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« le: Octobre 25, 2017, 04:40:22 »

MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra said he mentioned how daunting the task would be only once. Justin Tucker Jersey . Back in September, when the Miami Heat assembled to begin training camp, Spoelstra addressed his team about furthering its championship legacy and how rare it is for a team to find its way to the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons. "Weve never brought it up since then," Spoelstra said. Itll get brought up now. The seed the Heat coach planted in the Bahamas at that training camp took root. The Heat are finals-bound -- for the fourth straight time. The sputtering stretches of play in March and April, surrendering the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs to Indiana, winning 12 fewer games in this regular season than a year ago, they all seem moot and meaningless now. The Heat have a chance at a third consecutive NBA title, with the finals starting Thursday night against San Antonio in a title-series rematch. "Its amazing to make it to one finals," Heat forward Shane Battier said. "To do it four times in a row for some of these guys, its a tremendous, tremendous accomplishment and it speaks volumes to the dedication, luck, and perseverance that you need to do it." Spoelstra spoke of that luck factor when he gathered his team for a locker-room huddle moments after the celebration started Friday night, after Miami wrapped up its fourth straight East crown with a 117-92 win over Indiana to win the series in six games. His words were interrupted twice by LeBron James, which nobody minded. "We dont take this for granted," Spoelstra said. "No, sir," James added, nodding. "We do not take it for granted," Spoelstra repeated. "No way," James interjected. "How tough it actually is and how many things have to go our way," Spoelstra continued. "Four times, you guys who havent been here with us the whole time, you guys inherit everything that weve experienced." Only six current Heat players appeared in the 2011 post-season, Miamis first of the "Big 3" era and the last in which it actually lost a series. James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, James Jones and Udonis Haslem are the last holdovers. Battier and Norris Cole arrived after the 2011 finals loss. Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Rashard Lewis -- all playing huge roles these days for Miami -- came after the first title run of this Heat era in 2012. The core of last seasons title squad, with the exception of amnestied Mike Miller, was back to try it again this time around. Even with all that talent, with that championship experience, Spoelstra knew a tone had to be immediately set when the season began. "What I was really encouraged about was our attendance and commitment in training camp in the Bahamas," Spoelstra said. "Right from there, and we communicated during the summer that, if were real about this, about how difficult that journey is, that you cannot shortcut, that we would show it immediately in training camp." Theyre still showing it now. Miami is 12-3 in these playoffs, 8-0 at home, and has won a road game in 15 straight post-season series. The Heat will need to extend that streak to win the NBA Finals; the Spurs will hold home-court advantage. "Obviously, going through the weeks and weeks and weeks and grinding months of a regular season, it was a toll on all of us," James said. "But I felt like down the stretch, if we could get healthy, we could get everyone in uniform and have our full strength, it didnt matter what seed we were. I felt like we can represent the Eastern Conference again in the finals if we had the health, and we were able to accomplish that." At times, like Friday night, they make winning look easy. Collectively, they insist its much harder than it appears. "You still have to go out and do it every single night," Allen said. "Its the toughest thing Ive ever done and I guarantee the guys in this locker room would say the same thing." Only the Lakers and Celtics have appeared in four straight finals, with Boston (1984-87) the last to do so. Wade was 5 when that run ended, James was 2, and Cole, Michael Beasley and Greg Oden hadnt even been born. Now the Heat are in that club. And regarding what Spoelstra said in that first-day conversation, the point of his words then has become perfectly clear to his team now. "Having a chance to win is always a special thing," Bosh said. "We always talk about not taking it for granted from Day One. We know its a very long season. It has its rewards in the end if we stick together and do what were supposed to do. But it hasnt really hit us yet. I would rather it hit me in two weeks." James Hurst Jersey . - Andrew McCutchen went 4 for 5 and finished a home run short of a cycle, and Jordy Mercer drove in a career-high four runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-2 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday. Maxx Williams Jersey . For the first time all night, as the Raptors were on the clock to make the 20th overall selection, no one had the slightest idea what was about to happen. No leaks, no