en

Just having a heck of a time," Byrd said. NOTES: Gri | Forum

OW Debug - Notice
Message: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls
File: /homepages/26/d585359787/htdocs/oxwall/ow_libraries/vendor/smarty/smarty/libs/sysplugins/smarty_internal_compilebase.php
Line: 78
Topic location: Forum home » General » General Chat
miaowang123
miaowang123 Aug 4
LOS ANGELES -- There was no warm welcome back. Marco Friedl Bayern Munich Jersey . No video montage of highlights that brought back the good old days. That didnt keep Dwight Howard from thoroughly enjoying his first road game against the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous season. Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Houston Rockets in 134-108 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night that extended the Rockets winning streak to eight games. "Were always going to have fun when were playing basketball. We love what were doing," Howard said. "Were playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible." The streak is Houstons longest since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08 under Rick Adelman. James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists. Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall had 20 points and 16 assists. The injury-ravaged Lakers remained tied for last place in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 18-36. "The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day. But I cant focus on the Lakers," Howard said. "My focus is on the Rockets and what were trying to accomplish." It was Howards third game against the Lakers since leaving the organization to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July. Los Angeles offered the eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year a five-year, $118 million deal to stay. "Hes having a great year there, but I felt he did the same thing here," Lakers guard Jodie Meeks said. "The numbers are almost identical. He had a pretty good year last year -- and for whatever reason, some people didnt think so." Howard played 76 games last season, averaging 17.1 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds despite residual pain from back surgery -- compounded by a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Howards only season in Tinseltown ended with a whimper -- a four-game sweep by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, when he was ejected from what would turn out to be his final game as a Laker for protesting a non-call. The sellout crowd booed Howard every time he touched the ball. It began during warm-ups about 45 minutes before the game, after a few of his ex-teammates came over to say hello at midcourt. The fans then drowned out public address announcer Lawrence Tanter before he could get Howards name out of his mouth during the introductions. Howard received a technical foul just 78 seconds into the game after dunking on Chris Kaman. "I think it was more emotion than anything," Howard said. "I dont know if the ref thought I was talking to Kaman, but one of my friends was sitting courtside and I was just looking at him and having some fun. It wasnt nothing toward the Lakers or any of their guys. I was just talking trash to one of my friends." Less than 90 minutes before tipoff, the Lakers dealt guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Coach Mike DAntoni was still talking about Blake in the present tense during his pregame session with reporters before the deal was consummated, and the trade left him with only eight players in uniform and his 28th different starting lineup due to injuries to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Nick Young. Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a sore hamstring, and Meeks was back in action after sitting out five games with a sprained right ankle. Harden helped the Rockets build a 64-43 halftime lead with 15 points in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break. Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds -- the 10th time this season that he had a double-double by halftime. NOTES: The Rockets were 18 for 35 on free throws, after attempting more than 50 in each of the previous two meetings. ... Bryant hasnt played in any of the games against Houston since he and Howard became ex-teammates. In fact, hes played in only six games altogether. The season series concludes on April 8 at Los Angeles. ... The Lakers have lost seven games by margins of at least 20 or more points. ... Harden scored at least 30 points in each of his previous four games against the Lakers. ... The Rockets began a five-game road trip that will end right back here at Staples Center against the Clippers. Sandro Wagner Jersey . Reimer is winless (0-2-1) since returning from a six-week absence due to concussion-like symptoms. The Maple Leafs dropped a 4-2 decision to the hosting Washington Capitals on Friday. Mario Gotze Bayern Munich Jersey . PAUL, Minn.PITTSBURGH -- Pinch-runner Josh Harrison stood on second base in the bottom of the eighth inning and pointed to Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Nick Leyva. "I told him to get that arm ready, because Im coming," Harrison said. Moments later, Harrison was streaking across home plate to give the Pirates the lead. Minutes after that, the Jolly Roger thats been a fixture on the Pittsburgh skyline all summer climbed up the flagpole again. Harrison scored on Pedro Alvarezs tiebreaking single Sunday, sending the Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that staked Pittsburgh to a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NL