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FORTALEZA, Brazil -- Georgios Samaras scored an injury-time penalty to send Greece into the second round of the World Cup for the first time with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday, eliminating the Africans in the process. Samaras was adjudged to have been tripped in the area by substitute Giovanni Sio, and calmly slotted in the spot kick for a win that puts Greece through to the knockout stage. Ivory Coast would have advanced with a draw. &quot;This means so much to me, to us ... Tonight we had energy,&quot; Samaras said, dedicating the win to Greeks suffering through financial crisis. &quot;We really hope we can make the people happy back home. We are a team. A team -- thats it.&quot; In Athens, where the game ended well after midnight, thousands of fans poured into the streets to celebrate. The players in Fortaleza danced around in a circle and sang with small groups of travelling fans at Arena Castelao who had been drowned out all night by the pro-African Brazilian crowd. The Greeks had taken the lead just before halftime through substitute Andreas Samaris, who punished Ivorian Ismael Tiote for a careless pass backward. Substitute Wilfried Bony equalized for Ivory Coast in the 74th, beating goalkeeper Pangiotis Glykos from close range after being set up by Gervinho. That goal looked like it would put the Africans through until the late drama. Samaras met a cross in the area and tried to shoot with his left leg, which got caught against the leg of Sio. Samaras foot then hit the ground and he fell to the turf, drawing a penalty. With his countrys hopes on the line, Samaras sent his spot kick past goalkeeper Boubacar Barry, who guessed the right way but couldnt keep the ball out. &quot;We came here to advance from the group stage. Weve never done it before, and we did tonight in a great way,&quot; said Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis, a veteran of the team that won the European Championship in 2004. &quot;The goal should have come earlier. So God helped us in the end and we all thank him. We prevailed against the odds. We had passion and we had fight.&quot; Veteran striker Didier Drogba started for Ivory Coast along with Yaya and Kolo Toure despite the recent death of their brother Ibrahim. The Ivorians wore black armbands as a sign of mourning. &quot;The Ivory Coast is a great football nation. And this was a cruel game, a cruel game,&quot; Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi said. &quot;After so much hard work and so much sacrifice, all of us and everyone in the Ivory Coast is very sad.&quot; Greece, which had failed to score in the previous two Group C matches, finished second in Group C with four points, behind winner Colombia with nine. Ivory Coast had three and Japan one. On Tuesday, the Greeks missed a handful of scoring chances against Ivory Coast, hitting the crossbar twice with shots from distance. The Greeks were also forced to make two early substitutions after valuable midfielder Pangiotis Kone and goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis were injured in the first half. &quot;We found balance tonight. We are not the worst team when we lose or the best when we win,&quot; Greece coach Fernando Santos said. &quot;To everyone in Greece I say: Go out into the street and celebrate.&quot; ------ Lineups: Greece: Orestis Karnezis (Panagiotis Glykos, 24), Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas, Jose Holebas, Vassilis Torosidis, Giannis Maniatis, Panagiotis Kone (Andreas Samaris, 12), Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Giorgos Karagounis (Fanis Gekas, 77), Georgios Samaras, Dimitris Salpingidis. Ivory Coast: Baboucar Barry, Souleymane Bamba, Arthur Boka, Kolo Toure, Serge Aurier, Ismael Tiote (Wilfried Bony, 61), Yaya Toure, Die Serey, Didier Drogba (Ismaael Diomande, 7<img src="http://demos.addicted-to-web.com/avarcade/avforums/bbeditor/emoticons/cool.gif" valign="bottom" />, Solomon Kalou, Gervinho (Giovanno Sio, 83). <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Canada Boxing Day</a> . The Toronto Argonauts released the impressive sophomore quarterback a little more than two weeks before he was scheduled to hit the free agent market on February 15, perhaps sending teams interested in the 25-year-olds services into a mad dash to finalize their pitches. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Boxing Day Sale Canada</a> . PETERSBURG, Fla. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/</a> . -- Decked out in Angels gear from head to toe, Albert Pujols looked like the same slugger whose swing in St. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/totes/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Tote Canada</a> . Kerr shot a four-under 66 for a second consecutive day, while Park carded a five-under 65, leaving both tied for top spot after two rounds at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club. Both were 8-under 132 in a day of golf under slightly overcast skies with gentle winds. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Boxing Day Sale</a> . NBA officials ruled the court unplayable in the Bucks final exhibition game on Oct. 25 because players were slipping, and the game was cancelled midway through the first period. (Sports Network) - Never one to hide his emotions, Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano was rather critical of his club after his most recent outing. Hell get a chance to respond this evening when Chicago tries to win three straight games for the first time this season in the second of four straight contests versus the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The 30-year-old Zambrano, who has gotten into some dustups with his teammates over his career, has allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, but is just 1-0 in that span. He earned a second straight no-decision on Sunday in St. Louis, allowing five hits over seven innings before the Cubs blew a one-run lead late in a 3-2 extra-innings loss. Zambrano, who is 5-2 with a season-low 3.98 earned run average in 13 starts, didnt mix words after the setback. We should know better than this. Were playing like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing for the team, embarrassing for the owners, embarrassing for the fans, he said. The right-handers outburst came during a recent eight-game losing streak, but the Cubs have won two straight for the first time since May 18-19 since ending the slide. Zambrano will try to pitch Chicago to three victories in a row for the first time since late last season and has won four of his last five decisions versus the Phillies. In nine career outings against Philadelphia, including eight starts, Zambrano is 4-3 with a 3.60 ERA. Unlike Zambranos last outing, it was the Cubs who rallied in Thursdays opener. Geovany Soto hit a game-tying solo homer off Phillies closer Ryan Madson in the ninth inning and Tyler Colvin scored the game-winning run in the 11th inning to lift Chicago to a 4-3 win. Colvin, who had a home run taken away by fan interference right after Sotos blast in the ninth, scored from second base on Darwin Barneys grounder to third that saw Phils first baseman Ryan Howard unable to dig up Placido Polancos short throw.dddddddddddd It felt good, Colvin said, who came into the game with no hits in his last 34 at-bats. I got a couple hits and that was pretty nice. They were timely and I was glad to help my team. Starting for the first time since fouling a pitch off his knee on Saturday, Jimmy Rollins provided all of Philadelphias offense with a three-run homer in the second inning, but the Cubs bullpen shut down the Phillies from there. Neither starter returned to the game following a one hour and 17 minute rain delay with one out in the third frame. Madsons first blown save in 15 chances this season led to Philadelphias sixth loss in nine games and cut their edge over Atlanta for first place in the National League East to two games. It was a tough spot: 2-0 count, ninth-inning one-run lead, said Madson. You dont want to walk [Soto], but you dont want to go outside. It wasnt a bad pitch and sometimes hes going hit that. Philadelphia now turns to stopper Roy Halladay, who takes aim at a major- league leading ninth victory of the season tonight. Halladay halted a four- game slide by the Phillies in his last outing, beating Pittsburgh on Sunday after giving up two runs on six hits over seven innings with six strikeouts. The right-hander improved to 8-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 13 starts after winning his third straight decision. Halladay, 34, has lost all three of his career starts versus the Cubs, pitching to a 4.50 ERA in that span. Chicago is one of just three teams Halladay has never beaten in his career in the regular season, along with the San Francisco Giants and his current Phillies club. Chicago won four of six versus Philadelphia last season, splitting a two-game series at Citizens Bank Park. 