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Welcome rooks: Ball, Tatum, Fultz and more making NBA debuts

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — If there was one takeaway from Lonzo Ball’s first training camp and preseason, it was this: He doesn’t sound like his dad. There’s no humility in Ball’s game. The confidence of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie point guard is high when he’s on the floor and with a ball in his hand. But when he speaks, when microphones are thrust near his face and the lights of cameras shine in his eyes and reporters pepper him with questions, there’s no bluster or bravado emanating. Yes, even the most ballyhooed player in this highly regarded NBA rookie class knows that a learning process awaits over the next few months. “The grind of the season, 82 games, I’ve never played that before,” Ball said. “It is my first year, so I don’t know what really to expect. But I’m going in there with an open mind, ready to learn, ready to get better and I’m looking forward to the challenge.” His father, LaVar Ball, has generated plenty of headlines with his sometimes over-the-top remarks, plus has faced tons of criticism for things like slapping a $495 price tag on the infamous Big Baller Brand shoe that was released months before his son made his NBA debut. But Lonzo Ball speaks with humility, a calmness that helped convince the Lakers that he indeed was the right pick to be the rebuilding team’s point guard of the present and future. “I’d like to just play,” Lonzo Ball said. No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz will be part of Philadelphia’s young core that the 76ers hope get them back in the Eastern Conference playoff mix, No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum should be a big part of a Boston team that believes it can compete for a title, and No. 9 pick Dennis Smith Jr. — an absolute freak of an athlete, even by NBA standards — is already being mentioned as a star of the future in Dallas and a legitimate rookie of the year candidate this season. They won’t be asked to be great right away. But this rookie class might have as much potential as any in years. Here’s some of what to know from the rookie perspective going into the season: ___ ALL-STAR CHANCES Don’t expect to see many freshmen on the floor in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game in February. Here’s the last three rookies to make an All-Star team — Blake Griffin in 2011 (which was his second year in the NBA), Yao Ming in 2002 (after he was a pro in China before coming to the NBA) and Tim Duncan in 1998. The odds are stacked even higher against the guards. The last rookie guard to make the game was Michael Jordan in 1985, and the last rookie point guard was Isiah Thomas in 1982. SCORING COMES LATER Since 2000, only seven rookies have averaged 20 points per game. They were Blake Griffin (22.5), Carmelo Anthony (21.0), LeBron James (20.9), Kevin Durant (20.3), Joel Embiid (20.2 last year, after he missed his first two seasons), Elton Brand (20.1) and Tyreke Evans (20.1). The learning curve can be steep, when considering that stars of now like Isaiah Thomas, Kevin Love, Marc Gasol and Al Horford all averaged less than 12 points as rookies. James Harden averaged 9.9, Mike Conley 9.4, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were just under 8 points per game, Giannis Antetokounmpo was at 6.8, Kyle Lowry and Gordon Hayward didn’t even average 6 points and CJ McCollum barely averaged 5. THEN AGAIN ... Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon showed last year that scoring isn’t exactly a prerequisite for rookie awards. He averaged 10.2 points per game last season, the lowest for any NBA rookie of the year in the 68-year history of the award. Brogdon started only 28 games, by far the lowest for a ROY winner since the NBA started charting that statistic. Of Brogdon’s four most recent predecessors as top rookie, three — Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns — started all 82 games. WELCOME, MILOS Having 30-somethings as NBA rookies isn’t unheard of, although the vast majority of those examples came in the league’s infancy during the 1940s. Milos Teodosic is about to join that club. The 30-year-old Serbian is a rookie for the Los Angeles Clippers this season, and yes, he’s eligible for rookie of the year honors. He’s starred in pro leagues in Russia and Greece, and Clippers coach Doc Rivers — not a bad passer in his day — says Teodosic is one of the best distributors of the basketball that he’s ever seen. Other 30-and-uppers in recent years that have joined the NBA after foreign careers and made a quick impact include Pablo Prigioni and Marcelo Huertas. The most notable player to pull off such a move might be Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, who entered the NBA a decade after first being drafted and was a 31-year-old All-Rookie Team member for Portland in 1995-96. TEEN TIME? No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz of Philadelphia said he is setting high personal goals. Rookie of the year is on the list. He doesn’t turn 20 until May, but could be the third teenager to win the award — potentially joining LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins were 19 in their ROY seasons, but turned 20 before those campaigns ended.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports2 hr. 38 min. ago Related News

Turner s 3-run shot in 9th gives Dodgers 4-1 win over Cubs

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Turner hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the NL Championship Series. Turner drove in every run for Los Angeles, going the other way for a tying single in the fifth before sending a long shot to center field off John Lackey in the ninth. A fan wearing a blue Dodgers jersey reached over a railing to catch the ball on the fly. Turner’s second homer of the postseason ended another dramatic night for the Dodgers, who remained unbeaten in these playoffs and moved within two wins of their first World Series appearance since 1988. And the red-bearded slugger even did it on the 29th anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit, walk-off homer to beat Oakland in the opening game of the Dodgers’ last World Series victory. “It’s very cool, and J.T., we were talking about it in there after the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Twenty-nine years to the day. It was special. Our guys feel it.” Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Midseason acquisition Yu Darvish starts for the Dodgers against Kyle Hendricks. Yasiel Puig drew his third walk of the game leading off the ninth, and Charlie Culberson bunted him to second. After Brian Duensing struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer, Chicago manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen for the 38-year-old Lackey, who pitched on consecutive days for the first time in his 15-year career. Lackey got the call over All-Star closer Wade Davis, and the veteran starter walked Chris Taylor on six tense pitches. Turner stepped up and ended it with his long drive — the fourth playoff homer of his career and the Dodgers’ first walk-off homer in the postseason since Gibson’s famous shot. “We’ve been doing it all year long,” Turner said. “We’re never out of a game. As long as we have outs left, we’re going to keep fighting.” Completing the poetry of the moment, a fan in a Chase Utley jersey in the center-field bleachers caught the ball in his glove. Turner has been at his best in October, batting .377 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in his postseason career. Addison Russell homered in the fifth for the Cubs, who are down early in this rematch of the 2016 NLCS. Chicago won that series in six games and went on to its first World Series championship since 1908, while the Dodgers have been absent from the Fall Classic since 1988. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen got the victory with a hitless ninth despite hitting Anthony Rizzo on the hand with a one-out pitch. That ended the Los Angeles bullpen’s impressive streak of 22 straight Cubs retired to begin the NLCS, but the Dodgers have thrown eight hitless and scoreless innings of relief in the NLCS. After a collective offensive effort drove the Dodgers to a 5-2 win in Game 1, Turner did it all in Game 2. He has 10 RBIs in the Dodgers’ five postseason games, getting five in the playoff opener against Arizona. Jon Lester yielded three hits and five walks while failing to get out of the fifth inning in the shortest start of his long postseason career, but the Dodgers couldn’t take advantage of a rare shaky night by the Cubs’ star left-hander. Rich Hill struck out eight in five more impressive innings for the Dodgers, but he was pulled for pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson in the fifth in a debatable decision by Roberts. Russell was off to a 4-for-22 start in the postseason with nine strikeouts before the slugging shortstop put a leadoff homer into the short porch in left field. Turner evened it moments later by poking a single to right after a leadoff double by Culberson, the Dodgers’ improbably successful replacement for injured All-Star shortstop Corey Seager. The Dodgers chased Lester with two outs in the fifth, but reliever Carl Edwards Jr. came through after several recent postseason struggles, striking out pinch-hitter Chase Utley and then pitching a strong sixth. Lester was the co-MVP of last season’s NLCS, winning Game 5 at Dodger Stadium and yielding two runs over 13 innings in the series. He had nothing near the same success against the Dodgers’ revamped lineup in this one, issuing four walks in the first four innings and repeatedly escaping jams. Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward held up Turner in the third when it appeared he could have scored from first on Cody Bellinger’s double to the gap. Javier Baez, the other co-MVP of last season’s NLCS for Chicago, got to third base in the third with one out, but also was stranded. UP NEXT Cubs: Hendricks dominated Chicago’s playoff opener with seven scoreless innings against the Nationals, but yielded four runs in four innings during the team’s wild Game 5 victory in Washington. He is starting on normal rest. Dodgers: Darvish was outstanding in Game 3 against the Diamondbacks, earning his first career postseason victory with seven strikeouts over five innings of two-hit ball. He was acquired from Texas precisely for these moments, and he starts on seven days of rest......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports14 hr. 59 min. ago Related News

