NBA-record 16 straight playoff games at home

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by douhua2233 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:07 am

The Nashville Predators are right where they are supposed to be.

The pick by many to win the Stanley Cup in June http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-russell-bodine-jersey , the President’s Trophy winners are up 2-0 on Colorado in the first-round series and heading to Denver to finish off the pesky Avalanche.

While the series looks lopsided, it’s a lot closer than the 2-0 advantage. Colorado has led in both games and nearly rallied to force overtime in Saturday’s 5-4 Nashville win. Despite mounting injuries, the Avalanche are confident heading home, where they have won 28 games this season.

Still, the sting of losing both games in Nashville lingers for eighth-seeded Colorado ahead of Monday’s Game 3.

“We played hard, but we lost, so it doesn’t really matter. It’s tough,” center Nathan MacKinnon, who had a goal and an assist to give him three points in the series, told reporters after Saturday’s loss. “I thought we played two pretty good games here in Nashville, and we couldn’t get a win.”

MacKinnon has been productive despite his line — which includes Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog — being the focus of the Predators’ defense. He had 97 points in the regular season and is a serious Hart Trophy candidate as the NHL MVP Su'a Cravens Color Rush Jersey , and he hasn’t slowed down in the postseason.

“Oh man, he’s special,” Predators forward Austin Watson told The Tennessean. “I mean, you don’t have the year he had this year without being a pretty incredible player. And just his line as a whole, they play the game with so much speed, you can’t get caught standing still.

“I mean, if you are, they’ll blow right around you. Even if you think you’re doing a good job on them, you can’t really take your foot off the gas at all or they’ll turn it back on you and get chances.”

The Predators have some special players, too, including Filip Forsberg Robbie Grossman Minnesota Twins Jersey , who scored a highlight-reel goal in Game 1. Nashville won’t take Colorado lightly because it knows how dangerous a No. 8 seed can be. The Predators reached the Cup finals last year as the eighth seed in the West.

But Nashville has a healthy squad that has won 12 straight against Colorado dating back to the end of the 2015-16 season. The Avalanche, on the other hand, are playing without No. 1 defenseman Erik Johnson, top goaltender Semyon Varlamov and may not have rookie defenseman Samuel Girard for Game 3.

Girard was scratched from Game 2 with an upper-body injury and his status for Monday’s Game 3 is not known.

Both teams are hoping for a cleaner game in Denver. Game 2 was cluttered with 14 penalties — seven for each team — which might have been a result of Nashville center Ryan Johansen’s hit on Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 1.

The Avalanche felt Johansen should have been suspended but the league didn’t agree. One thing that came out of it was a rivalry was born.

Nashville’s goal is to get the series over quickly. A win in Game 3 will make it nearly impossible for Colorado to win the series, and the young team knows it.

“There’s definitely no quit on their side,” Johansen Saturday. “That’s with every team in the playoffs, but they play desperate, they play fast, they’ve got a lot of young skill over there. We’ve got to make sure we close out games better.”

OAKLAND, Calif. — Two veteran coaches had a similar message for their teams on the eve of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

“It starts 0-0,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Game 4. “It doesn’t matter if we won (the previous game) by one or 41.”

In fact Chase Edmonds Color Rush Jersey , the Warriors did win Game 3 on Sunday by 41 points, 126-85, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven.

The margin of victory not only was the largest in Warriors postseason history, but the margin of defeat also was the biggest ever for a team that won 65 or more games in the regular season.

Stephen Curry, who had missed 17 of his 20 3-point attempts in the first 10 quarters of the series, sent the Warriors’ home crowd into a frenzy by making 4 of 5 in the second half Sunday en route to 35 points.

It was a performance that brought back memories to Kerr of the Boston Celtics’ Danny Ainge.

“I don’t remember what I had for breakfast, but I remember what Danny Ainge said 30 years ago,” Kerr warned. “They won a playoff game by 40, and he said, ‘This is not the Tour de France. You don’t start with a big lead because it’s not based on time or how much you won by.’

“It’s the NBA, so it’s 2-1 (in the series). So doesn’t matter what happened (Sunday). We have to be ready for a great team that’s going to come out like they did in Game 2 Nathan Shepherd Color Rush Jersey , attacking, hair on fire and taking the force to us, and we have to be ready for that.”

The Rockets’ margin of defeat Sunday was almost identical to the number of fewer points scored by Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza in Game 3 than in Game 2.

Key members of the James Harden/Chris Paul supporting cast — Gordon, Tucker and Ariza — combined for 23-of-33 shooting and contributed 68 points to a 127-105 series-evening home win in Game 2.

On Sunday, they went a combined 8 of 24 and 23 points in the blowout loss.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t singling out anyone when he assessed the Game 3 performance.

“We didn’t bring our best game,” he observed. “But I’m hoping for the best (in Game 4). I hope we play great and them bad. Never know.”

The loss was the Rockets’ fourth of the postseason. They rebounded with wins after each of the first three, romping by an average of 20.7 points.

This time, they’ll be up against a Warriors team that has won an NBA-record 16 straight playoff games at home.

D’Antoni went as far as to say the pressure is on the Warriors, who would hand the home-court advantage back to Houston with a loss in Game 4.

“I hope so,” Kerr reacted to his rival’s statement. “We’re much better when the pressure’s on. He’s right. We’re at home Courtland Sutton Color Rush Jersey , so if they win, they have home-court advantage. So, yeah, pressure’s on us. It’s kind of on them, too.”

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douhua2233
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