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he playoffs after missing out last year, Or
Joined: Jun 09 2014
18:19, Jul 15 2014
HOUSTON -- James Harden was out with a thumb injury, and then Dwight Howard got off to a slow start. It sure looked as if it was going to be a long night for the Houston Rockets. Then everything changed in the third quarter. Howard got back on track and a pair of role players stepped up to help Houston rally for a 97-90 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday. The Rockets trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half before scoring 33 in the third to go on top. San Antonio used an 11-3 spurt to pull within two in the final minutes, but Howard and Jeremy Lin helped Houston hold on for the win. "We just kept grinding it out," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We changed a couple of things defensively and the guys kind of dug in and got stops." Howard had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, which enjoyed a 55-39 advantage on the glass. Terrence Jones scored 21 points and Lin added 18 points and eight assists while starting in Hardens spot. Harden, who leads the team with 23.7 points a game, was out with a bruised left thumb. "I know I missed a lot of shots early," Howard said. "I didnt lose focus. I got a little frustrated because I wanted to make those shots, especially against Tim (Duncan). But I just tried to stick with it and show the team that no matter what Im going to battle." Boris Diaw scored a season-high 22 points for the Spurs, and he also had 11 rebounds. Tony Parker added 17 points and Duncan had 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Houston was clinging to a 90-88 lead with less than two minutes left when Howard had a dunk and Lin made a jumper. Duncan had a layup on the other end, but Lin sunk a pair of free throws to secure the victory. Houston has won all three meetings with the Southwest Division-leading Spurs to secure the season series for the first time since 1996-97. They have one scheduled game left on April 14 in Houston. San Antonios 90-point performance ended a streak of 15 straight games with at least 100 points and sent the Spurs to consecutive losses for the first time this season. The last time they were held below 100 was a 111-98 loss to Houston on Christmas Day. The Spurs got within six on a hook shot by Diaw early in the fourth quarter. Lin then scored five quick points to extend Houstons lead to 81-70. Houston was up by four points with four minutes left in the third quarter when San Antonio resorted to the "Hack-a-Howard" defence, fouling the centre every time the Rockets got the ball. Howard made 13 of 25 foul shots on the night, leaving him at 52.2 per cent from the line for the season. "I figured they were going to do it," he said. "Im just glad I made most of them." Duncan lamented that the tactic backfired for the Spurs. "Thats what he had to do to get us out of it," Duncan said. "He made free throws and he hurt us with them." The Spurs employed the strategy on eight straight possessions, with Howard making 10 foul shots while they had six points as Houston extended its lead to 70-62. Diaw made a jump shot at the end of the third quarter to cut Houstons lead to 72-64 entering the fourth. The Rockets opened the second half with an 11-2 run, capped by a two-handed dunk by Howard, to take their first lead of the game at 50-48. Lin started the run with a 3-pointer and also had two free throws in the surge. Manu Ginobili made four free throws for San Antonio before Houston scored six straight points to take a 56-52 lead. Ginobili and Chandler Parsons then exchanged rim-rattling dunks in rapid succession. The 36-year-old Ginobili injured himself on his jam and was soon limping and holding his upper left leg. He remained in the game for a bit before walking off the court and into the locker room at the next timeout. The team said he had tightness in his left hamstring. He missed time earlier this month with the same problem. San Antonio led by 10 points in the second quarter before Howard made his first basket of the night after starting the game 0 for 8. The bucket was the first of five straight points for Howard with San Antonios only points in that stretch coming on a layup by Marco Belinelli, helping Houston close to 46-39 at halftime. Houston struggled early without Harden and San Antonio jumped to a 9-0 lead thanks to five points from Diaw. The Spurs pushed the lead to 21-6 with about five minutes left in the first. NOTES: Harden injured his thumb in Houstons last game at Memphis on Saturday. ... Diaw has scored at least 10 points 20 times this season. wholesale nfl jerseys . 26 at 9 p.m. ET when FC Dallas takes on the New York Red Bulls in a single-game wild card match. wholesale jerseys . Its a break team chairman Ed Snider would love to abolish. Mason stopped 38 shots, and Mark Streit and Michael Raffl scored goals, leading the Philadelphia Flyers past the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Thursday night. http://www.cheapjerseysnflchina.us/. PSG could have clinched the title this weekend if Monaco lost and it won on Sunday at Lyon. For now, Monaco pulled within 10 points of the leader. Emmanuel Riviere chased a through ball from Jeremy Toulalan to score with a sliding effort in the 55th minute. cheap jerseys from china . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. cheap nfl jerseys . Canada opened Saturdays play with a 52-0 thumping of Japan, and followed with a 28-12 win over France. That was enough to guarantee them a spot in the quarter-finals of the Cup competition.BALTIMORE -- In case it wasnt evident before opening day, we now know why the Baltimore Orioles added another slugger to a team that led the major leagues in home runs last season. Nelson Cruz celebrated his Orioles debut by hitting a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning, and Baltimore beat Jon Lester and the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox 2-1 Monday. Signed as a free agent in February, Cruz lined a solo shot into the left field seats to put the Orioles ahead. He hit 27 homers last year with Texas during a season marred by a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug scandal. Cruz joins a batting order that features Chris Davis, who led the majors in 2013 with 53 homers and 138 RBIs. Davis went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts as the cleanup hitter, but it didnt matter because the guy in the 5-hole picked up the slack. "It takes some of the pressure off everybody in the lineup knowing that you can pass the baton and the next guy can pick it up," Davis said. "We have to know as hitters going into the game that we can be patient, we can wait for our pitch, knowing that the guy behind us can pick us up." Cruz, meanwhile, couldnt have been more delighted. Not only did the Orioles provide him with a fresh start, but the fans chanted "Cruuuuuze!" every time his name was announced. "It was really neat, it was special," he said. "I made the right call to come and be part of this organization, be part of this town." Cruz wasnt the only player to enjoy a successful start with his new team. After missing two seasons recovering from knee surgery, Boston centre fielder Grady Sizemore marked his return from a 922-day absence with a second-inning single for his first hit since September 2011. The three-time All-Star for Cleveland later hit his first home run since July 15, 2011, which also came at Camden Yards. "Today was very exciting," Sizemore said. "I couldnt wait to get to the ballpark." Zach Britton (1-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief and Tommy Hunter got three outs for the save. Hunter earned the job as closer this spring after the Orioles dealt away Jim Johnson during the off-season. The Red Sox got two on with one out in the ninth before World Series MVP David Ortiz hit a flyball and Jackie Bradley Jr. took a called third strike. "Its life in baseball," Hunter said. "Youve got to earn everything you get. Onee-run game to start the season off against the defending world champs.dddddddddddd" Starting on the road for the fourth year in a row, the Red Sox got nine hits but stranded 12 and went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. "We had a lot of opportunities, we had a lot of guys on," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We just hit the ball right at people. It was one of those deals where we couldnt find a way to push runs across." Making his fourth straight opening day start for Boston, Lester (0-1) gave up two runs, six hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out eight. Orioles starter Chris Tillman allowed one run, seven hits and a walk in five innings. The right-hander went 3-1 against Boston last year, but in this one he needed 104 pitches to get 15 outs. Britton gave up a one-out double to Xander Bogaerts in the sixth and got three straight outs in the seventh, the only time all day that Boston went down in order. Evan Meek walked two in the eighth before Brian Matusz retired A.J. Pierzynski on a comebacker. Gametime temperature was announced at 60 degrees, but a stiff wind chilled many in the crowd of 46,685 -- the 23rd consecutive opening day sellout at Camden Yards. Hopeful that the off-season acquisitions of Cruz and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will enable Baltimore to return to the playoffs after missing out last year, Orioles fans were out in force. Until recently, games against Boston often drew as many Red Sox backers as those rooting for the home team. "Our crowd was legit," Hunter said. "That was awesome. I hope they come out like that every game for 80 more here." The Orioles used a walk, a single by Matt Wieters and a double-play grounder to take a 1-0 lead in the second. The Red Sox put runners at second and third with two outs in the third before Tillman struck out Mike Carp. In the fourth, Sizemore hit a 3-1 pitch over the right-field wall. NOTES: Dustin Pedroia got Bostons first hit of the season, a one-out single in the first inning, to extend his hitting streak on opening day to eight games. ... After taking Tuesday off, the teams meet Wednesday night. John Lackey (13-5 lifetime against Baltimore) faces Jimenez in his Orioles debut. ... The Red Sox put RF Shane Victorino (hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Bradley. ... Ortiz received his 12th opening day start at DH, tying Don Baylors major league record at the position. ' ' '
Joined: Oct 19 2014
00:52, Apr 16 2015
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