Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thunder rally to edge Lakers 77-75 in Game 2

sports news
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, left, tumbles over Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum during the first quarter of Game 2 in an NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference semifinal

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Down in desperation time, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks called on Kevin Durant to show that he's more than just a three-time scoring champion. And that meant guarding one of the NBA's all-time best.

Durant was up to the challenge, keeping Kobe Bryant from excelling as usual in his closer's role while sparking the Thunder's rally for a 77-75 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.

Durant scored 22 points and rattled in the go-ahead basket on a baseline runner with 18 seconds left as Oklahoma City scored the final nine points. He also had a crucial steal from Bryant to fuel the rally.

"People talk about how I score the ball," said Durant, one of only seven players to lead the NBA in scoring three straight seasons.

"They don't look at me when we go on the other end. I think this whole playoff run, I've been picking it up on the defensive end."

Oklahoma City trailed by seven with 2 minutes left before surging back with a series of defensive stops by its stars to rally from that deficit in the closing stages of a game for the second time this postseason. The Thunder also were down by seven with 2 1/2 minutes left in Game 1 of the first round against defending NBA champion Dallas.

"They won't quit. That's not in their DNA," Brooks said. "They're not wired that way and if they were, they wouldn't be here. We're not going to win every game, but we're going to fight to the last second of the game and we did that tonight.

"If we would have gotten down on ourselves with 2 minutes to go, we would have lost by 12 and we would go to L.A. 1-1."

Instead, Oklahoma City takes a 2-0 lead into Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.

Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points apiece for the Lakers, who came up empty on their last six possessions after Bynum's hook shot made it 75-68 with 2:09 remaining.

Struggling throughout the second half and missing 20 of their first 27 shots, the Thunder came alive after Brooks called a timeout when Bynum's basket gave Los Angeles its largest lead of the game.

James Harden drove for a layup before Durant used his height advantage to reach up and tip away a pass from Bryant. He then ran out for a right-handed dunk at the other end.

Brooks had switched Durant onto Bryant with about 5 minutes left, after Bryant had hit a pair of jumpers as the Lakers started to inch away.

"That wasn't the game plan going in, but there was a moment when I thought Kobe was starting to fill it and I thought Kevin's length would bother him," Brooks said.

That's exactly how it played out - with the 6-foot-9 Durant using his wingspan to come up with an energizing steal and fast-break chance.

Russell Westbrook then forced another turnover by challenging an outlet pass to Bryant along the sideline. Officials originally ruled that it went off Westbrook, but changed the call after seeing on replay that he didn't touch it and Bryant whiffed on the contested catch.

"What they did the last few minutes there, they just made gambles," Bryant said. "They just jumped in the passing lanes. It's something that we're not accustomed to seeing. It's just flat-out risks defensively."

Harden made the next stop, blocking Bryant's jumper on the Lakers' next possession and getting a layup in transition off it to cut the deficit to one in the final minute.

Bryant then missed on a 3-pointer and the Thunder got the ball back with the chance to take the lead and Durant was able to make it happen on the offensive end.

"I think Kevin has improved on being a two-way player," Brooks said. "I think the last three years it's taken our team to a different level and it takes his game to a different level."

Steve Blake missed an open 3-pointer from the right side with about 5 seconds left after Metta World Peace couldn't get the ball to Bryant on the inbounds play.

Bryant, who was the primary option on the play, said Blake's shot was in the air by the time he turned around to look for an inbounds pass.

"Blake was wide open. We didn't have any timeouts left and he got a clean look, a really good look," World Peace said. "He can knock that down."

Durant was then fouled with 0.3 seconds left and made his first try before missing the second on purpose - failing to hit the backboard or rim for a violation.

The Lakers got a desperation try, but Harden intercepted World Peace's long pass for Bynum.

Westbrook added 15 points for Oklahoma City, which matched its lowest scoring total of the season but still gutted out the win. The Thunder had ripped apart the Lakers' defense with their pick-and-roll attack in Game 1, scoring 119 points in a 29-point blowout.

Pau Gasol had 14 points and 11 rebounds for L.A.

Historically, the loss makes a huge difference. Los Angeles is 29-12 when splitting the first two games of a seven-game series and has lost 17 of 19 when falling into a 2-0 hole. The Lakers' last comeback was in the 2004 West semifinals against San Antonio.

The Thunder have won all nine of their series after leading 2-0, dating to the franchise's days in Seattle.

"We've got to win," Bynum said. "It's do or die come Friday."

Bryant almost led the Lakers to a big bounce-back victory in this one.

He drilled a jumper from the left wing and Blake followed with a 3-pointer before World Peace hit one of two free throws for a 69-63 advantage with 7:27 remaining. Bryant then answered Serge Ibaka's jumper before missing his final five shots.

