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Who will win Rangers-Lightning Game 5? X-Factors, Goalkeeper Confidence and a Prediction

It's about a best-of-three series in the Eastern Conference Finals. We examine how each team can win Thursday's crucial competition. (Author: Gardener)

Rangers-Lightning Game 5The New York Rangers return to Madison Square Garden Thursday for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals after the Tampa Bay Lightning leveled the series with back-to-back 2-2 wins at the Sunshine State. They want their best. And we want to show we can beat the best," said Rangers defender Jacob Trouba. We want to play those games." Which is the bigger force: The Rangers' home winning streak lasting through eight playoff games, or the Lightning's momentum in the streak? Rangers: Adam Fox. The Rangers defenseman put on his most casual performance of the playoffs in Game 4. He was down 3 on the scoresheet and registered no shot attempt in 23:44 Ice Time. To put that in perspective, this was the only postseason game in which Fox didn't register a shot and only the third game in which he didn't score -- the other two were against the Carolina Hurricanes. The good news is that the brilliant young Rangers blueliner has enjoyed the home cooking and leads them with 13 points in nine home games. They will need more of their back end offensively when their front group is hit with injuries and Fox can provide that. Obviously, a little more powerplay time would help: while the Rangers went 1-2 in Game 4, they only had a 1-15 lead with the man if Fox is that effective as a quarterback. Flash: Nikita Kucherov. As Captain Steven Stamkos told me, the Lightnings know when Kucherov is on board and set the tone for them when he is. The former Hart Trophy winner has become the most influential player on the series. He's been on the ice in eight of the Lightning's last nine goals, scoring a point in six of them. His pass to Ondrej Palat to set up the Game 3 winner could be the turning point in the series. Kucherov is taking over this thing and Rangers need to find a way to slow his roll. That series is now 2-2 despite the best efforts of Igor Shesterkin. Like the rest of the Rangers, Game 4 wasn't his best of the playoffs, but it followed a ridiculous performance of 49 saves in Game 3. Since Game 6 of the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he's been on the positive side of goals scored in every game that exceeded expectations and remains the backbone of this playoff run. But again, he's played plenty of hockey this postseason, with two seven-game series, one game in which he faced 83 shots and a recent one in which he faced 52. Hopefully his performance in Game 4 isn't the first inkling the grind is catching up to him. The best news: He's on an eight-game win streak at MSG with an overall save rate of .948. The Big Cat had their worst game of the playoffs in Game 1 of this series and was down in Game 2 with goals held above expectations. Coach Jon Cooper's theory is that Vasilevskiy was more affected by her nine days than Lightning Skater's sacking after defeating the Florida Panthers. There may be some truth to that, depending on how he's played at home. Cooper said Vasilevskiy has since "got his mojo back," and it's hard not to disagree. However, Rangers are a different attacking side at home, averaging 4.22 goals per game at MSG vs. 2.44 goals per game away. Game 5 will be the "Mojo Test" for Vasy. Rangers: The trail begins with good injury news from Ryan Strome and particularly Filip Chytil, the engine of the team's kid line. Strome was skating in the warm ups before Game 4 but couldn't walk. Chytil was injured on a check by Victor Hedman in Game 4; like Strome, he's a game-time decider for Game 5. Both play important roles up center for a team who have scored with equal strength since the first half of Game 2. That was the next step on that journey for the Rangers to play like they did on home ice: own the puck, attack in waves and earn time on their strong power play. And perhaps most importantly, playing with the pride that has enabled them to win every home game since losing to the Penguins in Triple-OT. Lost two on the road last time. This is how a series should be in theory, right? Lightning: There was a lot of talk at Lightning about a "switch flipping" in the middle of Game 2 at MSG. Then they simplified their game and only played with offensive momentum when they had earned time in the zone, not the other way around. They must continue to limit Rangers' counterattack chances, limit their power play time and hopefully bring out Anthony Cirelli's newly formed line of control with Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn against the Mika Zibanejad line - all while watching Kucherov and Stamkos work their magic offensively. The Rangers are the Harvey Dent of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs - often grotesque on the streets, Gotham's white knights at home. The fatigue isn't — when the Rangers can play their game. I know the narrative is that the Lightning recalibrated, shook off the rust and took control of the series. I've seen Rangers rewrite too many narratives in this playoff run to assume they won't do it again.

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Pérez returns to Rangers in great form, leads MLB in ERA

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Martín Pérez was almost a year away from making his big league... (Author: Gardener)

PérezTexas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Arlington, Texas Sunday June 5, 2022. Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez, right, is checked by Head Athletic Coach Matt Lucero, left, after Perez im was struck by a ball in a hit in the lower right leg by Tampa Bay Rays' Taylor Walls during the second inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez reacts after the seventh inning of the team's baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Oakland, California. ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Martín Pérez was almost a year away from his big league debut with the Texas Rangers and pitching in 2011 at Triple-A Round Rock, where one of the catchers was a future MLB manager. A great prospect, super talented," said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash, who was then in his final season as a player. "I think what we saw at Round Rock was that if this young boy stays healthy, he's going to have a pretty good career." Now in his 11th season in the Big League and back in Texas after three seasons , Pérez has the best phase of his career behind him. The 31-year-old left-hander started Thursday as the MLB leader with a 1.56 ERA. His nine straight high-quality starts were the longest in Rangers history, with the only longer active streak in the majors 10 straight from San Diego's Joe Musgrove. Pérez was American League Pitcher of the Month in May when he pitched seven scoreless innings against Tampa Bay on the final day. Perez pulled back the last 16 Rays batters he faced after taking a 97-mile liner off his right leg. In his only start so far in June, Pérez gave up two runs over six innings in a no-decision against Seattle. He conceded his first homer of the season but worked his way out of an early jam with lots of bases without a run score and walked out of the game on Sunday with 2 points , wouldn't have been able to make pitches," said Rangers- manager Chris Woodward, calling it one of the left-hander's most impressive performances in a season full of them. Prior to that, Pérez had gone at least six innings in eight consecutive starts while not allowing more than one earned run. He threw Houston a full game shutout and also had seven scoreless innings in Philadelphia. "I think maybe I'm mentally stronger and have more experience," Pérez said. Pérez was signed from Venezuela by Rangers in 2007 as a 16-year-old and made his big league debut in June 2012 at the age of 21. He was 43-49 with a 4.63 ERA in Texas and previously had Tommy John surgery in 2014. He's heading to Minnesota as free agency for the 2019 season. He spent the last two seasons in Boston, where he was dropped from the Red Sox rotation in early August and ended last year with 14 substitute appearances. I just go out and throw my pitches where I want them," he said. Because what I do in the bullpen, I just try to bring it into play. I'm just trying to pitch like I'm in the game, same attitude, same adrenaline.” Houston 'Compound' is the most expensive home for sale in Texas at $60 million. Another Houston brewery is closing, others are selling their #1 starters. Pérez landed a $4 million deal early in spring training with expectations he could be a reliable starter in a rotation full of young pitchers. Pérez lost his first two starts while allowing seven runs over eight innings, but the team's oldest starting pitcher has had a .88 ERA (six runs earned in 61 1/3 innings) in his nine starts since then. His 1.56 overall ERA is the lowest in Washington Senators/Rangers franchise history for a pitcher in his first 11 starts of a season. "He feels like he's been pitching at a more consistent rate so far this year," Cash said. "He's probably a little different pitcher than he was when he was 20 and pitching 97, 98 mph. Mariners manager Scott Servais was in player development for Rangers when they scouted and signed the teenage Pérez. "So I saw him from day one, a good competitor and he's changed over time," said Servais. The command was probably better than ever for him to be able to move the ball to either side of the plate.