‘Superteams’ rise to challenge Warriors for crown

Washington, United States --- Kevin Durant barely had a chance to grip his first NBA championship trophy in Golden State's victory celebration last June before rival clubs were moving to challenge the Warriors "superteam" for supremacy. Now the NBA's 72nd season opens Tuesday with a fistful of clubs having assembled three or more stars, uniting to stop Durant, 3-point sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green from bringing Golden State a third title in four campaigns. NBA 2017 Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook welcomed Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to Oklahoma City while Houston added Chris Paul and tough defenders to NBA assists leader ...Keep on reading: ‘Superteams’ rise to challenge Warriors for crown.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: 20 hr. 22 min. ago Related News

Bulldogs complete badminton 4-peat

National University annexed its fourth consecutive men's crown with a 3-0 win over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 80 badminton tournament Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.    Registering another perfect season with their 35th straight win, the Bulldogs are now level with the Fighting Maroons for the most number of championships with five.     Tournament MVP Alvin Morada and Alem Palmares sealed the crown for NU with a 21-17, 21-14 conquest of JM Bernardo and CK Clemente in the first doubles.     Morada also won his second singles match against Vinci Manuel, 21-12, 21-16, right after Mike Minuluan opened the tie with a come-from-behind 13-21, 21-17, 21-10 victory over Bernardo.     No one is graduating after this tournament, as last year's MVP Leeward Pedrosa will be back next season to banner the Bulldogs' foray for another crown.        'Siguro, mas kakayanin namin kasi mas malakas kami next year. Tingin namin kaya pa,' said the 20-year old Morada.                  UP's Carmelo Joseph Lunod Jr. went home with the Rookie of the Year plum.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 15th, 2017Related News

Bulldogs regain beach volleyball title after dethroning UST

Playing practically a flawless game in the deciding third set, National University denied University of Santo Tomas of back-to-back titles in the UAAP men's beach volleyball tournament. The Bulldogs scored a thrilling 2-1 series win over the Tigers Saturday at the SM MOA Sands, capturing the title they last held in UAAP Season 77. Splitting the first two games of the best-of-3 series, the Bulldogs were methodical in their 21-15, 14-21, 15-13 win in Game 3 to win the Season 80 championship. Playing in front or a pro-UST crowd, Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad were simply perfect in the final set, not giving any inch to KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto all while taking advantage of the minimal miscues the UST's golden pair did commit. A final hit by Bagunas sealed the title for the Bulldogs, completing a comeback from a 0-1 series deficit. Earier in the day, the Tigers won Game 1, 22-20, 26-24, before NU stormed back to take Game 2, 21-19, 9-21, 15-10. 'Training pa lang buwis buhay na kami,' Bagunas said, who announced as league MVP. 'Sobrang pinaghirapan namin para makamit itong championship na to. Nakaka-overwhelm na kahit sobrang dikit, sobrang intense, nagawan pa rin namin ng paraan,' he added. Sweeping the eliminations, the Bulldogs were swept in the series opener as the Tigers, coming in as defending champions, came through with the bigger plays down the stretch. However, NU would settle down the rest of the way and was able to counter everything UST would give. The championship win was the first for the Bulldogs since they went back-to-back-to back in Seasons 75, 76 and 77, the last two coincidentally, came at the expense of Guzman and the Tigers. br />   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 14th, 2017Related News

