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linchao 2018-8-9 10:55 AM

Bradley Zimmer Cleveland Indians Jersey

HOUSTON — One thing that stood out about the game-winning basket produced by Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul on Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers was the fact that [url=http://www.clevelandindiansteamshops.com/authentic-bradley-zimmer-jersey]Bradley Zimmer Cleveland Indians Jersey[/url] , a week earlier, the Rockets received a buzzer-beating jumper from another member of its backcourt.[img]http://www.sndpic.com//nike_nfl_jerseys/nike_tampa_bay_buccaneers/nike_buccaneers_2691.jpg[/img]

When Paul converted a driving floater with eight-tenths of a second left, he not only secured a 96-94 victory that extended the Rockets’ homecourt winning streak to 20 games, he followed a similar bit of heroics delivered by Gerald Green on March 30 against the Phoenix Suns.

While Paul saved the Rockets the indignity of playing an extra period after once holding a 24-point lead, Green capped a comeback from a 21-point deficit with his game-winning, corner 3-pointer.

The Rockets (64-15) received a similar shot from guard Eric Gordon on Oct. 25, with Gordon nailing a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a 105-104 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. When it comes to needing a bit of late-game heroics, Houston has ample options at its disposal.

If needed, the Rockets hope to use one of their options to close out another game Saturday night when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“We’ve got a lot of closers,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Eric has made a big shot [url=http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-chark-jersey]http://www.jaguarsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dj-chark-jersey[/url] , Gerald has made a big shot, Chris does, James (Harden) does. We’ve got a lot of them.”

Harden, an MVP frontrunner, is absent from the Rockets’ list of buzzer-beating contributors. He has, of course, produced his share of clutch shots and appreciates the additional support.

“It helps a lot,” Harden said. “These last few years especially I’ve learned that, obviously, you can’t do it by yourself. You need guys to step up and make big shots and make big plays. We have enough guys here on any given night that can change a playoff series. That’s what you need. That’s what can push you over the top.”

The Thunder (45-34) are aware of the challenge that comes with defending the Rockets’ multitude of shooters. Atop any scouting report on Houston is that particular directive.

“Biggest thing is [url=http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jihad-ward-jersey]http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jihad-ward-jersey[/url] , eliminate as many 3s as possible and having a focus on more than just James and Chris, having a focus on everybody,” Thunder forward Paul George said. “They’ve got guys that can shoot the ball.”

Oklahoma City will be seeking a season series victory at Toyota Center, having split the previous two meetings with the Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena. A win by itself is of greater significance for the Thunder, losers of four of its last five games during this stretch run.

The Thunder remain squarely in the playoff picture, but the tenuous standings at the bottom of the West make for perilous footing for several teams, but they are not worried.

“We’re not in the situation to press,” George said. “We’ve just got to handle what our job is. We’re not on the bubble trying to play and fight our way in. We’re in right now; we’ve got to sustain that. It’s not a scenario where we’re in the situation to be pressing. We’ve just got to handle our job and close this year out on a high note.”

Most of Boston’s regulars got a chance to watch some basketball – both on and off the court.

After watching some teammates on the court, they found themselves sitting or standing in front of TVs in the dressing room after the game waiting to see their upcoming playoff opponent.

Following an easy season-ending 110-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, their plans finally could turn to the ”Greek Freak” and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Aron Baynes led a short-handed Boston lineup with a career-best 26 points and 14 rebounds [url=http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-weston-richburg-jersey]http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-weston-richburg-jersey[/url] , carrying the Celtics in their regular season finale.

”Nice that we have the Vegas Knights-Kings game on,” Boston coach Brad Stevens joked when he looked up at a TV during his postgame press conference before the Celtics’ playoff opponent was determined.

Boston’s players had to wait a little while longer to see who they would be playing after Miami needed overtime to clinch the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed.

The Celtics, the No. 2 seed in the East, will face seventh-seeded Milwaukee – led by Giannis Antetokounmpo – in the opening round of the playoffs beginning this weekend.

Jonathan Gibson scored 18 points, Guerschon Yabusele had 16 and Shane Larkin added 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Celtics (55-27).

Nik Stauskas scored 18 points for the Nets (28-54) who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Allen Crabbe had 16 points.

”Disappointed in tonight, but I’m going to look at the positive and look at the way we finished the season playing much better,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. ”Definitely trending upwards. Obviously, Boston’s program is a little ahead of us right now.”

The Celtics rested Al Horford, Jaylen Brown [url=http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-minkah-fitzpatrick-jersey]Minkah Fitzpatrick Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris. Tatum and assistant coach Jim Larranaga were watching to see if Boston would play the Heat. Brown was watching another screen to see if Denver or Minnesota would be the final team out West.

”We had a lot of young players on the court. We played together,” Yabusele said. ”We came (out) aggressive, and we just imposed our game. We played pretty well.”

Baynes was the only regular in the starting lineup for the Celtics and he helped them take charge by scoring six points during a 9-0 run midway into the third quarter that pushed them ahead 66-47.

The 6-foot-10 Baynes had a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds) at halftime.

Boston led 83-70 entering the final quarter.

Entering the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, the Celtics hardly look like the team that was projected to go deep into the postseason.

Star guard Kyrie Irving was lost for the remainder of the season after left knee surgery last weekend and key reserve guard Marcus Smart is likely sidelined for most – if not all – of the opening round. That comes after Boston lost prize offseason free agent acquisition Gordon Hayward to a gruesome ankle injury on opening night.

”I just look at this as an opportunity for other people,” Stevens said.

The Nets, meanwhile, headed into their third straight offseason without a playoff berth.

TIP-INS

NETS: The loss was their ninth straight against the Celtics and was their 11th consecutive time they’ve ended a regular season by losing.

Celtics: Stevens said Rozier injured his left pinkie finger against the Wizards on Tuesday night, but could have played. … Stevens said of the lineup filled with mostly reserves and former G-League players: ”This is a big night for some of those guys. I think we all owe it [url=http://www.authenticsgreenbaypackers.com/cheap-josh-jackson-jersey]Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey[/url] , guys that aren’t playing, coaches, to be really locked in and to bring everything we’ve got. This is their opportunity.”

RESPECT

Atkinson feels like the Celtics’ defense will be tough for any playoff opponent.

”No disrespect to the other teams, this is the best defensive team in the league,” he said before the game. ”I don’t care who they are throwing out there, they are very good defensively.”

RAINING 3s

Crabbe hit five 3-pointers, extending his Nets’ single-season record to 201. Deron Williams is next on the list with 169 in 2012-13.

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