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Rangers vs. Lighting Game 5 preview and best bets on Thursday 6/9

Our pundits watched Game 5 between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and their best bets are in. (Author: Gardener)

ThursdayPickswise provides Syracuse.com with exclusive sports betting content including tips, analysis, tools, games and sports betting deals to help bettors get in on the action. The trend of the home team winning continued in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals when the Tampa Bay Lightning leveled their streak with the New York Rangers at two games apiece. The two teams return to Madison Square Garden for a crucial Game 5 on Thursday, with both teams two wins away from booking a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Let's see how sportsbooks rate the Rangers and Lightning for Thursday's matchup. BetMGM Sportsbook has the Rangers as the underdogs with +110 moneylines for Game 5, while the Lightning are favorites with -130 moneylines. A $100 bet on the over wins $110 and, thanks to BetMGM, if either team scores, you win $200! All you have to do is wager $10 between the Rangers and Lightning in Game 5, and BetMGM will give you $200 in free bets if either team finds the shot on goal. BetMGM Sportsbook is giving new users $200 in Free Bets if the Rangers or Lightning score in Game 5 on Thursday night! Rangers won the first two games of this series at home but it hasn't changed the mood of the sportsbook and they enter Game 5 as underdogs. New York is not intimidated by Tampa Bay and is tied with the Lightning in power play success and faceoffs won. Tampa Bay have developed mental toughness in recent Stanley Cup runs, but the key to Game 5 will be the players coming off the bench. Ondrej Palat is the perfect example of a role player rising on the home ice as he took four points in Games 3 and 4 after scoring just one in Games 1 and 2. The New York trio of Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere and Filip Chytil will try to replicate Palat's performance in Tampa and follow up on their performance in Game 1. The young line scored five points overall in the series opener and if Rangers can get further contributions from Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad they should be in business. Fox and Zibanejad are the two top point earners remaining this postseason, and Zibanejad has scored in seven of his last nine games. Fox has since contributed to many of these goals; Prior to Game 4, he had gone eight straight games on an assist. The home team has won every game in that series, and the Rangers have won seven straight home playoff games in their quest for a Stanley Cup. We expect this trend to continue into Game 5, giving New York a chance to win the Tampa series in Game 6. Caesars Sportsbook is letting new users wager up to $1,500 completely risk-free with a month of June promotion! Claim your offer in time for Game 5 between the Rangers and Lightning. After scoring nine goals in Game 1, Tampa Bay and New York averaged 5 goals combined in Games 2-4. We predict more of that for Game 5. Igor Shesterkin has averaged 35.8 shots per game this series, while Vasilevskiy has conceded six goals in total since Game 1. The closer we get to an eliminator on Saturday, the more both teams could tense up and not be as free in their attack. This can result in each team relying on their goalkeeper and back lines and we predict the total will remain below 5.5 goals in Game 5 on Thursday night. We talked about Fox's assist streak in our Moneyline preview and predict he can get back on the track in Game 5. Both home sides have dominated in front of their fans, suggesting Fox should have a productive day at the office. After placing in the NHL top 10 in assists (74), Fox has 23 points and 18 assists in the playoffs. Trailing only Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zibanejad, Fox could be the most consistent player on the ice this series. Basically, New York is in a must-win situation as its chances of winning Game 6 in Tampa are pretty slim. Fox knows this as well as anyone, so we're assuming he'll put in a strong performance and rack up at least one assist along the way. Caesars Sportsbook NY Promo Code 15SYR Claims $1,500 Risk Free First Bet on Game 3 of the NBA Finals 2022 Super Bowl Odds: Bills account for over 14% of Super Bowl handling at Caesars Sportsbook

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Who will win Rangers-Lightning Game 5? X-Factors, Goalkeeper Confidence and a Prediction

It's about a best-of-three series in the Eastern Conference Finals. We examine how each team can win Thursday's crucial competition. (Author: Gardener)

