27
December
2019

no fluke in 2013-14, going 32-20-5 with a 2.38

The Indiana Pacers already have their backs against the wall when they face a must-win Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. USWNT Pro Shop . After an alarming 101-93 loss to the eighth-seeded Hawks on Saturday, the top- ranked Pacers could fall down 2-0 with a setback on Tuesday. That would spell serious trouble considering the Hawks have won 14 of the last 16 in Atlanta. "Were upset, hungry, hurt - ready to go out there and compete," said Indianas Roy Hibbert. The Pacers shouldve been all of those things on Saturday. Indiana went 10-13 to finish the season and carried that bad play over to the postseason. One of those losses was a home setback to the Hawks on April 6, and while they pose some matchup problems for the Pacers, Atlanta was brilliant on Saturday. Indianapolis native Jeff Teague enjoyed his playoff homecoming, scoring 28 points with five assists to lead the Hawks to victory in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Teague had 14 of his game-high 28 points in the third quarter, which Atlanta dominated from start to finish to pull away after the teams played to a draw in the first half. The Hawks outscored Indiana 30-16 in the period. "I just wanted to be aggressive. We know theyre a good defensive team with a lot of length. We just wanted to attack, stay aggressive and hit the open guy," said Teague. "Weve got a lot of shot-makers. We know they are a long team who likes to clog the paint. But we want to stretch the floor against them." Paul Millsap scored 25 points for the eighth-seeded Hawks, who are in the postseason for the seventh straight season. DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver donated 12 points apiece. Paul George had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, while Lance Stephenson scored 19 points and George Hill added 12. "It isnt the NCAA [tournament]. One game doesnt mean were out of the playoffs. We have to look at film and figure out how we can get four games," said Hill. It was 50-50 at the half, but the Hawks dominated the final 24 minutes. Millsaps three-point play set the tone for the Atlanta-dominated third period. Carroll followed with a 3-ball and Teague hit a short jumper for a 58-50 lead. The Pacers got back within two then Teague took over, scoring nine straight points following two Millsap free throws to give Atlanta its largest lead at 71-58. Another Millsap three-point play capped a 14-0 flurry, and Hibbert was whistled for a moving screen on the other end to a chorus of boos from the home fans. The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Hawks, who hit timely baskets and made enough stops to keep Indiana at arms length. The margin reached 20 points on multiple occasions before late 3-pointers from the Pacers brought the final tally into single digits. The Hawks were the fourth No. 8 Seed to win Game 1 by at least eight points. Two of the three others (Knicks in 1999, Warriors in 2007) went on to win the series. Game 3 will be Thursday night in Atlanta. Cheap USWNT Jerseys . It took five games, but the Celtics finally helped Stevens earn his first NBA victory. "Im going to celebrate for a whole 12 minutes, and then Im going to start watching Orlando and trying to figure them out," the first-year Celtics coach said after Boston beat the Utah Jazz, one of the leagues other winless teams, 97-87 on Wednesday night. USWNT Shirts . Its a blessing and a burden for nine sons of former NHL players who are all expected to be taken in the first four rounds of the draft this weekend. https://www.cheapuswnt.com/ .Patterson marked his anniversary by proving his worth — once again.Lou Williams poured in 26 points, and Patterson drained two huge three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, as the Raptors topped the Denver Nuggets 112-107 in overtime Monday.The Columbus Blue Jackets begin just the second playoff run in franchise history, as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday for Game 1. After getting swept in its lone playoff series, Columbus hopes to skate away with at least one victory in this opening round set despite being heavy underdogs against the Metropolitan Division champion Penguins. The Blue Jackets, who entered the NHL as an expansion team for the 2000-01 campaign, didnt qualify for the postseason until 2009 when they lost all four games against Detroit in the first round. This time they enter the playoffs as the first wild card in the East and face a Pittsburgh team with the second- best record in the conference. Pittsburgh swept the Blue Jackets in 2013-14, winning all five encounters in regulation. The Pens have claimed six straight and 10 of 12 in the series overall. The Blue Jackets and Pens were division rivals for the first time in 2013-14, as Columbus moved from the Western Conference to the East as part of the NHLs realignment plan for this season. Pens star Sidney Crosby racked up seven points (2g, 5a) in five meetings with the Blue Jackets this season. Pittsburghs Chris Kunitz had six points on four goals and two assists, while James Neal added three goals and two helpers. Pens goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, went 3-0 with a 1.33 GAA in the season series. Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson was the best point-producer in the season series for Columbus, posting three assists over the five losses. One bright spot for the Blue Jackets was that No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky only faced Pittsburgh once in 2013-14, missing the other four encounters due to injury or illness. On the other hand, Pittsburgh completely dominated the Jackets in special teams during the season series, going 5-for-19 on the power play while killing 13-of-14 penalties. Pittsburgh cruised to a division title this season, taking the Metropolitan with 109 points -- 13 more than the second-place New York Rangers and a healthy Crosby was a big reason why. Crosby led the NHL in scoring with 104 points this season and is the leading candidate for the 2013-14 Hart Trophy. Crosbys fellow star centerman Evgeni Malkin satt out the final 11 games of the regular season with a sprained foot, but he practiced on the first power play unit this morning. USWNT Store. A bigger question for Pittsburgh heading into the postseason is whether Fleury will struggle again in net. Fleury anchored Pittsburghs Cup win in 2009, but he has looked awful in the postseason since then and was even demoted to backup last spring. Fleury was replaced by Tomas Vokoun as the clubs No. 1 goaltender after Game 4 of the opening round against the New York Islanders and did not start another game in the playoffs as Pittsburgh was eventually eliminated by Boston in a conference final sweep. However, Pittsburgh is putting its faith in Fleury once again after he went 39-18-5 with a 2.37 goals against average and .915 save percentage during the 2013-14 regular season. In 80 games during his postseason career, Fleury is 45-34 with a 2.73 GAA and .903 save percentage. "(I) remind myself I have one more Stanley Cup than a lot of people, so I know I can do it," Fleury said. "I think we have a solid team and Ill try my best to get to it again." The key to the series for Columbus resides in the crease where Bobrovsky could give the Blue Jackets a considerable edge should Fleury get another case of the postseason yips. Bobrovsky won the Vezina last season and proved that campaign was no fluke in 2013-14, going 32-20-5 with a 2.38 GAA and .923 save percentage. Bobrovsky has playoff experience from his time in Philadelphia, starting three postseason games while making relief appearances on four other occasions. He was 0-2 with a 4.04 GAA and .848 save percentage in those outings. Pittsburgh, which also will host Game 2 on Saturday, was 28-9-4 at CONSOL Energy Center this season. Columbus was 21-17-3 as the visiting team. Penguins Projected Lines Kunitz - Crosby - BennettJokinen - Malkin - NealGlass - Sutter - StempniakAdams - Vitale - Gibbons Scuderi - LetangMartin - OrpickNiskanen - Matta Fleury - Zatkoff Blue Jackets Projected Lines Jenner - Johansen - SkilleCalvert - Dubinsky - AtkinsonMacKenzie - Anisimov - ComeauTropp - Letestu - Boll Murray - WisniewskiTyutin - JohnsonNikitin - Savard Bobrovsky - McElhinney ' ' '



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