hadnt defeated Miami in the reg

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lw789
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Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 05:07

hadnt defeated Miami in the reg

Postby lw789 » 29 May 2018, 07:35

Mark Allen came out on top in a see-saw battle to beat Ricky Walden 10-6 in the final of the Players Championship in Manchester and seal his third ranking event title and first in the United Kingdom. The 30-year-old becomes the first Northern Irishman to win a ranking event in the UK since Dennis Taylor lifted the world crown in 1985.Allen set up his victory by winning five successive frames to lead 6-3 going into the evening session and hit back strongly to take the last three frames after Englishman Walden had fought back from 7-3 to 7-6. Ranked ninth in the world, Allen overcame 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy in the semi-final and sealed the £100,000 winners prize with breaks of 61 and 67 in the finals last two frames.World No 10 Walden, who beat Barry Hawkins 6-3 in his semi-final, ensured a tense encounter but was edged out in the crucial 14th and 15th frames after clawing his way back to 7-6 and was never at his best.Allen fought back from 3-1 down in the first session to win five successive frames and lead 6-3 going into the evening thanks to four half-century breaks.He increased his lead to 7-3 with breaks of 52 and 22 in the evenings first session but Walden took the next three frames to put the pressure back on Allen. Ricky Waldens form proved too inconsistent to challenge Allen Having lost six frames on the bounce Walden stopped the rot with a break of 62 to reduce the deficit to 7-4.Walden then made a superb break of 92 to make it 7-5 and edged to within one frame of Allen at 7-6 after holding his nerve to clear up and punish his opponent for missing a brown with the rest when a tight 13th frame had been evenly poised.The 14th frame was an equally-tense affair that also lasted more than half an hour. Walden required snookers with the score 63-28 but Allen potted a long brown and then fluked the blue to end his three-frame losing streak and move to within two frames of victory at 8-6 ahead.Allen took control of the 15th frame thanks to an excellent break of 61 after taking to the table with nothing much on and strode purposely towards victory with a 67 break in the final frame - and it proved enough. Also See: Murphy wins World Grand Prix Fourth Welsh crown for Ronnie Joel Veltman Jersey . 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Up 2-0 even without needing huge efforts from LeBron James, the Heat try to push the Nets to the brink of elimination when the series shifts to Brooklyn on Saturday night. "We did what we were supposed to do, protecting home court," Miamis Dwyane Wade. "Now it gets interesting. Now were trying to get one in their building. This is when the playoffs get fun." Miami tied a franchise record with its eighth straight playoff victory by pulling away to win 94-82 in Game 2 on Thursday night. The Nets felt better about their effort after getting blown out in the opener, but there was still plenty of cause for alarm. Williams, the former All-Star who teammates insist is their most important player, shot 0 for 9 in the worst playoff game of his career. Garnett, who is 10 days shy of his 38th birthday, missed a couple of point-blank attempts while going 2 for 8, but that was an improvement from his scoreless Game 1. But as they head home, the Nets still believe they can again become the team that beat the Heat all four times during the regular season. "We have a lot of confidence in ourselves," Garnett said. "We just have to go home and defend our home court." James, averaging just 22 points, has won at least one road game in every playoff series since he and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in 2010. A victory in Brooklyn would make it 14 straight series, giving the Heat the longest streak in NBA history. Brooklyn tried to build a threat to the two-time defending champions last summer by bringing in Garnett and Paul Pierce to join All-Star centre Brook Lopez and the Williams-Joe Johnson backcourt that wass already in place.dddddddddddd They believed their aging roster had a two-year window, but the first could be slammed shut by Monday. Lopez was long ago lost to a broken foot, and while the Nets flourished with a smaller lineup, theyre now facing a team that has won two straight titles playing small-ball. So the Nets need everyone to play well, but so far that looks unlikely. Garnett had 12 rebounds and defended well in Game 2, but shouldve had at least two more baskets. Williams, who has battled ankle problems and been in decline since signing a $98.5 million contract in 2012, passed and rebounded fine, but has to give the Nets points, too. "We look for him to bounce back in Game 3," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. Even with Williams woes, the Nets were within two points midway through the fourth quarter. The Heat couldnt shake them until getting three straight offensive rebounds during a 100-second possession in the closing minutes, and are bracing for another tight one Saturday. "This is a very possession-oriented series. Not a lot of turnovers," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Possessions really, really matter and those extra ones can really be backbreakers." No NBA team has won a series after falling behind 3-0, so it doesnt take all that considerable post-season experience the Nets roster possesses to realize Brooklyn has to win the next game. "We need a win. Its a must-win," Williams said. "We cant afford to go down 3-0. We need to get these at home starting with the one on Saturday." The Nets are only 1-10 against the Heat in the post-season, but they also hadnt defeated Miami in the regular season for 4 1/2 years before ending that 13-game skid with a victory on Nov. 1. That was in their home opener and cemented their belief that they could topple the champs in the spring. They insist that confidence is still there. "Our mindset is positive," reserve Mirza Teletovic said. "We know we can beat this team at home." AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report. 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