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for the Blazers’ first two losses.
22-08-2018 05:09 AM
Messaggio: #1
for the Blazers’ first two losses.
chenyan94
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These are highly uncertain times for the San Antonio Spurs.

That’s why Lonnie Walker IV might be so valuable.

This is a summer when Spurs mainstay Tony Parker has already left for Charlotte Robert Griffin III Jersey Ravens , when four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili is going through what now seems like his annual contemplation of retirement and when 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard’s future is most uncertain – both in terms of where he may play next and if his quadriceps injury is healed to the point where he can return to the court.

But Walker IV is here, and he’s eager to be a part of whatever will be in San Antonio.

”I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment that I can’t not be confident to play against grown men who are older than me,” said Walker, who turned pro after one season with the Miami Hurricanes. ”I know day-in and day-out the blood, sweat and tears I put into this game and how great a player I can become.”

He had 14 points in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday – Day 3 of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where there was another 10-game slate as the teams progress toward the start of playoffs later this week.

It’s hard to imagine there’s a player in Las Vegas happier with his current lot in life than Walker IV.

He just got his first apartment, a major accomplishment for a kid whose upbringing in Reading, Pennsylvania was often challenging to say the least. In an Instagram post after getting his new place in San Antonio, Walker IV opened up about how hard times were.

”Survival by the fittest was the strategy growing up,” he wrote. ”Splitting a cheeseburger for dinner. Chips for breakfast. Not knowing where I will sleep the next day. Living with 10 plus people. Waking up in the middle of the night because your house got shot up. Who would’ve thought at the age of 19. I’m alive and healthy and just got my first apt. Who would’ve thought that this kid from Reading would make it out. No one understands my struggle and my pain.”

Such worries are long gone.

He’s guaranteed to make $5 million in salary over the next two years, has signed a shoe deal with Adidas and more than likely will grab a few more endorsements along the way.

In other words, no more splitting cheeseburgers for him. And he hopes his story motivates anyone it reaches.

”To any kid who is trying to become an NBA player or trying to become something in life, I’ve been through it all,” Walker IV said. ”You can’t let adversity continue to knock you down. I just want to continue to motivate everyone and believe that they can be happy and be something special.”

Sunday’s summaries:

SPURS 95 Authentic Eric Staal Jersey , WIZARDS 90

Jaron Blossomgame’s follow-up dunk with 9.7 seconds left helped San Antonio, which led by 20 points early, hold off Washington. The Wizards had two shots to tie or take the lead in the final seconds, missing both. Blossomgame led the Spurs (1-1) with 22 points. Devin Robinson scored 24 points, Troy Brown Jr. added 21 and Thomas Bryant scored 20 on 9-for-11 shooting for Washington (0-2).

TIMBERWOLVES 103, RAPTORS 92

Keita Bates-Diop scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Minnesota (1-1). Jonathan Stark and Josh Okogie each added 16 points for the Timberwolves. Jordan Loyd scored 17 for the Raptors (0-2).

HORNETS 94, HEAT 90

Willy Hernangomez and Dwayne Bacon had 22 points apiece and second-round pick Devonte Graham made all four free throws in the final 5.2 seconds to help the Hornets hold off the Heat. Graham finished with 12 points and the No. 12 selection Miles Bridges added 14 points for Charlotte (2-0). Daryl Macon had 17 points and Landry Nnoko added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat (0-2). Derrick Jones Jr. left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

TRAIL BLAZERS 85, HAWKS 68

Jake Layman scored 23, going 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and John Jenkins and Anfernee Simons added 12 points apiece for the Trail Blazers (2-0). John Collins had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks (0-2), who were 4 of 28 from 3-point range. No. 5 pick Trae Young was scoreless in nine minutes before leaving the game with a quad contusion. The injury is not considered to be serious.

MAVERICKS 81, BUCKS 78

Johnathan Motley had 20 points and seven rebounds, Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points and Dennis Smith Jr. scored 10 for the Mavericks (1-1). The Bucks rallied late, but second-round pick Jalen Brunson made a steal in the final seconds that secured the win for Dallas. Travis Trice II had 16 points Vinny Curry Jersey Buccaneers , Sterling Brown scored 14 and Christian Wood had 10 points and 10 boards for the Bucks (1-1).

