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n game dea
10 agosto, 2018 [04:15]
The Anaheim Ducks will have plenty of reasons to be proud of their yearlong resilience and late-season determination to make the playoffs after an incredible stretch of early-season injury woes.

They’ll also have plenty of time to reflect on those achievements during an extra-long summer for a team that couldn’t put it together in the postseason.

The Ducks began the process of breaking up for the offseason this weekend after the San Jose Sharks completed a four-game sweep of their first-round series.

”There’s a numbness that’s kind of subsiding now M.J. Stewart Color Rush Jersey ,” coach Randy Carlyle said. ”After the run and the season-long trials and tribulations that you go through, you get to the playoffs and win out and get second place in the division, and four games later, a week later, you’re out of it, which is really numbing.”

Anaheim had made the Western Conference finals in two of the previous three seasons, and its six consecutive playoff berths constitute the second-longest active streak in the NHL. The Ducks finished with their fifth consecutive 100-point season – the league’s longest active streak – and went 10-1-1 with five straight victories to close the regular season, even surging into second place in the Pacific Division.

But the Ducks’ streak of five straight Pacific titles ended, and then their season ended in embarrassing fashion.

The Ducks made the playoffs for the 11th time in 13 seasons, but perhaps they simply ran out of steam. Their mad dash to reach the postseason was necessitated by the slow start caused by the club’s numerous injury problems during the first half. Their top two centers – Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf – missed huge chunks of early play, while goal-scoring forward Patrick Eaves never suited up all year because of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

”The adversity that we faced this year was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, especially at the start of the year,” said top defenseman Cam Fowler, who missed the playoffs with a shoulder injury. ”We grinded it out Mark Walton Color Rush Jersey , and to get to the 100-point mark was fantastic. But at the end of the day, you have to make a name for yourself come playoff time, and unfortunately we didn’t do that this year.”

Once the Ducks get over the hurt, they’ll evaluate the core of talent that remains in Anaheim after years of contention. General manager Bob Murray will have to decide whether that core is championship-caliber when healthy or whether it’s time to break up one of the NHL’s most consistent winners.

Here are more things to know as the Ducks head into a long offseason:

MORE SPEED

Murray is among the observers who think the Ducks simply don’t play fast enough to compete optimally in the modern NHL. The Ducks’ heavy, punishing style of play under Carlyle has won plenty of games over the past two years, but it wasn’t enough to keep them in a series with the Sharks, who aren’t even the fastest team around. Carlyle will be back next season to make the necessary changes, Murray confirmed. How much of the Ducks’ core returns will be up to Murray, who has built and rebuilt the franchise around Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who will both turn 33 next month.

BEAUCH BYE

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin says he is retiring after spending the past 13 seasons in the NHL, including three separate stints with Anaheim. His departure removes another link to the Ducks’ championship season, although Getzlaf, Perry and Carlyle are still around.

BIEKSA NOT BACK

Veteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa also indicated he is unlikely to return after three seasons. He was disappointed with his lack of playoff action after returning from hand surgery. The Ducks’ once-incredible depth on defense has been taxed in the past year with the expansion draft-related departures of Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner and the trade of Sami Vatanen to New Jersey for Adam Henrique. Murray will need to reload the Ducks’ blue line, with prospects Jacob Larsson Kyle Gibson Minnesota Twins Jersey , Marcus Pettersson and Andy Welinski likely getting shots at a full-time job.

EAVES RETURN

The season-long loss of Eaves was a huge setback, but the Ducks are optimistic their heavily bearded forward will return in the fall. Eaves also had recent shoulder surgery and will turn 34 next month, but he has been the type of consistent goal scorer the Ducks lacked. He would also provide veteran leadership after the possible departures of Beauchemin, Bieksa, Antoine Vermette, Jason Chimera and others.

OFFSEASON LISTS

Most of the Ducks’ core is locked up through next season or beyond, including Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler, leading scorer Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano, Fowler and defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. Anaheim has several key restricted free agents: Nick Ritchie, 20-goal scorer Ondrej Kase and defensemen Brandon Montour and Welinski.



The Golden State Warriors somehow withstood LeBron James‘ latest brilliance on the NBA Finals stage.

A costly blunder by J.R. Smith and a disputed foul call involving James himself sure helped.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points and the Warriors capitalized on Smith’s mistake that sent the game into overtime, overcoming a 51-point performance by James to beat Cleveland 124-114 in Game 1 on Thursday night.

