lot of work to do, and will need to win three of the next four games to take the series, but that’s a lot easier to manage than trying to win four straight. 

Kemba’s big night goes to waste

Kemba Walker’s first trip to the playoffs since back in 2016 with the Hornets has gone even better than he could have expected. His troublesome knee is feeling good, his Celtics were undefeated until this Game 3 loss, and he’s been playing some terrific basketball. 

That trend continued for much of Thursday night, as Walker picked his spots and did pretty much whatever he wanted against the Raptors’ defense. He went for 29 points on 9 of 15 from the field, dished out three assists and made a number of smart plays out of the trap that didn’t result in stats for himself, but got the Celtics easy buckets. 

In the closing seconds, with the game tied and the Celtics looking for a go-ahead basket, it looked like he had tried to do a little too much. But then, as he got into the lane, he dropped off a beautiful dime to Daniel Theis for a huge slam. On most nights, it would have been celebrated as the game-winning play, and Walker would have another clutch moment added to his resume. 

Instead, Anunoby stole his headlines, and Walker’s big night was all for nought. 

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Cam takes blame for failed SNF final play: 'Just thinking too much' – theScore

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Cam Newton looked like his old MVP self for most of the New England Patriots‘ Sunday night shootout with the Seattle Seahawks, but the quarterback came up short during the game’s biggest play.

After running for his second 1-yard touchdown of the contest to bring New England within one score with 2:16 remaining, Newton again advanced his new team to the goal line, this time with three seconds left.

But Seattle was ready for Newton’s run. The defense swarmed to stuff the quarterback and seal the 35-30 victory.

“I just didn’t make everybody right and that’s the only thing I regret,” Newton said after the game, according to USA Today’s Mark Daniels. “In that type of situation, it’s humbling to be able to have the respect of a team to have the ball in my hands. I just have to deliver. I saw a clip of it; I could’ve made it right by just bouncing it (outside). I was just trying to be patient. Just thinking too much, man. Or even just diving over the top. There’s so many things that flashed over me.

“Playing a fast defense like that, as soon as you guess, you’re wrong. I’ll definitely learn from this. The play was there. The play was there all game.”

Newton couldn’t finish the job, but the 31-year-old arguably produced one of his best career performances.

In addition to the two short touchdown scampers, Newton finished with 397 passing yards – his highest total since 2011 – and one passing touchdown against one interception. He also added a team-high 47 yards on the ground.

Russell Wilson ultimately outgunned Newton, pushing himself to the front of the early MVP race with a five-touchdown outing.

While New England sent a clear message to the rest of the league that it can contend without Tom Brady and a host of key defenders who departed this offseason, Newton isn’t satisfied with a moral victory.

“It’s many ways you can win in this game. We don’t want to become one-dimensional,” Newton said. “We had our opportunities. Just moving forward, we have a lot of things about being optimistic about but yet, we still have to get better.

“The reason why you play this game is for (one) stat and one stat only. We didn’t get that statistic today and that’s the win. For us, this is a disgusting taste in my mouth. I’ve just got to grow and get better in this offense and hopefully have a better result next week.”

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Wolff comes up short in first U.S. Open – pgatour.com

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The kid will live to fight another day.

Matthew Wolff, the 54-hole leader by two, just didn’t have it for the final round of the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot on Sunday. He shot a final-round 75 to finish even par and in solo second, six behind Bryson DeChambeau (67), who shot the low round of the day by three.

“I played really tough all week,” Wolff said. “I battled hard. Things just didn’t go my way. But first U.S. Open, second place is something to be proud of and hold your head up high for.”

Wolff blinked first when he hit a wild hook and bogeyed the third hole. DeChambeau caught him with a birdie at the fourth hole, and took a lead he would never relinquish with a par at the fifth. Both eagled the par-5 ninth to remain separated by just one shot, but it was no contest from there as DeChambeau kept the pedal down while Wolff shot a 39 coming in.

“My advice?” said Zach Johnson (74, T8) “Leave this parking lot with the positives because, my guess, there’s a slew of them. Whatever he’s doing right now is not ineffective.