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LONDON -- Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko scored in extra time to send Manchester City into the League Cup quarterfinals with a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Wednesday, while Tottenham needed a penalty shootout to earn a place in the last eight. Newcastle dominated in the early stages but City weathered the storm and then raised its game in extra time. Negredo broke the deadlock from close range after a simple move in the 99th minute before Dzeko took the ball round goalkeeper Tim Krul to seal the victory in the 105th. In the other fourth-round match, Tottenham and Hull were level at 2-2 after extra time. Hull player Ahmed Elmohamady, who gave away the penalty converted by Roberto Soldado at White Hart Lane in Hulls 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, missed the decisive spot-kick. Gylfi Sigurdssons 25-yard (meter) shot in the first half had put the home side ahead, before American goalkeeper Brad Friedel fumbled the ball into his own net. Paul McShane scored in extra time to give Tottenham the lead, but Hull substitute Harry Kane made it 2-2. Tottenham prevailed 8-7 on penalties. &quot;To a man my players were magnificent. They didnt deserve to go out of the Cup but it wasnt our day today. We had the better chances,&quot; Hull manager Steve Bruce said. At St Jamess Park, Negredo calmly tapped the ball in to put his team ahead after Dzeko sent in a low cross from the left side of the area that Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa failed to intercept. David Silva and James Milner combined well to set up the second goal. Milner found Dzeko with a superb pass that the Bosnian striker converted. Dzeko praised City backup goalkeeper Costel Pantilimons performance after the Romanian player kept the pressure on Citys No. 1 keeper Joe Hart. &quot;He was great. This is the second game in the Cup that he hasnt conceded a goal, so hes definitely improving,&quot; Dzeko said. City coach Manuel Pellegrini made 10 changes to the side that lost to Chelsea at the weekend. His team soon came under pressure and was lucky not to concede when Papiss Cisses clever lob over goalkeeper Pantilimon flew just wide in the eighth minute. Without Vincent Kompany, Citys defence looked shaky and following a free kick and a melee in the box, Newcastle fans erupted in cheers when Ameobi slotted in from close range -- only to see his goal disallowed for offside. City became more dangerous on the break as the game opened up in the second half. James Milner curled a shot over an empty goal in the 63rd minute after Krul had been caught stranded and Negredo found the side-netting after a run into the area. Pantilimon made a decisive save in the 91st minute after Hatem Ben Arfa found Cisse on his own, blocking the strikers poor finish before Negredo and Dzeko turned the match in Citys favour. &quot;Were obviously disappointed not to score. We played well enough to warrant a goal and I couldnt ask more from the players,&quot; said Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, who had made a &quot;priority&quot; of the League Cup. &quot;The performance level was really high but it was a hard match so its a shame we didnt get our noses in front.&quot; City will next face Leicester while Tottenham will host West Ham in a London derby. Stoke faces Manchester United and Chelsea will play the winner of Sunderland vs. Southampton in the other quarterfinal. CLEVELAND -- Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price had never seen anything like it. Neither had anyone else. Aided by a bizarre play in which Cleveland runner David Murphy was fooled by a second ball on the field and tagged out, Cincinnati defeated the Indians 9-2 on Tuesday night. &quot;Thats one of the strangest things Ive ever seen,&quot; Price said. &quot;Im sure thats going to go down as one of those plays we see between innings for years to come.&quot; Johnny Cuetos fourth complete game of the season was overshadowed in the seventh inning when the Indians had a rally squelched after an errant warmup pitch from Cincinnatis bullpen came on the field, resulting in Murphy being caught off third base. Lonnie Chisenhall drew a leadoff walk, and Murphy singled. Yan Gomes double cut the lead to 6-2 and moved Murphy to third as a ball thrown by reliever Jumbo Diaz rolled behind second base. The confused Murphy mistakenly thought the ball was live and edged off third. Third baseman Ramon Santiago took the relay throw and made the tag. &quot;The timing of it was crazy,&quot; Murphy said. &quot;I just didnt know where the ball came from. It was unbelievable.&quot; Santiago was one of the few people on the field who knew the situation and called for shortstop Zach Cozart to make a throw. &quot;I was yelling, Give me the ball,&quot; he said. &quot;I saw the other ball, but I knew we had a play.&quot; Indians manager Terry Francona spoke briefly with crew chief Gerry Davis, but the call stood. &quot;He said he understood our frustration, but they cant kill a play until the conclusion,&quot; Francona said. &quot;It was perfect timing, and its the responsibility of our coaches and runners to know whats going on. I cant fault Murph, though, because he saw the ball there and thought they couldnt throw him out.&quot; Cueto (13-6) retired the next two hitters. &quot;I was confused,&quot; he said of the strange play. &quot;I thought a fan threw the ball.&quot; &quot;Just when you think youve seen it all in baseball, you havent,&quot; Santiago said. &quot;You always see somethingg new.dddddddddddd Thats why its a beautiful game.&quot; Santiago hit a three-run homer in the second off Josh Tomlin (5-<img src="http://demos.addicted-to-web.com/avarcade/avforums/bbeditor/emoticons/cool.gif" valign="bottom" /> to break a 1-all tie for his first home run since Aug. 16 last season while playing for Detroit. Cincinnati, which has been playing without All-Stars Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, is 6-12 since the break, as it struggles to stay in the NL playoff chase. The Reds broke a 10-game losing streak at Progressive Field. BIG PLAY Price admitted the bizarre play gave the Reds a boost. &quot;It may have saved our bacon a little bit,&quot; he said. &quot;At this point in time of the season well do whatever we have to do to win a game.&quot; Catcher Brayan Pena thought Diaz should be given some credit for his warmup pitch that missed its target by a couple of hundred feet. &quot;Johnny should buy Jumbo a big steak,&quot; he said. MR. PERFECT Cueto allowed two runs and hasnt lost since July 2. Cincinnati is unbeaten in Cuetos six career starts against Cleveland. TRAINERS ROOM Reds: Votto (strained left knee) who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 8, is rehabilitating in Cincinnati. Manager Bryan Price said Votto is still experiencing soreness in the knee, and there is no timetable for his return. Indians: Designated hitter Nick Swisher (strained right wrist) is expected to be available Wednesday after missing two games. Center fielder Michael Bourn (strained left hamstring) began a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Tuesday and could rejoin the Indians next week. He hasnt played since July 5. ON DECK Reds: Right-hander Mat Latos (3-3) starts Wednesday as the series shifts to Cincinnati. He will be making his 10th start after opening the season on the DL. Latos owns a 3.11 career ERA at Great American Ball Park, which is the lowest by any pitcher with at least 15 starts there. Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (4-4) looks for his fourth straight win since returning from the minors. He has a 2.00 ERA while striking out 17 over 18 innings in his last three starts. Salazar has yet to face Cincinnati. ' ' ' <a href="http://www.cheapchinajerseysnfl.top/" target="_blank"> Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping </a><br />