whispers, nothing. http://www.ravensjerseyscheapauthentic.com/ravens-tony-jefferson-black-jersey/ . - Rookie Tesho Akindele scored three goals and Fabian Castillo added two in FC Dallas 5-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.NEW YORK -- The New Jersey Devils put up a more respectable number of shots, and the added offence produced just enough goals to beat the rival New York Rangers again. Eric Gelinas scored on a power play 1:15 into overtime, after the Devils squandered the lead in the final seconds of regulation, to lift New Jersey to a 4-3 win Saturday night. The Devils managed only 11 shots Friday in a 3-1 home loss to Detroit. They fired 24 at Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, and got four past the man with the new seven-year, $59.5 million contract. "Im fortunate to be out there in that type of situation, and I gave it a shot," Gelinas said. "It definitely feels good to be rewarded and to get that winner, but it was a team effort." New Jersey has won all three meetings against the Rangers this season, including two at Madison Square Garden, with two remaining. "These are fun games to play," said Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who wore new pads without breaking them in. "To come in here, get the puck to the net, score some goals, it feels good." Gelinas one-timed a shot, off a pass from Patrik Elias, from above the right circle past Lundqvist. The goal came 13 seconds after Rangers captain Ryan Callahan high-sticked Andy Greene in the mouth. "My intent was to swing around and get his stick, but it comes up too high and catches him," Callahan said. "Its a bad penalty. It cost us a point." Michael Ryder had put the Devils ahead 3-2 with 4:04 left. Chris Kreider tied it on a power-play goal with 21.3 seconds left. Brodeur made 21 saves for the Devils, who earned just their third win in nine games (3-5-1). Travis Zajac lifted the Devils into a 2-all tie 5:58 into the third period. Cam Janssen also scored, and Jaromir Jagr and Tim Sestito both had two assists. Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello also had goals for the Rangers, who again failed to move two games over .500 as they began a nine-game homestand. Lundqvist made 20 saves in his first home start since signing his contract extension. The Rangers fell to 11-1-1 when leading after two periods and 14-2-1 when scoring first. "Its a big point," Lundqvist said of the overtime loss. "We never gave up, so thats a good sign. We just didnt get the bounces." Zajac, in his 500th NHL game, got the Devils even when he cleaned up a rebound of a shot by Jagr and scored from in close. The Devils, with revamped line combinations and changes to the lineup, put early pressure on Lundqvist, but despite recording the first three shots, New Jersey fell behind 3:32 in. Tim Williams Jersey. New York raced out of its zone on a 2-on-1 break, with Richards carrying the puck on left wing alongside Callahan to his right. Richards snapped a drive from the left circle -- the Rangers first shot -- that beat Brodeur stick side for his team-leading ninth and second in two games. There was more jump to the Devils offence than on Friday, yet they couldnt get anything past Lundqvist in the first period on nine shots. "We knew we were going to need some depth contributions," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "We got them from Janssen, the fourth line, Peter Harrold, who I thought was excellent. "We needed a lot of energy, and those guys gave it to us." The Rangers made the most of their early offence again in the second period, this time scoring on their second shot that came off a big rebound. Callahan ripped a drive from the right circle that Brodeur sticked away to his right, but it came to Zuccarello, who stepped into a hard shot from the left circle that easily found its way into the open left side 57 seconds in. New Jersey got a fortunate bounce when Janssens third of the season cut the deficit in half at 6:02. The rugged forward, who scored only three goals in 312 career NHL games before this season, crashed the net toward a rebound of Sestitos shot and knocked the puck past Lundqvist with his left skate. The on-ice call stood up to a video review. "I thought it was a kick, but it doesnt matter," said Lundqvist, who will make his third straight start Sunday against Washington. "They got it, and in the end they just managed to get the bounces. Its a frustrating loss." Brodeur earned the secondary assist, the 43rd of his career. NOTES: Rangers D Marc Staal was struck in the head by the arm of New Jerseys Reid Boucher in the third period and left the game. It wasnt immediately known if Staal would play Sunday. ... Harrold filled in for D Marek Zidlicky, who sat out with an upper-body injury. RW Damien Brunner returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Friday, replacing C Jacob Josefson. ... D Justin Falk replaced D Michael Del Zotto, and newly recalled C J.T. Miller took LW Benoit Pouliots place in the Rangers lineup. RW Derek Dorsett sat out for the fourth time in six games with a wrist injury. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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