“… He’s going to slice and dice today,” Johnson added, “and he needs to really focus in on some of the things that he did the previous three days, I think more so than today.”

The two main combatants have a history of butting heads. When Wolff won the 3M Open last year, DeChambeau tied for second. When DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, Wolff was second. Both tied for fourth at the PGA Championship last month.

DeChambeau said he expects to run into Wolff again in the future, and it seems likely. Wolff is too good to just go away, and he’s also irrepressible, approaching golf as a game, not science. While DeChambeau had ear buds in prior to the final round, Wolff was on the phone cracking up laughing. Although he said he would play his usual “rip dog” game, he was just a little off.

“I really didn’t feel that nervous out there,” he said. “Maybe at the start I did, but at the start I played pretty well. I don’t think it was nerves that were holding me back. I just think it wasn’t meant to be.” A few breaks here and there, he said, and he might have made it closer.

The final pairing further accelerated a youth movement that was already in gear. Wolff (21) and DeChambeau (27) combined to make up the second youngest final pairing in the last 50 majors, behind only Jordan Spieth (22) and Smylie Kaufman (24) at the 2016 Masters Tournament. 

Wolff’s youthful exuberance will almost certainly come away from Winged Foot unscathed.

“He’s just a kid,” said fellow Oklahoma State product Rickie Fowler (79, 17 over). “Some of the things he’ll say, you sometimes forget that you’re around someone who’s – you look at him as one of our peers, someone you play against and compete against, but he’ll say something and you’re like, yeah, he’s still a kid. He’s 10 years behind us.

“There’s really no course that doesn’t suit him,” Fowler added, “just because he’s able to work the ball both ways easily. He’s a great ball-striker. His extra length, with the way the rough is, it helps on a lot of holes out here because you’re going to miss fairways, and to potentially have between two and four clubs less out of the rough, that makes a big difference.”

That’s the case on any course, and Wolff will almost certainly be a force on many of them.

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Lakers-Nuggets Game 2 Takeaways: Davis and Jokic deliver classic battle – Sportsnet.ca

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Midway through the third quarter, it looked as though Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was going to be another laugher.

The Los Angeles Lakers, holding a 16-point lead with 8:11 to go in the period, appeared to be emulating their Game 1 performance, containing the Denver Nuggets’ go-to actions and scoring with relative ease on the back of LeBron James (who scored his club’s first 12 points) and transition opportunities.

And then the Nuggets tweaked their offence, won key minutes against the Lakers’ small ball lineups, and found some help from unexpected places (hello, PJ Dozier!) to go on a 24–12 run to close the quarter and set up a spectacular, nail-biting finish.

What follows here are some of the key takeaways from the game, including, yes, that marquee Anthony Davis shot.

Adjusting for Mismatches

It was no secret coming into this series that the Jamal MurrayNikola Jokic pick-and-roll was going to be difficult for the Lakers to defend, even with their surplus of (legitimately athletic) big men. And for the first half of this one, they did about as admirable a job as possible, having the big (whether that be Davis, JaVale McGee or Dwight Howard) drop back initially, ready to burst towards the arc if Jokic popped for a potential triple, while the guard fought through and over the ball screen to deter Murray pull-up threes and funnel him into the paint towards help.

Davis in particular showcased why he was voted All-Defensive First Team this year when involved in those actions, freely switching onto Murray if necessary and gobbling him up on drives or using his otherworldly athleticism to recover to Jokic to contest shots that typically would have been open.

Then, in the second half, the Nuggets not only adjusted well by aggressively forcing more switches than they had in the 24 minutes prior, they executed on those adjustments by attacking those switches, finding mismatches at every turn.

Suddenly, their offence roared back to life, with Jokic in particular finding himself pitted against smaller players who he could easily take advantage of.

On top of this, Denver’s two stars simply began doing what great players do, drilling tough shots against high quality defenders. Murray managed to squeeze past Davis a few times for some acrobatic layups, and Jokic hit some tough hooks and turnaround shots in the post against the opposing bigs.