Rangers-Lightning Game 5The New York Rangers return to Madison Square Garden Thursday for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals after the Tampa Bay Lightning leveled the series with back-to-back 2-2 wins at the Sunshine State. They want their best. And we want to show we can beat the best," said Rangers defender Jacob Trouba. We want to play those games." Which is the bigger force: The Rangers' home winning streak lasting through eight playoff games, or the Lightning's momentum in the streak? Rangers: Adam Fox. The Rangers defenseman put on his most casual performance of the playoffs in Game 4. He was down 3 on the scoresheet and registered no shot attempt in 23:44 Ice Time. To put that in perspective, this was the only postseason game in which Fox didn't register a shot and only the third game in which he didn't score -- the other two were against the Carolina Hurricanes. The good news is that the brilliant young Rangers blueliner has enjoyed the home cooking and leads them with 13 points in nine home games. They will need more of their back end offensively when their front group is hit with injuries and Fox can provide that. Obviously, a little more powerplay time would help: while the Rangers went 1-2 in Game 4, they only had a 1-15 lead with the man if Fox is that effective as a quarterback. Flash: Nikita Kucherov. As Captain Steven Stamkos told me, the Lightnings know when Kucherov is on board and set the tone for them when he is. The former Hart Trophy winner has become the most influential player on the series. He's been on the ice in eight of the Lightning's last nine goals, scoring a point in six of them. His pass to Ondrej Palat to set up the Game 3 winner could be the turning point in the series. Kucherov is taking over this thing and Rangers need to find a way to slow his roll. That series is now 2-2 despite the best efforts of Igor Shesterkin. Like the rest of the Rangers, Game 4 wasn't his best of the playoffs, but it followed a ridiculous performance of 49 saves in Game 3. Since Game 6 of the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he's been on the positive side of goals scored in every game that exceeded expectations and remains the backbone of this playoff run. But again, he's played plenty of hockey this postseason, with two seven-game series, one game in which he faced 83 shots and a recent one in which he faced 52. Hopefully his performance in Game 4 isn't the first inkling the grind is catching up to him. The best news: He's on an eight-game win streak at MSG with an overall save rate of .948. The Big Cat had their worst game of the playoffs in Game 1 of this series and was down in Game 2 with goals held above expectations. Coach Jon Cooper's theory is that Vasilevskiy was more affected by her nine days than Lightning Skater's sacking after defeating the Florida Panthers. There may be some truth to that, depending on how he's played at home. Cooper said Vasilevskiy has since "got his mojo back," and it's hard not to disagree. However, Rangers are a different attacking side at home, averaging 4.22 goals per game at MSG vs. 2.44 goals per game away. Game 5 will be the "Mojo Test" for Vasy. Rangers: The trail begins with good injury news from Ryan Strome and particularly Filip Chytil, the engine of the team's kid line. Strome was skating in the warm ups before Game 4 but couldn't walk. Chytil was injured on a check by Victor Hedman in Game 4; like Strome, he's a game-time decider for Game 5. Both play important roles up center for a team who have scored with equal strength since the first half of Game 2. That was the next step on that journey for the Rangers to play like they did on home ice: own the puck, attack in waves and earn time on their strong power play. And perhaps most importantly, playing with the pride that has enabled them to win every home game since losing to the Penguins in Triple-OT. Lost two on the road last time. This is how a series should be in theory, right? Lightning: There was a lot of talk at Lightning about a "switch flipping" in the middle of Game 2 at MSG. Then they simplified their game and only played with offensive momentum when they had earned time in the zone, not the other way around. They must continue to limit Rangers' counterattack chances, limit their power play time and hopefully bring out Anthony Cirelli's newly formed line of control with Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn against the Mika Zibanejad line - all while watching Kucherov and Stamkos work their magic offensively. The Rangers are the Harvey Dent of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs - often grotesque on the streets, Gotham's white knights at home. The fatigue isn't — when the Rangers can play their game. I know the narrative is that the Lightning recalibrated, shook off the rust and took control of the series. I've seen Rangers rewrite too many narratives in this playoff run to assume they won't do it again.

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Who will win Rangers-Lightning Game 5? X-Factors, Goalkeeper Confidence and a Prediction

It's about a best-of-three series in the Eastern Conference Finals. We examine how each team can win Thursday's crucial competition. (Author: Gardener)

Rangers-Lightning Game 5The New York Rangers return to Madison Square Garden for Thursday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals after the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched back-to-back 2-2 wins at the Sunshine State. "We're one of three teams left here and we want to show we can beat the best," said Rangers defender Jacob Trouba. We want to play those games.” Which is the bigger force: the Rangers' home winning streak going eight playoff games or the Lightning's momentum on the streak? Rangers: Adam Fox Playoffs in Game 4. He was a minus of 3 on the scoresheet and registered no shot attempt in 23:44 Ice Time. To put that in perspective, this was the only postseason game in which Fox didn't register a shot and only the third game in which he didn't score -- the other two play the Carolina Hurricanes. The good news is that the brilliant young Rangers blueliner has feasted on home cooking, leading them with 13 points in nine home games. They will need more from their backline offensively when their forward group is hit with injuries and Fox can deliver that. Obviously, a little more powerplay time would help: While the Rangers went 1-1-2 in Game 4, they were only 1:15 by man, as Fox is as effective as a quarterback. Lightning: Nikita Kucherov. As Captain Steven Stamkos told me, the Lightnings know when Kucherov is on board and set the tone for them when he is. He's been on the ice in eight of the Lightning's last nine goals, scoring a point in six of them. His pass to Ondrej Palat to set up the Game 3 winner could be the turning point in the series. Kucherov is taking charge of this, and Rangers need to find a way to slow his throw. Rangers: 8. That series is now 2-2 despite the best efforts of Igor Shesterkin. Like the rest of the Rangers, Game 4 wasn't his best of the playoffs, but it followed a ridiculous performance of 49 saves in Game 3. He's been on the positive side of goals in every game since Game 6 of the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the over lived up to expectations and remains the backbone of this playoff run. But again, he's played plenty of hockey this postseason, with two seven-game series, one game in which he faced 83 shots and a recent one in which he faced 52 shots. The best news: He's on an eight-game win streak with an overall save rate of .948 at MSG. The Big Cat had their worst game of the playoffs in Game 1 of this series and was down in Game 2 with goals held above expectations. Coach Jon Cooper's theory is that Vasilevskiy was more affected by her nine days than Lightning Skater's sacking after defeating the Florida Panthers. There may be some truth to that, depending on how he's played at home. Cooper said Vasilevskiy has since "got his mojo back," and it's hard not to disagree. However, Rangers are a different attacking side at home, averaging 4.22 goals per game at MSG versus 2.44 goals per game away. Game 5 will be the 'Mojo test' for Vasy.Rangers: The road begins with good injury news for Ryan Strome and in particular Filip Chytil, the engine for the team's kid line. Chytil was injured on a check by Victor Hedman in Game 4; like Strome, he's a game-time decider for Game 5. Both play important roles up center for a team who have scored with equal strength since the first third of Game 2. If one or both cannot leave, Gerard Gallant will be called up. The next step on that journey for Rangers is to play like they played on home ice: own the puck, attack opponents in waves, and buy time for their strong power play. And perhaps most importantly, playing with the swagger that has allowed them to win every home game since losing to the Penguins in the triple-OT. "Best of Three. This is how a series should be in theory, right? Hold serve," said forward Chris Kreider. Lightning: There was a lot of talk about flipping a switch in the middle of Game 2 at MSG. Then they simplified their game and only played with offensive momentum when they had time in the zone earned, not vice versa.The results are clear: They went from 28 giveaways in Game 1 to 22 giveaways in Game 2 to 13 giveaways combined in Games 3 and 4. You still need to limit Rangers' counterattack chances, their power play time limit and hopefully get Anthony Cirelli's newly formed line of control with Brandon Hagel and Alex Killorn against the Mika Zibanejad line - while you watch Kucherov and Stamkos cast offensive magic Rangers are the Harvey Dent of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs - frequently grotesque in the streets , Gotham's white knights at home I've seen them pull that number two rounds and eight straight home wins Tues e Injuries are a cause for concern. The fatigue isn't — when the Rangers can play their game. I know the narrative is that the Lightning recalibrated, shook off the rust and took control of the series. I've seen Rangers rewrite too many narratives in this playoff run to assume they won't do it again.

