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it was pretty bad
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OAKLAND Gustav Forsling Jersey , Calif. — The Golden State Warriors can achieve a piece of history Tuesday when they look to close out the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.
The Warriors bounced back from a 119-100 thumping at New Orleans in Game 3 with an equally convincing 118-92 romp in Game 4, taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Golden State can advance to its fourth straight Western Conference finals with a Game 5 win at home, where it has won 14 consecutive playoff games, one shy of the NBA record.
The Chicago Bulls set the standard of 15 straight home wins from April 1990 to May 1991.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr went with a new starting lineup in Game 4, inserting Andre Iguodala alongside All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green for the first time in Durant’s two seasons with Golden State.
The result was a 17-4 game-opening burst that created a lead the Warriors never came close to relinquishing.
“You’re on the road and threatened, you put your five best guys out there,” Kerr explained. “To start like that sets a great tone.”
The Warriors dominated the game both offensively and defensively, the latter having been a key to their run to two championships in the last three seasons.
Golden State has won its last nine playoff games — four this season, five last year — when holding the opponent below 100 points, a streak that dates to Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals when Cleveland prevailed 93-89 to claim the title.
The Warriors, who have held the home-court advantage in every playoff series in which they’ve participated since Kerr took over as coach for the 2014-15 season, have won Game 5 (always at home) eight of the last nine times a series has reached a fifth game.
Again, the only loss was in the 2016 Finals when the Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to stun the defending champs.
The Pelicans, meanwhile Olli Maatta Jersey , have a bit of positive history to call upon in their quest to stay alive and perhaps advance past the second round for the first time ever.
Known then at the Hornets and down 3-1 in the best-of-seven, New Orleans won 93-91 at Philadelphia in the Eastern semifinals in 2002 — the first year of the New Orleans franchise — to force a Game 6, which they lost at home to the 76ers 107-103.
With their bench having been outscored 134-95 in the four games, the Pelicans have burned their starters big minutes, with Anthony Davis (39.3) and Jrue Holiday (38.2) leading the series in minutes played.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry had that in mind when he called off a scheduled workout on Monday in Oakland.
“We do have guys that are playing heavy minutes,” he explained. “Really, all the starters are playing real heavy minutes. I thought it would be a good idea today to let their minds rest, their bodies rest.”
The Pelicans have played their best in the series when rested.
The clubs got two days off in Oakland after Golden State’s 123-101 victory in Game 1. The Pelicans rebounded with a strong effort in Game 2, falling just 121-116 on the road.
Then after two more days off, New Orleans was re-energized at home and responded with its 119-100 triumph.
The teams were then rushed back from a Friday night to a Sunday afternoon for Game 4, during which the Pelicans shot just 4 of 26 on 3-pointers after having scorched the nets for 14 of 31 in the Game 3 win.
For all the buzz Rasmus Dahlin has generated at just 18, the Swedish defenseman joked he had never encountered a mob scene such as the one before him on Friday. There were as many as a dozen cameras and two dozen more reporters packed three- and four-deep surrounding Dahlin, seated on a stool at the NHL pre-draft scouting combine in Buffalo.
”Yeah, it’s pretty awesome actually,” Dahlin said, his blond hair offset by the jet-black suit he wore. ”It’s the first time so many cameras Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jersey , I think. It’s fun. I love it.”
Dahlin had better become accustomed to it, because the lean, play-making and smooth-skating blue-liner should remain the focus of attention in the days leading up to the NHL draft being held in Dallas in three weeks. That’s when Dahlin is projected to be the first overall pick and join Mats Sundin as the only other Swedish-born player to go No. 1.
”If that happens, I would be so glad and proud,” Dahlin said, his eyes growing bigger at the mention of Sundin, who was selected No. 1 by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989.
At 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds, Dahlin is considered the most NHL-ready prospect in this year’s draft class for his all-around ability. He’s already drawing comparisons to other elite Swedish defensemen, such as former Detroit star and seven-time Norris Trophy-winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Ottawa captain and two-time Norris winner Erik Karlsson.
”All those characteristics they bring to the game, Dahlin has the same potential to bring those same characteristics,” NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr, told The Associated Press last week.
”It’s not fair to compare him to those players, but everything that made them successful National Hockey League players, this kid has it in his game,” Marr added. ”This here’s a player that could be a cornerstone to a franchise. And he’ll be a staple on their blue line for years and years to come.”
It’s not just one aspect of Dahlin’s game in which he excels, Marr said. It’s all of them.
Whether it’s hitting Leon Draisaitl Jersey , scoring or defending, Marr said Dahlin has ”shown he can rise to the occasion or rise to perform whatever needs to be done for that situation.”
And the significance of Dahlin being in Buffalo for the combine wasn’t lost on anyone, given the Sabres own the top pick .
General manager Jason Botterill isn’t tipping his hand on whether he’ll select Dahlin, but coach Phil Housley has already been crowing about the youngster’s potential.
”I’ve been watching on YouTube, and boy it’s incredible,” Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, told The Buffalo News last month. ”He’s going to be a complete package in today’s NHL.”
Among the prospects ranked behind Dahlin by central scouting are Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov, who played in the Ontario Junior League last season, and Boston University’s Brady Tkachuk, the son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk.
Dahlin is taking nothing for granted in saying, he’s not sure of the Sabres’ intentions.
”Of course, nothing is done,” he said. ”But yeah, if I’m coming here, I would love to be here. I heard they have great fans and everybody loves hockey here.”
Dahlin got his first taste of Buffalo’s hockey fans this past winter when he was part of Sweden’s silver medal-winning team at the World Junior hockey championships held in the city. Some five months later Brayden Schenn Jersey , the sting of a 3-1 loss to Canada in the championship game had mostly worn off.
”At that moment it was pretty bad,” said Dahlin, one of four Swedish players disciplined by the International Ice Hockey Federation for refusing to wear the silver medal during the postgame ceremony. ”But now, if I look back to the tournament, it was a great tournament. It was awesome to be here. We had a great team. We were so close.”
Dahlin was named the tournament’s top defenseman after finishing with six assists in seven games. At just 17, he then represented Sweden at the Winter Olympics, where he had an assist in two games. Add to that, Dahlin scored seven goals and 13 assists in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League, and earned junior player of the year honors.
”I went through so many great experiences. I’ve been to so many new places. I’ve grown as a guy, too,” Dahlin said attempting to put the year into perspective. ”I’m a teenager that’s growing every day just as a person.”
Once the session with reporters ended, Dahlin made his way to a bank of windows overlooking Buffalo’s newly redeveloped inner harbor, and soaked in the view.

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Sam 29 Sep - 03:50 (2018)
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