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Stanley Cup Finals Game 6: Simplicity Should Seal the Deal for the Lightning

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Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos and Andrei Vasilevskiy celebrate a goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Amalie Arena Thursday, January 9, 2019. Photo: NHL.

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Finals left Lightning fans fearful to what the series could look like. Dallas came off four rest days and hit the ice with speed, control, and physicality, winning 4-1. In Game 2 Tampa’s familiar hustle and resilience worked in their favor. The Lightning stormed the first period with three goals a couple minutes apart from one another: first Point, next Palat, lastly Shattenkirk.

Tampa’s defensive pairings have been playing outstanding and continued to do so. It all came down to Vasilevskiy, who only allowed one goal in the second and third period, helping the Bolts tie up the series 1-1 in a 3-2 win.

Game 3 was pure magic. Steven Stamkos suited up for the first time since Feb 25th, unleashing an emotional and electric energy throughout the team. More importantly, leave it to the Capitan to not just make an appearance, but an impact within his 2:47 of playing time. 6:58 into the first period, off a pass from Hedman, Stamkos gained control of the puck along the boards and takes a sharp angled shot to the far side on the net for a Tampa Bay goal. The response and support from the bench was moving! The Bolts built off of the play and presence of their Captain in the second period, scoring three more goals between Hedman, Point, and Palat.

Three players who have been leading contributors in Tampa’s playoff run. The Lightning closed out Game 3 with a 5-2 victory. Although everyone was hopeful for more Stamkos play, a Game 4 Stammer was ruled out. You could almost say the guys pulled off this overtime win to honor their Captain. Kevin Shattenkirk, with the winning overtime goal, gave Stamkos a big hug once they exited the ice.

For the first time since 2014 in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Stars and Lightning would face off in back to back games. Game 5, which took place Saturday, was a hard-fought game. Stars’ key player, Corey Perry got Dallas up 1 with less than 3 minutes left in the 1st period. Tampa has had a short response time most of playoffs when it comes to catching up on the board. 4:37 into the 2nd period, Ondrej Palat records his 11th goal of playoffs. The score remained tied until 3:38 into the third, when Sergachev gave Tampa Bay the lead, 2-1. As the game began to wind down and hopes of winning the cup in just under eight minutes, Dallas’ other driving force of the series, Joe Pavelski ties the game back up, meaning more overtime for the Lightning. OT one goes scoreless regardless of the offensive pressure laid on the Stars, and in OT two the Stars forced a Game 6 after Perry gets one past Vasilevskiy.

A tough loss, yes. At the end of the day it is the Stanley Cup Finals and teams find that extra gear right before its time to head home. Tampa has mentioned that their focus after games is to remain even keeled and turning the page to the next game. After the Game 5 loss, Victor Hedman said, “we’re a resilient group and we know how to respond to adversity” something the Bolts have proven time and time again.

According to Coach Cooper in his post-game presser, they played a winnable game, but they’ve been in this position before and rebounded. Cooper said, “I really like how we’ve responded after losses.” As for how this team keeps grinding through and staying unified, “There’s a focus with this group and a collective leadership with Stammer not in the lineup that has been exceptional” and quite obvious, every player on the roster has been ready to step up at any point of these series and made an impact in one way or another, no matter how big or small. After each loss, we have seen the Lightning follow up with a win and the same will be expected tonight as they stick to their game plan and style to close out the series.

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Kasey Hudson is Associate Sports Editor for Florida National News. | sports@floridanationalnews.com

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Jacksonville

Jaguars Upset Ravens 28-27

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Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida Sports Channel)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Florida Sports Channel) – The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) beat the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) 28-27 on their first visit to TIAA Bank Field since 2016. This was an exciting game with multiple lead changes before the Jaguars closed it out with seconds to spare. 

Today’s game started 25 minutes later than the 1:00 p.m. planned kickoff, due to heavy rains. Fortunately, the skies cleared up and the weather was perfect for the whole game. Ravens K Justin Tucker put up a 27 yard field goal to cap off Baltimore’s first drive. He added a 29 yard three pointer later in the first quarter, to put the Ravens up 6-0 heading into the second.

