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Сообщение y healthy for the st
OAKLAND Josh Ferguson Jersey , Calif. — The San Antonio Spurs hope to take a second step on what would be an unprecedented journey in the NBA playoffs when they once again face elimination in Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

No team has ever won a series in which it trailed 3-0, but the Spurs were able to stay alive at home with a 103-90 win in Game 4 on Sunday.

It was the first time in the Gregg Popovich era that the Spurs have as much as won one game after losing the first three of a series. They were swept in a similar situation last season by the Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

For the third game in a row, the Spurs will be coached Tuesday by assistant Ettore Messina, with Popovich having left the team after the death of his wife Erin last week.

The teams had different views as to what triggered the dramatic turnaround in Game 4. The Spurs had fallen behind at least 19 points in each of the first three games of the series but never trailed Sunday.

The Spurs cited improved shooting as one big difference. After connecting on a combined 20 of 83 (24 percent) on 3-pointers in the first three games of the series, San Antonio bombed in 15 of 28 (54 percent) in Game 4.

The result: A team that had been outscored 105-60 from beyond the arc for three games was able to turn the tables to the tune of 45-21 in the elimination game.

It was a team effort. LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Dejounte Murray and Manu Ginobili, who had combined to make just three 3-pointers in the first three games, dropped in a total of 10 when it mattered most.

“It was a do-or-die game,” explained Aldridge Rodger Saffold Jersey , a predicament in which the Spurs also will find themselves in Game 5. “Make it happen or go home, and I think every guy played with that mentality, that focus, and we ended up getting it done.”

Meanwhile, the Warriors weren’t even getting shots time and again early in the loss. They committed seven turnovers in the game’s first 5 1/2 minutes, fell behind by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and never caught up.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t like seeing it live and enjoyed it even less when he got back to Oakland and watched it on tape.

“Lack of focus to start the game was really the key,” he noted. “More than energy, it was a sense of purpose. And I take a lot of the blame for that. I should know better as a coach of a team that’s been up 3-0 plenty times — you gotta know you’re going into the lion’s den …

“Looking back at the tape, I should have taken a timeout three minutes into the game and broken a clipboard. More than that, I should have had them prepared pregame for what was coming Jordan Howard Jersey , and I didn’t feel like I did a good job at that.”

The Warriors had similar early-game issues at home during the regular season. It helped produce a record as good on the road (29-12) as at home (29-12).

Even with Sunday’s loss, the Warriors have beaten the Spurs in 11 of their last 13 meetings, including both regular-season and playoff games.

If the Warriors win Game 5, they would advance to face the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference semifinals.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron is eager for the opportunity to prove himself with the Buffalo Bills after spending the previous four seasons working in Andy Dalton’s shadow.

And it makes no difference to McCarron if the Bills add more competition should they select one of the highly regarded quarterback prospects in the first round of the draft next month.

”I try not to ever waste any mental thought on it because it’s something I can’t control,” McCarron said Thursday, after arriving at the Bills facility to officially sign his two-year contract.

”There’s no reason for me to really put any thought into it just to be honest with you, because it creates mental clutter for my process that I need to be the best player I need to be.”

The 27-year-old said he’s not affected by the perception of Buffalo signing him to hold down the starting job on a short-term basis and allow time for a younger quarterback to develop.

”You can either let it affect you in how you go about your work and let that define you. Or you can change everybody’s thought process,” McCarron said. ”My mindset is to change anybody that’s had any doubt.”

For now, McCarron and 2017 fifth-round draft pick, Nathan Peterman Justin Simmons Jersey , are the only quarterbacks on Buffalo’s roster after the team traded third-year starter Tyrod Taylor to Cleveland last week.

Buffalo is considered among the teams targeting a quarterback in the draft. The Bills have two picks in each of the first three rounds – including the 12th and 22nd overall.

McCarron was a two-time national champion at Alabama but appeared in just 11 games in Cincinnati, mostly in mop-up duties. McCarron did start the final three games of the 2015 season and led the Bengals to the playoffs after Dalton broke his thumb.

He was on the verge of leading the Bengals to their first playoff win since the 1990 season before Jeremy Hill’s fumble and two penalties allowed Pittsburgh to secure an 18-16 win in the AFC wild-card game.

McCarron is now part of the Bills’ ongoing roster overhaul in being one of five newcomers to join the team once the NFL’s free-agency period opened Wednesday. The others are defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, former Washington pass-rushing specialist Trent Murphy, safety Rafael Bush and linebacker Julian Stanford.

Also on Thursday, the Bills freed up salary cap space by restructuring the contract of veteran offensive guard Richie Incognito.

Lotulelei and Murphy are key additions for the Bills in overhauling a defensive front seven to shore up a unit that ranked 29th against the run and finished tied with the third-fewest sacks at 27.

Lotulelei signed a five-year contract after spending his first five seasons with the Carolina Panthers. The 28-year-old is reunited with Bills coach Sean McDermott, who was the Panthers defensive coordinator before being hired by Buffalo in January 2017.

Lotulelei expects his familiarity with McDermott’s defensive philosophy to ease his transition. He’s also looking forward to the chance to line up alongside respected veteran Kyle Williams, who signed a one-year contract this week to return for a 13th season.

”Kyle Williams, I’ve been a big fan of his,” Lotulelei said. ”Coming here and having the opportunity to learn from him as well as play alongside him will be great.”

Murphy was so eager to get to Buffalo, he drove overnight through a snowstorm. He arrived at about 1:30 a.m. in making the 320-mile trip from Columbus Chris Baker Jersey , Ohio, where he spent the past 10 weeks working out to strengthen his injured left knee. The fourth-year player missed all of last season after tearing two ligaments during Washington’s first preseason game.

The injury came after the former second-round draft pick had a career-best nine sacks in 2016. Murphy, who signed a three-year contract, is motivated to prove he can return to playing at the same level.

”I couldn’t be more exited to prove everyone here right that I’m who they think I am,” he said. ”It’s just more motivation to grind out the rest of this offseason and get here and get working.”

Murphy said he is on track to be fully healthy for the start of the season.

McCarron is getting a fresh start after being nearly traded to Cleveland last season. The deal fell through after the Browns failed to submit the paperwork on time.

And he only became eligible to enter free agency after an independent arbitrator last month ruled McCarron’s rookie season counted toward his NFL tenure even though he spent a majority of the year on the non-football injury list because of a sore passing shoulder.

”It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster,” he said.

”We get impatient and you want things fast and easy, but it’s not always that way,” McCarron said. ”So I think it just adds another chapter to the story in the end. It’s just part of the process. It’s awesome to be here in this situation now.”



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