ROCKETS 87, WARRIORS 81

RJ Hunter scored 24 and made 5 of 11 from 3-point range, and De’Anthony Melton added 17 points for Houston (2-0). The Rockets outscored the Warriors 35-14 in the fourth quarter and closed the game on a 7-1 run. Marcus Derrickson had 23 points to lead the Warriors (1-1).

JAZZ 90, KNICKS 85

Georges Niang had 20 points and eight rebounds and Tony Bradley scored 16 points for Utah (1-1). Niang made a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left to make it a two-possession game. Diamond Stone added 14 points and Jairus Lyles scored 11. No. 9 pick Kevin Knox scored 19 to lead the Knicks (1-1). Frank Ntilikina added 17 points, Allonzo Trier scored 15 and second-round pick Mitchell Robinson – who signed a multiyear contract Sunday – had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

MAGIC 86, GRIZZLIES 56

Jonathan Isaac, the No. 6 overall selection last year, had 12 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, and Mo Bamba – this year’s sixth overall pick R

NEW ORLEANS — This series was supposed to be about the Portland Trail Blazers‘ dynamic backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Instead, it has been a referendum on the best guard on the court — New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday — whose relentless defensive pressure and unstoppable drives into the lane have earned New Orleans a commanding 2-0 advantage with Game 3 of the best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series set for Thursday night at the Smoothie King Center.

“I may be a little bit biased, but if you can tell me a better two-way player in the league right now … I’m willing to listen,” New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry said after Holiday scored a playoff career-high 33 points and had nine assists in a 111-102 victory in Portland on Tuesday night.

In the Pelicans’ first two victories, Holiday has made 24 field goals while helping to hold down Lillard and McCollum to a combined 29 baskets. He made three crucial defensive stops in the final minute of a 97-95 series-opening victory on Saturday and has been particularly tough on Lillard Ravens Anthony Averett Jersey , who has struggled with his shot.

“I worked hard for this, honestly, all season long when nobody is looking,” said Holiday, whose first three seasons in New Orleans had been dogged by a series of leg injuries and also by the scary surgery for the removal of a benign brain tumor endured by his wife Lauren in 2016. “Just to be able to go out there and play again is a blessing. I’ve been battling injuries and to be out there and to play, that’s what I train for. … I feel like I’m in a really good place right now.”

Holiday missed 107 games in his first three seasons with the Pelicans, but this season he has played in 81 games and regained the form that made him an All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers. He made 14 of 24 field goals attempts on Tuesday night.

“I think once I surpassed everything with my family and made sure they were OK, things were definitely put into perspective,” Holiday said. “My family’s most important to me.”

Gentry said he was cautioning his players not to assume the playoff series was over despite having won the first two on the road.

“We got two wins,” Gentry said. “We’ve still got to get two more wins, so we’re not overly excited about anything. … We’ve done an exceptional job on those two guards, and you never know when they’re just going to go off, and so we’re not celebrating anything.”

Lillard pointed the blame at himself for the Blazers’ first two losses.

“A little bit frustrated,” Lillard said. “Just expecting more out of myself. Coming into the playoffs Luke Falk Color Rush Jersey , you know teams are going to lock in and they’re going to try to make the game hard for you. I give a lot of credit to them for executing their game plan. … But I’ve just got to be better. It’s as simple as that.”

NBA.com reported that Holiday has guarded Lillard for 74 possessions in the first two games, about half the time Lillard has been on the court, and Lillard has scored just seven points on 2-of-18 shooting. Holiday has been the primary defender on McCollum for 35 possessions, and he’s scored just 11 points on 4 of 10 shooting.

“I think you’re starting to see how good (Holiday) truly is on both ends of the floor,” McCollum said. “He’s got good pace, he’s got good patience in pick-and-rolls, and I think they have a good defensive team overall. He’s a good player and he’s playing extremely well.”

The Blazers also are battling injuries. Guard Evan Turner sustained a bruised right toe while colliding with E’Twaun Moore and played less than five minutes in the second half. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a left leg bruise in the third quarter after colliding with Anthony Davis and did not return.

Pelicans forward Niko Mirotic tweaked his ankle in the fourth quarter on Tuesday but remained in the game.

“It’s a position that we didn’t want to be in,” Lillard said, “especially when you start on your home court. But we’re competitors. As a competitor, the challenge should be fun. You don’t want to be in this position … but it should be fun and we should accept that challenge. If not, then it could be a quick series.”

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