He also had a hand in two turnovers in the final 2 minutes, the first created by Durant's defense.

"He used his length on Kobe. Coming up with that steal was huge," Lakers' coach Mike Brown said. "That's what great players are supposed to do. They're supposed to take on the challenge at the end of the game and he did.

"He won the game for them, basically."

Notes: The NBA fined Devin Ebanks $25,000 on Wednesday for actions related to his Game 1 ejection and Bynum $15,000 for failing to speak to reporters Tuesday. Bynum talked at the Lakers' morning shootaround Wednesday and called it a make up for skipping the previous day. ... Harden caught World Peace with an inadvertent elbow to the face in the first quarter. ... After making 10 of 15 shots in Game 1, Westbrook was 5 for 17.

News by AP

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lin-surgery! Knicks guard done for regular season

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin will miss the rest of the regular season because he needs knee surgery that will sideline him six weeks and could leave the Knicks without their star point guard in the playoffs - if they make it that far.

Lin had an MRI exam this week that revealed a small, chronic meniscus tear and he has elected to have surgery next week in New York.

With the regular season ending April 26, the biggest story in basketball this season is done unless the Knicks make a deep postseason run.

Speaking slowly during a pregame press conference, Lin was unable to hide his disappointment with the decision that was reached earlier Saturday after a painful workout.

“It (stinks) not being able to be out there with the team,” he said.

Upcoming: Lin-surgery.

He was barely holding on to a place in the NBA back in February. Now, after the back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers and popularity around the world, and now it’s over.

“If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot,” Lin said. “But having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”

The Knicks will continue to turn to Baron Davis in place of Lin, the undrafted Harvard alum who became the starter in February and turned in a series of brilliant performances, kicking off a phenomenon that was called Linsanity.

Lin is averaging 14.1 points and 6.1 assists, but the numbers only tell a small part of the story.

The Knicks were under .500 and looking like a mess when Lin was given a chance to play extended minutes at point guard for then-coach Mike D’Antoni on Feb. 4 against New Jersey.

Lin, the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA, scored 25 points with seven assists in that New York victory, was inserted into the starting lineup two days later against Utah, and took the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak that gained world-wide attention.

The 23-year-old Lin left the Knicks’ easy victory over Detroit last Saturday after feeling discomfort, saying afterward he could have returned for the fourth quarter if the game had been close. He took part in shootaround before their game Monday and at first believed he could deal with the pain.

Though the swelling went down, the pain never did. He said he got three or four opinions that all said the same thing, and after testing it again Friday and Saturday, he decided to have the surgery.

“I can’t really do much. Can’t really cut or jump, so it’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to help the team unless I get this fixed right now,” Lin said before the Knicks played Cleveland. “It’s disappointing for me, it’s hard to watch the games and I think I’d want to be out there obviously more than anything right now. But hopefully, it’s a six-week rehab process but I tend to heal fast, so hopefully I can come back as soon as possible and still contribute this season hopefully.”

It’s the second serious injury loss of the week for the Knicks, who are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Amare Stoudemire is out two to four weeks with a back injury, leaving the Knicks without their second- and third-leading scorers for perhaps the remainder of the regular season.

Davis still isn’t 100 percent after a herniated disk in his back kept him out of action until February. The Knicks also have Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas, plus rookie Iman Shumpert as point guard options, but none as good as Lin.

“We’ve got to go on, but he’s a big piece of our puzzle and what we were doing as of late before he actually went out,” interim coach Mike Woodson said. “All’s not bad. Again, we’ve got three veteran point guards sitting over there and the rookie we could play some at the point. We’re just going to have to make do until he’s able to get back into uniform. But it is a big blow.”

Lin flourished in D’Antoni’s offense, and there was immediate speculation he would struggle - or even lose his starting spot - when Woodson replaced him on March 14. Instead, Lin kept on rolling, leading the Knicks to six wins in seven games before he was hurt.

Woodson said he’s known of players that have played through meniscus tears, but that only Lin knows his body. Lin knew he would need surgery eventually, but hoped to delay it until after the season.

“He’s elected to have the surgery and we’ve got to respect that, because only he knows the pain that he’s feeling. And there is a problem, so it’s got to be fixed,” Woodson said.

The Knicks had already tried three point guards when they finally turned to Lin, who had been cut by Golden State and Houston before signing with the Knicks. D’Antoni immediately elevated him to the starting lineup after his performance against the Nets, and Lin responded with the greatest beginning stretch ever for a starter.

He was the first player with at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first five starts since the Elias Sports Bureau began charting starts in 1970. He had a 3-pointer to win a game in Toronto, scored 38 points to outplay Kobe Bryant in a national TV victory over the Lakers, then had 28 points and 14 assists in another nationally televised victory over the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

All along, the frenzy around him increased. Commissioner David Stern said he had never seen so much interest created by one player in such a short period of time. Knicks games were picked up by TV stations in basketball-crazed Asia, and Lin actually pleaded for privacy for his family in Taiwan.

