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#1 05-09-2018 09:00:56

Date d'inscription: 27-04-2018
Messages: 394

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SACRAMENTO James Hanna Jersey , Calif. — If given their choice and presented with an opportunity to be honest, the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings probably would both admit they would rather not even play their regular-season finale.

But they don’t have a choice, and no such admission is coming.

So, the Rockets and Kings will suit up and insist they won’t just go through the motions when they play Wednesday at the Golden 1 Center.

“People pay for their tickets,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told the Houston Chronicle last week.

The folks in Houston are getting a better bang for their buck than the Sacramento fans.

The Rockets (65-16) long ago wrapped up the NBA’s best record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The only mystery for them is which team they will play, and the path that might await them.

Houston may not find out its opponent until after its contest with the Kings.

Minnesota and Denver entered Tuesday’s action tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and they both were one game behind San Antonio, Oklahoma City and New Orleans. All of those teams play their finale on Wednesday.

“The ultimate goal is holding that trophy up,” Houston guard James Harden told the Houston Chronicle. “So, until we do that Roger Staubach Jersey , there’s no celebrations. We haven’t done anything yet.”

Harden enters the finale averaging 30.4 points, more than two per game better than runner-up Anthony Davis of New Orleans, and he could win his first scoring title. He also needs nine points to reach 2,200 points for the fourth straight season.

Houston’s bigger concern is injuries.

Forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who averages 26 minutes per game, suffered a dislocated right shoulder in Houston’s 105-99 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The Rockets already were without forward Ryan Anderson (ankle).

Houston’s 105-99 win over the Lakers prevented the Rockets from having their first two-game losing streak since January. The Rockets have gone 38-5 since that skid.

Summer vacation starts early for the 12th straight year in Sacramento.

The Kings (26-55) will wind up with their lowest win total over a full campaign since a 24-58 finish in 2010-11. But they haven’t stopped playing hard, as evidenced by a 98-85 loss in San Antonio on Monday.

“We fought, we scrapped,” coach Dave Joerger told the Sacramento Bee. “We were not out there just soaking up minutes.”

The Kings’ season has been in keeping with what Sacramento said it would offer. General manager Vlade Divac made it clear before the season even started that the Kings were starting anew and playing for the future.

The season will be known for the development of guards Buddy Hield (13.5 points per game in his first full season since being acquired for DeMarcus Cousins); top draft pick De’Aaron Fox (11.6 points per game and a team-best 4.4 assists) and European transplant Bogdan Bogdanovic (11.8 points per game, including 12.4 per game since the All-Star break).

It also will be remembered for the surreal nature of their last long homestand Marqise Lee Jersey , during which protests against a police shooting of a Sacramento man was the backdrop to four losses in six games.

The Kings’ 13 home victories overall are the second fewest in basketball, behind only the Phoenix Suns (10). The Kings opened their home campaign and season with a 105-100 loss to the Rockets. They will close out the season against the same team they opened it against for the first time since winning the opener and finale against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-12.

The Atlanta Falcons couldn't wait to show the biggest crowd to attend one of their practices their stadium's fully functioning retractable roof.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof was closed for all but one Falcons regular-season game in the facility's 2017 debut season. The Falcons proved the roof is now ready for action by opening and closing the structure before Sunday's rare stadium-based training camp practice.

"It was cool to see it open today, for sure," said quarterback Matt Ryan.

All the same, Ryan was grateful to see the eight massive petals on the camera lens-like retractable design close again. After practicing in the heat for the first two days of training camp, cool temperatures for an indoor session were a welcome change.

"We weren't mad that we were in air conditioning today for training camp," he said, smiling.

Coach Dan Quinn said he is looking forward to more open-air home games this season.

"How many times in this part of the country have we all driven to the stadium and said 'Man, this would be one awesome day to have it open,'" Quinn said. "I think that will be a really significant part of the fan experience here."

The Falcons said more than 60 Graham Glasgow Jersey ,000 tickets were distributed for the practice. The team called the practice a sellout, even though there were empty seats, because all the tickets available, at $5 each, were sold. The Falcons said it was a team record for a training camp practice.

The large turnout led Falcons owner Arthur Blank to remember the Falcons holding training camp at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, when he bought the team in 2001.

"A huge day was 200 people," Blank said. "We don't practice normally at MBS, but it's incredible. I think it's a great tribute to the fan base, a great tribute to the organization and the relationship we've built with the fans. I'm thrilled to be here today to watch it and enjoy it."

Sunday was the team's first practice in pads. Quinn said his players always are motivated by the first practice when hitting is allowed. He said it was an extra perk for the players to practice before a much bigger crowd than can attend training camp at the team's practice facility in Flowery Branch Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , Georgia, about an hour north of downtown Atlanta.

"When I told them what we were doing, they were really pumped to hear how many people would be here for practice today," Quinn said. "It does add an element of excitement where the performance for practice ramps up a little more with so many fans here."

After seeing their scoring offense decline from No. 1 in the NFL in 2016 to No. 15 last season, the Falcons put an emphasis on running plays inside the 20 in their 11-on-11 drills.

The practice ended with Ryan scrambling to his left and passing to Mohamed Sanu for a touchdown.

NOTES: DE Takkarist McKinley was held out with a bruised right shoulder. He has had surgeries on both shoulders the past two years. "We'll see what it looks like for tomorrow," Quinn said before adding McKinley could have other scheduled days off in the next two weeks. RB Ito Smith (foot) and OT Ty Sambrailo (right hand) also are considered day to day after being held out. WR Calvin Ridley, who had a minor hamstring injury on Saturday, practiced and showed no sign of the injury. ... Training camp returns to the team's practice facility on Monday before a day off on Tuesday.

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