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— Saints left tackle Terron Armstead rattles off travel destinations that — unfortunately for him — have nothing to do with the kind of jet-setting leisure a big NFL contract affords.

Rather Authentic Joseph Noteboom Jersey , New Orleans’ second-highest-paid offensive player has been on a protracted search for answers about how to stay healthy.

“I’ve done pretty much everything as far as injury prevention. I’ve been a lot of places, you know, out of the country, spent a lot of time with different doctors, just trying to get over that hump,” Armstead said, listing trips to Germany, New York, Minnesota, Texas and Florida, among others. “I’ve been pretty much everywhere.”

During the early days of training camp, Armstead — one of the players most responsible for protecting quarterback Drew Brees from potentially devastating blind-side hits — has sounded confident that his journey back to optimum health is nearly complete.

“I was able to start the offseason getting stronger in areas that were injured before Authentic Jeff Locke Jersey ,” Armstead said, explaining that in the past, he wasn’t able to train the way he wanted to because previous injuries were still healing. “So being able to start the offseason getting stronger in areas that I haven’t been able to, that was the difference.”

Armstead has missed 15 regular-season games since the Saints signed him to a five-year extension worth about $65 million in 2016. He sat out six games last season and nine the season before that. And when he has played, he often has fought through pain to do so. Last season, he was bothered by a hip injury after coming back from a shoulder injury.

Earlier in his career, he struggled with knee soreness, which led him to seek out the same type of plasma therapy in Germany sought out by high-profile athletes such as former NBA star Kobe Bryant.

During the first days of training camp, coaches and teammates have commented on Armstead’s apparent improvements in strength, form and vigor.

“He’s not rehabbing. He was training,” coach Sean Payton said. “The guys that have been injured have not been really on the ground. You can be on a treadmill or a bike, but it’s different when you’re actually on the ground playing. So it’s good to have him. He’s not only an important player for us David Robertson Jersey , but also an important leader.

“He’s always been a really good athlete and he’s playing well.”

The Saints selected Armstead in the third round of the 2013 draft and elevated him to starter at the end of his rookie season. While Armstead spent his college career largely out of the limelight at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, NFL personnel took notice when he ran 40 yards in 4.71 seconds at the NFL scouting combine. In other words, when healthy, he moves well for someone listed at 6-foot-5, 304 pounds.

Veteran guard Larry Warford, now in his second season in New Orleans, describes Armstead’s recent form as “unbelievable.”

“Even compared to last year, I think he’s vastly improved — and that’s saying a lot because he was damn good last year,” Warford said. “I’m excited to see him this season because I think he’s going to be a dominant player.

“It’s hard to appreciate if you’re not an offensive lineman, but just the intent of everything he does is superior. It’s top-notch,” Warford continued. “There’s a lot of natural ability that goes into that as well, but you can see that he’s been working. I know he’s felt bad about missing (games in past seasons) and so he just got his body right and got healthy.”

Armstead’s athleticism doesn’t merely present challenges for defensive ends trying to pressure Brees. His ability to move fast thwarts linebackers chasing running plays across the field.

Saints second-year linebacker Alex Anzalone said he’s seen Armstead do plenty of that in practice.

“For a big guy Randy Johnson Jersey , he rolls really well,” Anzalone said.

Armstead said that earlier in his career, he “never knew why things kept happening” to take him out of action. And while he knows there’s no guaranteeing one’s health in the NFL, he asserts that his grasp of everything from how muscle groups work together to injury prevention is far superior to what it was a few years ago.

“I mean, it’s football,” Armstead said. “Things happen for sure, but I’m on top of anything I can do to prevent it and be out there for my team.”

Notes: Saints first-round draft choice, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and veteran tight end Ben Watson both missed their fourth straight practices with undisclosed ailments on Saturday. Also not practicing were OL John Fullington, DB JT Gray, TE Micheal Hoomanawanui, DB Kamrin Moore Jalyn Holmes Jersey Vikings , C Cameron Tom and RB Shane Vereen.