Lin will be a free agent after the season and said he hopes to return to New York, but otherwise wasn’t thinking that far in the future.

“I’m not even worried about that right now,” he said. “It’s not like a career-ending thing or it’s not something that will bother me. Once it’s fixed, it’s fixed, it’s the most simple surgery you can have and so I’m more concerned about the season.”

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mario Balotelli meets Noel Gallagher

 Mario Balotelli meets Noel Gallagher
Mario Balotelli and Noel Gallagher
Mario Balotelli: Full interview

Balotelli on the funny stories:

    * Did you give a tramp £1,000 after winning in the casino?: "Never"

    * Is it true a young lad turned up at the training ground asking for your autograph and, when asked why he wasn't at school, he said he was being bullied, so you took him to school and spoke to the headmaster?: "No. It's not true I took him to school. I tell him why he wasn't at school but not took him to school."

    * Did your mum send you to John Lewis for an ironing board and you came back with a quad bike, a Scalectrix and a tennis table?: "Yes. But not a tennis table, it was a trampoline."

    * Are you allergic to a specific kind of grass?: "I'm allergic to the dry grass, not the green one, the brown one."

    * Did you go to church on Xmas Eve and put £1,000 in the collection plate?: "I put some money in but not a thousand."

    * Did you go to the pub in Wythenshawe and buy everyone a drink?: "No"

    * Did you go to a petrol station and pay for everyone's petrol?: "No, not true."

    * Did you drive around Manchester dressed as Santa handing out money?: "No."

Balotelli on Roberto Mancini:

"If Mancini wasn't here I think I would never come here."
Balotelli on Jose Mourinho:

"I think he's a great manager but he didn't understand me [at Inter Milan]. He said that nobody could understand me but I think the only one who couldn't understand me is him, so it's his problem."
Balotelli on magic tricks:

"There is one guy, he's in Manchester. I was in the Trafford Centre and he came and just showed me tricks. One day I invited him to my house to teach me something. [I only know one trick] But it's difficult."
Balotelli on maturing:

"I'm 21 so I'm still young. I think already from last year I'm already bigger in my head. If you look at me from outside and don't know me you think I'm an idiot."
Balotelli on privacy:

"When people talk about my business, my life, I'm really private. Maybe someone thinks I'm arrogant or something but it's just me."
Balotelli on the media's fascination with him:

"I don't care because they can say what they want. I'm a footballer so the most important moment is on Sunday on the pitch. They say a lot of stuff about me but they are just lying, they don't even know. If I go out in the street and one guy gets a picture, then someone calls the press to say Mario was there. The day after in the press it's 'Mario was there'. That's normal, I just walk in town like a normal guy."
Balotelli on the fireworks incident:

"It started like a joke. I was bored. I was with my friends and one of them was leaving. So I got one bin, but a metal one, to put the fireworks inside. Nothing was going to happen so I left the room and left the fireworks inside but didn't light them. I walked out and my friend went in the room and just started screaming. The fireworks were going off. They put out the fireworks in the toilet but just the curtain caught fire. That's it."
Balotelli on the "Why always me?" T-shirt:

"It was to all the people who are always talking bad about me and say stuff that's not nice about me and they don't know me. I was just asking, 'Why always me?'"
Balotelli on being the best player in the world:

"I would like but it's not only something you would like, it is something you have to work for."  

News by BBC

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Girls basketball: Gordon's career-high leads South Charleston

 Girls basketball
Girl's Basketball

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Never behind and never in doubt, South Charleston rode the shooting stroke of senior Brittany Gordon to the Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 championship game.

Gordon posted a career-high 42 points to lead the Black Eagles in a sectional semifinal game they never trailed for an eventual 89-45 win against St. Albans at South Charleston High School on Wednesday night.

South Charleston Coach Gary Greene said Gordon's offensive success was a result of St. Albans' decision to pack the interior.

"St. Albans decided they weren't going to let us get anything inside, so they were double- and triple-teaming the post in there ball-side and it opened up the top," he said. "Brittany just took what they gave her. They were doubling down so much, even when she was outside the 3. She got some great looks, as well as some of our other guards."

Gordon, a guard, finished the game 15-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Gordon scored 11 points in each of the first two quarters as the Black Eagles built a 50-23 halftime lead.

Gordon said she agreed with her coach's assessment that the Red Dragons' inside-first defense led to her offensive outburst.

"They were doubling down on our post players and it left a lot open for the guards - I was on tonight," she said.

Red Dragons Coach Scott James said his team lacked the fire early in the game as St. Albans (7-17) fell behind and Class AAA No. 3 South Charleston took advantage.