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SEATTLE -- Superlatives will be scarce come September if Masahiro Tanaka continues this pace. For now, Joe Girardi and the rest of the New York Yankees are just thankful they have the Japanese right-hander pitching like one of the best in baseball. &quot;Hes been really, really big. You look at the numbers hes put up, the wins that he has, the distances hes given us during the course of the season,&quot; Girardi said. &quot;Hes meant a lot.&quot; Tanaka added another notch to his stellar first two months in the majors, striking out 11 and tossing a complete game Wednesday night as the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2. Tanaka became the second pitcher in baseball with 10 wins and won his fourth straight start. It was on the verge of being possibly his most impressive performance of the season before giving up a two-run homer to Robinson Cano in the ninth inning that ruined the shutout. That only made Tanaka more determined to finish off his second complete game of the season. He struck out Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison to finish off the victory. &quot;Obviously I wasnt very happy about that home run, but at the end Im pretty satisfied I was able to go all nine innings tonight,&quot; Tanaka said through a translator. Tanaka allowed six hits, walked one and leads the AL with a 2.02 ERA. He tied for the wins lead with Torontos Mark Buehrle, who is 10-2. Tanaka has allowed only four earned runs in the past 29 2-3 innings and hasnt given up more than three earned runs in any start. That number would be less if not for Cano hitting his third homer of the season -- and first at Safeco Field -- in the ninth. James Jones reached on an infield single with one out and Cano hit a drive out to left-centre on the first pitch. &quot;He was dealing. He was the same guy you see on TV,&quot; Cano said. &quot;He put the ball where he wants. Hes filthy.&quot; Tanaka cruised from the start. It took the Japanese rookie 15 pitches to get through the first two innings and 26 pitches setting down the first nine Mariners in order. Seattle got baserunners in the fourth when Jones and Seager singled, but the threat ended when Morrison struck out on a check swing. It also started a strikeout binge from Tanaka. Beginning with Morrison, six of the next seven outs came via strikeout. Tanaka struck out the side in the sixth, getting Cole Gillespie and Endy Chavez swinging before capping the inning by getting Jones looking at strike three. Cano broke the strikeout streak at five when he grounded out to open the seventh. Seager then walked on four pitches, the first walk issued by Tanaka. But Morrison grounded into a double play and Tanaka was through seven innings on just 79 pitches. Tanaka also wiggled out of trouble in the eighth after Mike Zuninos double and Brad Millers single. Just as movement started in the Yankees bullpen, Gillespie lined out and Miller was doubled off first base to end the inning. Tanaka was given an extra day of rest after a rainout on Monday in Kansas City. That ruined a possible matchup against countryman Hisashi Iwakuma, but Tanaka said the rest was helpful. &quot;I never really thought about it going into the season. I just thought about taking it game by game, just trying to go out there and do the best that I can each game,&quot; Tanaka said. &quot;As a result this is where I am.&quot; All the offence Tanaka needed came from Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira. Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single in the third. Two innings later, with Seattle starter Chris Young (5-4) struggling, Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer that barely cleared the wall in right-centre field. The game-breaking shot was Teixeiras 11th homer of the season. But all Teixeira wanted to do was rave about Tanaka. &quot;If he keeps this up, hes going to have one of the greatest first years in baseball of any pitcher that has ever played this game,&quot; Teixeira said. &quot;I would love to see it.&quot; NOTES: Derek Jeters stolen base in the first gave him 350 for his career. He had two steals in the game. ... Seattle Seahawks DE Cliff Avril threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Teammates QB Russell Wilson and LT Russell Okung were on the field watching pregame batting practice and talking with players from both teams. DT Brandon Mebane and DE Michael Bennett were also in attendance with Avril. HOUSTON -- Jerome Williams wants to be a starter for the Los Angeles Angels next season. Williams kept on making his case Sunday, winning a third straight start for the first time since April 2004 as the Angels beat Houston 2-1 to send the Astros to their 98th loss of the season. Houston, a big league-worst 51-98, is on the verge of becoming the first major league team to reach triple figures in losses in three consecutive seasons since Kansas City from 2004-06. The Astros were 56-106 in 2011 and dropped to 55-107 last year, their final year in the National League. Williams (8-10) entered following wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto, and he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. &quot;This team is a real good team,&quot; said Williams, who began the season in the bullpen. &quot;I would love to come back and be part of this team and hopefully make that run for next year.&quot; A veteran of 10 seasons, Williams knows he has to produce. &quot;I just have to keep on working,&quot; Williams said. &quot;I think I have two more starts, and I just have to keep building on it. I cant control what happens after; all I can control is what Im doing on the mound right now. Thats what Im trying to do, and let everything else fall into place.&quot; Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Williams has pitched solidly since moving into the rotation in May. &quot;Hes given us chances to win,&quot; Scioscia said. Williams benefited from solid defence and a two-inning relief appearance by Ernesto Frieri, who earned his 34th save in 38 chances. &quot;It was a good defensive game for us,&quot; Scioscia said. Josh Hamilton had an RBI triple in the first off Paul Clemens (4-5), a drive off the glove of centre fielder Brandon Barnes as he went up Tals Hill. Mike Trout had reached with his AL-leading 100th walk. &quot;There arent many ballparks that would hold that ball,&quot; Scioscia said. &quot;I think that in any other ballpark were playing thats a two-run home run.&quot; Andrew Romine hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth after singles by Eriick Aybar and Hank Conger.dddddddddddd Frieri entered with two on in the eighth and got six outs, including four via strikeout. After Jose Altuves eighth-inning sacrifice, Frieri struck out Trevor Crowe and Brett Wallace. Matt Dominguez singled on a 12-pitch at-bat leading off the ninth, and Frieri retired three in a row. &quot;Its certainly not our preference to have him go six outs, especially when hes got to throw 25-30 pitches, but he felt good today and over the course of the last 10 days he hasnt been out there that much,&quot; Scioscia said. &quot;He felt fresh.