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The Cleveland Guardians beat the Texas Rangers and the rain 4-0

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Rain, rain goes away. The Guardians, the most soaked team in the major leagues, absorbed more rain on Wednesday night but they navigated a soggy progressive field through the late hours to beat Texas 4-0. They've won seven of their last nine but the best news on Wednesday night was that they actually played the game. (Author: Gardener)

The Cleveland GuardiansGrounds crew members cleared away the tarp before the start of the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at Progressive Field. The game was eventually postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. All the Guardians want to do is play. The Guardians, the most soaked team in the major leagues, absorbed more rain on Wednesday night but they navigated a soggy progressive field through the late hours to beat Texas 4-0. Guardians outfielder Oscar Gonzales chases a ball hit by Rangers' Nathaniel Lowe during second inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers at Progressive Field Wednesday, June 8, 2022. They've won seven of their last nine, but the best news Wednesday night was that they actually played the game. They have already played four doubleheaders because of the bad weather. Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, 30, digs the ball straight out of the dirt before Guardians' Miles Straw on Wednesday, 8 The start of play was delayed by 15 minutes. Another delay hit in game five, with the game two outs away from becoming official. This lasted 1 hour and 52 minutes, ending a strong start from Shane Bieber. So Bieber threw 4 1/3 innings scoreless. He batted six and allowed three hits in 54 pitches. When crew chief Alfonso Marquez called for the tarpaulin at 8:29 p.m. With runners in first and second, Bieber's job was done and he wasn't happy. "I wasn't the luckiest," Bieber said. I wanted to end the game. If we get through this inning, maybe we'll do this interview a few hours early. I was feeling really good at that point and would have liked to see how things turned out in the end.” Bieber's fifth strikeout of the game - Mitch Garver went down to end the fourth - was the 700th of his career. When play resumed at 10:20 p.m. Eli Morgan (2-1) replaced Bieber. Before throwing his first pitch, Morgan spun around and threw for the second to pick up Adolis Garcia for the second pitch. He then knocked out Ezequiel Duran to end the inning and keep the lead intact. "Hedgie (catcher Austin Hedges) literally designed a pickoff game from the dugout," said manager Terry Francona. "That really helped some. Eli goes 1 2/3 innings and only throws 11 pitches. That really helped.” It was the first time a Cleveland pitcher had picked a runner from second base since Bert Blyleven caught Texas third baseman Toby Harrah napping on July 9, 1985. Guardians short stopper Amed Rosario (1) snatches a ground ball hit by Texas Rangers' Adolis Garcia during second inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers on Wednesday, June 8th 2022 in progressive field. "It was a great call from Hedgie," Morgan said. Morgan, who pitched 1 2/3 innings, has not allowed a run in his last 10 appearances covering 14 1/3 innings. Texas Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws up during first inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. The Guardians' pitching was particularly effective against Texas leadoff hitter Marcus Semien, who had seven hits and reached base in eight of nine plate appearances in Tuesday's doubleheader. Wednesday night, Semien was held to a ninth inning single. Cleveland scored twice in both the second and third innings to take a 4-0 lead. Andres Gimenez and Austin Hedges rode to second place in the runs of Texas starter Dane Dunning (1-4, 4.41). Guardians' Jose Ramirez connects on a field but lands during first inning action of the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. “Young people you see how they kind of getting better right before your eyes,” Francona said. Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor looks at pitcher Shane Bieber as the umpire stops the game due to rain in the fifth inning during the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at Progressive Field. Bieber, racing to the weather to try and get to an official game, hit 12 batters in the first four innings. Nathaniel Lowe was the only Ranger to reach base with a two-out single in the third. He was kicked out by Hedges when he tried to steal the second. Guardians Steven Kwan returns to first base on a pick off attempt while Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe during sixth inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, waiting for the ball. Garcia opened the fifth with a singles against Bieber as the rain picked up. Bieber beat Jonah Heim but Lowe hit the left of the wall when Garcia stopped in second thanks to a powerful throw from left fielder Steven Kwan. Then the game stopped. Fans return to their seats after the raid delay during fifth inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Early in the fifth, with the rain picking up, Bieber threw his warm-up pitches while the umpires, along with head ground keeper Brandon Koenhke, attempted to check the mound. Bieber ignored her and continued throwing. "He wanted nothing to do with it," Francona said. "He wanted to get three outs (to make the game official) like we all do." The game itself lasted 2 hours, 7 minutes. The delays were also 2 hours, 7 minutes. Until winning the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, they hadn't been a .500 club since May 14 when they were 16-16. Guardians Andres Gimenez tackles Rangers' Adolis García (53) in the first game after the rain delay during fifth inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday June 8, 2022. Next: The Guardians Open a four-game series against Oakland on Thursday night. Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan (49) throws to second base to defeat the Rangers' Adolis García (53) in the first game after the rain delay during fifth inning action in Wednesday's baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers at Progressive Field . 8th June, 2022. Fans begin to cover up from the rain during the third inning of the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. The game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. The game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. The game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. The game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. The game was postponed due to rain in the fifth inning. Guardians' Josh Naylor (22) crosses the plate during second inning action in the baseball game between the Cleveland Guardians and Texas Rangers at Progressive Field on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Naylor scored on a base struck by Andres Gimenez.

