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08/01/2019

ing to give them hope to beat a team like Brazil

Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract potentially worth $85. Nike Air Pegasus 31 Sale .7 million over the next three seasons, league sources told ESPN. The deal includes a player option that would allow Westbrook to still become a free agent after the 2017-18 season.Westbrook, who has played all eight seasons of his career for the Thunder, will sign the contract Thursday in Oklahoma City, sources said. The Thunder announced a news conference on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET for what the team called a major announcement.Talks between the sides centered on the addition of two more years to Westbrooks current deal, which expires after the 2016-17 season. The new deal would call for Westbrooks salary to jump from $17.8 million next season to the maximum $26.5 million. He would then earn the max in the next two seasons if he exercises the third-year option.The player option for the third season of the deal will allow Westbrook to capitalize on the league rule allowing players who have completed 10 seasons to earn a larger max salary.?In the wake of former MVP Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder had a new offseason objective: locking up Westbrook to a long-term deal. Oklahoma City removed its qualifying offer to restricted free agent Dion Waiters to free up cap space to offer Westbrook a max extension. Waiters agreed to a deal with the Miami Heat last month.Westbrook had a season for the ages in 2015-16, tying Magic Johnson for the most triple-doubles in the past 50 years with a league-high 18, including six in the month of March.A five-time All-Star and two-time All-Star Game MVP, Westbrook averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists last season and finished fourth in the MVP voting. Nike Air Pegasus 34 Womens . After a first half in which he thought "the lid was on the basket," the Toronto Raptors coach watched his squad mount a second half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91. Nike Air Pegasus 33 Womens . The return match will take place next Wednesday. Udinese leads Fiorentina 2-1 in the other semifinal. Napoli staged a second-half comeback from two goals down after Gervinhos opener and a stunning strike from Kevin Strootman. http://www.airzoompegasussale.com/ . Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic setting up both despite having a poor game by his high standards. Forward Eduardo gave Ajaccio the lead in the sixth minute after being set up by right winger Benjamin Andre, and the Corsican side looked comfortable in the first half, with the lively Johan Cavalli causing problems with his probing runs from midfield. BRASILIA, Brazil -- It wasnt politically correct. But the first words out of Hope Solos mouth after an Olympic quarterfinal against Sweden were undeniably honest and entirely sincere in summing up a days frustrations.The United States dominated possession. It nearly quintupled Swedens shots. It had the first chance and the last chance in open play.The three-time reigning Olympic champion and current World Cup champion is also going home without an Olympic medal of any kind for the first time, eliminated by Sweden 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the teams played to a 1-1 stalemate over 120 minutes of soccer.Cue the goalkeeper who is rarely unwilling to speak her mind, in this case about a team that set out to defend to the last woman.I thought that we played a courageous game, Solo said. I thought that we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down; Im very proud of this team. I also think we played a bunch of cowards. But, you know, the best team did not win today; I strongly, firmly believe that. I think you saw Americas heart. You saw us give everything that we had today.Unfortunately the better team didnt win.The better team, yes. Almost undeniably. But not the team that best executed its assignment on this day.Which perfectly encapsulates the frustration, if it doesnt excuse the sentiment more suited to a sport with judges. Pragmatism is style in soccer.The United States knew this was coming. Coach Jill Ellis, who rarely shows her hand in the days leading up to games, didnt even offer the pretense evasiveness the day before this one. She used to work for Pia Sundhage, the coach who went home to Sweden after taking the United States to two Olympic gold medals. She knew Sundhage would be pragmatic, especially when it came to the United States. Everyone knew.The United States began Fridays game with a scoreless drought of more than 200 minutes against Sweden, including a scoreless World Cup draw a year ago in Canada. U.S. wunderkind Mallory Pugh was barely in high school the last time the Americans scored against a Swedish team.Sweden is not a minnow in womens soccer, not with players like Lotta Schelin and Caroline Seger. But Sweden and its coach are also not novices ready to run pell-mell