"We've got to come out with a purpose every single game and with that, intensity follows," he said. "At times we showed that, but tonight was a shame that we had to go out the season this way, but my hat's off to South Charleston. They did a great job."
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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Unsettled Bent becomes target for Liverpool as Dalglish eyes more firepower

Darren Bent
Liverpool are interested in a deal for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent.

The England international came off the bench to play a pivotal role in Villa’s 3-1 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday — setting up Stilian Petrov for the second goal before scoring the decisive third himself.

However, he has grown unsettled at Villa following a summer of change and a succession of niggly injuries. He expressed his frustration at the lack of service he was getting from his team-mates and incurred the wrath of fans by missing Villa’s 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool, opting to go Christmas shopping instead.

Selling Bent would be detrimental to Alex McLeish’s plans but club finances dictate that should the Villa manager want to strengthen his side then almost every player is susceptible to a bid. Villa paid £24million for Bent last January and would want more to justify the sale to fans.

That could yet work in their favour as Liverpool have made a defensive midfielder their priority for this window and know targets such as Fernando Reges from Porto or Riccardo Montolivo of Fiorentina could come at a hefty price. The Anfield club would then prefer to shelve a move for Bent until the summer.

Liverpool have also shown interest in Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha and want an extra defender.

Bent has a lot of admirers at Anfield, not least director of football Damien Comolli, who helped take him to Tottenham from Charlton for £16.5m in 2007. He also has a good relationship with ex-Villa team-mate Stewart Downing and the other members of the England contingent at Liverpool.

However, his arrival would bring Andy Carroll’s long-term future at the club under the microscope once again. Boss Kenny Dalglish has been a staunch supporter of the £35m signing from Newcastle and there were signs of a promising partnership with Steven Gerrard during Friday night’s 3-1 win over his former club. But a signing of Bent’s magnitude would put serious pressure on places up front with Luis Suarez almost an automatic pick.


The Aston Villa striker has scored against every current Premier League team except Swansea and QPR and stands on 97 goals from 222 games.

His goals-per-game ratio is up there with the likes of Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler, too. He is ninth on 0.44.

Bent’s best season was his first at Sunderland in 2009-10 with 24 goals from 38 games, accounting for 50 per cent of their goals that season.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dutch Cup game abandoned after goalkeeper attacks pitch invader at AZ Alkmaar vs Ajax

AZ Alkmaar
AZ Alkmaar's goolkeeper fights with supporter
A FOOTBALL match was abandoned after a goalkeeper fought with a pitch invader - and was then sent off for protecting himself.

The Dutch Cup game between AZ Alkmaar and Ajax ended when AZ keeper Esteban Alvarado was shown a red card for battling the drunk 19-year-old hooligan.

The Costa Rican keeper, 22, launched into a kung-fu kick when the thug attempted to attack him, before kicking him twice after he had been floored.

Security guards dragged the drunk away before referee Bas Nijhuis dismissed the keeper for violence and insisted Esteban should have walked away.

Furious Alkmaar coach Gertjan Verbeek then ordered his side to walk off in protest after just 36minutes, forcing the game on Wednesday night to be abandoned.

Referee Nijhuis said: “I understand that Esteban was defending himself, but he walked to him (the supporter) and kicked him multiple times. He could also have walked away.”

Ajax apologised for the security lapse and said the supporter would receive a lifetime ban from games.

Jeroen Slop, a director of the Dutch giants, said: “This was a terrible incident and we deeply regret it and offer our sincere apologies.

“The supporter has been handed over to the police.

“It was a 19-year-old man who was probably under the influence of alcohol. He said he hated the AZ goalkeeper and had therefore attacked him.”

Toon Gerbrands, an Alkmaar club director, said his players “didn’t feel safe any more in this situation” at the Amsterdam Arena.

Ajax were leading the game 1-0 at the time, and Dutch Football Association director Bert van Oostveen said that although organisation was considering the incident, but is not certain whether the game will be replayed.

The Dutch FA today rescinded the red card, saying Alvarado’s reaction was triggered by the unprovoked attack on him - but adding that referee Bas Nijhuis was right according to the rules when he sent the goalkeeper off.

They confirmed that Alvarado’s reaction “will not result in a ban.”

It also emerged the fan responsible had already been banned from Ajax’s stadium for a year due to a previous run-in with security guards, but managed to sneak into the cup match with a ticket purchased by a friend.

He has now received a lifetime ban from all Ajax matches.

- Eric Cantona: The temperamental Manchester United star famously kung-fu kicked a racist Crystal Palace fan in January 1995. He received an eight-month ban from the FA.

- Brian Clough: The legendary Nottingham Forest manager punched one of his own pitch-invading fan in 1989 after beating QPR.