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Rangers "hungrier and angrier" on the way in Game 5 vs. Lightning

The New York Rangers' memorable four days in Tampa Bay will be a distant memory as they head back home to take care of business. (Author: Gardener)

Game 5TAMPA -- The New York Rangers' memorable four days in Tampa Bay will be a distant memory as they head back home to take care of business. TAMPA -- The New York Rangers' memorable four days in Tampa Bay will be a distant memory as they head back home to take care of business. The Rangers dropped Games 3 and 4 in the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Amalie Arena and lost their lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they have won eight straight games at Madison Square Garden, where Game 5 will be played Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN , ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS). The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 and Rangers are comfortable because they have home field advantage. "I think that will make us even hungrier and angrier," said Rangers forward Artemi Panarin after Tuesday's 4-1 defeat. I don't think we've lost our confidence, just be hungrier in the next game an upper body injury in Game 4. Chytil missed the last 23+ minutes of Game 4 and Strome didn't play after running in warm ups. They're each a game decider for Game 5, said coach Gerard Gallant. The Rangers have not lost a home game since Game 1 of the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins in triple overtime and since then have been 0-8 in their home games with a goal difference of plus 19 (35-16) and an average of 4.38 goals per game and 2.00 goals against. Even in home games they are 0:3 after an away defeat. "I think we're confident," said defender Jacob Trouba. We're a rising side, we've arrived and we want to play these games." The Rangers felt the same after losing games 3 and 4 away to the Penguins in the first round. They won Game 5 after a 7-2 loss in Game 4, which they defeated 3-1 in the series. They also won Games 6 and 7. When Panarin said after Tuesday's game that Rangers are fine because they were on worse times, the first round was what he was talking about. "We're probably in our best spot in three series, we've got two games at home," said Rangers forward Andrew Copp. The Rangers had that desperation after losing back-to-back road games to the Carolina Hurricanes to start their second round. They came home and won Games 3 and 4. They also won Game 6 at the Garden against Carolina after losing in Game 5 away. In fact, the Rangers' performance in Game 4 against the Lightning shared many of the same characteristics as Game 5 against the Hurricanes. Gallant said his team looked "tired" in Game 5 against the Hurricanes, a 3-1 loss as they went wide 34-17. The same things happened here on Thursday, although the Rangers passed the Lightning 35-31. Gallant didn't use the word tired, but he clearly wasn't happy with the effort, saying the Flash "paid a price to win," a charge against Rangers. "Not enough, not enough," Gallant said. You know, the good things that make you win games. The Lightning also didn't give the Rangers freebies in either game at the Amalie Arena. "They made no mistakes," Gallant said. "We didn't have many chances to score but they didn't open the game. They didn't create many chances either but they didn't make the mistakes and I think that's from experience." "They're playing good, solid playoff hockey, and that's what we have to do." The Rangers have done that throughout the playoffs on home ice, where they've been relentless, sharper and faster through the neutral zone. In Games 1 and 2, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy also moved back and forth, opening holes that resulted in nine goals conceded. Repeat all of that on Thursday and the Rangers are giving themselves the best chance of being one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. "It's intense hockey and you have to prepare for it," Gallant said. "We don't seem to mind playing at home.

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from June 8th

The search for a provisional AEW World Champion began Wednesday night on Dynamite with a battle royal to determine the competitor who would fight Jon... (Author: Gardener)