&quot; Frieri said he appreciated the trust. &quot;This time of the season, Im 100 per cent ready to go,&quot; Frieri said. &quot;Whenever they call for you down in the bullpen, you have to be ready, mentally and physically.&quot; Los Angeles has won five of six overall and 14 of its last 17 road games. Marc Krauss homered in the second for the Astros, his fourth of the season. Clemens, making his third career start, allowed six hits in seven innings. &quot;It was impressive,&quot; Astros manager Bo Porter said. &quot;I felt like he did a tremendous job of using all of his pitches.&quot; Houston left seven on base and was 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. &quot;First and third one out. We had a run-scoring opportunity and we dont get it done there,&quot; Porter said. &quot;You have second and third, one out and unable to get it done there again. We had our opportunities, and we just werent able to capitalize.&quot; NOTES: RHP Dane De La Rosa made his 70th appearance, setting an Angels record for rookie appearances. He let two on in the eighth before exiting. ... Trout is the first AL player in history with 70 extra-base hits, 30 stolen bases and 100 walks in a season. ... Astros rookie Max Stassi (concussion) said he remains hopeful to catch before the end of the season. Stassi, who has been sidelined since Aug. 21 after he took a pitch to the face in a 5-4 loss at Texas, caught another bullpen session Sunday. ' ' ' <a href="http://www.cheapchinajerseysnfl.top/" target="_blank"> Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping </a><br />
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Vargas threw seven scoreless innings, Raul Ibanez homered in his second game for Kansas City and the Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 Wednesday. Vargas (8-3) allowed four singles and two walks while striking out five, allowing only two runners from a diluted Twins lineup to reach second base. Mike Moustakas and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles in the second inning against Kevin Correia (4-10), and that was all Vargas needed. With Joe Mauer missing, placed on the disabled list before the game because of a strained muscle on his right side, the Twins didnt cause Vargas any trouble. They were shut out for the sixth time this season and lost for the seventh time in their last nine games. The 42-year-old Ibanez signed Monday with the Royals, the team that first gave him a regular spot in the lineup all the way back in 2001. He had two hits and two runs in this game, including the solo shot to right field in the eighth. Ibanez was released by the Los Angeles Angels last month. Eric Hosmer, who walked three times, added an RBI single in the ninth inning for insurance. With rookie Yordano Ventura and now Danny Duffy joining the veteran trio of Vargas, James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie, who are all in the top 10 in the league in innings pitched, the Royals have a deep rotation that can keep them in the post-season chase all summer. Vargas improved to 4-1 in his last eight starts, seven of which have counted as quality: six innings or more and three runs or less. Vargas also became the first Royals left-hander to win eight games or more before the All-Star break since Chris George in 2003. Correia lowered his ERA to 4.95, the only time hes had that mark under 5.00 since his first start of the year, after surrendering six hits and two walks in six innings while striking out three. The right-hander completed exactly six innings for the fifth consecutive turn, and he has allowed two runs or fewer in four of those starts. But the second inning was the one that hurt, when five batters reached. He struck out Billy Butler to finish the frame with the bases loaded. NOTES: The Royals swapped RH relievers Wednesday, calling up Casey Coleman from Triple-A Omaha and sending down rookie Michael Mariot, who gave up five runs Tuesday in his second appearance in as many days. ... Chris Parmelee played 1B and batted third for Mauer. He had two hits and stretched his hitting streak to a career-long 12 straight games. ... One of the runners to reach second base for the Twins was Sam Fuld, who was originally ruled out on a steal attempt to end the fifth inning. Manager Ron Gardenhire challenged the call, which was overturned. Gardenhire is 9 for 19 on challenges this season. ... With a rest day for Royals CF Lorenzo Cain, SS Alcides Escobar batted leadoff for the first time this season. Late last summer, London bookmakers were offering 2-to-1 odds Manchester United would retain the BPL title and meagre 1-to-14 odds they would finish in amongst the Champions League spots. Not sure any bookies were offering odds that, deep into the business end of the season, Liverpool would be placing job ads related to a victory parade the club are planning to possibly stage the day after the season ends. For those who recollect the quite extraordinary city scenes the day after Liverpool had beaten AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final when a reported 750,000 people lined the route as an open top bus carrying the European champions made its way from John Lennon Airport to City Hall, these arent the type of events you leave to chance. Even the Queen got in on the act then, as she sent the club her congratulations from Edmonton on the last day of her Canadian tour. A bus of an entirely different nature may have derailed Liverpools title bid after their club record equalling 11-game winning streak grinded to a rather abrupt halt last Sunday, but there can be no denying Liverpools rightful place at the head table - that Champions League virtuous circle more commonly referred to as the &quot;top four.&quot; Having finished last season in a very distant seventh place, the turnaround at Liverpool has been nothing short of remarkable and especially when you consider the spending power and superior squad strengths of their title rivals. With Champions League football assured for next season, the target Brendan Rodgers set out with last August, making it all that more special their place back amongst the elite of English football, has come at the expense of their bitter rivals Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson may have preached patience for the incoming manager to the 75,000 in attendance at Old Trafford at his final home game last May, but how about the patience of the Anfield faithful who have waited almost a quarter of a century since their last championship triumph? Although the Chelsea reversal last week handed the initiative to Manchester City, that disappointment pales into insignificance when recalling how the 1989 title was decided. Arsenal not only had to go to Anfield on the last day of the 1989 season and win, but they had to do so by a two-goal advantage. With 90 minutes on the clock and Arsenal leading 1-0 the title was Liverpools.dddddddddddd Then, with time running out in added time, up popped Arsenals Michael Thomas to score the decisive goal. Seconds later came the final whistle, as Liverpool players lay completely distraught on the hallowed Anfield turf. Arsenal celebrated, the Kop, for once, in stunned silence. How cruel the beautiful game can be. No victory parades will be staged for the clubs who escape the dreaded drop going into the penultimate weekend of the season, with even FA Cup finalists Hull all the way up in 13th place not safe yet. Following a run of five-straight defeats that firmly rooted Sunderland to the foot of the table in mid-April, it led to questions been asked if Gus Poyet, who had only replaced Paolo Di Canio in October, would resign before seasons end. But my how the club have responded, most famously taking Jose Mourinhos unbeaten BPL home record, earlier this year. On Friday, 21-year old striker Connor Wickham was named BPL player of the month for April, his five goals playing a huge part as the club moved out of the bottom three for the first time since February. With a game in hand against the teams below them, Sunderland control their own destiny. Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff will need help from others this weekend. With the possibility that top place could change hands three times between tomorrow and Monday afternoon when Liverpool play, the real prospect exists come the final game of the season next Sunday that three clubs will still be in contention for the title. This would be the first time this has occurred in the BPL-era and, in doing so, will plunge the league into a silverware crisis. As there are only two BPL trophies in existence and, as traditionally the trophy is handed out on the last day of the season, a trophy will be needed next Sunday at Anfield, the Etihad and in Cardiff where Chelsea plays. So come the final whistle between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Monday afternoon, the Premier League may have to put a call and a delicate request into Old Trafford, where, sitting resplendent in their trophy room, a replica BPL trophy exists. Any chance you can deliver it to Anfield please? 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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos bolstered their defensive line by agreeing to terms with defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who was released by Jacksonville after a falling-out with management last week. Mincey reunites with Denver defensive co-ordinator Jack Del Rio, who was his head coach with the Jaguars earlier in his career, and with Broncos run-stuffer Terrance Knighton, whom he played alongside for several seasons in Jacksonville. Executive Vice-President John Elway confirmed the move, pending a physical, in a podcast for the teams website on Tuesday. The Broncos will have to make a corresponding roster move and one possibility is putting Derek Wolfe on IR. Wolfe has missed the last three games after experiencing what the team called a &quot;seizure-like&quot; episode on the teams Nov. 29 bus ride to the airport for a flight to Kansas City. The Broncos (11-3), who own the leagues 23rd-ranked defence, have sorely missed Wolfe and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson (hip), who went on IR last month. Against the Chargers last week, they allowed 103 yards rushing on first down and Ryan Mathews became the first running back to top 100 yards on them all season. Mincey is a sixth-year veteran who signed a four-year, $20 million deal last season with the Jaguars that included $9 million in guarantees and calls for a base salary of $4 million for next season. However, he fell out of favour with the Jaguars this season and coach Gus Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell decided to release him Friday after he was late to a team meeting. He also was inactive for two games and fined last month for tardiness. Mincey, 30, had eight sacks in 2011 and three last season, starting 16 games both years. 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Delbonis broke Lorenzis serve to start the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 6 minutes after converting on his second match point. He jumped and punched the air after sending a winner down the line past the outstretched arms of Lorenzi. Delbonis celebrated a nearly perfect week in which he also reached the semifinals in the doubles tournament. &quot;To tell you the truth, I have no words,&quot; Delbonis said. &quot;I played well match after match. It was a great result in the end.&quot; The 23-year-old lefty was playing only in his second ATP final. He had lost to Fabio Fognini of Italy last July after upsetting Roger Federer in the semifinals in Hamburg. With the victory at the ATP 250 tournament in Sao Paulo, Delbonis will move to 45th in the ATP rankings, a career best. The 32-year-old Lorenzi, ranked 114th, had never advanced past the quarterfinals of an ATP singles tournament. He reached the Sao Paulo final by beating top-seeded German Tommy Hass, who retired in the semifinals because of a right shoulder injury while losing in the second set. &quot;Its a shame I wasnt abble to win,&quot; Lorenzi said.dddddddddddd. &quot;But hopefully Ill be back next year to try again.&quot; The Italian won the first set on Sunday after breaking Delbonis serve at 3-3, but the hard-hitting Argentine started serving well and was never broken again, finishing with 12 aces and no double faults. Delbonis beat home-crowd favourite Thomaz Bellucci in the semifinals. He had defeated second-seeded Nicolas Almagro in the second round, a three-time winner at the Brazil Open. It was the first time since 2007 that the Brazil Open wasnt won by a Spanish player. Argentine Guillermo Canas lifted the trophy that year, and after that the tournament was won by Spaniards Almagro, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rafael Nadal. Nadal decided not to defend the clay-court title this week. 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Jamie Anderson has given the United States a sweep in slopestyle snowboarding at the Sochi Olympics. Anderson soared her way to gold medal in a near flawless run in the womens final on Sunday, a day after Sage Kotsenburg captured in the mens gold medal. Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took silver and Jenny Jones delivered a long-awaited medal for Britain with her bronze. Canadas Spencer OBrien failed to post a clean run on her two attempts in the final and finished 12th. Anderson, who expressed concern about the difficulty of the course during training, posted a score of 95.25 on her second run fueled by big air after big air at tricky Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. She flipped her right mitten into the air after landing her final jump and clasped her hands over her face when realizing shed won. Mark McMorris of Regina won Canadas first medal at the Olympic Winter Games with a bronze in mens slopestyle on Saturday. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The LPGA Tour waived its age requirement Monday for Lydia Ko, clearing the way for the 16-year-old from New Zealand to join the tour in 2014. Ko wont be like most LPGA Tour rookies. She already is a two-time champion, having won the Womens Canadian Open at 15 last year to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history, and then successfully defending her title this summer in Canada. Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, she already is No. 5 in womens world ranking. Ko contended in the Evian Championship in France, and a short time letter asked the LPGA Tour to waive its requirement that players be 18 or older to join. &quot;We are looking forward to having Lydia as a full-time member for the 2014 season,&quot; LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said. &quot;It is nnot often that the LPGA welcomes a rookie who is already a back-to-back champion.dddddddddddd&quot; Ko plans to play the LPGA Titleholders in Naples, Fla., at the end of November. By granting her petition now, Whan said the teenager will be able to take part in rookie development sessions early next year before the season gets under way. &quot;It has always been my dream goal to play on the LPGA, and play against the worlds best players,&quot; Ko said. &quot;I know that becoming a member is not only performing well, but to deal with responsibilities very well. Womens golf is growing day by day and I would love to be able to inspire other girls to take up the game, and go for it. I believe this is only the start to my career and I have many new things to learn along the way.&quot; ' ' ' <a href="http://www.cheapchinajerseysnfl.top/" target="_blank"> Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping </a><br />