Warriors wrap up preseason with a win over Kings

The Associated Press - Stephen Curry had 18 points in 19 minutes as Golden State made a successful return home after its two-game China trip, 117-106. David Stockton had 23 points and eight assists for the Kings (1-5). em> strong>KINGS: /strong> /em> Veteran summer acquisitions Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and George Hill all were sidelined. ... Rookie Frank Mason started and had 10 points. ... Rookies De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the game with injuries. em> strong>WARRIORS: /strong> /em>Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala didn’t play. ... Patrick McCaw scored 17 points and Nick Young made five three-pointers for 15. ... Rookie Jordan Bell started and finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. ___ strong>LAKERS 111, CLIPPERS 104 /strong> Brook Lopez scored 16 points for the Lakers (2-4), and the Los Angeles teams tuned up against each other before they meet in their season openers on Thursday (Wednesday, PHL time). Tyrone Wallace had 23 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Clippers (2-3). em> strong>LAKERS: /strong> /em>Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle each scored 15 points. ... Rookie Kyle Kuzma struggled to a 1-for-8 night, scoring eight points. ... Lonzo Ball sat again after hurting his ankle earlier in the preseason. em> strong>CLIPPERS: /strong> /em>Rookie Jawun Evans had 22 points and eight assists. ... Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Danilo Gallinari, Austin Rivers and Milos Teodosic all sat. ___ strong>HORNETS 111, MAVERICKS 96 /strong> Kemba Walker scored 17 points and Johnny O’Bryant III had all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter for Charlotte. O’Bryant was 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line in the fourth, helping the Hornets (2-3) pull away with a 29-15 spurt. Harrison Barnes scored 24 for visiting Dallas (4-2). em> strong>MAVERICKS: /strong> /em> Dennis Smith Jr. closed his preseason with 10 points and nine assists. ... Dirk Nowitzki had 14 points and J.J. Barea added 13. em> strong>HORNETS: /strong> /em>Dwight Howard grabbed 12 rebounds, helping Charlotte win that battle 50-37. ... Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon each scored 14. ___ strong>CAVALIERS 113, MAGIC 106 /strong> Playing without LeBron James, Cleveland got 18 points from Jose Calderon and 15 from Dwyane Wade to beat Orlando. James missed his fourth preseason game with a bad ankle, and Kevin Love also didn’t play for the visiting Cavaliers (1-4). Aaron Gordon had 21 points for the Magic (3-3). em> strong>CAVALIERS: /strong> /em> Kyle Korver took five two-point attempts, something he did in only six games all last season. ... Wade and Derrick Rose didn’t play in the second half. ... JR Smith came off the bench to further acclimate to his new role, now that Wade is the starting shooting guard. em> strong>MAGIC: /strong> /em>Orlando allowed 36 points in the third quarter. ... Jonathon Simmons started again in place of the injured Terrence Ross (hamstring). ... Simmons had 12 points and Elfrid Payton had 11 on 4-for-4 shooting. ___ strong>WIZARDS 110, KNICKS 103 /strong> Bradley Beal scored 24 points in his best game of the preseason, helping Washington (4-1) send the Knicks to a winless exhibition slate. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 23 points as the host Knicks finished 0-5. em> strong>WIZARDS: /strong> /em> All-Star John Wall sat out the finale. ... Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 21 points. ... Former Knicks forward Jason Smith had 17 points. em> strong>KNICKS: /strong> /em>Kristaps Porzingis (sore right hip) and Frank Ntilikina (bruised right knee) were held out again. Ntilikina, the Knicks’ first-round pick, appeared in just one preseason game. He said he expects to fully practice Saturday. ... Doug McDermott scored 21 points off the bench. He had 12 in his first five minutes. ___ strong>RAPTORS 125, BULLS 104 /strong> Toronto outscored Chicago 38-17 in the fourth quarter to turn what was a tie game into a blowout. CJ Miles scored 27 points for visiting Toronto (3-2), which got 17 from Kyle Lowry and 16 from Norman Powell. Justin Holiday scored 17 for Chicago (3-3). em> strong>RAPTORS: /strong> /em> Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Raptors were 19 of 48 from 3-point range. em> strong>BULLS: /strong> /em>Lauri Markkanen scored 13 and Bobby Portis added 12. ... Chicago had 28 assists on 38 field goals. ___ strong>SPURS 106, ROCKETS 97 /strong> LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio (3-2). Rudy Gay scored 14 points and Kyle Anderson added 13 for the Spurs. Eric Gordon led the host Rockets (4-1) with 27 points, and James Harden added 15 points and 11 assists — but shot a mere 5 for 17. em> strong>SPURS: /strong> /em>Danny Green had 11 points and seven assists. ... The Spurs outscored Houston 60-38 in the paint. em> strong>ROCKETS: /strong> /em>Houston took 53 shots from three-point range, making 15. ... Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson combined for 27 points, but shot 5-for-20 from behind the arc. ___ strong>GRIZZLIES 142, PELICANS 101 /strong> New Orleans’ Tony Allen — who will have his jersey retired by the Grizzlies when his career ends — got a huge ovation from fans in Memphis in his first trip back as an opponent. He didn’t play, and the Pelicans got routed. Jarrell Martin scored 20 points and Marc Gasol finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Memphis (3-2). Jordan Crawford scored 19 for New Orleans (1-3). em> strong>PELICANS: /strong> /em>Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins both shot 2 for 5, combining for 16 points. ... New Orleans trailed by as many as 49. strong> em>GRIZZLIES: /em> /strong>Memphis got to the 100-point mark with 4:17 left in the third quarter. ... Mike Conley scored 19. ___ strong>BUCKS 107, PISTONS 103 /strong> Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists as Milwaukee (1-3) avoided a winless preseason. Avery Bradley and Andre Drummond were brilliant for visiting Detroit (2-3). Bradley scored 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting, and Drummond finished with 18 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists. em> strong>PISTONS: /strong> /em>Tobias Harris scored 13 points and Boban Marjanovic added 10. ... Detroit got outscored 48-27 from three-point range. em> strong>BUCKS: /strong> /em> Khris Middleton and Mirza Teletovic each scored 14. ... Milwaukee used 14 players — 13 of them scored (rookie of the year Malcolm Brogdon was the exception) and all 14 got at least one rebound. ___ strong>76ERS 119, HEAT 95 /strong> Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick each scored 19 for Philadelphia (2-3), with Redick going 5 for 6 from 3-point range. Bam Adebayo, James Johnson and Dion Waiters had 13 apiece for Miami (3-3). em> strong>HEAT: /strong> /em>Hassan Whiteside picked up three fouls by the midpoint of the first quarter, with Joel Embiid drawing them all. ... Jordan Mickey had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Justise Winslow scored 10. em> strong>76ERS: /strong> /em>Philadelphia “hosted” the game in Kansas City, Missouri. ... The 76ers shot 14-for-39 from beyond the arc, while holding Miami to a 4-for-30 performance from long range. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 14th, 2017Related News

Lady Tams face Tigresses in beach volleyball Finals anew

Far Eastern University set up another championship date against archrival and unbeaten defending champion University of Sto. Tomas in the 80th UAAP women’s beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM by the Bay Friday. The twice-to-beat Lady Tamaraws tandem of Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza dominated Diana Carlos and Ayel Estrañero of University of the Philippines, 21-8, 21-18, in their rain-delayed stepladder semifinals match to march back into the best-of-three Finals against the Tigresses pair of Sisi Rondina and Caitlyn Viray. Due to inclement weather, Game 1 of the championship series, which was supposed to be played Friday afternoon, was postponed and moved Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Heavy rain and strong winds halted the match briefly with FEU leading 18-16 in the second set. But the short stoppage proved to be just a short delay as Lady Tams continued with their rampage when game resumed to secure the last Finals slot. UP showed De La Salle University’s Tin Tiamzon and May Luna the exit door Thursday night, 17-21, 21-19, 15-12, in the first semis stepladder match.      UST swept the seven-game elimination round to advance outright to the Finals that duplicated their feat last year. The Tigresses needed three games to turn back the Lady Tams and reclaim the crown last year.   In the men’s division, defending champion UST returned to the Finals after KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto eliminated the tandem of last year’s runner-up Jude Garcia and Jeremiah Barrica of Far Eastern University, 21-17, 21-16, in the stepladder semis. The Tigers will challenge the unbeaten National University pair of Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad in the best-of-three Finals Saturday.    FEU booted out Ateneo's Marck Espejo and Karl Baysa, 21-15, 21-16, in Thursday's night opening men's stepladder match.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 13th, 2017Related News

Thunder add reinforcements for MVP Westbrook

em>By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press /em> OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook did it all last season and it wasn’t enough. Westbrook averaged a triple-double and topped Oscar Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles on his way to winning the league MVP award and the scoring title. He led the Thunder to the playoffs after Kevin Durant left for Golden State in the offseason. A five-game playoff exit at the hands of the Houston Rockets was typical of Oklahoma City’s season — great play from Westbrook but the team falling short. Reinforcements have arrived. The Thunder have acquired All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in trades, and now, Oklahoma City is poised to return to elite status. “To be able to play with those two guys and the rest of the guys we have is amazing,” Westbrook said. “I’m excited. I’m looking forward to making a great run, and I’m happy they’re here.” Anthony, now 33, appears to have plenty in the tank. He averaged 15.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in the preseason. He said he expects to score, but he will do what is needed to fit in with coach Billy Donovan’s system. George led the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014. He missed most of the 2014-2015 season after breaking his leg, then the Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons. His early adjustment appears to be going smoothly — he averaged 20.3 points in the preseason. He believes that being paired with superstar talent gives the Thunder a chance to be special. “You need guys of that stature and that level to be able to help and create something special,” George said. “It’s just that era where you’ve got to face teams that are going to have two or three guys that can take over games and be iconic to this league.” Here are some things to watch from the Thunder this season: strong>BACKUP POINT GUARD /strong>: The Thunder sometimes ran into trouble last season when Westbrook would go to the bench to rest, and it was a particularly big issue during the playoffs. New pickup Raymond Felton should be an upgrade. The veteran has 657 NBA starts and averaged 9.5 points per game just two seasons ago for Dallas. strong>ADAMS’ DEVELOPMENT /strong>: Center Steven Adams had his best season last year, and he will be in position to be even better this year. He ranked seventh in the league in field-goal percentage last season, and with George and Anthony drawing attention, he should be open a lot more this season. He shot 62 percent from the field during the preseason. strong>HIGH-FLYER: /strong> Rookie guard Terrance Ferguson played professionally in Australia last season. He showed off his springs on several highlight-reel plays while averaging 6.3 points in the preseason. There’s substance to go with the flash. “He’s a guy that comes in and works hard, does the things we ask him to do on both ends,” Anthony said. “Wants to get better. You can’t ask for a better rookie than that. A guy who wants to be out on the court and working his way to have an opportunity to gain some minutes. So he is a guy that you guys will be hearing more of in the future.” strong>THREE-POINT SHOOTING: /strong>Oklahoma City was the worst three-point shooting team in the league last season at 32.7 percent. The addition of George, Patrick Patterson and Anthony should help that. All are good shooters, and they should get plenty of open looks playing off of the other talent on the roster. strong>REPLACING ENES: /strong>The Thunder had to give up Enes Kanter to get Anthony. Kanter was one of the best reserves in the league — just two years ago, he finished third in the race for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s an elite offensive rebounder and one of the league’s most efficient shooters. “Enes was a great guy, he was a great teammate,” Donovan said. “He in my opinion is maybe the best offensive rebounder in the game. You know, I think he’ll be missed.” .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2017Related News

