Toronto Raptors aim to top Bucks tonight for NBA Finals berth

first_imgTORONTO – The Toronto Raptors will be looking to move on and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks will be hoping to stay alive tonight in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.The host Raptors lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 after winning Game 5 in Milwaukee 105-99 on Thursday night. Another win will put them into the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.The Bucks have an immediate goal of forcing a Game 7 Monday night on their home court. The Raptors are approaching Game 6 warily, not trying to get ahead of themselves.“Listen, this is a great team we’re playing,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “They are really good and deep and athletic and long and all kinds of stuff. This was a super hard win (Thursday), super hard.And we have to play with a tremendous amount of effort. Again, I think our keys are this: We’ve got to play good offence, not turn it over and score the basketball, because if you don’t, they’re getting what they want, which is downhill basketball in a hurry. “If we can score it, if we can take care of it, we can get our defence set up, for the most part we get down and guard them and make the shots a lot tougher. We have to rebound the basketball. They’re a great rebounding team.”Bucks centre Brook Lopez is aware of the task at hand. “We’re just on to the next game,” Lopez said. “We’re not thinking about winning two right now, obviously. We just want to go out there and get Game 6.” Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was emphatic.“I’m (ticked), I’m not going to lie to you,” Antetokounmpo said. “We’ve got two more games to go and we can do this. … We’re the best team in the league, man.“We’re not going to fold. We’re going to go and give everything we’ve got. We’re not going to go there and even (if) they set a great tone and come out and hit us in the mouth first – we can’t fold. We’re going to come back to Milwaukee being (ticked), like, you cannot fold. You’ve got to go out there and give everything you’ve got. If we lose, we lose. OK, cool. But we’re not going to fold as a team. That’s not what we do.”As usual, Kawhi Leonard led Toronto’s scoring Thursday with 15 of his 35 points coming in the fourth quarter. He also added seven rebounds and a career-best nine assists.“Just got to give credit to my teammates,” Leonard said. “They knocked down shots (Thursday) when I gave it to them, and I’m not a guy that really controls the ball the whole game.”The Raptors have an advantage in playoff experience over the Bucks, and that could have been a factor already in this series and could be again in Game 6. “Experience helps a lot,” Leonard said. “You know, just from my input, I’ve been here before. I’ve been to the finals, and it’s pretty much nothing new that I’m seeing out there. You just have to have fun with it and enjoy it. Like I told them (Thursday), we were down 10, I told them to enjoy the moment and embrace it, and let’s have fun and love it. This is why we’re here.”Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova said it’s a mental game.“I think it’s going to be about us showing our strength – not just physically,” Ilyasova said, “(but) mentally, because we have to be ready. They will come out full force, and not just them – the fans and everything. We have to stick together and play our best game.”last_img read more

Women’s hockey: Johnson looks ahead as Badgers eye redemption in Frozen Four

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s hockey team is looking ahead to the matchup with the Minnesota Golden Gophers this week after ending the season on a high note, going 35-3-1 overall and remaining undefeated at home. Head coach Mark Johnson said he feels grateful for another week of practice and game to play.After defeating Mercyhurst 6-0, clinching their spot in the NCAA Frozen Four, the Badgers will face the Gophers in Durham, New Hampshire. The last time the Badgers played the Gophers, they lost both games, one ending in overtime. The Badgers have played the Gophers five times this season, and Johnson has peace of mind knowing they will be matching up against a familiar opponent in the Frozen Four.In a press conference Monday, Johnson acknowledged how playing the Gophers has historically been tough.“Generally they’re pretty close games, they’re overtime games, you know, they’re end-to-end action,” Johnson said. “And for the people that show up, to get a chance to watch it on the stream line, similar to the previous five games this year — it will be entertaining.”Johnson remarked on his veteran team, noting that they have been in this position before.Larson: Badgers’ victory showcased complete team effort, what is needed to reach NCAA finalHad you walked into LaBahn Arena this weekend and not known that it was the NCAA Quarterfinal game, you would’ve Read…With only three freshmen, playing a familiar opponent always helps with the confidence of the team. However, when game time starts, it all comes down who can execute, and who will play to the strengths of their team.“You need to stay out of the penalty box and do a list of maybe four or five things,” Johnson said. “And if you’re able to check those off at the end of the game, you’ve probably given yourself a pretty good chance to win.”Johnson also reflected on two of his best players, Emily Clark and Annie Pankowski, and what they’ve done beyond the success of the program. Clark has been chosen to help defend Team Canada’s title in the World Cup of Hockey, and Pankowski has been chosen to represent Team USA.But with a national championship still the task at hand, Johnson has been very impressed with the way both Clark and Pankowski have been playing recently.“All of a sudden [Clark’s] feet are a little bit lighter, she is skating a little bit quicker,” Johnson said. “You want your big players to be good right now, and certainly both Emily and Annie have elevated themselves here as we got into the playoffs and got ourselves into a position for the game Friday night.”The Badgers will face the Gophers Friday, March 18 at 6 p.m. in Durham, New Hampshire, available on NCAA.com.last_img read more

