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After Game 4 blowout, it’s clear Magic aren’t in Raptors’ weight class | Commentary



Tragically and dismally, the Orlando Magic’s playoff mantra of “Blue and White Ignite” has everything except been doused in the wake of Sunday night’s 107-85 playoff beat-down at the deft, overwhelming hands of the Toronto Raptors.

The glinting fire is scarcely unmistakable now; a blurring coal that will probably be snuffed out totally extremely, very soon.

The amped-up Amway Center appeared to be increasingly similar to a larger than usual 875,000-square-foot burial service home as Orlando fans documented out of the structure and Orlando players walked off the court with the acknowledgment that the Raptors are simply excessively great on offense, excessively great on resistance, excessively great in each feature and period of the amusement.

Blue and White, Good Night.

No, this arrangement isn’t numerically finished, yet it’s strategically over after the Magic laid an enormous egg on Easter Sunday. In truth, this Magic group has been unfathomably flexible and battled for its postseason life amid the most recent a month and a half of the period, however there will probably be no ricocheting or doing combating again from a 3-1 deficiency as the arrangement goes to the Great White North Tuesday for Game 5.

This clearly was the most significant round of the arrangement. After Orlando took a 1-0 lead when Magic point watch D.J. Augustin hit the relentless amusement victor in Toronto toward the finish of Game 1, this group and town were loaded up with expectation and certainty. At that point the Magic lost the following two diversions to fall into a 2-1 gap. What’s more, presently, in the wake of getting squashed by 22 at home on Sunday, the obnoxiously tested Magic have transformed that 2-1 gap into a 3-1 gorge.

The hope coming into Game 4 was that the Magic, as they’ve done all season, would get up off the mat following Friday’s 98-93 loss in front of a sold-out Amway Center crowd that was jacked up for Orlando’s first home playoff game in seven years. Magic coach Steve Clifford said after the Game 3 loss that his team must be able to respond after being “kicked in the teeth.”

“We can’t back down,” Magic sharpshooter Terrence Ross said.

“We’re not going to quit,” Augustin claimed. “We’ve come too far to get where we are today to just give up. We’re going to fight.”

I surmise this is the place, similar to any hard-hitting sports feature writer worth his weight in unmatched socks, I should tear the home group for not satisfying its oath; for surrendering, for not battling, for not reacting to getting kicked in the teeth.

Then again, actually’s not what occurred. I’m persuaded the Magic played as hard as they could; it’s simply that they are no counterpart for a much better, further group. The group by and by attempted its hardest to holler and shout and will the Magic to triumph. Aaron Gordon endeavored to stack the group on his back in the second half and wound up with 25 points. Evan Fournier reacted after a frightful Game 3 and completed with 19 points.

Without a doubt, this Magic group in the course of the last 30 rounds of the customary season had the fourth-best record in the class and rose up after a 20-31 begin to make the playoffs without precedent for seven seasons. Be that as it may, it’s one thing to out-duel the Heat and the Bobcats to rub into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed; it’s very another to really contend in the playoffs against one of the head groups in the NBA.

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USA vs. Jamaica, Gold Cup 2019: Community player ratings




The United States has advanced to the Gold Cup final after a 3-1 win over Jamaica. They’ll take on Mexico in the championship decider for the first time since 2013. Christian Pulisic’s two goals were supported by Weston McKennie’s goal and overall fantastic performance in the victory. The match featured a 90-minute weather delay and some pretty entertaining back and forth action.

Instead of giving you our player ratings, we want to know what you think. Below is a ratings form for you to fill out with ratings for each USMNT player’s performance. After a day/night of voting, we’ll tabulate the ratings and reveal them with the top rated player being named Stars and Stripes FC’s Man of the Match. Feel free to head down to the comment section and leave your thoughts on the match as a whole or give your detailed explanation of your ratings.

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Champions League final: ‘We will be there’ next year, says victorious Klopp




After a standout amongst the most exciting and capricious Champions League seasons in memory, Saturday’s last was intended to be the excellent finale.

Rather, it was a sodden squib.

The previous couple of months saw the ascent of an upstart Ajax side that wrecked shielding champion Real Madrid in its own home, an overachieving Spurs side that achieved the last without chief Harry Kane and without another marking all year, and two of the best Champions League rebounds ever.

Liverpool and Tottenham had played the absolute most elating football in Europe this season, including a couple of three-objective rebounds that took them to the Champions League last.

Be that as it may, regardless of whether it was the heaviness of the event, the stifling Madrid heat, or the problematic three-week break, the last didn’t satisfy its charging.

By all accounts, Tottenham was the better side — or at least the side in control — for much of the game.With 62% possession and eight shots on target to Liverpool’s three, Tottenham won the statistical battle, except where it really mattered.Liverpool’s ecstatic manager Jurgen Klopp, fresh from breaking his six-game losing streak in major finals, had no problem with that. “I played a lot more finals than I won,” he said after the game. “And I always played the better football. I don’t want to explain why we won it, I just want to enjoy winning it.”On the other side, I know how Tottenham feel in this moment better than anybody else in the world.”They played a sensational season and would have deserved it as well. I told Poch (Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino) they should be really proud of what they achieved this season.”

‘The last is tied in with winning’

Questions have waited over Pochettino’s future at Tottenham for most of two years.

After the last, the Argentine offered no affirmations he would stay at the club next season, yet applauded the vision of Spurs’ possession and the board.

Tottenham’s season included the disclosing of a shining new arena in March, however the undertaking genuinely happened as intended on Saturday night, Pochettino said.

He gladly and properly called attention to he had “burned through zero” on this side over the previous year and not just went up against groups that burned through several millions, yet additionally showed signs of improvement of them.

“You can interpret things in different ways,” Pochettino told the assembled media. “People want to compare me with other managers, but we are different managers, in different places with different pressures.”After five years at Tottenham, the project was clear. Our ambition has been amazing and the commitment from our players was amazing.”Now it’s about staying calm and changing the mood and our minds.”The 47-year-old made it clear, however, that not winning a trophy this season will sting, despite all the progress his club has made. “The final is about winning,” he said. “It’s not about deserving it or playing well. It’s about winning. Nobody will remember that we deserved it more.”

‘It’s emotional and overwhelming’

While Tottenham players head back to north London battered but with their heads held high, Liverpool return to the north of England where the party of the decade awaits them.Tens of thousands are expected to line the streets as Liverpool parade the Champions League trophy on an open-top bus through the city.Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s talismanic defender and the final’s man of the match, is bracing himself for some serious celebrating.”It’s going to be a difficult couple of nights,” he grinned, beer already in hand.Klopp also knows a thing or two about celebrations. He admitted after the game he was drunk by the time he left the pitch after guiding former club Borussia Dortmund to the Bundesliga title.

“Going to Liverpool and having something to celebrate is big,” he said. “It’s emotional, overwhelming, and it feels really good.”Next year’s final returns to the site of Liverpool’s most memorable Champions League triumph.Fifteen years on from “that night” — a three-goal comeback against AC Milan that ended in a penalty shootout — the Champions League final is back in Istanbul.”Sometimes we carry the burden of history. Istanbul will be a target,” Klopp said, before adding a dose of pressure for next season. “I told UEFA already, we will be there.”

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Champions League Final Preview: Liverpool or Tottenham?




Why Liverpool will win

Jürgen Klopp does not feel reviled. He doesn’t, as he made plain amid his Friday nightly news media bring in Madrid, even feel unfortunate. He may have lost each last he has come to with Liverpool, and six of the seven he has challenged over all, yet he doesn’t see that as a harbinger.

The purpose behind that, put basically, is this is the potentially the first run through — and unquestionably the first run through with Liverpool — that he has gone into a last accountable for the top choice. The bare truth of the Premier League table outlines that Liverpool has been essentially more steady than Tottenham this season: Klopp’s group inevitably completed 26 in front of Spurs.

Toss in that Liverpool had England’s best barrier and two of its three top scorers, and afterward include that it experienced the ceremony, condition and specialist enthusiastic range of a Champions League last a year back, and Liverpool’s tranquil, unassuming certainty is reasonable.

For Klopp, in contrast to his Spurs partner, Mauricio Pochettino, there are no choice quandaries or strategic options: He, his players, and his rivals all expertise Liverpool will attempt to play. Klopp infrequently transforms; he isn’t the kind of supervisor to endeavor to spring an amazement.

This season, he has not expected to. Generally, what Liverpool does works: Even Barcelona, even with a 3-0 lead, even with Lionel Messi, couldn’t help it. Klopp will feel that if his players don’t solidify, if there are no individual slip-ups or snapshots of motivation from Tottenham, Liverpool is sufficiently able to beat Spurs, lastly observe off even the notice of a revile.

It is the nature of a single, winner-takes-all game that every advantage can, in a different light, start to look like a disadvantage. Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs do have choices to make: Do they play with a three-man defense or a four-man back line? Does Harry Kane start, or is he best used from the bench? If he does, who joins him? From one angle, it looks like uncertainty; from another, it looks like unpredictability.

Though Klopp’s record against Pochettino is good — one defeat in nine games — Spurs and Liverpool’s meetings tend to share a pattern. At some point, Pochettino will tweak something, do something unexpected, and as a rule, Liverpool will struggle to react. That happened, certainly, in the last encounter, which Liverpool won by 2-1, but only thanks to a Hugo Lloris mistake and a Moussa Sissoko miss. Spurs dominated for long stretches at Anfield. That will give Pochettino’s team hope.

Not that hope is in short supply. There is a weightlessness about Spurs, thanks, in part, to the chaos and wonder of the team’s run to its first European final in 35 years — the comeback in Amsterdam, the heart-stopping drama of the quarterfinal with Manchester City, even the fact that, after only three group games, the team seemed likely to be eliminated. By meeting every challenge, by surviving every scare, Tottenham has cultivated an air of invincibility. Destiny, Pochettino might call it.

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