Now or never for the Minnesota Timberwolves

em>By Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press /em> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have gone through a makeover this summer, changing their logo, their uniforms and renovating Target Center to usher in a new look for a team that has been a doormat for well over a decade now. If logo designer Rodney Richardson wanted to add a Bulls head to the new look, it would have been appropriate. After a disappointing first season in Minnesota, coach and president Tom Thibodeau went looking for some familiar faces from his days with the Chicago Bulls to set a different tone with a team that has spent the last four seasons billing itself as a young and exciting group on the rise. Jimmy Butler came from Chicago in a trade. Former Bulls Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks were added in free agency. Thibs even added John Lucas III to the coaching staff to try and bring another voice familiar with his system and knowledgeable of his demands to the organization to make sure nothing gets lost in translation. Thibodeau will never admit that there was a concerted effort to target ex-Bulls. But there is no dispute he went looking for players from his Chicago era to add an edge to a team that features young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. “It was who fit us best and what we needed,” Thibodeau said. At the top of that list was toughness. A young team with few proven veterans lost 22 games last season in which it held a double-digit lead. Butler and Gibson bring that by the bucketful, and the Wolves also added 37-year-old Jamal Crawford to the bench for another veteran who has been in all kinds of big spots. “A lot of guys don’t understand when you get to the NBA, it’s not just about running up and down the court and smiling and having fun,” Gibson said. “It’s a business. Everyone has to align with each other like a puzzle piece.” The Wolves go into the season in a loaded Western Conference looking to end the longest active playoff drought in the league, which stretches back to 2004. After hoping that streak would end for several years, this year that is the expectation. The season opener is Oct. 18 at San Antonio. Here are some things to watch with the Timberwolves this season: strong>WIGGINS RE-UPS: /strong>Wiggins finally signed a five-year, $148 million contract extension on Wednesday, ending a head-scratching process that was made more complicated by his decision to part ways with agent Bill Duffy on the brink of a new deal in August. The deal is sure to be one of the more polarizing in the NBA for a gifted scorer who has yet to make an All-Star team. strong>KAT’S MEOW: /strong>Towns has put up some incredible numbers in his first two seasons, making him a fashionable choice to become the league’s next big star. Perhaps the only thing holding him back is a bigger commitment on the defensive end. Towns frequently lost focus on that end last season, but flashed strong potential as a rookie when playing alongside Kevin Garnett. Playing in a starting five with Gibson and Butler figures to help him make the necessary strides. strong>BJELICA’S RECOVERY: /strong>Nemanja Bjelica has never been a starter in his three seasons with the Wolves, but he may be one of the team’s most important players. At his best, he is a versatile, playmaking shooter who can play multiple positions and give the second unit some much-needed offensive punch. He was just starting to show everything he can do last season when he went down with a broken foot. He has been playing in the preseason, and the Wolves will need him to stay healthy and effective to compete in the West. strong>MUHAMMAD RETURNS: /strong>Shabazz Muhammad turned down a four-year, $40 million contract offer from the Timberwolves before last season, hopeful that another strong year could help him break the bank as a free agent in the summer. But the salary cap did not increase as many projected, and Muhammad was one of many restricted free agents to get squeezed. He wound up settling for a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, a bargain for the Wolves. Now Muhammad is motivated to have a strong season for a competitive team to try to recoup some of the money he lost. “We felt fortunate we were able to get him back,” Thibodeau said. strong>RUBIO’S REPLACEMENT: /strong>The Wolves traded longtime point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz this summer and brought in Jeff Teague on a three-year, $57 million deal to give Thibodeau the scoring point guard he wanted. Rubio is an immensely popular figure locally, and it didn’t take Teague long to figure out what kind of shoes he has to fill. “He was a fan favorite,” Teague said. “I hear it every day. No, seriously. I really do.” .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2017Related News

Less time, fewer timeouts among adjustments for NBA coaches

em>By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press /em> NEW YORK (AP) — Mike D’Antoni ran an offensive system known as seven seconds or less, so he likes things fast. Good thing, because NBA coaches find things come at them more quickly this season. They are losing time and timeouts, with fewer days to prepare before the regular season and fewer chances to talk things over during games. Throw in new rules legislating how they can rest players, and there are plenty of adjustments even for veteran coaches. “I think it’s good,” said D’Antoni, the NBA coach of the year with Houston last year. “Take stuff out of coaches’ hands, because we just screw it up anyway. So it’s better for the players.” Among the changes: — Next Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) start is the NBA’s earliest since 1980. It’s a week earlier than normal, with the maximum number of preseason games cut from eight to six. — Timeouts are reduced from 18 to 14, with each team having seven. They will be limited to two during the last three minutes of games, instead of the previous rule that permitted three timeouts in the final two minutes. — Teams can be fined $100,000 or more for resting healthy players during national TV games, and are discouraged from resting multiple healthy players in the same game or sitting them in road games. — Halftime will be 15 minutes for all games — and the league plans to be diligent about starting the clock as soon as the first half ends. There previously was a minute or two longer for national TV games, and sometimes the clock wouldn’t start until all players had cleared the floor. That change caught the attention of D’Antoni, who noted that in some arenas there is a longer walk from the benches to the locker rooms. “So instead of showing 10 clips at halftime, you might only be able to show two or three,” D’Antoni said. Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of league operations, said the goal wasn’t to shorten the length of games, which run about 2 hours, 15 minutes. He said the league wanted the games to have a better flow, and worked with the coaches and Competition Committee, which includes some coaches, during the summer on the changes. Spruell said coaches were fine with the removal of the under-9 minute timeouts in the second and fourth quarters, feeling they came too soon after the quarters started. There will now be two mandatory timeouts in each quarter, at the under-7 and under-3 minute marks. Even at the end of games, coaches acknowledged there were too many stoppages. “As a head coach you always want more timeouts. You want to have that flexibility at the end of the game to be able to help your team,” Miami’s Erik Spoelstra said. “But when I’m watching games, I want there to be less. I do. I want there to be less timeouts and for the games to go a little bit quicker, particularly at the end. You want to just see the action.” All timeouts will now be 75 seconds. Full timeouts were formerly 90 seconds. “Before you have the little pow-wow for a long timeout, the coaches try to get reacquainted and figure out where you’re going to eat dinner,” D’Antoni joked. “But now you’ve got to go in and actually coach.” Spruell said the league didn’t get a lot of pushback from coaches on the suggested changes, even coming around on the resting rules. “I’m just happy Adam Silver gave us some good guidelines to follow when it comes to that so we don’t feel like we’re cheating our fans,” Memphis coach David Fizdale said. “That was one good thing that came out of the coaches’ meetings, Adam Silver’s leadership on that.” Player health was one reason for the shorter preseason. By adding the extra week to the regular season, the league reduced back-to-back games and has no teams playing four in five nights for the first time. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said the shorter preseason wouldn’t matter to most teams, since they usually run a similar system from year to year unless there was a coaching change, and there were none. His team is different. The Knicks are largely scrapping the triangle offense they ran when Phil Jackson was president and redefining roles with leading scorer Carmelo Anthony traded. They’ve had a number of nagging injuries and may not see some combinations play together until the games count. “It’s one of those years that maybe you wish there was eight exhibition games, but it is what it is and we just have to work,” Hornacek said. There’s also a change for general managers in the form of an earlier trade deadline. Previously the Thursday (Friday, PHL time) after the All-Star Game, now it’s the Thursday (Friday, PHL time) 10 days before it. Spruell said in discussions with GMs, they felt that would benefit the traded players, who would have the break to acclimate themselves to their new cities. So there’s plenty that’s new, but Spoelstra said they will all catch on. “Whenever there’s rules changes, regardless, players or coaches, you eventually adapt and we’ll do that as well,” he said. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2017Related News