June 8thThe search for an interim AEW World Champion began Wednesday night on Dynamite with a battle royal to determine the competitor who would face Jon Moxley in the night's main event. The man who emerges victorious would then head to the Forbidden Door on June 26th to compete with either Hiroshi Tanahashi or Hirooki Goto to crown the new titleholder () the ultimate prize in professional wrestling? Find out now with this recap of the June 8 episode of AEW's flagship show. We found out early on Wednesday's show when the Casino Battle Royale opened the evening to determine Moxley's opponent. Darby Allin, Daniel Garcia, "Murderhawk Madman" Lance Archer, Eddie Kingston and Tony Nese opened the match. Dante Martin, Wheeler Yuta, Powerhouse Hobbs and RedDragon (Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish) rounded out the four card-themed suits. Andrade El Idolo returned after a few weeks and entered the match as The Joker to complete the fighters' collection. The mediocre battle royal took too long to get going, and talent filled the ring before quick eliminations ensued. As the field thinned things got better, with more space and opportunities to do more to really enhance the action. Still, it took a little too long to get to this point before O'Reilly scored the win to continue his recent winning streak and set up a damn fine main event against Moxley later in the show. This twist, which is usually reserved for pay-per-view, was not announced ahead of the show. Strickland eliminated Lee to add credibility to the match-type's "every man for himself" theme. Caster picked up CM Punk's broken foot during his pre-match rap. Yuta, as the penultimate competitor, increased his stock and teased the possibility of a Blackpool Combat Club-heavy main event. A video package was broadcast ahead of the next match introducing the AEW All Atlantic Championship was hyped. The revelation came with multiple mentions of AEW's success in the UK by Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur as Death Triangle's Pac fought The House of Black's Buddy Matthews. it saw Pac meet the challenge of a game of Matthews to deliver the Black Arrow and achieve the win. There's certainly an argument that Matthews shouldn't lose this early in his run, but The House of Black was so oddly and inconsistently booked that at this point it's really no surprise that they just about fall these seemingly random matches this far let them be prevented from ever really gaining momentum. Excalibur revealed that Penta Oscuro will be fighting for the newly introduced Malakai Black on the opposite side of the tournament group for the title, ensuring the feud between the two factions continues. Introducing a new single title when the anticipation of a trio ti more than tle was an interesting move by Tony Khan. It was an uncharacteristic lack of continuity on the part of the heel faction. After the match, Eddie Kingston interrupted a backstage promo in which he challenged Jake Hager to a match on Rampage, the result of the Jericho Appreciation Society enforcer's elimination in the opening bout Royal . Trent Beretta spoke of the disappointment of seeing his friends at the National Best Not having Friend Day by his side before challenging FTR on his behalf and tag team partner Rocky Romero. The Ring of Honor tag team champions entered the ring and admitted they failed to beat Roppongi Vice. Before the promo could go ahead, Will Ospreay had him make his first appearance on AEW, creating a distraction that allowed associates Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis to attack Beretta. Perhaps this can be attributed to the crowd's poor miking, but perhaps the problem lies in the audience's unfamiliarity with current New Japan pro wrestling product. Whatever the case, Ospreay's performance is great The Deal and whatever he's involved in, Forbidden Door on June 26 is sure to be one of the most notable segments of this pay-per-view. From there, the show descended into the all-out showdown between former World Champion "Hangman" Adam Page and New Japan's David Finlay. Second generation star Finlay shook off an ugly landing from his opponent's tope suicida to gain control of the fight. He eventually overcame Finlay's challenge and put him down with the buckshot lariat. After the match, Page challenged Kazuchika Okada of New Japan for the IWGP Championship, only to be interrupted by Adam Cole. Cole said he should be the one to challenge Okada, calling himself the "new franchise player". A tense stardown ended the segment. The match itself was fantastic. The potential of another showdown between Page and Cole to get us there is...not. And watched on Rampage. The punk situation may have played a part in the decision to go in this direction, but there has to be something better to keep the two engaged than repeating a feud that was already overexposed from the start. C+ for Ospreay's attack; B for the Page-Finlay matchCole's disdain for Page while commenting was a nice bit of continuity given their months-long rivalry. After the match, Page said he had a lot to say about the AEW Championship, but he'll wait. Instead, he announced his desire to challenge Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Championship at Forbidden Door for the past few months. Sky attempted to answer the challenge, but cooler heads (and Dan Lambert) prevailed. The segment set the table for the championship encounter, and given that AEW officials don't seem interested in getting Wardlow to the top of the map so early in his babyface run, there are far worse ways to use him than messing with a grizzled pro like Sky. Though that potentially means ending Sky's run with the title just as it begins. Again. After the break, Thunder Rosa again defended her AEW Women's Championship, battling "The Problem" Marina Shafir in submission victory. The two-time champion fought her way through her opponent's charge, firing her strike-based offense and rolling up for the pinfall win. After the match, Toni Storm hit the ring to save Rosa from a sneak attack by Shafir. This was a huge improvement for Shafir over her previous title shot against Jade Cargill, but it's clear she still needs these high profile representatives. Sure, she's trained at NXT and appeared in indie matches and AEW dark matches, but she needs the opportunity to compete regularly in front of TV cameras and fans to really build trust and a connection with audiences. She was solid and showing potential on this outing, but it was clear there was a considerable distance between her and Rosa's in-ring prowess at this point. The tease for Storm vs. It is a dream match for many fans, and the kind of babyface vs. babyface match we haven't gotten nearly enough of the AEW women's division over the years. B for the Wardlow promo; C+ for Rosa vs. ShafirLambert when he knocked down Sky was a great thing as the leader of America's top team seems to know exactly what will happen if Sky randomly accepts a challenge. There was something about the look Shafir flashed after the match, her face adorning her opponent's color as she stared up at the winner, making for a great image. Equally awesome was Storm holding the AEW women's title and looking down at the woman who rescued her, confirmation that she did the right thing tonight but that doesn't tarnish her desire to hold the gold. In Wednesday's main event of the show, Casino Battle Royale winner Kyle O'Reilly fought Jon Moxley, the winner who went to the Forbidden Door on June 26 to fight either Hiroshi Tanahashi or Hirooki Goto for the preliminary AEW World title.William Regal joined the commentary team for the game.O'Reilly dropped a knee on Moxley's exposed left leg, wresting control from the former world champion as he headed into the final break of the night. Moxley turned the tide with a modified Superplex and then engaged O'Reilly in an exchange of blows. The tough, physical fight between two powerful opponents featured some exceptionally hard punches and quality reversals en route to Moxley rocking his opponent with a Regal-affected knee and putting him out of the way with the Paradigm Shift for the pinfall win. From the moment it was announced that O'Reilly would be fighting Moxley, fans knew to expect a certain level of physicality, and he delivered. The only problem is the complicated construction of the preliminary AEW title scenario. Moxley and O'Reilly beat each other to death, with the former suffering from a possible broken nose. However, they weren't fighting for the AEW title, just a chance to fight one of two guys who don't work there, have no history of promotion and have never had a single match in a Tony Khan-owned ring To find a solution to CM Punk's injury, Khan and the rest of AEW management rethought the entire ordeal rather than just letting the company's top stars compete for the interim title. Sure, Moxley vs. Tanahashi or Goto will be great, but sometimes a dream match isn't a logical and sensible solution on paper. Another little problem? The crowded nature of Dynamite over the past two weeks which has led to rushed Main Events. Moxley and O'Reilly are a fantastic match, both on paper and in execution. It deserved more than 10 minutes and a significant commercial break in between. Jim Ross apologized for calling Bryan Danielson by his WWE name, Daniel Bryan, to which Regal responded by making the name his own. Regal put down O'Reilly's counter-wrestling ability as his greatest asset. "Kyle O'Reilly is someone everyone should keep an eye on at all times," Regal said while further demonstrating the RedDragon forward's skills. The double boot spot that went down at a double late was a cool spot. O'Reilly bit the ropes to force the break of submission and Moxley responded by kicking the rope, injuring his opponent's mouth.

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Warriors blown away by the Celtics' athletic physicality in Game 3 and things are only going to get tougher

The younger, stronger roster from Boston has imposed its will on the Warriors from the jump (Author: Gardener)

