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‘We deserved better’ – Pochettino says PSG ‘dominated’ Manchester City despite Champions League semi-final defeat

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'We deserved better' - Pochettino says PSG 'dominated' Manchester City despite Champions League semi-final defeat

Mauricio Pochettino has said Paris Saint-Germain “deserved better” than their Champions League semifinal exit on Tuesday, insisting his players did enough across two legs to advance.

Even though Manchester City finished with a 4-1 aggregate advantage after their 2-0 second leg win, the manager claimed that PSG “dominated a very difficult team to control”.

The Citizens held Pochettino’s group without a shot on target in the second leg, however, and pulled away behind a Riyad Mahrez brace with PSG eventually going down to 10 men when Angel Di Maria was dismissed in the second half.

What has been said?

“If we analyse the two games, we dominated a very difficult team to control,” Pochettino said to RMC Sport. “You need a small percentage of luck to score in key moments.

“I am disappointed, because we deserved better. But Manchester City have been more clinical than us. They scored the goals we needed, we played the game we wanted with the plan we wanted. It’s a bit disappointing obviously, because the objective was to go to the final.

“We have to be positive, it’s difficult after an elimination, you have to have this process in mind, stay calm, analyse the situation … We arrived here having beaten Barcelona and Bayern. It’s a shame not to make it to the final, but the team never gave up, they fought to the end.

“We also played 10 against 11 for [30] minutes, which is a big disadvantage. It wasn’t for us. We will go back being strong, the club and the players will be ready to win the remaining matches. We will be ready.”

Mbappe’s absence

PSG were without star forward Kylian Mbappe, who has been hampered by a calf injury, but Pochettino didn’t want to use that blow to explain the loss.

“That cannot be an excuse,” he said. “We are a team. Of course, it’s unlucky he was not ready to help the team, but that’s not an excuse. We cannot use that excuse because the performance from the team was good.”

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NBA playoff schedule 2021: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for play-in, playoff games

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NBA playoff scenarios 2021: Updated playoff picture, seeds ahead of play-in tournament, first round

It hasn’t been an easy NBA season, but the league managed to navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and reach the playoff stage.

This year’s postseason will look slightly different with the addition of the play-in tournament, which will expand the field from 16 to 20 total teams. But when it comes down to the playoff bracket, the mission is still the same: Win 16 games, and capture the Larry O’Brien trophy.

NBA STANDINGS: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for playoff spots

Here’s everything you need to know about watching the 2021 NBA playoffs, including TV schedules for play-in and playoff games.

NBA playoff bracket 2021

(NBA)

How to watch NBA playoff games

NBA playoff games will once again be split between ESPN and TNT. First- and second-round games are scattered across both networks. Every NBA Finals game will be shown exclusively on ABC.

The primary outlets for live-streaming 2021 NBA playoff games are Watch ESPN and Watch TNT, both available on desktop and by downloading the mobile apps.

Games on ESPN can also be streamed on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial.

NBA playoff schedule 2021

Note: This section will be updated when first-round matchups are finalized.

May 18

Game (play-in) Time (ET) National TV
Hornets vs. Pacers 6:30 p.m. TNT
Wizards vs. Celtics 9 p.m. TNT

May 19

Game (play-in) Time (ET) National TV
Spurs vs. Grizzlies 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Warriors vs. West No. 7 10 p.m. ESPN

May 20

Game (play-in) Time (ET) National TV
Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Loser 8 p.m. TNT

May 21

Game (play-in) Time (ET) National TV
Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Loser TBD ESPN

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Wizards’ Scott Brooks pokes fun at LeBron James with play-in tournament comments

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Wizards' Scott Brooks pokes fun at LeBron James with play-in tournament comments

The Wizards closed the 2020-21 NBA regular season with a torrid stretch. They were 17-6 in their final 23 games and went from a likely lottery team to a participant in the NBA’s inaugural play-in tournament.

Washington finished its climb up the standings Sunday. It defeated the Hornets 115-110 to secure eighth place in the Eastern Conference, which is a win-and-in spot in the conference’s four-team tournament.

Under the old playoff format, the Wizards would’ve clinched the No. 8 seed and guaranteed themselves a spot in the posteason with Sunday’s win. They would have started playing for their lives in a seven-game series, not a one- or two-game set.

MORE: Knicks clinch No. 4 seed in Eastern Conference

Wizards coach Scott Brooks saw that as an opportunity to poke fun at the play-in tournament and LeBron James’ recent comments about it.

“I’m with the King,” Brooks said. “Who created this play-in thing? Whoever did that, they need to be fired.”

Seconds later, Brooks affirmed that he was just kidding. He was paraphrasing James’ comments from May 2 when the Lakers star said that “whoever came up with that s— needs to be fired.”

Unlike James, Brooks thinks the play-in tournament is a net positive for the NBA, despite his team finishing eighth in the East.

MORE: How the play-in tournament works

“I love this [format]. It created so much excitement the last two weeks and, as we all know, any time you can create excitement and meaningful games in the last 10 games of the season is great for everyone involved,” Brooks said. “Fans, TV partners, everybody. I love it. Even though we’re not the 8-seed, I still love it.”

The play-in tournament gave fringe playoff teams like the Wizards incentive to compete later into the season. Brooks is right about that. Now, it’s a matter of whether the on-court product will match the late-season chase to make (or avoid) the tournament.

With stars like Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Domantas Sabonis and one of James or Damian Lillard guaranteed to participate in the play-in, there is a good chance it will live up to the hype.

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Angels’ Shohei Ohtani adds to highlight reel with go-ahead HR in 9th off one of MLB’s top closers

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Angels: Albert Pujols release about giving Shohei Ohtani more ABs, moving Jared Walsh to 1B

Matt Barnes was one out away from sealing a Red Sox victory when Angels DH Shohei Ohtani stepped into the box.

It was a mano a mano battle between one of baseball’s best pitchers and the emerging two-way superstar.

Ohtani won the battle.

MORE: Albert Pujols to sign with Dodgers

He hit a monster two-run home run that curled around the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park to give the Angels a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning Sunday. LA went on to win by that score.

Teeing off against Barnes is no easy feat. Before Ohtani batted in the ninth, Barnes had allowed two hits and no runs in his previous 8 2/3 innings. For the season, he was averaging 15.6 strikeouts per nine innings and had allowed just one home run in 18 appearances. At one point, he had a negative FIP, something that is unheard of. 

But Ohtani managed to get the best of him Sunday and add another highlight to his superb season.

Ohtani’s homer was his 12th in 2021, tying him for the MLB lead with the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Mariners’ Mitch Haniger. His 29 RBIs are tied for the Angels’ team lead with Jared Walsh. His .597 slugging percentage is second on the team only to Mike Trout.

Ohtani has been spectacular as a pitcher as well. He has thrown 25 2/3 innings over five outings, with a sparkling 2.10 ERA and 14 strikeouts per nine.

In short, he is one of the game’s most electric players right now. Barnes knows that.

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