Minnesota Timberwolves announce Andrew Wiggins extension

em>Minnesota Timberwolves press release /em> Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves announced the team has signed forward Andrew Wiggins to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the contract agreement were not released. Wiggins, 22, registered a career-high 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 37.2 minutes in 82 games last season, making a career-best 103 three-pointers on a career-high 35.6% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. Wiggins averaged 26.0 points over the final 30 games in 2016-17, including 28.3 ppg in eight April starts. The 6-8 forward registered five 40+ point games a season ago, including a career-best 47-point performance on November 13 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. “I’m pleased that we’ve reached an agreement with Andrew on a contract extension,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “Andrew is one of the best young players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years.” “I’m very excited to continue my career with the Timberwolves,” said Wiggins. “I love it here. The fans and organization have supported me from my first day here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, the entire coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me. We’ve had some good times over the last three seasons, but the best is yet to come. I look forward to doing right by them and bringing this team to the postseason.” For his career, Wiggins has played in 245 of a possible 246 games, averaging 20.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.2 minutes per game. Only three players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony) scored more points before their 22nd birthday and Wiggins’ 4,995 career point total ranks sixth on the Wolves’ all-time scoring list. Wiggins won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year following the 2014-15 season in which he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, becoming the first Wolves player to win Rookie of the Year honors. “We’re very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him. We look forward to watching his development in the coming years.” Wiggins was selected first overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded to the Wolves on Aug. 23, 2014.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 12th, 2017Related News

SSC rips St. Anthony in Milcu caging

MANILA, Philippines — San Sebastian overpowered School of Saint Anthony, 61-46, at the start of the Milcu Sports Basketball Elite Showcase Under-17 tournamen.....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsOct 10th, 2017Related News

Harden falls just short of triple-double as Rockets rout Knicks

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> James Harden had 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and Houston made 22 3-pointers while remaining unbeaten and keeping New York winless in the preseason, 117-95. The teams tried during the offseason to work out a trade for Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks ended up sending him to Oklahoma City, though the Rockets appear to still have plenty of firepower. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points for the Knicks. em> strong>ROCKETS: /strong> /em>Houston has made at least 22 three-pointers in all three games. No team has ever had three straight games with 20 or more in the regular season. Clint Capela had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Eric Gordon added 18 points. Zhou Qi played three minutes, getting three points. em> strong>KNICKS: /strong> /em> Michael Beasley scored 17 points before leaving with a bruised left elbow. He landed hard on a drive to the basket in the third quarter. Damyean Dotson also had 17 for New York. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Houston (3-0) visits Memphis on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). New York (0-4) hosts Washington on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). ___ strong>PISTONS 107, PACERS 97 /strong> Detroit outscored Indiana 30-15 from the three-point line, and had a 26-11 edge in points off turnovers. Ish Smith, Reggie Jackson and Boban Marjanovic had 14 points apiece for the Pistons. Damien Wilkins led Indiana with 14 off the bench, shooting 5-for-6 and making both of his 3-point tries. em> strong>PACERS: /strong> /em> Indiana led by 16 in the second quarter, but was outscored 71-47 in the final 25 minutes. Myles Turner, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and Lance Stephenson all didn't play. Al Jefferson had 12 points on 6-for-14 shooting. em> strong>PISTONS: /strong> /em>Smith also had nine assists. Detroit was plus-25 in Henry Ellenson's 28 minutes. Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Bullock each scored 12 for the Pistons. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Indiana (2-1) hosts Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Detroit (2-1) visits Toronto on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). ___ strong>CELTICS 113, 76ERS 96 /strong> Hours after Philadelphia and Joel Embiid agreed on a five-year extension worth $148 million, Boston had no trouble with the 76ers and led wire-to-wire. Semi Ojeleye scored 16 for Boston, which led by as many as 34. Ben Simmons scored 15 for the 76ers, though he missed seven of his 10 free throws. em> strong>CELTICS: /strong> /em>Aron Baynes sprained his left knee in the first half. Jaylen Brown scored 12 for the Celtics, who got 15 apiece from Terry Rozier and Abdel Nader. em> strong>76ERS: /strong> /em>Furkan Korkmaz scored 13 and No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz added 12. The 76ers shot 28 percent from three-point range and 52 percent from the foul line. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Boston (3-0) visits Charlotte on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Philadelphia (0-3) plays Brooklyn on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) in Uniondale, New York. ___ strong>HEAT 109, HORNETS 106 /strong> Justise Winslow's layup with 23.7 seconds left put Miami ahead for good, as the Heat rallied in the final minutes. Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson each scored 18 for Miami, which got 13 from Dion Waiters and 11 points and 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside. Malik Monk scored 19 and Dwight Howard had 16 for Charlotte. em> strong>HORNETS: /strong> /em>All-Star guard Kemba Walker left early in the third quarter after getting hit in the face, and Jeremy Lamb left with groin soreness. Charlotte had a 29-14 edge in points off turnovers, but was 5-for-26 from three-point range. em> strong>HEAT: /strong> /em>James Johnson was called for a Flagrant-1 after a hard foul on Howard in the third quarter. The two slapped hands afterward, clearly without animosity. The rookie learning curve for Bam Adebayo continued, after he had three fouls in three first-half minutes and the Heat were outscored by 10 in that stretch. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Miami (2-2) hosts Washington on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Charlotte (1-2) hosts Boston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). ___ strong>HAWKS 100, GRIZZLIES 88 /strong> Dennis Schroder scored 21 points to lead Atlanta, which got 15 from Malcolm Delaney. James Ennis scored 14 to lead Memphis. em> strong>GRIZZLIES: /strong> /em>Memphis was only 4-for-22 from three-point range. Marc Gasol had 13 rebounds. em> strong>HAWKS: /strong> /em>Rookie John Collins got cut beneath his right eye, then returned and led the Hawks with eight rebounds. Atlanta was plus-21 in DeAndre' Bembry's 20 minutes. The game was at Georgia Tech because of renovations at the arena where the Hawks play. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Memphis (2-1) hosts Houston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Atlanta (2-2) hosts Dallas on Thursday (Fridau, PHL time) at Georgia Tech. ___ strong>MAVERICKS 99, MAGIC 96 /strong> Dennis Smith Jr. scored 16 points, Harrison Barnes added 14 and Dirk Nowitzki added 10 for Dallas. D.J. Augustin scored 24 points for the Magic, which got 19 from Jonathon Simmons. em> strong>MAGIC: /strong> /em> Nikola Vucevic grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Augustin was 6-for-10 from three-point range, and Mo Speights had 15 points after shooting 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. em> strong>MAVERICKS: /strong> /em>Smith also had seven assists and six rebounds. J.J. Barea was very effective, tallying eight points and nine rebounds. Nowitzki made four of his seven shots. em> strong>UP NEXT: /strong> /em>Orlando (2-2) vists San Antonio on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Dallas (3-1) visits Atlanta on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) at Georgia Tech. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 10th, 2017Related News