The game nearly over Mike Remmers Color Rush Jersey , James jawed with both Curry and Klay Thompson, then Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green tangled moments later and made contact. After replay review, Tristan Thompson received a Flagrant 2 foul and ejection with 2.6 seconds left.

James was in utter disbelief as regulation ended stunningly: George Hill made the first of two free throws with 4.7 seconds left after being fouled by Klay Thompson, but when Smith secured the rebound of the second, he dribbled back toward halfcourt instead of shooting, apparently thinking the Cavs had a lead.

”He thought it was over. He thought we were up one,” coach Tyronn Lue said.

Yet Smith insisted he knew the score. Green figured Smith was simply looking for James, saying, ”I would have looked for LeBron, too.”

”I just thought we were going to call a timeout. Because I got the rebound, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t shoot it over KD,” Smith said of Kevin Durant. ”If I thought we were ahead, I would have just held on to the ball so they could foul me. Clearly that wasn’t the case.”

Instead, OT.

And why not? Both these teams were pushed to their limits in seven-game conference finals they each had to win on the road.

”I can’t talk about a situation that way because I do some dumb stuff on the court Eduardo Escobar Minnesota Twins Jersey ,” Durant said of how the fourth quarter finished. ”I don’t know what was going through J.R.’s head. He made a great rebound and gave them an opportunity to win the basketball game.”

Game 2 is Sunday night back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won 18 of their last 19 postseason games. In 2015, when the Golden State beat the Cavs to capture the franchise’s first title in 40 years, the first two games of the series went to OT – Golden State winning the opener and Cleveland Game 2.

James shot 19 for 32 to go with eight assists and eight rebounds in the opener of his eighth straight NBA Finals and ninth overall, as well as Cavs-Warriors Take IV. James notched his eighth 40-point game during this playoff run to tie Hall of Famer Jerry West’s feat in 1965 for most in a single postseason.

”We’ve got to move on,” James said. ”This game is over and done with. We had opportunities.”

James drove past Curry for a three-point play with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth. But James was given a foul following a review with 36.4 seconds left and Durant converted a pair of free throws to tie it at 104.

The call had initially been a charge on 2017 finals MVP Durant and James protested the change – while KD said afterward he thought it was the right decision because ”I knew he was late on the drive and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.”

James called it a ”huge play” and said ”I knew I was outside the charge line.”

”I read that play as well as I’ve read any play in my career, maybe in my life,” James said.

Rules allow officials to go to replay in the final 2 minutes of regulation or in overtime to determine if a defender attempting to draw a charge was in the restricted area. When doing so, they can view if the defender was in a legal guarding position. They decided James wasn’t and changed their original call.

Lue was disgusted to lose this way, saying of the overturned call: ”It’s never been done, ever in the history of the game. And then tonight in the finals on the biggest stage, when our team played well, played our (butt) off, man Youth Sam Darnold Jersey , it ain’t right.”

Lue added that the way James played, ”to come up robbed, it’s just not right.”

Durant struggled to find his stroke but wound up with 26 points on 8-for-22 shooting and nine rebounds.

Golden State got a serious scare when Thompson went down after Smith slid hard into the Splash Brother’s left leg at the 6:17 mark of the first quarter. Thompson lay grimacing in pain then went to the locker room with what was called a bruised left leg that needed re-taping. He returned for the start of the second quarter to huge roars from the yellow-clad sellout crowd and scored 24 points. He and Curry each connected on five 3s.

Curry drained one of those way-out-there 3-pointers that have been hard to come by this postseason to beat the halftime buzzer and Golden State shot 13 for 36 from deep.

Kevin Love returned from a concussion to provide a big boost for Cleveland with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

The Warriors missed the defensive presence of 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who was out for a fifth straight postseason game dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated ahead of Game 2.

Everybody expects another wild one with so much talent on both sides.

”It was a crazy game,” Curry said. ”… The finals, man, anything is liable to happen.”

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: James has 109 career 30-point games in the playoffs, tying Michael Jordan for most ever. … Cleveland held a 19-4 advantage on the offensive glass, getting seven offensive rebounds in the first half to the Warriors’ none. … James’ first quarter: 4 for 4 with a 3-pointer, 12 points, three assists, a steal an.

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