After losing a 20-point lead to the Boston Celtics, the Milwaukee Bucks were determined not to lose another playoff game.

Leave it to All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to come up with a big play in the final seconds on Sunday.

Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including tipping in the go-ahead basket with 5 seconds left, and the Bucks held on for a 104-102 win to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Boston’s Marcus Morris missed a 14-footer at the buzzer with Khris Middleton’s hand in his face to seal a nail-biting win for the Bucks.

Seconds earlier, the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo jumped and reached up with his left arm around Boston’s Jayson Tatum to put back Malcolm Brogdon’s missed layup for the game-winner.

”It’s a heck of play,” coach Joe Prunty said.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Boston.

Antetokounmpo added seven rebounds and five assists, while Middleton scored 23 points. The Bucks’ two best players were clutch in the closing seconds of a tense victory, another sign of maturity for the one of the league’s up-and-coming teams.

”One of the most important things that we can carry from this game moving forward is that we stayed disciplined and we trusted one another,” Antetokounmpo said.

It could just as easily have fallen apart for Milwaukee after losing a 20-point lead with 7:37 left in the third quarter.

Jaylen Brown had 34 points for the Celtics, while Tatum added 21. Tatum’s 18-footer with 52 seconds left gave the Celtics a brief 100-99 lead.

He just couldn’t hold off Antetokounmpo on the other end for the decisive tip-in.

The disappointing end for the Celtics overshadowed their spirited rally from a 65-45 deficit. Play got chippy and the Celtics limited the Bucks’ transition game.

They came up one basket short at the end.

Antetokounmpo ”made a great tip-in and he was battling for the ball. That’s what great players do,” coach Brad Stevens said.

Both teams traded clutch buckets down the stretch.

After Tatum’s long jumper, Brogdon hit a transition 3 from the corner for a 102-100 lead with 33 seconds left. Al Horford followed with two foul shots to tie the game at 102 with 29 seconds remaining.

They couldn’t send the game into overtime. Morris bent over in frustration near the Boston bench after his fadeaway hit the rim.

”We got the look we wanted … It’s a shot that (Morris) can make 10 out of 10 times Kareem Martin Jersey Giants ,” Brown said. ”It didn’t go in tonight. So Game 5, keep moving forward.”

TIP INS

Celtics: Stevens kept his starting five intact after the team never recovered from a disastrous first quarter in Game 3. Stevens said he would likely only make a switch for matchup purposes. … Boston ended with a 43-36 edge on the boards. … Morris finished with 13 points and shot 4 of 14.

Bucks: Starting C John Henson missed a second straight game with a sore back. … The Bucks went with the same starting five as Game 3, with Zeller replacing Henson and Brogdon starting for Tony Snell. … Jabari Parker led a vigorous effort off the bench with 16 points and seven rebounds. Backup C Thon Maker blocked five shots and played most of the fourth quarter.

OFF THE BENCH

The Bucks’ reinvigorated bench outscored the Celtics’ reserves 31-15. Parker, in particular, gave the team a lift in the first half with perhaps his best defensive play of the year after forcing turnovers on two straight Boston possessions at one point.

QUOTABLE

”We played great in the second half. We played great in the first six minutes of the game. The 18 minutes that ended the first half were not good. They had a lot to do with that.” – Stevens.

BLOCK PARTY

The Bucks set a franchise playoff high with 14 blocks, eclipsing the previous high of 13 set in Game 3. The 7-foot-1 Maker has turned into disruptive presence after playing sparingly in the first two games. He’s getting extended minutes because Henson’s injury.

”Thon is playing extremely assertive. The blocked shots are going to stand out because that’s something somebody can see on the stat sheet,” Prunty said.

STAT LINES

Brown picked up the second 30-point game of the postseason after scoring just one 30-point game in the regular season. He was 13 of 24 from the field but 2 of 10 from the 3-point arc. … The Bucks shot at least 52 percent from the field for the third straight game.

UP NEXT

Game 5 is Tuesday at the TD Garden in Boston.

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