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Lillard leads Trail Blazers past Pacers

first_img“In the third quarter, I thought we gave them a lot of opportunities,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “In the fourth quarter, it was good to see the lead expand without having very many mistakes.”Portland took control late in the third quarter, when the Blazers held Indiana scoreless for more than five minutes. It was part of Portland’s 21-2 run, during which Shabazz Napier scored eight points to help erase a six-point deficit and give the Blazers an 89-76 lead midway through the fourth quarter.Napier kick-started the rally during the final seconds of the third quarter, when he made a backcourt steal, then hit a corner 3-pointer as time expired to tie the game at 74.Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison scored 23 points each for Indiana (24-21).Indiana coach Nate McMillan had an eye on the stat sheet in assessing what went wrong for the Pacers. Portland outrebounded Indiana 57-46, and scored 24 second-chance points to the Pacers’ 10.ADVERTISEMENT Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard shoots over Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. The Trail Blazers won 100-86. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s home court was once one of the NBA’s toughest for visitors — but was a source of frustration for the Trail Blazers earlier this season.But they appear to have their home mojo back, as the Blazers won their fifth consecutive home game Thursday night, beating the Indiana Pacers 100-86.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours LATEST STORIES Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Damian Lillard scored 26 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to lead Portland (24-21). C.J. McCollum scored 16 points and Shabazz Napier 13 for the Blazers.Just six weeks ago, the Blazers lost six consecutive games during a late-November, early December stretch. But starting Dec. 28 with a victory over Philadelphia, Portland has returned to its winning ways in Moda Center.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Overall our team has just locked in a little bit more,” Lillard said. “We had a rough stretch. We’re not the first team or the last team that’ll have that. The important thing when you have times like that is to stay together and stay with it. I think we’re just in a better place on the floor as a group.”Several wins during this streak looked like Thursday’s, a game in which Portland had most of the answers during the fourth quarter. Tied at 74 after three quarters, the Blazers outscored Indiana 26-12 during the final period to pull out the win. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacsoncenter_img Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Embiid drops 26 as Sixers nip Celtics “That’s the hustle game you have to win,” McMillan said. “We have to give help to our bigs down in the paint. They outworked us, and won that game.”Nurkic had one of his most productive games as a Blazer, missing his career high by three rebounds. Nurkic got going early, hitting his first three shots during the first five minutes. Stotts said he didn’t recall running plays for Nurkic, saying he was doing it all on effort.“When he got in the paint, he was finishing early,” Lillard said of Nurkic. “He played strong. Even on the defensive end, he was contesting shots at the rim. . When he plays that way on both ends, we’re a much better team.”Indiana was without forward Myles Turner, the team’s second-leading scorer this season. Turner has missed five consecutive games with a right elbow injury.McCollum sprinted from the floor to the locker room early in the fourth quarter with a brief bout of nausea, but returned a few minutes later.Portland led 52-47 at halftime, and the difference was a pair of buzzer-beaters: McCollum’s 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, and Lillard’s desperation layup off a drive to finish the second quarter.TIP-INSPacers: The last time Indiana won in Portland was Nov. 28, 2007. … Of the 12 games Turner has missed this season, two came against Portland. … Lance Stephenson missed the team’s morning shootaround with an illness, but played. He finished with no points on 0-of-6 shooting from the floor and missed both of his foul shots. … Indiana is 2-1 on its current five-game road trip, having won at Phoenix and Utah.Trail Blazers: Led by 12 boards from Nurkic, Portland outrebounded Indiana 29-18 in the first half. … Nurkic had a double-double in the first half with 12 points and 12 rebounds. … Portland swept the season series from Indiana for the third time in four seasons. The Blazers won 114-96 over the Pacers on Oct. 20. … Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds in his last four games against Indiana.MAKING UP FOR POOR SHOOTINGPortland won despite shooting just 39.4 percent from the floor (37 of 94), and 31.2 percent from 3-point range (10 of 32). Only once has Portland shot worse and won a game this season.The Blazers made up for it in other ways, like free throw shooting. They were 16 of 16, the third time they’ve been perfect from the line in a game this season, an NBA high. The Blazers also converted 14 offensive rebounds into 24 second-chance points. MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track View commentslast_img read more

Arsenal boss full of praise for Ozil, Cech and Gabriel following Bournemouth win

first_imgArsene Wenger heaped more praise on star playmaker Mesut Ozil after the German’s glittering performance in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth.Ozil, 27, set up Gabriel Paulista for their first goal before combining well with Olivier Giroud to grab a goal himself as the Gunners went to the top of the Premier League, for 24 hours at least.Only two weeks ago Wenger described his attacker as ‘an absolutely unbelievable player’ and, in the absence of Alexis Sanchez, he has stepped up to the plate by registering 16 assists this term.When asked about Ozil, Wenger said: “My English vocabulary is not rich enough to say how good he is!“What is even better is to watch him play, he’s a pleasure to watch and look at the numbers and see assists to assists and he’s started to score goals.“I am very happy and very proud we have such a player in our squad.”Arsenal were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Southampton on Boxing Day but they could enter 2016 as Premier League leaders, if Leicester fail to beat Man City tomorrow.But Wenger played down his side’s chances with 19 games remaining, insisting the aim is to stay with the pack and remain consistent.“At the moment, for me what is more important is to be up there and being one point in front or behind is not so important.“But what is more important is to show consistency with our results and to show we are a real team after disappointment.“Until the end of the season you go through disappointments and your success will be decided by how well you respond. And that’s what we showed today.“We had a hesitant start after the hiding we got on Saturday, but overall we got slowly into the game and after that we dominated the game, we played with pace high up and gave Bournemouth problems.“It was a very strong response in a very convincing way to get us three very important points.”The clean sheet means Petr Cech set a new Premier League record, weeks after equalling David James’ tally, and the French manager was delighted for his summer signing from Chelsea.He now has 170 clean sheets and Wenger said: “Records are never a coincidence and we just witnessed the exceptional quality of the player because there are so many goalkeepers in the world who play so many games.“We know how exceptional he is but had he not beaten the record he would have stayed an exceptional goalkeeper. I hope it gives him hunger to do much more.”Meanwhile defender Gabriel scored his first Arsenal goal and his boss believes he has all the qualities to be a ‘great defender’.He added: “I brought him in last Christmas and I think what he has shown tonight is that he’ll be a great defender for Arsenal Football Club.“Not only because he scored the goal but because of his concentration, quality of physical ability, his agility, his mental strength, makes him a very promising centre back.”last_img read more