The Jaguars scored with a 28 yard touchdown pass from QB Trevor Lawrence to RB JaMycal Hasty on their first drive of the quarter. K Riley Patterson added an extra point to put the Jags ahead 7-6. But Justin Tucker’s 55 yard field goal returned the lead to the Ravens, 9-7, until Patterson’s 22 yard field goal gave the lead back to the Jaguars, 10-9 heading into the half.

Justin Tucker added a 24 yard field goal to put the Ravens up 12-10 midway through the third, the only points scored that quarter.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards scored a 1 yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, followed by Justin Tucker’s extra point, to extend the Ravens lead 19-10. But a 1 yard Trevor Lawrence touchdown pass to WR Jamal Agnew followed by Riley Patterson’s extra point narrowed the Jaguars’ deficit to two points. Soon after, a fumble by Ravens SS Andrew Wingard was recovered by Jaguars CB Tevaughn Campbell, which later set up a 29 yard Riley Patterson field goal, to put the Jaguars ahead 20-19. But QB Lamar Jackson’s first touchdown pass of the game, a 12 yarder to TE Josh Oliver, was followed by a Jackson to TE Mark Andrews two point conversion, to put the Ravens up 27-20. The Jaguars final drive ended with a 10 yard Trevor Lawrence to WR Marvin Jones Jr. touchdown pass, and they succeeded in scoring a Lawrence to Zay Jones two point conversion, which put the Jags up 28-27. Justin Tucker was unable to score a 67 yard field goal as time expired.

Today’s first DUUUVAL was delivered by actor Asher Grosman who stars in the CBS sitcom, Ghosts, and is a lifelong Jaguars fan.

Actor Asher Goodman on the field before delivering the First DUUUVAL. Photo credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida Sports Channel)

Trevor Lawrence finished with 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. JaMycal Hasty led the Jaguars rushing with 28 yards. Zay Jones was the leading receiver with 145 yards.

Today’s attendance was 59,560. The Jaguars travel to Detroit to face the Lions next Sunday, 12/4. Kickoff is at 1:00 p.m. at Ford Field. Be sure to follow www.FloridaSportsChannel.com and www.FloridaNationalNews.com for more.

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NBA

Orlando Magic Lag Far Behind Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-108

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Franz Wagner fights off the Minnesota Timberwolves defense as he attempts a layup during the Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves match at Amway Center Wednesday. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Franz Wagner fights off the Minnesota Timberwolves defense as he attempts a layup during the Orlando Magic vs. Minnesota Timberwolves match at Amway Center Wednesday. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Minnesota Timberwolves showed themselves to be true predators against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center Wednesday.

 

First Half

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards hit the ground running, scoring 19 points in the first quarter alone–more than anyone in the game up to that point. For the Magic, Bol Bol led in the scoring with eight points as well as three rebounds, which looks meager by comparison, but he did make some clutch plays. He shot 7 of 10 on field goals and 5 of 8 on three-pointers. The Orlando Magic were already 10 points behind with 5:57 left in the first quarter: 20-10.

The first quarter ended with the Magic 18 points behind, 42-24.

Karl Anthony Towns shot the ball with the hunger of a starved man, making more than anyone on either team in the second quarter–13 points.

The Timberwolves led 74-49 at halftime.

 

Second Half

With 4.9 seconds left in the third quarter, Taurean Prince got collared with a flagrant foul for his elbow to Jalen Suggs’ face as Suggs attempted a layup. Prince was ejected from the game while Suggs went to the free throw line for two and the Magic retained possession of the ball. The end of the third quarter found the Magic behind by 18 again, 98-80.

In the fourth quarter, Jalen Suggs landed some clutch shots that halved the Magic’s point deficit to nine with nine minutes left in the game. However, the Magic couldn’t keep up with the Timberwolves’ aggressive scoring. Despite the fans’ energy buoying them and Bol Bol and Jalen Suggs fighting like hell to sink shots, the Magic still fell to them, 126-108.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, Jalen Suggs and Bol Bol talk with the media postgame.

