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Subiect: lead to 96-94, but the Pistons close

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Al Jefferson knows few people will be giving the Charlotte Bobcats a chance to upset the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. That doesnt matter to the veteran centre. "They didnt give us a chance in October, if you remember," Jefferson said. "We were going to be last in the league, right? So we dont worry about what is said outside of these walls right here." The Bobcats defeated the Chicago Bulls 91-86 in overtime on Wednesday night to finish the season 43-39 and as the seventh seed in the East. Not bad for a team that was a combined 28-120 over the previous two seasons. But now there is the monumental task of beating the two-time defending NBA champions, something the Bobcats havent done in the LeBron James era. The Heat are 15-0 against the Bobcats since James signed. "Its going to be a challenge, but its the playoffs and anything can happen," Bobcats guard Kemba Walker said. "Its not going to be easy. Were going to go out there and give it all we got just like we have been doing all year." The series starts on Sunday. "Its going to be a dogfight," Jefferson said. The Bulls finished as the No. 4 seed in the East and will face the Washington in the first round after the Wizards leap-frogged the Brooklyn Nets on the final night of the season to grab the fifth spot. "They are a great transition team with a lot of shooters and size," Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. "To make the playoffs you have to be a good team, and theyre a good team." After missing a jumper that would have won the game in regulation, Walker scored eight of his 22 points in overtime to help the Bobcats beat the Bulls for the first time this season and finish the regular season with eight wins in their final nine games. Jefferson added 10 points and 18 rebounds for Charlotte, and Chris Douglas-Roberts finished with 13 points after being held scoreless for the first three quarters. Josh McRoberts made a key play in overtime, his block of D.J. Augustins 3-point attempt leading to a fast-break layup by Walker that gave the Bobcats an 88-81 lead with 1 minute left. "This was the type of game we needed going into the playoffs," Jefferson said. "Thats a playoff team and thats a playoff game that we played tonight." Joakim Noah finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for Chicago, Boozer added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Augustin scored 17 points. The Bulls came in having won 10 of their last 11 against the Bobcats, including five straight in Charlotte by an average of 22 points per game. And it looked early on like this would be another road blowout for Michael Jordans former team. The Bobcats started the game cold, missing 21 of their first 29 shots from the field to fall behind 33-23. But Jefferson hit a short jumper and the Bobcats made 11 straight shots to take 43-37 lead at halftime. After a back-and-forth third quarter, the Bulls entered the final period leading 60-59. Every time Chicago attempted to pull away, Douglas-Roberts seemed to have an answer. Two nights after a buzzer-beater to sink the Atlanta Hawks, Douglas-Roberts had 12 points in the fourth period, including a left-handed layup off an offensive rebound with 3:42 left to tie the game at 75. After Taj Gibson missed a jumper with 25 seconds left, Walker had a chance to win the game but missed an open step-back jumper from 18 feet at the buzzer. "I had a great look at it," Walker said. "Just missed it." Walkers big overtime helped the Bobcats improve to 20-9 since the All-Star break. "The guys have done a great job," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. "We wont think about it right now, but when we reflect back on the year we will. We didnt have a definitive number because I didnt know how good we could be. Its a good group and hopefully we have a lot more in us. It was good to see the locker room tonight. Theyve worked hard. Theyve been grinding from the jump." NOTES: Jefferson was taken to the locker room for observations with a left knee contusion midway through the third quarter. He did return to the game and played the entire fourth quarter. ... With the win, the Bobcats avoided a season series sweep by the Bulls. Kailer Yamamoto Jersey . -- Challenged for the first time under Major League Baseballs expanded replay system, umpires got it right. Jesse Puljujarvi Jersey . Al Harrington, another former Knicks forward, scored 22 of his 24 points after halftime for the Nuggets, allowing them to withstand Anthonys attempt to rally the Knicks after his poor shooting had them behind until the final minutes of regulation. Anthony finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, missing 20 of 30 shots in the Knicks sixth straight loss. http://www.hockeyoilersshop.com/laurent … t-jersey/. The former Toronto FC designated player played three of his 15 professional seasons with the team. Jari Kurri Jersey . Asdrubal Cabrera had four hits and three RBIs, Michael Brantley also homered and the Indians beat the injury-riddled Minnesota Twins 9-4 Thursday for their