In the end, of course, it wasn’t enough to get them across the finish line, but if they are able to continue to exploit the Lakers in the pick-and-roll going forward, Los Angeles is in for a tougher fight than they’ve had through the totality of two games.

Pulverizing the Paint

Again, this really was a tale of two halves.

After the first 24 minutes, the Lakers were leading the points in the paint battle 24–12. By the time the game finished, the Nuggets wound up outscoring them 38–34.

It’s not so surprising that the Nuggets gave up so many points inside—during the regular season, they had the 10th-worst mark (64.1) for defended field goal percentage at the rim in the league. They simply don’t have any particularly formidable rim protectors, and while their defence has been marginally better throughout the playoffs, the athleticism of the Lakers was always going to be problematic.

In a microcosm of these issues, the Lakers have found a pet play in backdoor lobs, with a big man (or even James, who completed the play Sunday night, for example) appearing to come up towards the arc before quickly spinning back towards the baseline and rising for a lob from a guard (often Rajon Rondo) standing up top.

The Nuggets’ interior dominance, however, was far more unexpected, as the Lakers house multiple big men who are plus-defenders. In stark contrast to their opponents, Los Angeles was the sixth-best team in terms of defended field goal percentage at the rim (61.7) this past season.

But Jokic finding his touch inside, cutters making smart reads whenever doubles appeared, and Murray managing to weave and glide his way to the hoop out of the pick-and-roll despite some tight defence surrounding him allowed Denver to erase Los Angeles’ edge in that category completely.

There would seem to be a fair amount of things that the Nuggets can take away from this game, despite the loss, and be pleased with, and their interior play will be high on that list.

No Laughing Matter



It looked as though Jokic was going to be stuck in the mud once again throughout the first half, finding it difficult to score with the Lakers doing a good job of keeping him matched up against an opposing big (Howard has been particularly good at getting beneath Jokic’s skin) to equal his size and strength, and guarding him in single coverage, thereby staying home on his teammates and lessening the chances of any potential cuts that would allow him to make use of his otherworldly passing.

In the latter half, though, that all changed, with Jokic getting loose as the Nuggets created more opportunities for him via switches, allowing him to match up with smaller players whom he could easily see over and score against. Once he’d scored once or twice in those scenarios, the Lakers’ resolve faltered, and they began to send double teams which he immediately capitalized upon, spraying pinpoint passes all across the half-court.

Once the fourth quarter came, he also simply began to nail extremely difficult looks he’d missed before and that the Lakers could only shrug at, including a massive three-pointer against a swiftly closing Davis to cut the lead to one point with 1:04 to play.

If it had been Jokic with the ball in his hands for the last shot of the game rather than Davis, the discussion right now could be about him instead (he finished with 30 points, six rebounds, nine assists and four steals). He’s as potent an offensive force as there is in the league today, and if he’s able to dictate the terms of Denver’s offensive possessions, this series could turn around in the blink of an eye.

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Hero Ball

As great as Jokic was in this game, Davis seemed to have answers at every turn.

Not only was he exceptional with his individual and team defence (flying around the floor to contest shooters and switching whenever necessary without giving up an advantage), Davis found his offensive rhythm in the second half after a rough early start and closed out the game by scoring Los Angeles’s final 10 points.

And, oh yeah, he hit a pretty nifty buzzer-beating three, too.

That triple was only the second time Davis has hit a buzzer-beater in his career, and the first time he’s done so in the playoffs. It was also the first time a Lakers player had hit such a shot in the post-season since Metta World Peace back in 2010.

Davis’s performance (he finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and two blocks) was perhaps made even more enthralling by the fact that the vast majority of his buckets came either against Jokic or in response to him, generating a classic clash of superstar versus superstar. He worked Jokic in isolation all game long, taking him off the dribble to muscle his way to the rim or pulling up for mid-range jumpers and sticking them in his grill.

These are exactly the kinds of battles that elevate NBA basketball beyond any ordinary limitations, fabricating something ethereal that will stick in one’s mind forever after. And with at least two games remaining in this series, there’s plenty of room left for more.

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