Tonight’s game ends the Magic’s homestand. They go on the road to face the Chicago Bulls Friday. They’ll return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers in back-to-back matchups Friday, November 25th at 7pm and Sunday, November 27th at 6pm.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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NBA

Orlando Magic Turnovers Cost Them Against Charlotte Hornets, 112-105

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Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball makes a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets match at Amway Center Monday, November 14, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.
Charlotte Hornets' LaMelo Ball makes a shot during the Orlando Magic vs. Charlotte Hornets match at Amway Center Monday, November 14, 2022. Photo: Harry Castiblanco/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – The Charlotte Hornets came into Monday night’s match against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center with their darling LaMelo Ball back and ready to do damage. And they did.

For their part, the Magic came into the game with the wind at their back after Friday’s 114-97 win against the Phoenix Suns. However, their defense–or perhaps Charlotte’s more aggressive offense–caused them to play from behind.

 

First Half

The numbers showed that the Magic defense needed a bit of help. They had six turnovers to Charlotte’s two.

While LaMelo Ball contributed five points, one assist and one rebound, Kelly Oubre Jr. was the additional thorn in the Magic’s side throughout the game. Oubre actually led for Charlotte in the first quarter with six points and two rebounds. P.J. Washington also put up six points in the first quarter with three rebounds.

Franz Wagner and Mo Bamba (off the bench) did the heavy lifting for Orlando in the first quarter, each contributing eight points. Bamba also offered three rebounds and was sharp on his shots, going 3 for 3 on all field goals (including his one three-pointer) and 1 for 2 on free throws.

The Magic lagged behind 31-23 by the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Magic turned the ball over seven times to Charlotte’s three. To their credit, Wendell Carter, Jr. posted eight points and two rebounds while Bamba put up six points with four rebounds.

The Magic made a good rescue play with three minutes left in the first half. The Magic had possession of the ball and twice turned over the moment they got in the paint. Jalen Suggs redeemed his team on the second turnover, stealing the ball and bringing it back to the Magic’s paint. His layup attempt got blocked, but Bol Bol came in clutch with the offensive rebound and dunked it in.

While LaMelo was scoreless in the second quarter, he contributed five assists, while Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier did the scoring with six points each and Plumlee clocking three rebounds.

The Hornets outscored the Magic by five–27-22 points, making the halftime score 58-45. They were 11 for 21 on their field goals and were 5 for 6 on free throws while Orlando was only 9 for 20 on field goals and 3 for 6 on free throws.

 

Second Half

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley switched things up a little bit in the third quarter, bringing his bench in. Terrence Ross, Caleb Houstan, Kevon Harris and RJ Hampton all got touches. Hampton led in scoring in the third with 10 points while Caleb Houston followed with six points.

The two teams tied each other in assists and even turnovers with four, and the Magic even beat the Hornets in rebounds–16 to their 10–but the Hornets still outscored the Magic by two points by the end of the third. The difference lied in their field goals. The Hornets were 9 for 19 (47.4 percent) on field goals compared to the Magic’s 8 for 27 (29.6 percent). Additionally, the Hornets did fewer three pointers, but they did damage there too, going 2 for 7 on threes compared to Orlando’s 5 for 15. Both teams were 100 percent on free throws (6 of 6 for Charlotte and 3 of 3 for Orlando).

The score landed at 84-69 by the end of the third.

The narrative continued through the fourth quarter. The score reached 104-92 with 2.5 minutes left in the game.

Wendell Carter Jr.’s two free throws finally put the Magic over 100 points with just one minute left. The Hornets scored again, making the score 110-101, and Ball went to the line, missing both. His mistake, though, was diving for the rebound, fouling Bol Bol, who went to the line and sank both free throws, bringing the score to 110-103.

The Hornets defeated the Magic 112-105.

Charlotte’s Mason Plumlee was the team high scorer with a double double on the night, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball followed with 17 points each. Ball contributed nine assists and four rebounds.

 

Orlando Magic Postgame Press Conference

Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, Franz Wagner and Mo Bamba speak with the press postgame.

 

 

The Magic end their seven-game homestand Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7pm ET.

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Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | mellissa.thomas@floridanationalnews.com

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