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SPOKANE, Wash. - For 18 seconds on Saturday, it was happening. Harvard owned basketball, too. The school that churns out U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, billionaire CEOs and Nobel Peace Prizes was taking a serious run at altering the discourse on this years NCAA tournament, as well. Harvard guard Laurent Rivard of Saint Bruno, Que., made a 3-pointer from the corner, looped his thumb and finger together around his eye — the &quot;3-point goggles&quot; — and flashed a determined glare toward a group of Crimson fans in the stands who were coming unhinged with 7:12 left in the game. Someone in the Harvard nation tweeted: &quot;rooting for the 1 per cent.&quot; The Ivy Leaguers had overcome a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead over Michigan State, a team that always comes up big on college basketballs biggest stage. The next time down the floor, Spartans guard Travis Trice came back with a 3 to put his team back in the lead. A few minutes later, Michigan State was out of danger — not by much, though — on the way to an 80-73 victory that sent Harvard back home, but not without making a statement. &quot;We showed everybody that we can come all year and play with the best,&quot; sophomore guard Siyani Chambers said. Led by a career-high 26 points from Branden Dawson, the fourth-seeded Spartans (28-<img src="http://demos.addicted-to-web.com/avarcade/avforums/bbeditor/emoticons/cool.gif" valign="bottom" /> moved onto the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in the last 17 seasons. Theyll play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Square Garden. A lot of fans thought Harvard could win its first game against Cincinnati. But even President Obama had picked Michigan State to eliminate his law school on the way to the national title. Yet even in a loss, Harvard hoops proved it is here to stay. &quot;I thought our kids competed,&quot; coach Tommy Amaker said. &quot;We knew we would.&quot; The program Amaker took over seven years ago was in its third straight NCAA tournament and two nights removed from only the second March Madness win in school history. Last year, the encore was a disheartening 23-point loss to Arizona. This time, it was something much different against an opponent that may have been even better. &quot;Thats one thing Coach Amaker talks about, that were not just built for the Ivy League, were built to go past that,&quot; junior forward Jonah Travis said. &quot;Thats one of our main goals, to match up with teams like that and beat teams like that.&quot; Over a comeback that lasted 7 minutes, 31 seconds, 12th-seeded Harvard (28-5) pounded on Michigan State, plain and simple. The rally started with a pair of 3-pointers by Brandyn Curry and continued relentlessly. The Crimson grabbed almost every loose ball, kept hands in Michigan States flustered faces. Steve Moundou-Missi, the 6-foot-7 forward who was supposed to contain Michigan States 6-10 power player, Adreian Payne, simply outplayed him. When Moundou-Missi tipped in a missed shot with 10:22 left, Harvard trailed only 55-53. At that point, both the chant ringing from the Harvard stands — &quot;I believe that we will win&quot; — and the sign one of the fans was holding — &quot;We always bring our A+ Game&quot; — was more than just good PR. Michigan State called a timeout but Tom Izzos play produced an offensive foul. Moundou-Missi missed a layup, but Wesley Saunders, who led the Crimson with 22 points, scrambled for a loose ball and dunked to tie it. About 90 seconds later, Rivard hit his 3 to put Harvard ahead 62-60. &quot;You look down the other end, and Ive got a good friend thats down there,&quot; said Izzo, who goes back more than 20 years with Amaker. &quot;I kept saying, Theyre going to come back. You better realize that.&quot; They did. Yet somehow, once the Spartans lost the lead, they started playing better. Harvards lead lasted just 18 seconds. After Trice put the Spartans in the lead, Rivard missed a 25-footer — part of a 2-for-5, seven-point night in which he was shut down by Gary Harris. Payne came back with two free throws and Harris made a 3 of his own, part of an 18-point, five-assist night that complemented his great defence. &quot;It was a scare and we need to give credit to Harvard,&quot; Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine said. Payne followed his career-high, 41-point night in the opener against Delaware with a modest 12 points, but the final lesson in this one was all the ways Michigan State can beat you. Dawson had matched his previous career best of 20 by halftime. When he took a pass from Trice for a layup with 1:54 left, he gave the Spartans a 73-67 lead. Harvard pulled within four and Moundou-Missi blocked Keith Applings shot on the other end. But the Spartans won a scramble for the ball and Amaker stomped his foot and shouted &quot;Dammit.&quot; The game was pretty much over by then and both teams had proven a point: Harvard can play with anyone and Michigan State can handle a legit challenge. &quot;A wonderful effort by our team,&quot; Amaker said. &quot;But you have to play perfect basketball to pull a game out like that.&quot; GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Running back James Starks has a sprained knee and a sore ankle, leaving his availability in doubt for the Green Bay Packers game at Detroit on Thursday. Starks hurt his knee late in the fourth quarter of Sundays victory over Tampa Bay. 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ATLANTA -- Tony Gonzalez has one more game to play after all. Gonzalez, the Falcons tight end who is retiring, was named to his 14th Pro Bowl on Tuesday as a replacement for San Franciscos Vernon Davis. The game is Sunday in Honolulu. It is the fourth Pro Bowl selection for Gonzalez in five seasons with Atlanta. He had 79 receptions for 803 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013, adding to the best career totals for any tight end in NFL history. The Falcons had a disappointing 4-12 finish after the 37-year-old Gonzalez postponed his retirement for one year. He trails only Jerry Rice in career catches and ranks fifth in yards receiving and sixth in touchdown catches. He finished his career with catches in 210 consecutive games, second all-time behind Rices 274. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">michael kors boxing day canada</a> . - UFC fighter Shane del Rosario has suffered a heart attack and is in critical condition at a Southern California hospital. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Boxing Day Sale</a> .The Toronto Raptors guard, who will represent the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game in New Orleans on Sunday, says he doesnt complain in the face of adversity &quot;because I know this little girl is just happy for anything. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/</a> .com) - James Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas each scored eight of their 15 points during the pivotal third quarter, and Toronto snapped its four-game skid by pulling away for a 109-96 victory over the Boston Celtics at Air Canada Centre. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Boxing Day Sale 2014</a> . Two nights after the American swimmer surpassed Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, he won his first individual gold medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the mens 200-metre individual medley. <a href="http://www.michaelkorsboxingdaycanada.com/totes/" target="_blank">Michael Kors Tote Boxing Day</a> .com) - Alex Tanguay recorded a goal and two assists, as Colorado claimed a 5-2 victory over Dallas at Pepsi Center.AUSTIN, Texas -- Lance Armstrong talked for several hours with cycling investigators about doping in the sports past, said an attorney for the American who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping. Armstrong attorney Elliot Peters told The Associated Press that Armstrong set up the meeting and sat for questions for seven hours on May 22, and described the session at a hotel outside Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., as a &quot;very good meeting.