CelticsStephen Curry, who had recently suffered a foot injury, tried to defend Marcus Smart on a drive with just over two minutes left. Smart, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound fusion of brawn, guts and determination, put Curry a compact elbow down center, causing the two-time MVP to limp painfully onto the bench as he checked out for the final time . The Boston Celtics took a 2-1 lead in Wednesday's NBA Finals with a 116-100 win in Game 3 that the Golden State Warriors won't soon forget. They'll have plenty of time to think about it as they soak in the ice tub and receive body massages, trying to prevent bruising and soreness from the punishment the Celtics have been relentlessly inflicting throughout the evening. It left a bad taste for us because we're attached to the defensive effort and being a physical team. It definitely woke us up a bit," Smart said after the Game 3 win. "We just wanted to get out, and if we were going to get out of here and play, the last thing we didn't do was leave this place, I want to say , that we weren't physically enough." Boston executed on its clear intent to get to the rim early and often, outclassing the Warriors 52-26 in color for the game. The Celtics also showed their strength on the offensive glass , they defeated the Warriors 15-6, resulting in a 22-11 advantage in second chance points. A typical Curry heater kept things tight in the third quarter, but the Celtics responded quickly to turn things around in the fourth It doesn't matter, the Celtics are simply beating the Warriors themselves. One wonders how Golden State, whose key players are in their 30s, will hold up as the series continues against a predominantly young, athletic Celtics team nt that Smart prides himself on his physicality.Jayson Tatum didn't have the best night of shooting on Wednesday but once Curry got into terrible trouble, using his size and power advantage to get to the basket with little to no resistance. Curry wasn't the only one to take the brunt of the Celtics' muscle power. In one of the biggest momentum plays of the game, Jaylen Brown - who was brilliant offensively - pulled off a massive defensive stop against Klay Thompson. First, Brown hit Thompson at the spot and arched him up, forcing him to change direction, almost knocking the ball away in the process. Eventually, Brown stayed connected as he followed Thompson down the lane cut, then used his athleticism and timing to erase the shot on the edge. When it comes to offensive rebounding, teams can sometimes get inflated numbers due to long 3-pointer bounces or random bounces here and there. But the Celtics earned the majority of their offensive rebounds through determination and strength. Watch here as Horford takes his position and then outpaces THREE surrounding warriors to secure the ricochet. He misses the put-back, but it's a nod to the kind of effort and physicality the Celtics played with all night. "I thought the offensive rebounds were just killer. That really made the difference in the game," said Warriors coach Kerr. “We made several stops, especially in the second half where we had chances to take the lead or make a little push and they got offensive boards. Overall, it seemed like the Warriors were getting more grounded in the game 3. Nothing came easy, and the Celtics' size advantage has never been more prevalent , who he's guarding he can kind of come out of nowhere," Curry said of Williams after Game 3. "There's a game early in the fourth, I got past Grant Williams and thought I had daylight to take a shot , and you underestimate how athletic [Robert Williams III] was and how much he could disrupt that shot." In case you're wondering what game Curry is referring to, here it is. Williams only comes into the picture at the last second, and suddenly the ball is on its way to the stands with the speed of a shohei ohtani We knew the Warriors were at a disadvantage in height, length and athleticism to introduce the series, but the impact was really evident in Game 3. B Oston had a small hit to end his Game 1 win and then headed down the track to big, bloody lineups on Wednesday. The Warriors' only true answer for greatness is Kevon Looney, who played just 17 minutes in Game 3 after averaging 23 minutes in the first two games. When the Warriors go big, they sacrifice shooting and distance on the offensive end. As they grow small, they run the risk of what happened Wednesday: being buried on the glass and dominated in the lacquer. "This is the game for us. We have to consider what's happening on the ground, what we need, do we need ground clearance, do we need a better rebound," Kerr said after the loss. “So we couldn't find that two-way combination, except for that stretch in the third when Steph got really hot.

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Celtics top warriors as Steph Curry picks up apparent injury late on

The Celtics withstood the Warriors onslaught in the third quarter for a 116-100 victory in Game 3 that gave them a 2-1 lead in the series. (Author: Gardener)

