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    LeBron James saved a game. Russell Westbrook and Paul George saved a season.

    And now Ryan McMahon Colorado Rockies Jersey , Game 6 awaits them all.

    A trio of possible series-ending games are on Friday night’s NBA playoff schedule: Cleveland at Indiana, Toronto at Washington and Oklahoma City at Utah. For the Cavaliers and Raptors, the scenario is they advance with a road win or head back home for Game 7 on Sunday. The Thunder don’t have such a safety net; they must win in Salt Lake City, or it’ll be the Jazz going to the second round.

    James went from goaltending to game-winning in a matter of seconds in Game 5 on Wednesday night, his straightaway 3-pointer at the buzzer giving Cleveland a three-point win and a 3-2 series lead. Westbrook and George looked well on their way to summer vacation in their Game 5 matchup with the Jazz , before they combined for 54 points in a 61-28 Oklahoma City run that rallied the Thunder from a 25-point second-half deficit.

    The stars carried the Cavs and Thunder.

    The Raptors, they have a 3-2 lead thanks to a more unsung hero. Delon Wright was fantastic for Toronto in the fourth quarter of Game 5 against Washington , and the Raptors held serve by beating the Wizards to reclaim the lead in their series.

    What James did was stunning in Game 5, and his final half-minute was memorable to say the least. He went from potential goat (turning the ball over, which the NBA said was a bad call) to hero (blocking Victor Oladipo’s layup, which the NBA later said was also a bad call and should have been goaltending) to hero by hitting the game-winner.

    ”He’s the best player in the world,” Cleveland’s Kyle Korver said. ”He’s on our team, he’s going to give us a chance every single night. We all have to do our part but he is that good.”

    Oklahoma City was finished, done, ousted – except no one told Westbrook and George. Those players alone shot 20 for 35 (and 6 for 9 from 3-point range) in the final 20 minutes of Game 5 against Utah, while the Jazz shot 11 for 36 Brandon Guyer Cleveland Indians Jersey , 1 for 16 from 3-point range. So a 25-point hole in the third quarter ended up as a eight-point win, and now Utah will inevitably feel pressure in Game 6.

    In Toronto, Wright scored 11 points in the fourth as the Raptors pulled away.

    Some other things to know going into Friday’s Game 6 matchups:

    RAPTORS AT WIZARDS

    Toronto leads 3-2. Game 6, 7 p.m. EDT, NBATV.

    NEED TO KNOW: The Wizards have been so much better at home than on the road, winning eight consecutive playoff games in Washington, so pushing this to a Game 7 is not out of the question. But another fourth-quarter collapse like in Game 5, when coach Scott Brooks’ team gave away a lead and went more than 3 minutes without a point, could spell the end of what would amount to a disappointing season for the No. 8 seed Wizards. ”We’re having trouble closing out games in Toronto,” Brooks said Thursday at the Wizards’ arena. ”We’ve done a pretty good job of closing out games here.”

    KEEP AN EYE ON: DeMar DeRozan. He has been the unquestioned star of this matchup for No. 1 seed Toronto, putting up 28.8 points and 5.0 assists, with three games of at least 30 points apiece.

    PRESSURE IS ON: Washington’s trio of max-contract players. While PG John Wall has been mostly terrific all series, averaging 26.6 points, 12.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds, his minutes (38.8) might be catching up to him. He faded late in Game 5, as did SG Bradley Beal Authentic Thomas Vanek Jersey , who was great in Games 3 and 4 at home, less so on the road. The biggest issue for the Wizards is a lack of production from their third-best player, SF Otto Porter Jr., who is scoring only 10 points per game and has made five 3s all series. As a whole, the Wizards need to be better from beyond the arc than in Game 5, when they went 5 for 26, 1 for 10 in the fourth quarter.

    INJURY UPDATE: Porter sat out the last regular-season game with a strained right calf and his playoff problems could be connected to that. … The leader of Toronto’s second unit, PG Fred VanVleet, has played a grand total of three minutes in the series because of a hurting right shoulder.

    CAVALIERS AT PACERS

    Cleveland leads 3-2. Game 6, 8 p.m., ESPN.

    NEED TO KNOW: When James gets a chance to land a knockout blow, he delivers. The last 11 times a James team has gotten to 3-whatever in a series, it has closed out the matchup in its very first opportunity. That’s not a great sign for the Pacers.

    KEEP AN EYE ON: How Indiana responds. It’s very simple – after the NBA’s Last 2 Minute Report on Thursday for Game 5, the Pacers can very easily get lost in how Oladipo’s layup should have counted. Would James have gone for a 3-pointer if the Cavs were down by two in that situation? The Pacers need to regain focus and not worry about what’s already done, since calls were missed both ways in that game.