- Trevor Brennan: Toulouse Rugby Union star Brennan punched an Ulster fan who had been hurling abuse at him during a Heineken Cup game in 2007. He was given a life ban from the dame.

- Peter Schmeichel: The giant Man United keeper hurled an invading fan of Turkish club Galatasaray off the Old Trafford pitch in 1993.

- Ty Cobb: a legendary baseball players who rarely went a game without fighting fans, oppostion players or his own team-mates. He once said: “I had to fight all my life just to survive. They were all against me.”

News by Mirror

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

NBA Christmas schedule: What to watch in all five games

Derrick Rose begins his defense of his MVP against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers
NBA Christmas schedule: What to watch in all five games

Back on Thanksgiving weekend, NBA commissioner David Stern and union head Billy Hunter met, with a noticeably increased sense of urgency on the league’s side. There was no question as to why—Stern wanted to push to reach a deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement so that the league could still air its prized package of games, on Christmas Day. The deal got done, and now comes the payoff.

“We got some incredible games on Christmas Day, I am excited,” Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Magic Johnson said. “I am glad that the focus will be back on the game, back on the teams, back on the superstars we have in this league. I am ready to go. And they’re ready to go as well. And the fans are back and ready to go.”

In that case, let’s go. There are five games on tap, and each is worth a look. All times are Eastern.

Celtics at Knicks, noon

Worth watching: When last we saw the Knicks, they were being swept by the Celtics in a series that was deceptively close—the first two games were decided by a total of five points. The mantra then, though, was that after acquiring Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups from Denver, the Knicks simply needed more time together to develop chemistry.

Instead, we got a lockout that slashed training camp down to two weeks and the Knicks roster went through a convulsion when they let Billups go and overpaid for Tyson Chandler. So, in what seems like an annual ritual, the Knicks will have to learn on the fly, and going against a Boston team that could return its starting five from the playoffs—Paul Pierce (ankle) may not play—will be a good first test of New York’s ability to do that.

Heat at Mavericks, 2:30 p.m.

Worth watching: There is very little reason that the Heat can’t step into this season firing on all cylinders. They’re (mostly) healthy, and they return pretty much everyone from their Finals team last year, with the addition of Shane Battier a big boost to the rotation. If you’re coach Erik Spoelstra, you’d like to see your guys—especially the star trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh—come out with a killer attitude and jump on the team that stopped their championship drive last year. A focused, no-nonsense effort would be a nice way to set the tone for the season in Miami.

It should help, too, that Dallas lost some key pieces, especially Chandler in the middle and J.J. Barea off the bench. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle will tinker with working new guys Lamar Odom and Vince Carter into the rotation.

Bulls at Lakers, 5 p.m.

Worth watching: It will be nice to watch Derrick Rose get started on his defense of his MVP award and his justification of his new contract, especially with new shooting guard Richard Hamilton aboard. But this game will mostly be about the Lakers, as new coach Mike Brown makes his debut, without Odom and with center Andrew Bynum out because of a suspension levied for a bonehead play in last year’s playoffs.

Brown also has to deal with Kobe Bryant’s thumb injury and Pau Gasol’s mindset, which could be an issue since he was nearly included in a trade for Chris Paul. It’s a new era for Lakers fans, and they might not like how things look at the outset.

Magic at Thunder, 8 p.m.

Worth watching: Like Stan Van Gundy doesn’t have enough to worry about, with a disjointed roster and a superstar big man who wants out of Orlando. Now, the league is adding insult to his injury by making his team play on Christmas, something Van Gundy has been vocal in complaining about in the past. Worse, the Magic have to travel to Oklahoma City, one of the tougher places to play in the NBA, against a team that is primed to take its spot as a championship contender this year.

Still, the Magic have the makings of a pretty good team, as long as Howard stays active and engaged while the trade rumors fly. Going up against Thunder center/agitator Kendrick Perkins should get Howard’s juices flowing—the last time he saw Perkins, he went for 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Perkins was scoreless in five shot attempts.

Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m.

Worth watching: How many times has it been said that a Clippers-Warriors tilt is must-see TV? If this is the first time, it just goes to show how excitement has increased now that L.A. has added point guard Chris Paul to Blake Griffin’s team.

With Griffin and young center DeAndre Jordan, the Clippers have two of the three leading dunkers in the league from last year, and bringing in deft passers like Paul and Chauncey Billups has already earned the Clippers the nickname, “Lob City.” They will travel to the Bay Area to make their debut against the Warriors, a team that new coach Mark Jackson is hoping to instill with a new defensive mindset. Good luck with that, coach.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Why Beach Volleyball is the hottest sport ever

hot girls
Player of Beach Volleyball
Beach volleyball is a sport. With boobies.  It would appear that the object of the game is to hit the volleyball over the net and ground it on the other side of the net to gain points.

