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14.11.2018 07:34
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DENVER -- When it came to shooting, Wilson Chandler struck a balance between picking his spots and taking his chances. Rockies Seung-hwan Oh Jersey . Chandler scored a season-high 25 points and the Denver Nuggets snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers 109-96 Saturday night. "I was just being a little aggressive, and I was taking good shots," said Chandler, who hit eight of 15 shots from the field, including half his eight tries from 3-point range. "I probably took one or two bad shots but I was being aggressive and taking good shots at the same time." Nate Robinson and Timofey Mozgov added 15 points apiece and J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds. First-year Nuggets coach Brian Shaw won in his first matchup against Indiana since leaving his job as a Pacers assistant to come to Denver. The victory against Indiana, which still has the best record in the NBA, lifted the Nuggets back to .500 at 21-21. "We came out strong in the first half, and we withstood a great run from them in the second half," Chandler said. "Theyre a pretty good team, maybe the best team in the league right now. They made runs, but we just had to stay focused. If we play well we can contend with any team. Weve played well against a lot of the top teams this year but weve lost to some of the bottom teams. Weve got to play every team like theyre the best in the league." Lance Stephenson scored 23 for Indiana. The Pacers split a road back-to-back set after winning in overtime the night before in Sacramento. "Im proud of our guys after a second night of a back-to-back and change in time zones," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "An emotional win last night, obviously, in overtime. I didnt know how much gas we were going to have in our tank. We really competed at a high level." Paul George added 18 points and David West 16 for the Pacers, who lost for the eighth time in nine trips to Denver. Ty Lawson, who had 12 points and 10 assists, said the Nuggets gained command early by leaning on their transition game. "We wanted to run with them on a back-to-back. That was a main focus," Lawson said. "Thats what (Kenneth) Faried did early. He was running on their bigs and getting easy buckets." Trailing by 19 at halftime, the Pacers got back in the game in a hurry, opening the third quarter with a 16-3 run keyed by Stephensons seven points. The Nuggets responded with a 7-0 burst late in the third that helped them take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. Roy Hibbert, held to five points, became the second Pacers player to foul out after drawing his sixth foul with 3:19 remaining. Still, the Pacers pulled to 101-94 when Stephenson made a pair of free throws with 3:14 left. But the Nuggets wouldnt let the Pacers finish off the comeback, getting five straight points on free throws, including a pair from the foul line on technicals against David West and Vogel. The Pacers managed one more basket down the stretch but that was offset by Hicksons emphatic dunk with 1:09 remaining, the final points of the game. "They ran the same play the whole game (pick-and-roll)," West said. "We couldnt get it under control and then we just fouled them. They would have beaten us by almost 40 points if they made their free throws. They shot 56 per cent from the free throw line. They make 10 more and it wouldnt have been a close game." NOTES: The Pacers have trailed at halftime 19 times this season, going 13-6 in those games. ... Former Nuggets executive Carl Scheer was honoured during pregame ceremonies. ... Chandler had 20 or more points for the fourth time this season and the third time in five games. ... Indianas Ian Mahinmi fouled out with 8 minutes remaining. ... All five Denver starters scored in double figures for the sixth time this season. ... The Pacers have lost five games in a row to Denver. Rockies Sam Howard Jersey . While Minnesota takes aim at its eighth win of November, the Canadiens will try to post just their third victory in nine games this month. Rockies Noel Cuevas Jersey . A police inspector told The Associated Press the crane operator is not yet suspected of any wrongdoing but is considered a key witness to the accident at the Arena Corinthians. . The win puts the final playoff berth in Group A in question. If the Czechs beat Slovakia on Tuesday, they will go through. If they lose, Germany will get the last quarter-final berth.DETROIT – The play in question was still running through his head as he stretched in one corner of the cavernous visitors dressing room at Joe Louis Arena. Jonathan Bernier wondered how a masterful night, one in which he made 31 saves, could still feel a little bit empty afterward. Thats hockey, he said, knowing how slim the margin for error can be sometimes. Bernier stopped every shot but the last one on Saturday night. Henrik Zetterbergs one-timer caromed off the edge of the goaltenders stick, off the post and then into the goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in overtime, the settling marker in what was previously a 0-0 affair between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. And though he claimed error on the play afterward – he didnt actually see Zetterberg until it was too late, over-challenging on the strong side – the 26-year-old could be blamed for almost nothing on this night. He was a difference maker for the Leafs in defeat, delivering the kind of performance that became synonymous with his impressive first season in Toronto – one that saw him eventually wrestle hold of the no. 1 job from James Reimer. It was the kind of response he needed after a disappointing start to the season. He made some outstanding saves when we did make some mistakes, said head coach, Randy Carlyle, and we made some individual mistakes with pucks and gave up some point-blank opportunities, but Bernie stood tall and saved some guys butts. Bernier was hit hard in his first two starts. The Habs and Penguins peppered him for nine goals on 73 shots, a few of the variety he needs to stop. I think he would probably be the first to admit he wasnt too happy with his first couple games, Joffrey Lupul observed. That changed at the Joe following a weeks worth of practice as the understudy to Reimer. Sharp, aggressive, and square to pucks from the outset, he was there to turn aside just about everything the Red Wings could muster. There were consecutive saves