Steph CurryThe Boston Celtics are two wins away from winning the NBA championship. Jaylen Brown had 27 points, Jayson Tatum had 26 and Marcus Smart added 24 as the Celtics used a push in the fourth quarter to defeat the Golden State Warriors 116-110 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday. With a 2-1 lead in a row, Boston is halfway to their 18th title in franchise history. The warriors find themselves in a hole, with added concern for Steph Curry's health. The star point guard suffered an apparent injury late in the fourth quarter. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. Curry scored a game-high 31 points before getting injured. Klay Thompson had his best game of the series for Golden State with 25 points and Andrew Wiggins added 18. Curry was 4:07 down the court in pain in the fourth quarter after he and other players tried to catch a loose basketball. As Curry jumped to the ground, Boston's Al Horford appeared to fall on Curry's left leg. It's unknown how troublesome the issue is for Curry and the Warriors. "We'll know more (Thursday)," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in an odd exchange with a reporter. Curry was out of the game with 2:19 left, and Kerr said, "I got him out with two minutes to go because we were 14 points down. The injury didn't put him out of the game," Curry said, though he "Has some pain," he doesn't feel like he's going to rest," Curry said. Don't feel like I'm missing a game. Warriors guard Klay Thompson said: “We need him if we're going to win this thing. I know Steph will do everything in his power to play pic.twitter.com/nRkBaWfCSA - Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 9, 2022 The Boston Celtics withstood the onslaught of the Golden State Warriors for one in the third quarter 116-100 win in Game 3 giving them a 2-1 lead. After the Warriors took an 83-82 lead on Stephen Curry's 3-pointer at 3:42 in the third quarter, the Celtics went on a 20-8 run late in the third and early in the fourth that gave them a 102 -91 Lead The Celtics went to their big lineup with 6-foot-9 Al Horford and 6-9 Robert Williams III. They controlled the inside, fought off Golden State's shots, forced turnovers and never got into serious trouble in the fourth quarter Jaylen Brown and Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 27 and 26 points, respectively, Curry had 3-1 points for the Warriors and was involved in a rare seven-point ball in the third quarter that revived the Warriors. Horford was called a Flagrant 1 foul for not allowing Curry to land safely while shooting a three, which Curry did despite landing on Horford's feet. That possession led to a 3-point shot from Otto Porter, giving the Warriors seven-point possession (82-73 to 82-80) and a big swing. But after Curry briefly put the Warriors ahead, the Celtics regained control. "Start off with a great start for the Celtics," the New England Patriots head coach said Wednesday during a news conference while wearing a Boston Celtics hat. Turns out, Belichick is one of the fans in attendance alongside Patriots CEO Robert Kraft. Patriots stars James White, Dont'a Hightower, Damien Harris,Daph Godchaux and Byron Cowart also attended the game. Nia Long, the fiancee of Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, was also present with the couple's 10-year-old son Kez. Joining Celtics greats Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker, Bill Walton, Charlie Scott, ML Carr, rappers Nelly (performing at halftime) and Jadakiss, Houston Rockets' John Wall and Food Network star Guy Fieri also attended game part. Leon Powe, Dana Barros and Eddie House. Al Horford was called out for a Flagrant 1 foul for not allowing Steph Curry to land safely while shooting a three, which Curry made despite landing on Horford's feet. Curry made the flagrant free throw and the Warriors retained possession. Curry made the flagrant free throw and the Warriors retained possession. That possession led to a three-point jump from Otto Porter that marked a seven-point possession (82-73 to 82-80) and a big swing for the Warriors. The Warriors have beaten the Celtics 29-21 in the third quarter so far thanks to Curry's 15 points in the quarter. Steph Curry came out of the third quarter and cooked with two quick threes, but he ran deeper into bad trouble after picking up his fourth at 9-11 in the third quarter. Curry was called out for a shooting error after reaching when Marcus Smart went over the arc for his shooting move. Curry couldn't help but smile after picking up his fourth foul and even chatted with Smart afterwards. (We can only assume that Curry asked Smart if he fouled him.) Smart made all three of his free throws. Steve Kerr didn't dispute the call and let Curry in despite his nasty problems. Curry had 6 of the Warriors' 8 points at this point in the third quarter. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) fouls Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) in the third quarter of game three of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Jayson Tatum came alive in the second quarter, scoring 8 of his 11 points in frame. Jaylen Brown continued his hot streak with 22 points in the first quarter at 8-13 from the field and 4-6 from three. As a team, the Celtics shoot 57.4% from the field (27-47) and 44.4% from three (8-18). Despite their shooting without light, the Celtics' eight turnovers helped keep the Warriors within striking distance. Golden State was down 14 points in revenue and faces just a 12-point deficit. Klay Thompson began finding his stroke after a shooting slump. He leads the Warriors 4-for-9 from the field and 3-7 from three with 15 points after missing his first three shots. Steph Curry has 14 points but is in deep trouble with three. Andrew Wiggins scored 13 points. Can the Warriors throw off one of their famous third-quarter blitzes to get back in the game? Grant Williams and Draymond Green tweet early after Williams was called out for an offensive foul on Green after an illegal screen. Green clapped enthusiastically after the whistle and tangled with Williams, who got tired of running him over while coming back. The Celtics complained after Game 2 that the Warriors "got away with a lot," most notably Green, who avoided a second technical after a similar encounter with Jaylen Brown. He'll do anything to win," Brown said after Game 2. "He'll pull you, he'll grab you, he'll try to screw up the game because he's doing it for his team. Draymond Green and Grant Williams exchange words after an illegal screen. pic.twitter.com/iiqZBtbL0H - SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 9, 2022 Hip-hop star Nelly and Celtics star Jayson Tatum are longtime friends. And both appeared in Game 3 at TD Garden on Wednesday. Tatum started heating up in the second quarter to help the Celtics maintain their lead and Nelly makes an appearance at halftime. The Celtics came out red hot, starting with a 10-2 run against the Warriors. And they kept their foot on the gas, outperforming Golden State 33-22 in the first quarter. Everything seemed to be going right for Boston, who shot 54.5% of the field as a team (12-on-22) and 40% as a three-pointer (4-on-10). Jaylen Brown leads the Celtics with 17 points in the first quarter while Jayson Tatum is off to another slow start with just three points. Offensively, the Warriors struggled to get going in the first quarter. Despite being known for their outstanding off-the-bow shooting, Golden State shot a poor 20% of three at 2-10. Klay Thompson's passion for shooting continued. He has 5 points, shooting 1-on-4 from the field and 1-on-3 from three. Steph Curry leads the Warriors with 7 points, but he conceded two fouls. "They came straight at us and Jaylen Brown had a great quarter," said Steve Kerr after the first quarter. "We weathered the storm but we have to defend better." Klay Thompson had big playoff games during his celebrated career. There was his Game 6 performance in Round 2 this season against the Memphis Grizzlies, in which he scored 30 points on 8 of 14 3-pointers. He also had 41 points once in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, including 11 from h18 3-pointers. He shot 4 of 19 from the field and finished with 11 points. When asked about Klay's poor shooting in Game 2, Warriors coach Steve Kerr told NBATV's Jared Greenburg, "That's something that happened throughout Klay's career. But he's never been a guy who gets to the foul line often, never been a guy who uses athletics to get to the edge and get easy buckets. So the focus is to keep shooting and see if you can get a few good ones early. Klay finds his rhythm in one shot.” ​​Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before taking on the Boston Celtics in game three of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Warriors play-by-play announcer Tim Roye tweeted, "Some of the dubs complained about the height of the basket and they were right." The Celtics' game-day operating team brought out a ladder and 10-foot measuring stick, and it did the rim was a few centimeters too high. "It's good that the game starts at midnight," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr jokingly. Before the conspiracy theorists stick too much tinfoil on their caps, Boston needs to shoot at this end of the court in a half. Unless of course it was fixed after Golden State used that rim in the first half and before the Celtics fired on it in the second half... Dubs had to stop warm ups because the hoop was too high 😳 pic.twitter .com /UgMkAB4EwE— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 8, 2022 Ime Udoka gave Robert Williams the green light to start Game 3 for the Celtics. Williams was listed as questionable with right knee pain, but Udoka said "everything is fine" when asked about his status. Williams averaged five points, four rebounds and three blocks in the NBA Finals against the Warriors. Golden State's Andre Iguodala (right knee infection), who did not play in Game 2, Gary Payton II (returning from a broken left elbow) and Otto Porter Jr. (left foot pain) are all listed as questionable, but Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said they're "good to go". Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) shoots at Golden State Warriors forward Nemanja Bjelica (8) in the second quarter during game two of the 2022 NBA Finals at the Chase Center. After missing the first two games of the NBA Finals in COVID protocols, Mike Breen returns to the ABC broadcast table for Game 3 on Wednesday night. Breen had been sidelined after testing positive and missing Game 7 between Boston and Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals Games 1 and 2 of the Boston-Golden State Finals. Scored, rebounded, passed, defended. He ran all over the place and made an impression both offensively and defensively. Wowed the home crowd with his 3 point shooting. Having 29 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, his performance in Game 2 of the NBA Finals led the Warriors to a 107-88 win over the Celtics, ending the best-of-7 series with 1- 1. "He was incredible and above all his decision making was great," said Warriors forward Draymond Green. He took what the defense gave him." In the Warriors' third quarter at 35-14, Curry had 14 points, made three 3-pointers and was a major factor during a 19-2 run late in the quarter that ended a Sixes opened. Score play and gave the Warriors an 87-64 lead in the final frame."Steph was stunning in that quarter," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "Not just the shooting, but the defensive effort. As often as Curry's offensive is mentioned, his coach and teammates wanted to rave about his defense. "People go for him to wear him down because they know how important he is to us on offense and it's quite dramatic what makes Steph's strength and physicality different now than it was eight years ago when I first got here ' Kerr said. He just works on his game, his strength, his condition year after year and it's a pleasure to watch him play every night.” Stephen Curry and the Warriors have no problem playing away. The Warriors have won at least one away game in 26 straight playoff series. "We always know how to win games, no matter the style, high scoring, low scoring, defensive battle, shootout, whatever it is," golden state guard Stephen Curry told Timely Experience Shows. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Recap of Game 3 of the NBA Finals: Celtics Top Warriors as Steph Curry picked up an apparent injury late

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