Ulinzi get perfect send-off for Military Games

first_img0Shares0000Ulinzi Stars players celebrate one of their goals during the 5-1 win over Mathare United in a Kenyan Premier League match on April 23, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – After a run of three consecutive losses, Ulinzi Stars finally bounced back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Chemelil Sugar at the Afraha Stadium on Tuesday, giving them a perfect send off as they leave for the East Africa Military Games on Thursday.Daniel Waweru converted a 16th minute penalty after a handball inside the box to give the soldiers a huge sigh of relief, a result that hoisted them to fourth spot on the Kenyan Premier League table. “It is such a huge relief for us because our confidence had been greatly eroded after the three consecutive losses. At least, we can now get our focus straight after the victory and though it was not the most efficient of wins, it is going to give us a lot of morale,” Nyangweso told Capital Sport.The military side travel to Bujumbura, Burundi where they will represent the Kenya Defence Forces in the annual EAC Military Festival, heading in as the defending champions.The timely break, Nyangweso says will give them time to re-focus their energies and come back for their league campaign with renewed vigour.“It is great for us to go to Burundi after winning and our target is to defend our title. If we do so, we will come back with even more confidence to continue with our fight for the KPL title,” the tactician said.Meanwhile, more matches will be played on Wednesday as KPL clubs grapple with a tightened fixture to make up for the two match-days lost due to the break occasioned by the General Election. Seven matches will be on cards across different venues.Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa shouts out instructions to his players during a Kenyan Premier League match against Nakumatt FC at the Ruaraka Complex on July 1, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaSecond placed Sofapaka host Nzoia Sugar at the Kasarani Stadium, beaming with confidence they can keep up with their perfect run that has seen them win three games on the trot.They are only four points off leaders Gor Mahia who play Posta Rangers in the late kick off and a win coupled by a drop of points from K’Ogalo will see them close the gap.“Nzoia is a very good team with young and speedy players. It is not a team we can afford to underrate. They have been on a good run as well and we should be able to keep up with our hard work which has been giving in good results,” Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza said.Nzoia who are seventh on the log come into the fixture off a 1-0 loss away to Thika United, a result that deflated their positive run of three successive wins.Meanwhile, Kariobangi Sharks will be at home at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos taking on a rejuvenated Western Stima. Sharks have not won over their last four games, picking two consecutive losses over their last two assignments.Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate one of their two goals against Sony Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 5, 2017. PHOTO/CourtesyHowever, the Premier League newbie’s will rely on the motivation from their 5-0 thrashing of Eldoret Youth in the GOtv Shield over the weekend.“Though it was against a lower tier team, the motivation we got there was massive. It has given us a good push and the players are determined to get back to winning ways. Stima is a good side because they have registered good results against top teams. It will not be easy,” Sharks boss William Muluya noted.Stima are placed 17th on the log with only three points off bottom placed Muhoroni Youth and are hungry for three points. The first leg between the two sides ended 1-1, but Henry Omino’s powermen have vowed to get all three this time round.KPL midweek fixtures:Kakamega Homeboyz v Bandari (Mumias), Kariobangi Sharks v Western Stima (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Sofapaka v Nzoia Sugar, Gor Mahia v Posta Rangers (Moi Stadium Kasarani), Mathare United v Nakumatt (Ruaraka Complex), Muhoroni Youth v Thika United (Muhoroni), Sony Sugar v Zoo Kericho (Awendo).0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more