into the breach. Certainly not after they were exposed by Brazil earlier in this tournament in a 5-1 loss.They had to do what they had to do, said Carli Lloyd, more measured than her teammate. They had to sit back. They sat back as we expected them to do. They werent confident in their abilities to open up because they opened up against Brazil, and the score sheet was not so great. So yeah, they sat back, they waited for that one moment to counterattack.That moment came in the 61st minute, not as some lumbering stroke of luck, but as the product of some nice interplay around midfield, short passes that set up an open look at a long ball toward Stina Blackstenius. The Swedish player got inside U.S. defender Julie Johnston, gathered the ball and beat Solo with a quality shot to the far post.It was fortunate, but it wasnt lucky. No luckier than the long balls Leicester City sent to Jamie Vardy en route to a Premier League title last season. Soaking up possession and hitting back with a lightning bolt is all the rage.The thing is, while the Swedes were committed and organized in their defending to the end, they werent exactly stopping the Americans in their tracks. The United States didnt play poorly. It wasnt precise enough. It didnt finish well enough; at least one missed chance likely will haunt each of the attacking players who were on the field. Maybe Crystal Dunn could have come on sooner. Maybbe the gamble on Megan Rapinoe, a sub who had to be subbed when the game went to overtime, didnt work out. Nike Air Pegasus 32 Mens. But the United States moved the ball. It had ample opportunity to deliver crosses into the box, to let Pugh slip into space in the middle of the field and play in Morgan, to set up set pieces.It has played worse and won on many occasions.Inside 18 yards, when theres 20 people in the box, it is tough, Ellis said. I dont care what level you play. It is really hard for an organized attack to break down an organized defense. Its really, really hard. So we knew we had a massive challenge. But in terms of what we tried to do, and how we tried to play, I actually thought today [was as well as the team had played] -- especially the first half, for sure, and part of the second half. We tried to play.The U.S. equalizer came in the 77th minute, and more luck was involved in it than in the Swedish goal. Before Alex Morgan could slide home the goal with a composed finish, the ball first had to reach her by way of a ricochet off a Swedish players head after a Dunn header.Surely that was the breakthrough, as a late goal has so often been in major tournaments, and especially those since 2011. But as much as the U.S. women pressed in the final 13 minutes, Dunns presence adding a different energy to the attack, the only ball that found the back of the net was Lloyds header that was incorrectly negated for offside (as was a Schelin goal seconds later).I felt like we were going to score again and win within regular time, Morgan said. But the time just kept going on, and they kept defending well. It never went in the back of the net. I was really optimistic. I didnt even anticipate it going into penalties, either. But it just wasnt our day today.Unfortunately, that means it was the last day in a major tournament until the 2019 World Cup, qualification willing.In the end, the real frustration wasnt from what Sweden did, but what the United States couldnt do to finish what it started -- what it started Friday, and what it started with the World Cup title a year ago.Even just a few minutes more removed from the field, at the end of the questioning that began with her harshest words, Solo modified her stance ever so slightly when asked if it would be acceptable for some teams to play the way Sweden played.Youve got to take your hat off to them because they beat us, Solo said. So theyre going on, like I said, and were going home. They dont have as quality of players as the American team does or as Brazil does, so they have to play a way thats going to give them hope to beat a team like Brazil or the USA. And I think thats part of the tactical side of things. And Pia is somewhat of a tactician, so she dropped her team into a 50 and tried to hit long balls. They could only really score on the opportunity for a long ball or on set pieces.So I guess you can say its smart, but I dont think its respectful to the game.But no matter how strongly some feel otherwise, nowhere more than in the U.S., where the game is part athletics and part art, the game also is set up to produce an outcome.Solos words were a reflection of the frustration inherent in that.What they missed is that Sweden showed its heart, too, right down to Lisa Dahlkvists clincher in the shootout that beat Solo after the keeper delayed the proceedings to fix what she said was a faulty strap on her glove.It would be hard to eliminate the United States without courage.It might well have been a different outcome on another day. Maybe most days. Just not this day. 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