NHL players back to work as training camps open

Updated 14 January 2013
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NHL players back to work as training camps open

LOS ANGELES: NHL training camps opened Sunday, drawing large crowds of fans in some cities and revealing the changes underway as the 30 teams prepare for the start of the lockout-shortened season on Saturday.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings began their quest to repeat by walking past a replica of the Stanley Cup as they headed to the ice at Staples Center arena.
Just moments before the first practice the players learned that teammate Kevin Westgarth had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes.
“We lived together in Manchester (when on the Kings’ farm team),” said Stanley Cup finals Most Valuable Player Jonathan Quick, who had off-season back surgery. “He is a close friend. I wish him the best.” Forward Dustin Penner said getting back on the ice with his teammates made him feel like his old self again.
“It is nice to have a routine and a bit of meaning to our lives now,” Penner said. “It is right back to work.” The Kings will raise their first Stanley Cup championship banner to the rafters of Staple Center when they open the season Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“It is going to be exciting for the team and a great honor for the city,” said Kings’ player Jordan Nolan.
The Kings are hoping to finish the season as the NHL’s first repeat champions since the Detroit Red Wings captured back-to-back titles 1998 and 1997.
Most teams practised Sunday morning for the first time including the St. Louis Blues who worked out in front of 5,700 fans.
“You never know how many people are going to react coming out of this but we were pretty sure our fans were going to be there for us,” Blues forward Jamie Langenbrunner said.
The four-month old lockout ended Saturday after the owners and players signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the major issues agreed for their new collective bargaining agreement.
The deal salvaged a shortened season of 48 games per team.
Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty said it won’t be easy but at least everyone is in the same boat.
“You don’t know what to expect,” Doughty said. “This is such a different schedule than what we are used to.” Doughty said they may not all be in as good a shape they were at the start of training camp last season, but everybody will at least be mentally prepared to win games.
“We are so excited to get the season started,” he said. “We have such a short period of time to get ready we are sticking to basics and paying attention to detail.
“Making sure we make those tape-to-tape passes and getting our systems in our heads. We are not trying to kill ourselves (physically), but mentally we have to get back in that zone.” Notable players that changed teams in the extended off season include Rick Nash from Columbus to the New York Rangers, Jaromir Jagr from Philadelphia to Dallas and Zach Parise from New Jersey to Minnesota.
Teemu Selanne returned to the Anaheim Ducks for likely his final NHL season and Detroit lost franchise kingpins Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom to retirement.
The shortened 2012-13 season begins with 26 of the league’s 30 teams playing the first night.
The season ends with 13 games on April 27 and the Stanley Cup playoffs will begin three days later.


Celtics beat Cavs in Game 5, lead NBA Eastern Conference finals 3-2

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum attempts a layup in front of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the third quarter of game five of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 24 May 2018
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Celtics beat Cavs in Game 5, lead NBA Eastern Conference finals 3-2

  • Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 24 points — his ninth 20-point game of the postseason — and the Celtics held LeBron James to two fourth-quarter points.
  • Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary.

BOSTON: LeBron James is tired. The young Boston Celtics seem to be getting stronger.
Rookie Jayson Tatum scored 24 points — his ninth 20-point game of the postseason — and Boston beat Cleveland 96-83 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics held James to two fourth-quarter points, earning their 10th straight victory in Boston to remain perfect at home this postseason and move within one win of their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.
“I just enjoy playing in the big moments, in the big games. That’s when I have the most fun,” said Tatum, who needs one more 20-point game to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s rookie record of 10 in a postseason.
“I can’t say it enough: We’re one win away from being in the finals,” Tatum said. “The playoffs bring the best out of people.”
Game 6 is in Cleveland on Friday night, with the decisive seventh game back in Boston on Sunday if necessary. The home team has won every game so far in the series, and none has been closer than nine points.
“We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to force a Game 7,” said James, who had 26 points and 10 rebounds but also had six turnovers. “It’s up to us to see if we can come back here for one more.”
Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown had 17 points for Boston. Tatum added seven rebounds, four assists and four steals one day after finishing a single vote shy of a unanimous selection to the NBA’s All-Rookie team.
“The sky’s the limit” for Tatum , Brown said. “He’s going to continue to get better. He’s my workout partner. I expect it in myself and I expect it in him.”
Kevin Love scored 14 points for the Cavaliers, who are trying to reach the finals for the fourth consecutive season. James has played to the end in seven straight seasons.
To extend that streak, he’ll need to win two in a row.
One of them will be in Boston.
“Our focus — LeBron’s focus — is to win,” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s the only thing that matters.”
The Celtics opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and nursed it the rest of the way, holding on through a four-minute scoring drought that saw Cleveland score nine straight points to cut the deficit to 83-71. But Terry Rozier hit Horford with an alley-oop to snap the skid, and that was as close as the Cavs would get.
Reserves Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart each scored 13.

FADING STAR
James had one basket on four shots in the fourth quarter, and afterward conceded that he was worn down. He finished 1 for 6 from 3-point range in the game; the Cavaliers made just 9 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc and shot just 42 percent overall.
“I had my moments, but I think everybody at this point is tired, worn down whatever the case may be,” he said. “I was still trying to make plays, put our team in position to win.”

GOONING IT UP
Boston went on a 15-3 run in the first quarter to turn a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead. The Celtics scored nine in a row at the end of the first quarter and into the second to take a 36-19 lead, their biggest of the game.
That’s when the Cavaliers fought back .
After a hard defensive play by Morris sent Larry Nance Jr. into the first row of seats, Morris appeared to wander over and say something. Nance to jump up and body checked him; Morris responded with a one-handed shove to the face.
Aron Baynes and Brown came in to break it up, and Terry Rozier put a body on Nance. After a review, the referees called technicals on Rozier, Nance and Morris. Kyle Korver made the foul shot to make it 36-20 and Cleveland went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to eight points, 36-28.
But Morris made a long 3-pointer to stop the scoring drought, and soon hit another to cap an 8-2 run that made it a double-digit lead.
Smart said the Celtics wanted to more aggressive at home.
“At their place, they were the aggressor,” he said. “That showed and they came up with the victory. We just wanted to be that team tonight.”

TIP-INS
Teams that win Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series win 83 percent of the time. ... James had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists at the half. Tatum had 13 points, and Horford had 10 points and seven boards at the break. ... Baynes made his first start of the series, subbing for Morris. ... It took until midway through the third quarter for a Cavs starter other than James or Love to make a basket. J.R. Smith sank a floater to make it 63-50, and George Hill followed with a jumper of his own. ... The Celtics were 10-0 in the playoffs at home in 1986. ... Horford had his 7th double-double of the postseason, matching a career high he set in 2015.