The real objective, however, is to see how long you can oogle gorgeous women in bikinis before anyone realizes you are paying no attention whatsoever to the game.

There is also men's beach volleyball. Men's beach volleyball is for queers.

The first recorded beach volleyball game took place in Waikiki, Hawaii. The sport was popularized in Southern California. Analysts blame the lack of beautiful, tanned women in bikinis in states such as New Jersey.

The game skyrocketed in popularity when men came to the realization that this was a chance for them to be able to stare at hot women in bikinis running around for a while and not get called perverts. Tennis has also seen a rise in popularity due to this trend, but beach volleyball players are wearing much less than tennis players. Plus, the chance of a top coming off is significantly higher than in tennis.

Before starting a game of beach volleyball, there are two very important things players must do:

1. Stretch out. Preliminary stretching both loosens one's muscles to make them more flexible and agile, but also prevents muscle injuries.

2. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration.

News by Cracked

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Football legend Eusebio in hospital with pneumonia

(CNN) -- Portuguese football legend Eusebio is in a stable condition after being admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia on Wednesday, his former club Benfica reported.

The 69-year-old, known affectionately as the "Black Panther" and one of the most talented players of his generation, is being kept at the Hospital da Luz in Lisbon as the illness has affected both lungs.

"He spent the night as well, and he is stable. From the clinical point of view (his condition) is stationary," the hospital's medical director Jose Roquette told reporters in quotes carried by Benfica's website.

"There was no significant improvement in inflammatory parameters, analytical or radiological findings. So we continue with appropriate therapy and we hope this is resolved quickly."

Roquette said Eusebio, who was the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup when Portugal finished third, would likely remain in hospital over the festive period after coming out of intensive care.

"This is not a situation that one can guarantee how long will it take to evolution, but admit it will take some time. We will give more information in due course. Most likely it will extend beyond Christmas, "he said.

Roquette said Eusebio's wife and daughters had come to the hospital, but other visitors had been restricted.

In 2007, he had surgery to unblock arteries which carry blood to the brain.

Eusebio played for three North American Soccer League teams in the twilight of his career, but is best known for his exploits in 15 years at Benfica where he scored 638 goals in 614 appearances up until 1975.

"We wish a speedy recovery to Eusebio and also to express that the whole Portuguese football family is behind him," the Portuguese Football Federation said in a statement.

"Eusebio is a symbol of Portuguese football. It will take a lot of strength to overcome this difficulty, but he has honored Portugal for many years with his distinguished presence, including as ambassador of the national team."

Born in Mozambique, which was then a Portuguese territory, he scored 41 goals in 64 appearances for his adopted country.

At the 1966 World Cup he scored two goals as Portugal eliminated defending champions Brazil at the group stage, then netted four times in an incredible quarterfinal comeback against North Korea as his side rallied from 3-0 down to win 5-3 in one of the tournament's most famous matches.

Eusebio scored again in the semifinal against England, but the hosts won 2-1 before beating Germany in the final.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kansas City Chiefs end Green Bay Packers' 19-game winning streak

Tamba Hall and Kendrick Lewis of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate
(CNN) -- The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium, ending the defending Super Bowl champions' quest for a perfect season.

The Packers, who were 13-0 this season, were defeated 19-14 by the 5-8 Chiefs.

Despite the loss -- the Packers' first in 20 games -- Green Bay remains firmly atop the NFC standings. The Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West.

Kansas City executives on Monday fired head coach Todd Haley after the team lost four of its previous five games. Sunday's win was the first under interim head coach Romeo Crennel. Crennel was previously the team's defensive coordinator.

Also Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts ended their winless season with their first victory, beating the Tennessee Titans 27-13. The Colts, previously 0-13, have been struggling without star quarterback Peyton Manning as he recovers from neck surgery.

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Messi double secures Club World Cup for all-conquering Barcelona

Lionel Messi
(CNN) -- Lionel Messi scored twice as European champions Barcelona secured the Club World Cup with a 4-0 rout of Brazil's Santos in Yokohama Sunday.

Messi opened Barcelona's account and added their fourth and final goal in a one-sided match against their South American counterparts.

Xavi and Cesc Fabregas scored their other goals in a first-half which saw Pep Guardiola's men 3-0 ahead and in total control.

It is their second Club World Cup title after 2009 and the 13th trophy won since Guardiola took charge at the Camp Nou in 2008.

"We've got a core of very talented players and the secret of our success is simple," he told the official FIFA website.

"We study our opponents closely, use space well, keep control of the ball and move it around very quickly. My players are real competitors and I'm sure they're going to want to keep on going and win more trophies."

The match was billed as a showdown between Santos' Neymar, who inspired their semifinal win over Kashiwa Reysol, and Argentina's Messi.

Villa injury mars Barcelona semifinal win

But the Brazilian teenager was kept quiet and uncharacteristically wasted two second half opportunities.

By contrast, Messi was at his irrepressible best, and set up by Xavi on 17 minutes made no mistake with a chipped finish.

Xavi then struck after a fine run by Dani Alves and Barcelona were 2-0 up and cruising.

Barely half and hour was on the clock when former Arsenal star Fabregas beat Rafael Cabral at the near post, with Xavi again the instigator after an impudent backheel from Messi.

Barcelona were able to coast through the second half as Santos enjoyed their best spell, but it was fitting that Messi added his second with eight minutes left.

Earlier Al Sadd, who lost 4-0 to Barcelona in the semifinals, beat Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol 5-3 on penalties to take third place at the annual intercontinental tournament after the match had ended scoreless.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

David Villa out for six months after breaking shinbone during Barcelona's Club World Cup semi-final

David Villa faces a long time on the sidelines
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola confirmed David Villa would be sidelined for a "long time" after the Spain striker broke his shinbone in today's 4-0 Club World Cup semi-final victory over Al-Sadd.

Reports in Spain suggest the 30-year-old will be out of action for between four and six months after being carried off on a stretcher six minutes before half-time.

Barca announced soon after that he had suffered a "fracture to the tibia in his left leg", with the player taken to hospital in Yokohama for further tests.

The news comes as a setback not only to Barca but potentially to world and European champions Spain, with their all-time record scorer's availability for Euro 2012 now in doubt.

Guardiola said after the match: "He will now travel to Barcelona as soon as possible. He will be greatly missed as a colleague and as a player. I hope everything goes well.

"He will be a long time. It's a big blow to the team. We just hope that he can play again as soon as possible.

News by The Telegraph

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Euro-league Basketball: Nancy loses big against Fenerbahçe

Euro-league Basketball
AFP - Nancy has lost much of his illusions in Euroleague basketball in his room leaning heavily against the Turks of Fenerbahce (53-73) Wednesday night at a great shortage of offensive.

The champions of France are now virtually condemned to win their last two matches to hope to qualify for the Top 16, this second phase that no club has not seen since ProA Pau-Orthez in 2007.

That is to say how Wednesday's defeat, his first this season at home, is expensive to Sluc who had run after the score throughout the game and never actually digested anemic first period (25-32) .

Denied by the pace of basketball academic "Fener" players Jean-Luc Monschau never managed to break free of their chains. Expelled from the Turkish bat, they tried their luck from distance, but were too clumsy (30% in the two-point shots, 22% three!) To hope for better.

Stronger after the break, they managed to return a moment to a point (40-41, 28th). But as soon as they sniffed the equalizer, their opponents took up the wide, taking advantage of their awkwardness and their waste in the game to impose a night Lorraine terribly frustrating.

Orphans of Nicolas Batum, left in the NBA, players Nancy did not receive much support from their new winger Kenny Gregory. Arrived only the night before the United States, the former Manceau did with the means at hand but did not logically that weighed (8 points).

Victor Samnick and Adrien Moerman is even less inspired, the Sluc tried to rely on Jamal Shuler (17 points) in an attempt to erase its chronic deficit in the wings. But it would have taken much to trouble Wednesday as serene as a Fenerbahçe Sluc was the draft.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Golf: American Tiger Woods won his first tournament in two years

Tiger Woods
AFP - American Tiger Woods found the colors on the golf course by winning Sunday in Thousand Oaks (California) the Chevron World Challenge, two weeks after helping the U.S. win in Australia the Presidents Cup.

His victory in Thousand Oaks is the first individual trophy for two years (Masters of Australia November 15, 2009). Shortly after, triggered the much-publicized sex scandal that cost him a divorce, the loss of many sponsors and also greatly altered the image of the world No.1 at the time.

This scandal, his many injuries the past two seasons and his decision to change his swing have contributed to make him fall beyond the 50th place worldwide and has accumulated against performance-worthy player with 14 Grand Slam victories that the world knew before.

This success, however, is to relativize the tournament because of Thousand Oaks, which organizes itself in favor of its foundation, is not an official event sanctioned by a major professional tour and only had 18 players.

But it does offer points for the world ranking and his opponents in California were not anonymous. Four of the first eleven players in the world were also present on the greens of Thousand Oaks (Americans Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney and Webb Simpson).

"It feels good," he soberly said Woods, who shackled 27 individual tournaments without a win. The Californian could not suppress a roar of joy after her successful birdie the final hole. With two birdies on holes n.17 and n.18, Woods erased a disbursement from a blow to compatriot Zach Johnson to win a step ahead with a total of 278.

"I screamed, said Woods. I won birdie-birdie by the last two holes when I was a late hit, we could not do better as a scenario," said one who should go back to 21st place worldwide. "It is under pressure, the last two holes, I hit three of my best shots of the week, it's really a good thing."