on Andrej Nestrasil and Jakub Kindl in the waning moments of the opening frame, a right shoulder stop on Gustav Nyquist point-blank in the middle period, and an enthusiastic glove turn-down of Justin Abdelkader late in regulation. Only Zetterberg, who finished with a Crosby-like five points in the two-game set against Toronto, was able to sneak one by. I just wanted to have a good start, Bernier said, ultimately outdueled by former Leaf, Jonas Gustavsson. [After the] last two I had, that was important for me and for the team to give them confidence that I can be there for them. Bernier, making his first start in a week, used the extra practice time to address his aggressiveness in the crease. He was challenging pucks probably a foot higher on Saturday, fighting harder to see them through the usual maze of traffic. That way, instead of reaching for it then it just hits me, he said. And that was indeed the case against the Red Wings. Shot attempts mostly hit him dead-red, few rebounds living further for Detroit to snare. Reimer drew the start in the previous three for the Leafs, a reaffirmation of the goaltending competition Carlyle pledged to initiate at the start of training camp. That competition is likely to continue for the first half of the season and perhaps longer if both Reimer and Bernier each perform capably as they did until December last winter. Bernier wasnt alarmed after those first two starts. Disappointed, sure, but confident of the progression he would make, a progression that began on this night. Yeah I felt pretty good, he said. I think I just brought my compete level higher and thats what made a big difference. Five Points 1. PK Third-worst in the NHL last season, the Toronto penalty kill has been an early source of strength (especially valued given the ongoing discipline issues). Save a disastrous showing against the Penguins – the Pens scored three that night – the unit has been perfect, killing off all 17 opposing power-plays in the remaining five games. Its a mostly revamped group. Gone are the likes of Jay McClement, Mason Raymond, Carl Gunnarsson, and Paul Ranger, replaced in the offseason by Daniel Winnik, Leo Komarov, Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak. The tandem of Komarov and Winnik has been especially effective, particularly Winnik, yet to be on the ice for a goal against in more than 20 minutes on the kill. Rockies Wade Davis Jersey. They put pressure on the puck down the ice, Carlyle said of Komarov and Winnik, hesitant to heap too much praise. Theyre penalty killers that have plied that trade for a number of years as a pro. If you have that type of will and that type of knowledge and that type of skating ability and understand what it takes to kill penalties [youll have success]. 2. Response Carlyle was troubled by his teams performance in a 4-1 loss to the Wings one night earlier – their defensive play, energy, and will all in question. He asked, as he does from time to time, that the compete level of his group go up more than a few degrees in the rematch Saturday, something he did receive in nearly 65 minutes. For us as a coaching staff we feel that we have to play every game with the desperation in which we played tonight, he said. Thats more along the lines of what its going to take to have any success. We were two different hockey clubs tonight and [Friday] night. Hammered by a relentless Detroit attack in Toronto, the Leafs actually won the possession battle at the Joe – 45-39 at even-strength. They were far more engaged in the proceedings and not quite as messy defensively. We just thought it was a better effort, Lupul said. I thought we won more battles. We were a lot more physical; you could notice us throwing the body around a little bit and stopping progression and just not letting them get quite as comfortable as some of their guys were [Friday]. 3. Faceoffs There were only a handful of regular faceoff men in the NHL who fared worse than Nazem Kadri last season. Of the 83 players who took at least 730 faceoffs, Kadri ranked 78th with a lowly mark of 45.2 per cent. Its a point of needed improvement for the 24-year-old. Though he started strong early this season, Kadri fell back badly in the back-to-back set with Detroit, losing 17 of 24 draws – including 11 of 14 on Saturday. The Leafs were a bad faceoff team as a whole a year ago, ranked 25th overall – only Jay McClement cracking 50 per cent. They were beaten on 60 per cent of the faceoffs on Saturday. 4. Calm Lupul had this assessment on Bernier when he veered into a zone like Saturday: You just see that confidence. Hes really calm in the net and I think sometimes when the other team gets momentum or we get running around a bit he can be a bit of a calming factor back there, stopping pucks and holding them. 5. Early Opportunity Missed? Peter Holland scored seven goals and offered eight assists during the Marlies playoff run last spring. It was thought that such a performance would springboard him toward an established spot in the NHL this fall, but that has not proven the case early on. The 24-year-old didnt register a point in a very quiet preseason and remains empty on the score-sheet through six games. Holland has played limited minutes on the teams fourth line, struggling with faceoffs – just 40.9 per cent after Saturdays game – and possession. Holland has to continue to develop and show us what hes got, Carlyle said. I think he has to find a place that hes comfortable in our lineup and that were comfortable with his contribution. That place is still being determined. Holland, who started the season on the penalty kill before being lifted, returned to those duties against the Red Wings, replacing the injured Brandon Kozun. He played less than seven minutes, however, in defeat. Stats-Pack 0 – Number of power-play goals scored against Daniel Winnik. PK 35-29 – Even-strength possession battle, favouring the Leafs on Saturday. 15-15 – Record for the Toronto penalty kill in the past four games. 3-14 – Faceoff mark for Nazem Kadri against the Red Wings on Saturday. 31-77 or 40% – Leafs in the faceoff circle on Saturday. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-5 Season: 20.8% PK: 5-5 Season: 86.4% Quote of the Night Its probably better energy than we get back in Toronto. -Joffrey Lupul on the feisty atmosphere between rival fan-bases in Detroit. Up Next The Leafs travel to Long Island to meet the Islanders on Tuesday before heading to Ottawa on Wednesday. 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