    PRESSURE IS ON: Oladipo. He’s had a great year, and will likely be the league’s Most Improved Player. And he’s had a strong first five games Gleyber Torres New York Yankees Jersey , as well. But if he’s going to be thought of as someone who’s gotten to that next level, staring James down and fending him off in an elimination game would probably help his cause.

    GETTING DEFENSIVE: The Pacers are 27-2 this season when holding opponents under 98 points, and 2-0 in this series when that happens.

    THUNDER AT JAZZ

    Jazz lead 3-2. Game 6, 10:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN.

    NEED TO KNOW: Westbrook finally broke out in Game 5 and took over. Oklahoma City got Utah post players Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors in foul trouble, allowing Westbrook to play his normal aggressive style. Westbrook scored 33 of his 45 p

    The NFL’s offseason features plenty of intrigue beyond where Kirk Cousins and dozens of other quarterbacks will land.

    As the Philadelphia Eagles enjoy the city’s first NFL title since 1960 and the New England Patriots smart over their failure to win a sixth ring, 30 other teams are plotting to unseat the conference kings.

    That appears to be a tougher task in the AFC than in the NFC, where the Vikings, Saints and Rams all are on the rise and the Pack promises to get back with Aaron Rodgers under center again.

    Article continues below ...
    DeShaun Watson’s comeback from a torn ACL could put the Texans in the mix along with the resurgent Jaguars to wrest the Lamar Hunt Trophy from the grasp of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, whose reneging on the Colts coaching job reignited the animosity between Indy and New England.

    At league headquarters, Roger Goodell wants to see the mystery of the NFL’s catch rule solved.

    Five cities are building their case to host the league’s annual draft in 2019 or 2020. This year’s extravaganza will be held April 26-28 in Jerry’s backyard at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

    On Tuesday, teams can designate franchise or transition players and in a week they’ll all be at the NFL combine in Indianapolis to take a gander at this year’s top college prospects.

    Free agency starts March 14 with the new league year and that’s when the QB dominoes will start to fall.

    Teams that hired a new coach this year – the Cardinals, Bears, Lions http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jalyn-holmes-jersey , Colts, Giants, Raiders and Titans – get to begin offseason workouts April 2. Everyone else starts two weeks later.

    While baseballs soar and basketballs bounce over the next few months, some story lines that will provide a football fix:

    KIRK COUSINS‘ NEXT DESTINATION : With Washington acquiring Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, Cousins will say goodbye to the Redskins and hello to the really big bucks. The Broncos, Jets and Cardinals could jockey to see who will pay Cousins $30 million annually.

    JOHN ELWAY’S NEXT COMEBACK : The Broncos boss wants to quit fretting over the position he knows the most about. Landing Cousins or one of the top college QBs will allow him to move on from Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian, who all started during Denver’s 5-11 face-plant.

    WHICH QB WILL GO NO. 1 ? Teams that miss out on one of the prized free agents can look to the draft, which features Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, who are all expected to be selected in the top 10 picks. But in which order? Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could join them as first-rounders.

    WILL ANDREW LUCK PLAY? Some believe the impetus for McDaniels backing out of the Colts job was the uncertainty surrounding QB Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season following shoulder surgery. Luck hopes to resume his career in 2018, but he still hasn’t thrown a football since October

    DID INDY LUCK OUT? McDaniels’ brush-off led the Colts to hiring ex-Eagles OC Frank Reich, who got glowing endorsements from former team president Bill Polian, ex-coach Tony Dungy and former QB Peyton Manning. Reich figured to be atop the list of hot head coaching candidates next winter Vinny Curry Color Rush Jersey , so this was a jump-start.

    HOW WILL RAIDERS MESH? Last summer, Oakland QB Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million contract. This winter, Jon Gruden signed a 10-year, $100 million deal to return to the sideline from the broadcast booth. Now, it’s time for Gruden and Carr to make it work together.

    WILL PATS DEFY TIME? Brady and Belichick failed to win a sixth ring when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles. But McDaniels couldn’t leave the soon-to-be 41-year-old QB coming off an MVP season. Opponents continue to wonder when Brady will hit that wall and quit being so frustratingly good.

    WHO WILL LEAD MINNESOTA? The Vikings are in an odd situation at quarterback. They have an abundance in Case Keenum, who was a suburb fill-in with Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford hurt. They’re both getting healthy but none of the three are under contract for next season.

    WHAT’S THE PANTHERS‘ FUTURE? While former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White looks into claims of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace against Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, potential buyers are exploring purchasing the team. Goodell says he wants the team to remain in Charlotte under the new owners.

    WHO WILL WOW NFL ?: Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville and Cleveland-Canton are hoping to land the NFL draft in either 2019 or 2020. Representatives for each site will offer presentations before the final selections are made in May at the NFL spring meetings in Atlanta.

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