Cubs rally past Scherzer, Nationals 2-1, lead NLDS 2-1

em>By Jay Cohen, Associated Press /em> CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo looped a tie-breaking single with two outs in the eighth inning and the Chicago Cubs overcame Max Scherzer's brilliant performance to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Monday for a 2-1 lead in their NL Division Series. Scherzer was dominant in his return from a right hamstring injury, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh. But just like in Game 1, when Chicago was held hitless into the sixth by Stephen Strasburg, the World Series champion Cubs showed off their resilience on the way to a stirring victory. Game 4 of the best-of-five series is Tuesday. Jake Arrieta returns from his own hamstring injury for the Cubs, while Tanner Roark gets the ball for the Nationals. Chicago committed four errors, including two by left fielder Kyle Schwarber on one ugly play, and Rizzo and Jason Heyward each made uncharacteristic baserunning mistakes. But the Cubs got a huge pinch-hit RBI single from Albert Almora Jr. and a solid pitching performance from Jose Quintana in the return of postseason baseball to Wrigley Field after last year's World Series ended in Cleveland. With pinch-runner Leonys Martin on second in the eighth, Rizzo hit a blooper to left off Oliver Perez that found a patch of outfield grass between three Washington fielders. Rizzo stumbled after he took a big turn around first and was tagged out to end the inning, but he didn't seem to care too much, yelling and screaming as the Cubs came out of the dugout for the ninth. All-Star Wade Davis then retired three in a row for his second save of the series. Jayson Werth popped out to Rizzo to end the game. Scherzer struck out seven and walked three before he was pulled after Ben Zobrist doubled to left-center on his 98th pitch for Chicago's first hit with one out in the seventh. With Washington clinging to a 1-0 lead, Nationals manager Dusty Baker opted for left-hander Sammy Solis, who had a 5.88 ERA during the regular season, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon countered by sending Almora to hit for the lefty-batting Schwarber. Mark this one down for Maddon, who drew some criticism after he allowed Carl Edwards Jr. to pitch to Bryce Harper in the eighth in Game 2 and the slugger responded with a two-run homer. Almora lined a 3-2 pitch into left-center for his first career postseason hit in 15 at-bats. Almora yelled and pounded his chest after rounding first and the crowd of 42,445 cheered wildly. Heyward followed with another base hit, but was inexplicably doubled off first on Addison Russell's fly ball to a hustling Michael A. Taylor in center, ending the inning. While Scherzer mowed down the Cubs, Quintana worked on his own gem in his first career playoff appearance. Helped by terrific running grabs by Heyward in right and Jon Jay in center, the veteran left-hander carried a two-hit shutout into the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Daniel Murphy lofted a fly ball to left that Schwarber dropped and then flubbed again when he tried to pick it up. The two errors put Murphy on third, and Maddon was booed as he went to the mound to pull Quintana in favor of Pedro Strop. Ryan Zimmerman followed with an RBI double into the gap in right-center, giving Washington the lead. The All-Star slugger also had one of the big blows in Game 2, hitting a tiebreaking three-run homer in the Nationals' 6-3 victory. Schwarber's costly play was part of a strange day in the field for the Cubs. Quintana and Zobrist also committed an error, but Russell made a spectacular diving stop on Taylor's grounder to shortstop in the seventh and Zobrist robbed Trea Turner of a hit with a solid play at second in the eighth. strong>FUNNY GUYS /strong> Actors and brothers Bill and Joel Murray led the crowd in the singing of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' during the seventh-inning stretch. Bill Murray fired up the crowd of 42,445 by pumping his right arm as they finished off the song. strong>UP NEXT /strong> Roark is from Wilmington, Illinois, about 60 miles south of Chicago, and grew up rooting for the Cubs. The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in five career games at Wrigley Field. 'It's pretty surreal to pitch in Wrigley, and just the history that they have here and everything,' he said. 'It's very exciting and I'm anxious to get out there.' Arrieta hasn't pitched in a game since he lasted just three innings in a loss at St. Louis on Sept. 26. But he said he is 100 percent for his eighth career playoff start. 'From this point on, it seems like it's going to be a non-issue for us now,' he said. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 10th, 2017Related News

Undefeated Chiefs beat Texans 42-34

em>By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press /em> HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Smith threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns to help the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated with a 42-34 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday night in a game where J.J. Watt broke his left leg. Deshaun Watson’s 48-yard touchdown pass got the Texans within six early in the fourth quarter before Smith extended the lead for Kansas City (5-0) to 32-20 on a 10-yard pass to De’Anthony Thomas with about 9 minutes left. Tyreek Hill padded the lead when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. Watson threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns, but the Texans (2-3) failed to recreate the magic they found last week when they scored a franchise-record 57 points in a victory over Tennessee. Watt, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, was injured in the first quarter and the team announced that he sustained a tibial plateau fracture, but didn’t provide any details on how long he’ll be out. The defensive end returned this season after missing the last 13 games last year after his second back surgery. The Texans cut their deficit when Watson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Fuller in the third quarter. But the 2-point conversion failed, leaving them down 23-13. Kansas City’s Charcandrick West caught two touchdown passes and Travis Kelce had eight receptions for 98 yards in the first half, but didn’t return after halftime and the team said he was being evaluated for a concussion. The Chiefs were up by six when Smith found West on an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0 in the second quarter. Houston rookie D’Onta Foreman fumbled two plays later to give Kansas City the ball right back and the Chiefs tacked on a field goal. Foreman stepped out of one tackle before plowing over Marcus Peters as he tried to tackle him before two other Chiefs finally brought him down after a 25-yard gain that got Houston to the 10 on the Texans’ next drive. The Texans cut it to 16-7 when Watson found DeAndre Hopkins in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in the first half. Smith then connected with West again, this time on a 4-yard TD pass to put the Chiefs up 23-7 at halftime. The Chiefs led 3-0 early after a 35-yard field goal by Harrison Butker on their first drive. Watt was injured on the play before the field goal and fell to the ground while being blocked. Watt remained on his hands and knees for a couple of minutes while trainers checked on him. They flipped him onto his back and were looking at his left leg. He was then helped to his feet and looked to be in a lot of pain and didn’t appear to be able to put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the field by two Texans officials. He remained on the sideline under a tent for a few minutes before being taken to the locker room on a cart and then taken by ambulance to the hospital. Butker added another field goal early in the second quarter to make it 6-0. Kansas City rookie Kareem Hunt had 29 carries for 107 yards to give him four 100-yard rushing games this season. Hopkins had four receptions for 52 yards with three touchdowns after catching two late scoring passes when the game was out of reach. strong>INJURY REPORT /strong> Chiefs’ safety Steven Terrell suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff. Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus injured his chest in the first quarter and didn’t return. Houston safety Corey Moore suffered a concussion strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Chiefs: /strong> /em> Host Steelers next Sunday. em> strong>Texans: /strong> /em>Host Cleveland next Sunday. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2017Related News

Beckham Jr. breaks left ankle, Watt breaks left leg

The Associated Press - Even with three receivers already down, the New York Giants were in position to win after Odell Beckham Jr.’s touchdown catch. Then Beckham was hurt, and suddenly their winless record wasn’t the Giants’ biggest problem. Beckham broke his left ankle and Houston’s J.J. Watt broke his left leg as two of the NFL’s most talented players suffered serious injuries Sunday. Beckham was carted off the field just a few plays before the Los Angeles Chargers scored the go-ahead touchdown, sending the Giants to a 27-22 loss. Watt sustained a tibial plateau fracture, leaving the stadium in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year had fallen to the ground while being blocked midway through the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans also lost linebacker Whitney Mercilus to a chest injury. Beckham’s injury came near the end of a costly day for the Giants’ receiving corps. Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall had already departed after spraining their left ankles on the same series in the second quarter, and receiver and returner Dwayne Harris broke a foot in the third quarter. Then Beckham went down, the Chargers went ahead, and the Giants were so depleted that they had to use tight ends as receivers on their final, futile drive. “I mean, it significantly altered the game,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We had one receiver left at the end of the ballgame.” They may not have Beckham again this season. The injury could require surgery, and the Giants certainly wouldn’t rush back their star in what seems a lost season at 0-5. He has 25 catches for 302 yards and three touchdowns, including a 48-yard score early in the fourth quarter that may end up being his last one for a while. He was then hurt after leaping to catch Eli Manning’s high pass and Los Angeles cornerback Casey Hayward pinned his ankle making a tackle. Players immediately signaled the sideline and Beckham was eventually carted off in obvious pain with a hand covering his face. “It was insane,” cornerback Eli Apple said. “Did we even have any more receivers? I thought I was going to have to go out and play receiver.” The Raiders also lost four players to injuries, with Marquel Lee (ankle), fullback Jamize Olawale (concussion), linebacker Corey James (knee) and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (knee) leaving their 30-17 defeat against Baltimore. Ravens running back Terrance West departed on the opening drive with a left calf injury following a 13-yard run and did not return. Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson, who scored his sixth touchdown early in the fourth quarter, wasn’t on the field during the Packers’ final drive. Coach Mike McCarthy said he was being evaluated for an undisclosed injury. They had earlier lost rookie cornerback Kevin King, who had a big hit on Ezekiel Elliott on a screen pass on the first play from scrimmage and later left with a concussion in the first half. Cowboys rookie cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who was playing safety as well, left with an injured hamstring for the second time this season. It was his first game back after missing two games by aggravating the injury in Denver. The 49ers lost cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon (concussion) and Asa Jackson (hamstring) at Indianapolis. Colts receiver Krishnan Hogan needed help to get off the field after appearing to hurt his lower left leg on a kickoff return midway through the third quarter and did not return. Linebacker Anthony Walker left in the second half with a hamstring injury. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2017Related News

Harper, Zimmerman HRs lift Nats past Cubs 6-3 to even NLDS

em>By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) — Things were looking bleak for the Washington Nationals and their dormant offense until Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman took over. Harper hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and Zimmerman tacked on a three-run shot moments later to lift the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 comeback victory over the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs on Saturday, evening their NL Division Series at a game apiece. The Nationals were in serious danger of falling behind 2-0 in the series, entering the eighth trailing 3-1 after losing 3-0 in Game 1. But after accumulating four hits through the first 16 innings of the postseason, NL East champion Washington broke out with five runs and four hits, led by 2015 NL MVP Harper and longtime face of the franchise Zimmerman. 'I was kind of bewildered, because it's not too many teams or pitchers that have held us in check like that for a couple days,' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. 'I just knew in the bottom of my heart that we were going to explode for some numbers, which we've done all year.' The NLDS moves to Wrigley Field for Game 3 on Monday. The Cubs will have Jose Quintana on the mound and the Nationals counter with two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who was pushed back in the rotation because of an injured right hamstring. Jon Lester held Washington to one run and two hits through six innings, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to his bullpen and everything changed. After pinch hitter Adam Lind led off the eighth with a single, Harper connected off a hanging curveball from Carl Edwards Jr., taking a moment to admire his shot before chucking his bat to the ground as the ball reached the second deck in right field. His teammates in the dugout reacted immediately, screaming and raising fists as the ball tore through the night air. Maddon defended his decision to have the righty-throwing Edwards pitch to the lefty-batting Harper. 'He made a bad pitch and the guy didn't miss it, and that's it. Sometimes that happens. Bryce is good. C.J. is good,' Maddon said. 'Bryce got him.' It was the first extra-base hit for Harper since he returned from the disabled list during the last week of September after missing 42 games with an injured knee. He was only 4 for 25 overall in the regular season and playoffs after coming back until that possibly series-altering at-bat. After the next two men reached, Zimmerman stepped in to face Mike Montgomery. This has been a renaissance year for the first baseman, who had only 15 homers and 46 RBIs during an injury-plagued 2016, but led the Nationals this season with 36 homers and 108 RBIs. His shot off a 93 mph fastball was hardly the no-doubter Harper's drive was, but on an evening in which balls carried in 12 mph wind — every run scored on a homer — this one barely cleared the green wall in left field. It made a winner of Oliver Perez, who pitched to one batter in the eighth, Anthony Rizzo, and induced an inning-ending double play. The last of Washington's six pitchers, closer Sean Doolittle, came on for the ninth and earned the save. In the fourth, Rizzo became the Cubs' career leader in postseason homers (six) and RBIs (16) with a tiebreaking two-run shot off Gio Gonzalez to give Chicago a 3-1 lead. Washington's Anthony Rendon had homered off Lester in the first, and Chicago's Willson Contreras went deep against Gonzalez in the second. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 8th, 2017Related News