division series. Russell Martin followed with a sharp RBI single against reliever Kevin Siegrist, who took over after Carlos Martinez (0-1) faltered. The go-ahead single was the latest big hit by Alvarez. He homered in the first two games against St. Louis and is 4 for 10 with four RBIs in the series. Alvarez also kept the Pirates famous flag flying high in October. "Raise the Jolly Roger!" is the rallying cry for this wild-card team, now one victory from its first post-season series win since Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and the "We Are Family" gang won it all in 1979. "Were continuing to surprise a lot of people, I believe. Were continuing to show people that were not done, that were not just happy to be in the post-season," star centre fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "Were fighting to win a World Series." Heady territory for a franchise that had endured a record 20 consecutive years of losing coming into this season. Six months later, the Pirates are on the cusp of knocking out baseball royalty. Mark Melancon (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing Carlos Beltrans tying home run in the top of the eighth. Jason Grilli worked the ninth for a save. Charlie Morton is set to start for Pittsburgh in Game 4 on Monday against rookie Michael Wacha. Beltran finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. His 16th playoff home run moved him past Babe Ruth for eighth place in post-season history. "Its a must-win tomorrow for us," Beltran said. "Hopefully we can come here tomorrow, take care of business, win and go play the last game at home." Beltrans shot temporarily silenced a rocking crowd at PNC Park. It also set the stage for another dramatic win by the Pirates. McCutchen led off the eighth with his second hit, a double to left. But the NL MVP candidate unwisely tried to advance on Justin Morneaus grounder to shortstop and was an easy out at third. Harrison ran for Morneau and moved up when Marlon Byrd walked. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny turned to a lefty in Siegrist to face the left-handed Alvarez. The Pittsburgh slugger tied for the NL lead with 36 homers during the regular season, but hit just .180 against lefties. "I just knew it was going to be a tough matchup," Alvarez said. "Ive seen him a couple of times before. I havent had much success. Hes a pitcher with good stuff -- great stuff. He threw me a couple of fastballs out over the plate."; One too many, as it turned out, and Alvarez singled between first and second. Patrick Weihrauch Bayern Munich Jersey. Martin then fouled off a squeeze bunt before lining a hit to left that gave Grilli more than enough cushion. The game was a rare nail-biter between two clubs that spent the summer shadowing each other in the race for the NL Central title. Coming into Sunday, only five of the previous 21 matchups between the two were decided by two runs or less. After blowouts by each club in St. Louis, there wasnt much room to breathe in front of a frenzied, black-clad crowd looking for a repeat of Pittsburghs giddy 6-2 romp over Cincinnati in the wild-card game last Tuesday. Martins sacrifice fly off reliever Seth Maness in the sixth gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead and turned the game over to Pittsburghs "Shark Tank" bullpen, one of the keys to the franchises first winning season and playoff berth in a generation. Tony Watson worked around a one-out single in the seventh before giving way to Melancon. The Cardinals must win two straight to advance to the NL championship series for the third straight year. "Weve been in this situation," Beltran said. "Last year, I think we were in this situation a lot. So I think were fine, man. We want to come here tomorrow, we want to win and hopefully take this series home." Pirates starter Francisco Liriano dominated the Cardinals during the regular season, going 3-0 with an 0.75 ERA in three starts against the NLs highest-scoring team. He was electric against the Reds last Tuesday, shaking off a sinus infection and baffling them with a series of changeups and sliders that ended Cincinnatis season and manager Dusty Bakers tenure. Liriano narrowly escaped damage in the third Sunday when Matt Holliday lined to right with the bases loaded. The left-hander wasnt quite as fortunate in the fifth. Jon Jay led off with a single and Pete Kozma followed with a walk. After pitcher Joe Kelly struck out trying to bunt, a double steal set up Beltrans two-run single. At 2-all, the Cardinals had matched their entire output against Liriano in their previous 28 innings. Liriano was matched nearly pitch for pitch by the unflappable Kelly. The 25-year-old right-hander has been rock-steady all season, even as he moved from middle reliever to starter in July. Kelly welcomed the hostile environment, calling the sea of black-clad fans that awaited him one of the things a kid dreams about. The reality proved a little more unnerving, at least when Byrd hit a two-run single in the first. The well-travelled outfielder -- who played in 1,250 regular-season games before reaching the playoffs for the first time -- has been a welcome jolt both in the lineup and in the clubhouse for the Pirates. "Just having a heck of a time," Byrd said. NOTES: Grilli worked around a leadoff single in the ninth. ... McCutchen is batting .538 (7 for 13) and has an on-base percentage of .684 in the playoffs. His five walks rank first in the league this post-season. ... Beltrans home run was the first by the Cardinals in 10 games at PNC Park this year. ' ' '