first three-game winning streak this season. Grant Fuhr Jersey .com) - American Madison Keys grabbed a first- round victory on Sunday in a rainy start to the Apia International Sydney tournament.INDIANAPOLIS -- Detroit beat Indiana at its own game Monday night. The Pistons were tougher inside, tougher on defence and tougher at fending off challenges. On a night the Eastern Conferences best team looked like anything but, Josh Smith scored 30 points and Greg Monroe had 13 points and 12 rebounds to help Detroit send Indiana to a 101-96 loss -- the Pacers first at home this season. "Its impressive the way we came in and competed with the way the Pacers have been playing," Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We have a good basketball team." Detroit (12-14) proved it with a nearly perfect game. The Pistons dominated on the glass with a 55-40 overall advantage and a 20-9 edge on offensive rebounds. They matched the Pacers shooting percentage of 43.2 per cent, had one more 3-pointer and nearly an identical shooting percentage on 3s (35.3 to 35.0), outscored Indiana 44-38 in the paint and 22-14 on second-chance points. For a Pacers team that prides itself on defence and rebounding, it wasnt even close to their best. Detroit also finished with nearly as many blocks (seven) as turnovers (eight) and made five of six free throws during the final minute to hold off Indianas last charge. The most surprising element was that Indiana never tied the score in the second half and never took the lead on its home floor, where it had gone 11-0 before Monday night. The loss leaves the Pacers (20-4) with the second-best record in the league, percentage points behind Portland (21-4). The Pistons knew that to end their six-game losing streak in this series and their nine-game losing streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, they needed to execute the game plan flawlessly. They did. "Were forming an identity ourselves," said Smith, who went 13 of 29 from the field after meeting with Cheeks about getting more opportunities. "That has to be being a physical team, try to dominate the paint." Indianas uncharacteristic certainly helped the cause. Paul George was 4 of 14 from the field, finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds and four turnovers. Roy Hibbert had six points and four rebounds. Even the energetic Lance Stephenson couldnt get his flustered teammates righted. Stephenson scored a career best 23 points and Luis Scola added a season high 18 points. What went wrong for the usually unflappable Pacers? George said the offensive rebounds got Indiana out of sync. Others wondeered if the Pacers may have been looking past Detroit, which has won just two of their last six games, and ahead to Wednesday nights rematch with Miami.dddddddddddd Indiana beat the two-time defending NBA champs on their home court 90-84 last week and have made no secret that theyre out to get the Eastern Conferences No. 1 seed. Indiana coach Frank Vogel quickly discounted that notion, calling Detroit a good team. "I dont think we were looking ahead at all," Vogel said. "Weve got to lick our wounds and see what we need to do better." Whatever the explanation, these Pacers didnt even resemble the team that set one franchise record with its perfect 9-0 start and another by opening the season 11-0 at home. Oklahoma City is the last unbeaten team at home this season. Detroit took charge quickly, using a 10-3 first quarter to take a 23-14 lead -- a lead it never relinquished. Even in the second half, when the Pacers typically dominate, the Pistons refused. Detroit scored the last eight points of the first half, turning a 49-49 tie into a 57-49 lead. Then Smith scored Detroits first eight points in the second half, and the surging Pistons took advantage of Indianas growing frustration by extending the lead to 72-61 on Brandon Jennings layup with 5:20 left in the third quarter. Jennings finished with 18 points and eight assists. Indiana rallied again, getting within 79-73 after three, but the Pistons answered with a 7-2 spurt that made it 89-79 with 7:01 to go. Scolas layup with 4:55 remaining ended an 8-0 run that got the Pacers as close as 89-87, but the Pistons ran off five straight points. Stephenson gave it one final push, hitting a 3 with 1:17 to go to cut Detroits lead to 96-94, but the Pistons closed it out at the free-throw line. "We had a lot of confidence coming in here tonight. We played Portland (Sunday) night in a game we should have won," Jennings said. "Tonight we knew were playing the best team in the Eastern Conference and we were able to give them their first home loss." NOTES: Indiana is the NBAs only team that has not been in a game decided by fewer than five points. ... Guard Chauncey Billups was inactive for the Pistons. ... Vogel said swingman Danny Granger is on track to return to the lineup Friday night against Houston. He has not played this season because of a strained left calf. ... Indiana fell to 10-3 when trailing at halftime. Stitched Jerseys Jerseys NFL Cheap Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic ' ' '

Re: lead to 96-94, but the Pistons close

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