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|Golden State forward Andre Iguodala will miss Game 1 of the NBA Finals as he recovers from a bone bruise in his left knee that cost him the last four games of the Western Conference finals.
Iguodala’s absence is a huge blow to the Warriors‘ defense as it works to stop LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State coach Steve Kerr said several players will be called upon Thursday to handle the load that is James http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-cordy-glenn-jersey , making his eighth straight finals appearance.
”He was MVP of the series in 2015, largely because he took that role on of guarding LeBron. But also because of what he did offensively,” Kerr said. ”He’s doing a little bit better today. Some encouraging signs, but we have ruled him out for Game 1. We’ve got lots of guys who can take on that job. It’s a group effort, anyway, guarding LeBron. So, KD (Kevin Durant), Draymond (Green) http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-m.j.-stewart-jersey , Klay (Thompson), Shaun Livingston, they’ll all see time on him.”
The Warriors said Iguodala, who was injured in Game 3 against the Rockets on May 20, was evaluated Tuesday and is making progress but still has the bruise and inflammation of the nerve surrounding his knee. Kerr has said Iguodala wouldn’t play until he can run without pain. He will be re-evaluated ahead of Sunday’s Game 2.
Iguodala said he doesn’t have any doubts he will be able to return during the finals, though his patience is tested. He has sought multiple opinions for the injury.
”Just trying to figure out how to move in general,” Iguodala said. ”But making some progress. Slower than we expected but we’re just being realistic.”
Kevon Looney has been starting in Iguodala’s place.
Looney planned to talk to Iguodala about the task of guarding James.
”I’ll pick his brain about some things … some tendencies of LeBron, the fact of the switches or small things like that to help me out Customized Carolina Panthers Jerseys ,” Looney said. ”He’s one of the best defenders in the league.”
That’s why everybody on the Warriors realizes it will be a joint effort guarding James.
”What he brings to us on the defensive end will definitely be missed,” Green said. ”But it just means other guys have got to step up. Other guys have done that thus far. The task gets even harder but I know guys will and it will be a collective effort in hopes that we keep trekking along until he’s ready to come back.”
Forward Kevin Love’s status for Cleveland remained unclear as he continues to go through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Love was injured in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston that the Cavs pulled out in seven. He wasn’t scheduled to attend media day Wednesday at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors host the series opener in the fourth straight finals meeting between the rivals.
”He’s going to go do some things today and see how he feels,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. ”But he is in the protocol still, so we’ll see how he feels.”
Both teams practiced Wednesday on Golden State’s home floor, where the defending champions have won 17 of their last 18 postseason games.
James certainly understands what the Warriors are missing without Iguodala’s presence and athleticism.
”First of all he has very, very quick hands,” James said. ”That doesn’t get talked about a lot Youth Denzel Ward Jersey , his ability to read and react to the ball either in flight or while you’re dribbling or when you pick the ball up.”
Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ career postseason points leader in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as its shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5.
Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173. Crosby and the Penguins followed a 7-0 Game 1 win and a 5-1 Game 3 victory with another dominant outing.
Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang each scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the second and chase Flyers goalie Brian Elliott. Riley Sheahan made it 5-0 late in the third.
SHARKS 2, DUCKS 1
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period, Martin Jones was spectacular in goal yet again, and San Jose Sharks completed a first-round sweep.
Hertl scored just 1:16 after the Ducks finally got a puck past Jones when he deflected a point shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic past John Gibson. San Jose then held on to advance to the second round against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
Fourth-line winger Marcus Sorensen scored for the third straight game to open the scoring for San Jose and Jones did most of the rest of the work with 30 saves.
Andrew Cogliano scored the lone goal for the Ducks, who were outscored 16-4 in the series and swept for the first time since 1999 against Detroit. Gibson finished with 22 saves.
LIGHTNING 3, DEVILS 1
NEWARK Jay Buhner Seattle Mariners Jersey , N.J. (AP) – Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey’s top defenseman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils‘ first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one.
J.T. Miller also scored and had two assists, and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped three breakaways in making 27 saves as the Lightning bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to tale a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Tampa Bay can wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 at home on Saturday.
Kyle Palmieri scored on a 5-on-3 advantage for the Devils. Cory Schneider made 34 saves.
New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen was knocked out of the game on the hit by Kucherov late in the first. No penalty was called but Kucherov appeared to jump before hitting Vatanen in the shoulder and head area.
PREDATORS 3, AVALANCHE 2
DENVER (AP) – Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and Nashville withstood a furious rally by Colorado to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also added goals for the Predators, who can close out the best-of-seven series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.
Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0 Youth Markus Wheaton Jersey , the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound.
Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal.