Memories Can't Wait: Sixers Need Win (Competitive Showing?) in Game Two in Boston

Memories Can't Wait: Sixers Need Win (Competitive Showing?) in Game Two in Boston

Here's the thing about teams that are better than yours: When you play,
they win most of the time. I don't think too many people believe the
Philadelphia 76ers to be the better team in their second-round series against the Boston Celtics—if they were, they
would have more wins (and probably superior players)—but that's not to
say the gap is so unbridgeable that they can't win four games out of
seven against them. It just means that they have to take advantage of
each and every opportunity given to them. Like, when the team shoots
2-18 from three against you and has their best scorer shoot 3-11 from
the field, and you lead for the better part of three quarters, you gotta
close that game out.

So much for Plan A, then, and if the Celtics win decisively
tonight—leaving no doubt that they are in fact the better team—there
probably won't be much time for a Plan B. The Sixers need at the very
least to prove that playing the Celtics to a near-draw on Saturday night
wasn't a fluke—to again keep pace throughout, to match effort and
game-planning and, uh, scoring—to have any chance in the remainder of
the series. And winning the game outright wouldn't be the worst idea
either. (Pre-game analysis, is what we call that.)

7:00 tip from the TD Garden tonight. Go Sixers. And if you're in the
Boston area and see Lou Williams practicing his contested three-point
shooting before the game, please feel free to run out there and kick him
in the shins.

*

Here's Doug Collins talking about his banged up players, including Elton Brand.

"Just treat it," EB says of his soreness. "I'm excited to play tonight."

Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

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Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

TORONTO -- Justin Morrow scored in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw with the Union on Saturday night.

Morrow made a run from his left back position, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio laid the ball off to Morrow for a tight-angle shot. Toronto (13-8-9) had its second straight home tie,

Alejandro Bedoya scored for Philadelphia (11-11-9) in the 25th minute. Bedoya took a pass from Fabian Herbers with his back to the Toronto goal, quickly spun past the Toronto back line and chipped a shot that looped over goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

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Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

BOX SCORE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- De'Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores and No. 4 Michigan routed Penn State 49-10 on Saturday in both teams' Big Ten opener.

The Wolverines scored six touchdowns on the ground as they finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass.

Michigan (4-0) dominated both sides of the ball. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.

Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State's first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1.

The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon's 2-yard run.

The Nittany Lions got on the board with a field goal early in the third, but Chris Evans made it 35-3 with a 3-yard run and the Wolverines cruised to the win.

The takeaway
Penn State: The Nittany Lions came into the Big House without any of their starting linebackers then lost Brandon Smith to a second-quarter targeting penalty. That left the Penn State defense helpless against Michigan's running game and short passes. The offense was even worse, putting up 50 yards in the first half. Saquon Barkley had 19 yards rushing and caught two passes for 47 yards, but the rest of the team combined for minus-16.

Michigan: The Wolverines dominated in the trenches, with their defensive line continuously overrunning Penn State's offensive line. They registered five sacks while building their first-half lead and Speight had all the time he needed.

Poll implications
Michigan: The Wolverines came in at No. 4 and there seems little chance that will change much with No. 1 Alabama winning earlier in the day in a blowout and No. 2 Ohio State on a bye.

Up next
Penn State: Returns to Happy Valley for the first of three straight home games. The Nittany Lions face Minnesota next Saturday in the Golden Gophers' first trip to Penn State since 2009.

Michigan: Plays its fifth-straight game at the Big House to open the season, but will have a tougher test against Wisconsin. The 11th-ranked Badgers routed No. 8 Michigan State 30-6 in East Lansing.