Hendricks outduels Strasburg as Cubs top Nats 3-0 in Game 1

em>By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press /em> WASHINGTON (AP) — Kyle Hendricks goes about things completely differently than Stephen Strasburg does on the mound. The kid from Dartmouth relies on a fastball that on a good day reaches 88 mph — about 10 mph slower than Strasburg's — and a deceptive changeup. Instead of power, he gets by on precision, guile and smarts. Hendricks outpitched Strasburg in Game 1 of the NL Division Series, giving up only two hits in seven innings to help the Chicago Cubs open defense of their first World Series title in 108 years by beating the Washington Nationals 3-0 on Friday night. 'That's why we call him Professor,' Chicago second baseman Javier Baez said about Hendricks. 'He knows what he's doing.' Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo produced RBI singles with two outs in the sixth inning for the first two hits off an otherwise-dominant Strasburg. Rizzo added a run-scoring double in the eighth off Ryan Madson. Carl Edwards Jr. threw a perfect inning and Wade Davis finished the two-hitter for a save. Unlike No. 1 overall draft pick Strasburg, Hendricks went in the eighth round. Unlike Strasburg, Hendricks has never been an All-Star. Unlike Strasburg, who already has signed a $175 million, seven-year deal that begins next season, Hendricks earned less than $800,000 in 2017. But this was Hendricks' time to shine. 'He was tricking us tonight,' Nationals manager Dusty Baker said, 'and seems like those kind of guys give us more trouble than guys who throw hard.' The slender righty, who led the NL in ERA last season, gave up a single in the first and another in the second — and that was it for the Nationals. He walked three batters and struck out six. 'He knows the scouting report,' said Jon Lester, who starts Game 2 on Saturday for Chicago against fellow lefty Gio Gonzalez. 'He knows where guys' weaknesses are.' Harper — wearing shoes with 'Pray for Las Vegas' written on the side following the recent mass shooting in his hometown — was 1 for 4 as he tries to regain his timing after returning last week from a 42-game injury absence. Otherwise, Washington's elite hitters — Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner and Jayson Werth — were a combined 0 for 17 with three walks. 'Definitely, your confidence builds,' Hendricks said, 'when you start seeing those swings.' The fact that Hendricks approached 90 mph as often as he did was an aberration he and teammates attributed to adrenaline, but one that helped, of course. He also knew he needed to be really good, because of what Strasburg was doing. Strasburg didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth. Baez reached on Rendon's error at third base to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Hendricks. One out later, Bryant drove in the first run with a single to right-center and went to second when Harper's throw missed the cutoff man. Bryant, Rizzo said, managed to 'get the monkey off the back in the dugout for all of us.' Rizzo followed by singling to right in front of a diving Harper to make it 2-0. With a heavy beard and a lot of sweat on a muggy, 77-degree night, Strasburg dialed up his fastball to 98 mph and mixed in an unhittable changeup. To cheers of 'Let's go, Strasburg!' from many in a sellout crowd of 43,898, he struck out 10 to set a playoff record for the Expos-Nationals franchise. Strasburg wound up allowing just those two unearned runs in seven innings, with three hits and one walk. 'You're aware of it,' Hendricks said about Strasburg. 'You know how well he's throwing on the other side.' Hendricks threw well, too. 'It was,' Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said, 'a masterpiece.' strong>SUSPENSION /strong> Less than a half-hour before the game, the Nationals announced that assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones has been suspended with pay pending an internal investigation. The team said the suspension is connected to a legal matter. The 42-year-old Jones retired as a player in 2008 after 10 years with four teams. 'That was kind of a downer before the game,' Baker said, 'because he's a big part of the team.' strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Cubs: /strong> /em> Lester makes the 20th postseason start of his career, which includes three World Series titles and an NLCS MVP award last year. He is 9-7 with a 2.63 ERA over his postseason career. em> strong>Nationals: /strong> /em> Gonzalez goes in Game 2 instead of two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who is slated for Game 3 at Wrigley Field on Monday. Scherzer has been dealing with a sore right hamstring. It will be Gonzalez's first playoff start at home since Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against St. Louis, when he was staked to a 6-0 lead in a game Washington lost 9-7. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 7th, 2017Related News

Tigresses, Lady Tams remain unbeaten

Powerhouse teams defending champion University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University kept their unblemished records intact in Day 2 of the 80th UAAP women’s beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM by the Bay Friday. The tandem of reigning Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Caitlyn Viray delivered the Tigresses’ third win in as many outings after a quick work of Ateneo de Manila University’s Bea De Leon and Jules Samonte, 22-20, 21-15. Rondina, who teamed up with Jem Gutierrez last year for the Espana-based squad’s fourth crown overalla, felt that they still have a lot to work on to.     “Kanina sa performance namin sobrang kulang pa, 'di namin alam kung ano ang ginawa namin pero siguro kulang sa mindset (wala kami sa focus),' said the fourth year Rondina. '(But) I always think po na kung 'di ko kaya or 'di niya (Viray) kaya, nagdadalahan kami, we got each other's back.” The Tams pair of Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, who finished runner-up last year, needed to comeback from a set down to defeat the De La Salle University tandem of Tin Tiamzon and May Luna, 21-23, 21-13, 15-10, for a 3-0 win-loss record. DLSU and Ateneo dropped to 1-2 slates. University of the East’s Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat earned their first win in three outing while handing the listless National University pair of Romajoy Doromal and Audrey Paran their straight loss in a 21-14, 71-21, 15-11, decision.    In men’s play, KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto of defending champion UST claimed their second win in as many games with a 21-14, 21-12 win over Adamson’s Paolo Pablico and John Yude. NU won its second straight match at the expense of UE, 21-14, 21-20; last year’s runner-up FEU bounced back from an opening day loss with a 21-9, 15-21, 15-12 win over Ateneo; while UP topped DLSU, 21-17, 21-12, for a 1-1 card. The Blue Eagles slid to 1-1 mark tied with the Green Spikers while the Falcons and Red Warriors remained winless in two games.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 6th, 2017Related News

Tigresses down Lady Spikers in beach volleyball opener

University of Sto. Tomas opened its title-retention bid in the 80th UAAP women’s beach volleyball tournament on a high note Thursday at the Sands SM by the Bay. Reigning Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and new partner Caitlyn Viray turned back De La Salle University’s Tin Tiamzon and May Luna, 21-23, 21-19, 15-11, in the day’s opening duel. The UST duo needed to comeback from a set down to score an early win in the Espana-based squad’s drive for fifth crown overall and second back-to-back since ruling Season 74 and 75. 'Hindi ko na control emotion ko kanina, gigil ako kanina,' said Rondina, who teamed up with Jem Gutierrez last year to claim her second crown after ruling Season 77. 'Hindi kami mag-iiwan ng salita (kung itutuluy-tuloy na panalo) pero tatrabahuhin namin itong tournament,' added Rondina, who came fresh from a fifth place finish in the Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore with partner Bernadeth Pons. In other women’s results, last year's runner up Pons and Kyla Atienza of Far Eastern University defeated Ateneo de Manila University’s Bea de Leon and Jules Samonte, 21-8, 21-14. Bernadette Flora and Chrislyn Uy of Adamson swept the duo of Audrey Paran and Roma Doromal of National University, 21-18, 21-19, while Diana Carlos and Ayel Estrañero of University of the Philippines dominated Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat, 21-19, 21-13. Meanwhile, defending men’s champions KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto of UST came up with thrilling come-from-behind, 12-21, 21-15, 17-15, win against the UP pair of Nicolo Consuelo and Wendel Miguel. The Tigers reached match point, 14-10, only to see the Fighting Maroons counter with five unanswered points capped by a drop shot by Miguel for a 15-10 advantage.    Guzman forced a deuce at 15, Arbasto scored an ace in the next play before sealing the win with a heady play, tapping  the ball away at UP's undefended spot at the back  to end their opening day with a morale-boosting victory.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 5th, 2017Related News