&quot; &quot;They asked him about everything. ... If you made a list of all the questions people would want to ask about Lance and his activities in cycling and everything else, those were the questions that were asked and answered,&quot; Peters said. The probe has been expected to centre on the International Cycling Unions handling of doping in the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially its links with Armstrong. Armstrongs willingness to meet with investigators has been seen as crucial to their efforts to determine whether former officials with the sports governing body aided his doping as the Texan became cyclings biggest star. Armstrong won the Tour every year from 1999-2005. Those titles were stripped after a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed doping by Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service teammates. Peters declined to detail exactly who was in the room or what Armstrong told them, but said Armstrong met with three people &quot;running&quot; the Cycling Independent Reform Commission and their attorney. A spokesman for the group did not immediately return a call or text message seeking comment on Thursday. The commission is chaired by Dick Marty, a Swiss politician and former Swiss state prosecutor. The other members are German anti-doping expert Ulrich Haas and Peter Nicholson, a former Australian military officer and war crimes investigator. Armstrong had previously said hed be willing to talk to the panel, and Peters said Armstrong had him contact the commission to set up the meeting. UCI President Brian Cookkson has said in the past that Armstrongs lifetime ban for doping could be reduced if he provides information which assists other doping investigations.dddddddddddd The panel has the authority to cut deals with cheaters who provide valuable information. But Peters said Armstrong did not ask for, and was not offered such a deal in exchange for meeting with the group. &quot;There is no agreement and that was never discussed. We never asked for one,&quot; Peters said. &quot;We do think the ban was unfairly harsh and should be reduced. ... Hes talking in the spirit of not trying to benefit by getting somebody else in trouble, but in the spirit of lets tell the truth.&quot; Armstrongs meeting with the CRIC was voluntary but he has been forced to testify under oath in lawsuits in Texas. Last month, Armstrong was questioned in a private arbitration dispute with a Dallas company seeking repayment of $12 million in bonuses it paid him during his career. In late 2013, Armstrong provided sworn written testimony in another lawsuit seeking repayment of other bonus awards. In that testimony, Armstrong named several people he says knew about his performance-enhancing drug use, but also insisted he didnt pay anyone or any organization to keep his doping secret. Armstrong also is facing a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis. The government joined Landis lawsuit and is seeking to recover about $40 million in U.S. Postal Service sponsorship money paid to Armstrong and his teams. Under the False Claims Act, penalties in the case could run as high as $100 million. Armstrong has so far refused to provide sworn testimony to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. USADA has questioned whether Armstrong paid officials at the UCI to keep his doping secret. Armstrong has said in interviews that former UCI president Hein Verbruggen helped him cover up doping at the 1999 Tour, a charge Verbruggen has denied. But Armstrong has denied he paid anyone or any organization to hide his doping. ' ' ' <a href="http://www.cheapchinajerseysnfl.top/" target="_blank"> Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping </a><br />
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MIAMI - During the dog days of the regular season, the Miami Heat often spoke about the need to not take any shortcuts on the way to the playoffs. And thats true. That doesnt mean they necessarily enjoyed the 82-game run-up to the best time of year. &quot;None of us,&quot; Heat forward LeBron James finally confessed, &quot;are here for the regular season.&quot; When this core of Heat players was assembled, the only stated goal was winning NBA titles, which also explains why even getting through the first two rounds of these playoffs basically unscathed only merited a short celebration. Miami is back in the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth straight season, and will visit Indiana in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon. The Heat got there by ousting the Brooklyn Nets in five games, the end of that series Wednesday night being briefly accompanied by a few hoots and hollers in the immediate moments after the clinching 96-94 win was completed. Before long, order was restored to the Heat locker room. Two series wins are nice, but they know the road only gets tougher from here. &quot;Like LeBron said, to be in this position four years in a row, this is the reason we came together four years ago,&quot; Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. &quot;Weve got a lot more work to do but were a team that doesnt take it for granted. Were a team that worked very hard to get to this point, so were going to go to the next round, the Eastern Conference finals and continue to do what weve done, play this game as hard as we can and try to continue to move forward.&quot; Indiana ousted Washington on Thursday night. The Heat and Pacers split four meetings in the regular season. &quot;We know what Indianas capable of,&quot; Heat forward Chris Bosh said. &quot;Best defence in the league. Despite their struggles, we still see the same opponent in those guys as we did last year and throughout this year.&quot; The Heat are now 32-7 in first- and second-round games in the last four postseasons, that stretch coinciding with the start of the &quot;Big 3&quot; era featuring James, Wade and Bosh teaming up in Miami. That first year, even that star-studded trio wasnt enough. More pieces were added, like Shane Battier a year later and Ray Allen two years later, and theyve all paid dividends since. Allen kept coming up big at big times in the Brooklyn series, hitting clutch free throws to seal Game 4 and then knocking down a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to put Miami ahead for good in Game 5. Never mind that Allen had missed 11 of his last 12 3-point tries in the series. Just like last year when he saved Miamis season with the legendary desperation 3-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against San Antonio, when the stakes were highest, Allen came through. &quot;We did what we needed to do, when we had to do it,&quot; Allen said. &quot;Total team effort.&quot; Miami had trailed for the entire second half of Game 5 against the Nets until that 3-pointer by Allen, a shot set up by Mario Chalmers seeing that Brooklyns Shaun Livingston was charging at him and somehow leaving the best long-range shooter in the history of the game wide open. That was the only break Miami needed. &quot;The most important thing is to stay in the moment,&quot; Battier said. &quot;And I dont there is anyone maybe in the history of the game who does it better than Ray Allen.&quot; Added Chalmers: &quot;Thats a great option when you know you have the all-time greatest 3-point shooter to your left.&quot; A year ago, the Heat needed seven games to beat Indiana in the East finals, then seven more to top San Antonio for their second straight NBA title. Thursday was a rest day for Miami, maybe one of the last ones the Heat will truly have before the season ends. On Friday, the real work starts in earnest. &quot;We still have some business to take care of,&quot; James said. &quot;But its great to be able to put ourselves in position to get to where we want to go. We never shortcut the process. We understand that each and every game is going to be a challenge for us.