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postseason (General)

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James Harden scored 30 points Nikolaj Ehlers Jersey , Chris Paul had 27 and the Houston Rockets sustained the latest second-half flurry by Stephen Curry, evening the Western Conference finals at two games apiece with a 95-92 victory Tuesday night.

Curry scored 28 points and Kevin Durant added 27 points and 12 rebounds but the defending champions missed their final six shots from the floor and their NBA-record postseason winning streak at home ended at 16 games.

Paul rebounded Klay Thompson’s miss just before the final buzzer sounded for the first time and pounded the ball down in delight. A replay review ensued and it was determined Shaun Livingston fouled Paul before the game ended, so Paul made a free throw with 0.5 seconds left.

Curry couldn’t get off a final attempt before the buzzer.

Game 5 is Thursday night at Houston. Golden State will play its longest playoff round after closing out its first two playoff rounds in five games.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) – Longtime NHL executive Lou Lamoriello has joined the New York Islanders and will have full authority in all hockey matters.

The team on Tuesday announced the hiring of the 75-year-old Lamoriello as president of hockey operations. He comes to a team that has missed the playoffs eight of the last 12 seasons.

Lamoriello led the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cup titles during his 18 years as general manager. He spent the past three seasons as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Islanders managing partner Scott Malkin says in a statement the team is ”committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization.” Lamoriello says he is ”excited to join such a storied franchise.”

It was not immediately clear how the move will affect current president and general manager Garth Snow. He has four years left on his contract.

NFL

ATLANTA (AP) – The NFL approved a new owner for the Carolina Panthers, passed a rule to eject players who hit with their helmets, and took steps to spice up the kickoff.

Still to be resolved: a much more contentious issue.

What to do, if anything, about players who kneel during the national anthem?

At their annual spring meeting on Thursday, league owners welcomed David Tepper to their ranks by signing off on his record $2.2 billion deal to purchase the Panthers from disgraced team founder Jerry Richardson.

During a brief news conference in which he took only a handful of questions, Tepper immediately made a bit of news by seeming to imply he would be willing to listen to offers for a new stadium from other cities in North and South Carolina. The team has made no secret of its desire to replace 22-year-old Bank of America Stadium, and its lease runs only through the upcoming season.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) – The Mets have signed free agent Jose Bautista, getting the former home run champion two days after he was cut by the Atlanta Braves.

They made the move before playing Miami on Tuesday night. The team said he was available for the game, but he was not in the starting lineup they posted.

New York listed Bautista as an outfielder. He played only third base in his short stint with Atlanta, starting at the spot eight times. He hit .143 (5 for 35) with two home runs and five RBIs, and fared well against left-handed pitchers.

The 37-year-old Bautista signed for the $545 Markus Granlund Jersey ,000 major league minimum. He hit .203 with 23 homers and 65 RBIs in 157 games last season with Toronto, and went unsigned as a free agent during the winter.

Bautista is a six-time All-Star, and led the AL with 54 homers in 2010 and 43 in 2011. He has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the past eight seasons.

The Mets optioned infielder-outfielder Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas.

TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors have spent a season creating franchise history, including a team-record 59 wins, in finishing first in the Eastern Conference for the first time.

They will be trying to overcome some of their history Saturday as they open their first-round playoff series with the Washington Wizards at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors are 1-12 all-time in the first game of a playoff series. Their only Game 1 victory came May 6, 2001, in in the Eastern Conference semi-finals at Philadelphia.

This will be the eighth time the Raptors have homecourt advantage to start a playoff series.

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan is aware of that, but also said his team has been particularly good at home this season. At 34-7 at the ACC this season, the Raptors tied the Houston Rockets with the best home record in the league.

“We’ve been great at home all year,” DeRozan said. “It’s definitely something we took more pride in than ever and I think it showed. With that, we’ve got that confidence this time around more than ever. Like I said, it’s one of those moments to where we feel like when we are on our home floor, anything’s possible, and our swag is at an all-time high.”

The Wizards (43-39) and the Raptors (59-23) split four games this season http://www.officialcanucks.com/authentic-adidas-henrik-sedin-jersey , but Washington guard John Wall missed all four meetings between the teams because of knee surgery.

In three regular-season games against the Raptors in 2016-17, Wall averaged 25 points, 10.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds.

“We haven’t played with John against them,” said Wizards guard Tomas Satoransky. “We’re not scared. We respect them. There’s some positive aspects from this season.”

“We’ve got John back,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “There’s no excuse for us not to go out there and get the job done.”

“They’re a good team,” Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas said. “We’re not underestimating them, and we know it’s going to be hard playing against them. We know they are tough, physical playing team. We’re ready, we know how we’re going to play and we’re going to play well, play hard.”

The Wizards lost five of six games to end the regular season, including their finale against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Although they struggled all season with under .500 teams, like the Magic, they defeated nine playoff-bound teams after the All-Star break.

“I’m more than excited,” Beal said. “This is where players are made and everybody’s trying to fight for the same goal. It’s always fun and it gets very interesting this time of the year.”

Wizards center Jason Smith suggested it might be better to face Toronto in the first round than the Philadelphia 76ers Matt Murray Jersey , who ended the regular season on a 16-game winning streak.

“We are looking forward to the matchup with Toronto,” Smith said. “I, personally, am a little relieved to not have to go against the hottest team in the league, Philly. That’s not a team we want to see. We don’t match up well with them. We might have split the season series, but they are the hottest team right now and they don’t have Joel Embiid and that’s a little scary.”

The Wizards swept the Raptors in four straight games in the playoffs in 2015.

“The guys that were here three years ago know what it was like to get swept,” DeRozan said. “It wasn’t a great feeling at all. You learn from your mistakes, you understand how to be better. To have another opportunity to compete with these guys again, it’s definitely going to be fun. It’s always one of those scrappy, competitive games, and it’s (the kind of) games you want to be part of. To have the opportunity against a great team in the Wizards, it should be fun.”

The Wizards finished eighth in the East, 16 games behind the Raptors.

“Just because they’re an eighth seed, we are not going to look at them like they’re an eighth seed Bo Horvat Jersey , because we understand what this team is capable of,” DeRozan said. “That’s a great challenge, and for us, it’s a challenge that we are definitely looking forward to.”

Toronto has had one of the better benches in the NBA this season, but one of the keys to the reserves, guard Fred VanVleet, injured his shoulder in the loss to the Miami Heat Wednesday and likely will be a game-time decision.

Raptors guard Lorenzo Brown, who was on a two-way contract, has been signed to a standard NBA contract and is eligible to play in the playoffs.

Wizards forwards Otto Porter Jr. (mild calf strain) and Mike Scott (concussion protocol) are questionable for Game 1.

Wizards guard Jodie Meeks is out for the playoffs despite indications that he will appeal a 25-game suspension for violating the league anti-drug program.

Free-agent guard Ty Lawson has been signed by the Wizards and will be eligible for the postseason.

http://www.officialusafootballs.com/new-york-giants

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