&quot; PHILADELPHIA - Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Nik Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic snap a 16-game road losing streak with a 101-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. Nelson added 12 assists for the Magic, who last won on the road at Chicago on Dec. 16. Victor Oladipo added 17 points, and Maurice Harkless and Tobias Harris scored 13 apiece. Thaddeus Young had 19 points for the Sixers, who lost their 12th straight overall and 11th in a row at home. Tony Wroten scored 15 points, Eric Maynor 13 and Henry Sims 10 for Philadelphia, which bought out the contract of Danny Granger earlier Wednesday. The 76ers finished 0-11 in February. Philadelphia did manage to keep the margin closer against Orlando. The Sixers entered having given up an average of 117.4 points during the losing skid, and they had been beaten by an average of 20.3 points before Wednesday. The teams began the fourth quarter tied at 67, but the Magic used an 18-8 run over the first 3:52 of the final quarter to take their largest lead to that point, 85-75, with 8:08 remaining. Nelson scored 10 of Orlandos points during the spurt, including a pair of 3-pointers. Orlandos lead grew to as many as 13 points and the Sixers never recovereed.dddddddddddd. Two 3-pointers from Hollis Thompson to start the second half helped Philadelphia take its largest lead to that point, 50-42, 50 seconds into the third quarter. But Orlando ran off 11 straight over the next 4:18 to go in front 53-50 with 6:52 left in the period. The Magics lead grew to as many as seven points, 65-58, with 3:05 left in the quarter on Harris free throws before Philadelphia closed the period by scoring nine of the final 11 points to enter the final quarter tied at 67. Philadelphia completed a buyout of the contract of Granger on Wednesday night, enabling the veteran forward to sign with any team if he clears waivers by 5 p.m. on Friday. Granger was acquired from the Indiana Pacers last Thursday for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen but never played a minute for Philadelphia. The 76ers also received a 2015 second-round draft pick in the deal. NOTES: Orlandos Arron Afflalo (right ankle sprain), who averages a team-leading 19.7 points per game, missed his third straight game. . The Magic entered Wednesday averaging 89.4 points during their road losing streak. . The Sixers are scheduled to retire Allen Iversons jersey during Saturdays game against Washington. . 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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated forward Nathan Horton, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenceman Dalton Prout off the injured list. To make room, the club reassigned forward Jonathan Marchessault, defenceman Tim Erixon and goaltender Mike McKenna to its American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield, Mass. Horton, a prized off-season free-agent signing, underwent shoulder surgery last summer. He has missed the first 40 games this season. Bobrovsky, winner of last years Vezina Trophy as the NHLs top goaltender, has been out since Dec. 3 with a strained groin. He has missed the last 12 games. He is 10-11-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage this season. Prout has missed the last six games with an upper body injury. DORAL, Fla. - Tiger Woods only made it through 10 holes Thursday — this time because of the weather, not his back. The debut of the new Blue Monster, and the return of Woods, received an incomplete grade Thursday when the opening round of the Cadillac Championship was halted more than two hours because of menacing thunderstorms. Harris English was among only six players who finished the round, hitting 5-iron into the par-3 ninth hole and rolling in a 45-foot birdie putt for a 3-under 69. The golf course and the worlds No. 1 player showed enough. Woods, who walked off after 13 holes Sunday in the Honda Classic because of lower back pain and spasms, said he warmed up well and felt good during the delay. His golf didnt look all that great. He was 2-over par through 10 holes, ending the day with a wedge that came up some 20 yards short of his target, leading to a three-putt for bogey from about 55 feet. &quot;Im ready to go back out tomorrow and play well,&quot; he said. Trump National Doral, completely overhauled by Gil Hanse, showed plenty of bite on a windy, cloudy afternoon. Jason Dufner was going along beautifully for 10 holes until he struggled to find fairways in a crosswind. Brett Rumford began his round by hitting four shots before he put one in play. Three went into the water on the par-5 10th, and he started out with an 11. &quot;Mr. Trump wanted a very tough test on the Blue Monster, and I think thats what he got,&quot; English said. The course average was at 73.8. Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed also were at 3 under when the round was suspended by darkness. The 62 players who failed to finish will return Friday morning to complete the round. Russell Henley, coming off a playoff win last week at the Honda Classic, made only one par in six holes on the back nine — two birdies, three bogeys. He was in the group at 2 under that included Masters champion Adam Scott, who is in the Nos. 1-2-3 group with Woods and Henrik Stenson. Stenson might have hit the most memorable shot of the day — a cold shank from the middle of the second fairway that sailed at a 45-degree angle into bushes. Scott has a chance to replace Woods at No. 1 in the world if he wins this World Golf Championship and Woods finishes worse that fifth. Rory McIlroy got off to a blazing start with four birdies in five holes, only to end the back nine with back-to-back bogeys with a long three-putt bbogey and a tee shot on the 18th that caught the edge of the water and bounded into the hazard.dddddddddddd. That might be the most penal aspect of the new Doral. Anything hit toward some of the edges feeds toward the water, and theres a lot of water in play. Not even English was immune. His tee shot on the 18th found the water, and he still had 4-iron to get to the green. But he bounced back on the par-5 first hole by smashing a tee shot so far with help from the wind and the firm fairways that he had a 7-iron left from 213 yards. He hit that to 12 feet for a two-putt birdie, and he was bogey-free the rest of the way. Dufner said he hasnt had to think his way around a golf course this much since he was at Muirfield last year for the British Open, even though the tracks are nothing alike. &quot;This used to be a golf course where you grab your driver on every hole, swing for the fences and play from there,&quot; he said. &quot;You cant get away with that here at Doral anymore.&quot; Dufner didnt feel comfortable with driver on the 14th, so he laid back and had 236 yards left to the par 4. He hit 3-iron and made birdie, anyway. Other times, he failed to dial it back and paid the price. &quot;Youre not going to go through this tournament on this golf course anymore with no bogeys,&quot; he said. &quot;Everybody is going to be making some bogeys here and there, so pretty happy with where Im at.&quot; Jordan Spieth already had three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-5 12th hole. He countered with five birdies and was even par through 15 holes. Only 19 players were under par when the round was stopped. Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., is tied for 60th place. Woods made two bogeys without a single birdie. Hell have eight holes remaining Friday morning to make up some ground. &quot;Should be a long day for all of us,&quot; Woods said. &quot;Hopefully, tomorrow I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.&quot; DIVOTS: Brendon de Jonge said he injured his right ribs in the final round at the Honda Classic. He is on pain medication, which he said makes him feel a bit light-headed. The Zimbabwean opened with a 76. He said he would take next week off and have an MRI. ... Jason Day withdrew before the round began with an injury to his left thumb, which he said was hurting him when he won the Match Play Championship two weeks ago. 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