Johnson, former Masters champion, had taken control of the tournament after the third round Saturday, but Woods was able to find this killer instinct that he cultivated so well before his career takes an unexpected turn one evening in November 2009 with the accident car out of his home in Florida, followed by the revelation of his many extramarital affairs.

Woods made one last card of 69, three under par, to finish on a total of 278.

"The Tiger", 35, had already distinguished himself in late November, giving the point of victory in the U.S. at the Presidents Cup, won in Melbourne at the expense of the rest of the world (best non-European international players).

In early November, said Woods had to take "fun again" playing golf. He can look with more confidence towards the ultimate goal of his career beating the 18 major titles of Jack Nicklaus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

United States duo Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland win World Cup Golf 2011

Golf 2011
World Cup 2011: Final-round leaderboard

    * -24: U.S.
    * -22: England, Germany
    * -21: Australia, Scotland, Ireland
    * Selected others: -20: Wales, Netherlands
    * -19: Spain, Korea

United States duo Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland hit six birdies in a closing 67 to win the World Cup by two shots.

The Americans eroded the overnight two-stroke lead held by Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in China, with birdies on the first two holes.

Four more birdies lifted them to 24 under as Ireland faded with four bogeys in a level-par 72 to stay 21 under.

England's Ian Poulter and Justin Rose carded a nine-under-par 63 to finish second alongside Germany on 22 under.

"We were a little subdued [after the third round] and neither of us were much company," admitted Poulter.

"We stayed in our own rooms, and kind of rightly so as four under par in fourball was very disappointing.

"But to go and shoot nine under par in foursomes is crazy."

Poulter and Rose sank four birdies on the front nine and finished with two birdies and an eagle in their last four holes as they recorded the lowest score of the final round at the Mission Hills course on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

But although they caught and passed McIlroy and McDowell, who had held an eight-shot advantage over the Englishmen going into the final round, they were unable to match the Americans.

Kuchar and Woodland played solid, rather than spectacular, golf in the alternate shot foursomes format as they finished with a five-under-par 67 to record the United States's first victory in the tournament since Tiger Woods and David Duval teamed up in 2000.

"You think of all the sporting events, and you think of all the teams that become world champions, and in golf there are not that many opportunities to be world champions," said Kuchar.

"So to represent the United States of America and become world champions just feels great."

Their only blip was a bogey on the par-three 11th, but that dropped shot was wiped out on the 12th with a sixth birdie of the round following on the 13th.

In contrast, McIlroy and McDowell, who led by three on the back nine two years but were beaten to the title by Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, again struggled on the final day.

They mixed two bogies with two birdies on the front nine to fall two behind the Americans.

A birdie on the 10th brought them within one shot of the lead, but a bogey on 12 checked their progress and another shot went on the par-three 15th after McDowell's tee shot plugged under the lip of a greenside bunker.

McIlroy could only blast the ball a few feet out of the sand but when his playing partner missed the 25-foot par putt, their challenge was effectively ended.

They finished joint fourth with Australia, Netherlands and Scottish pair Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher who closed with eight birdies in a six-under-par 66.

German duo Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka did not drop a shot over the last two rounds and played the final 18 holes in a three-under 69, sinking a lengthy par putt at the last to ensure they finished joint second.

The World Cup used to be held annually but was switched to biennial after 2009 to accommodate golf's inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games.

New by BBC

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hope Solo says DWTS told her she ‘had too much muscle’

hope solo
Hope Solo
Coming off the high of last summer's second-place finish at the Women's World Cup, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it to the semi-finals of televised celebrity ballroom dancing spectacle Dancing with the Stars before being eliminated.

Between gossip mongers pushing stories of problems between Solo and Chmerkovskiy and the show's judges upsetting the goalkeeper with their harsh critiques early on in the competition, it was clear that this wasn't always a fun experience for Solo even before it was over. But in her first interview since the end of the competition, Hope said that the show's criticisms of her ran deeper than opinions on dance technique. She told Anderson Cooper:

    "I was told I had too much muscle and I was too intense and wasn't very dainty. Well, hello -- you cast a female professional athlete. Help me get better as a dancer. There's no hard feelings at all. I understand that it's television."

Six of the show's 13 winners have been athletes, but only two of those winners have been female athletes: Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson. And the figure skater and Olympic gymnast are much more in line with the judges' narrow vision for "dainty" female dancers than the 5'9" shot stopper, who recently showed off her impressive form in ESPN The Magazine body (read: naked) issue. However, in season four of the show, former boxer Laila Ali (who is 5'10") was also paired with Chmerkovskiy, finished third in the competition and received the first perfect "10" from judge Len Goodman for their rumba dance.

It does seem Solo has calmed down a bit since her reaction to the judging of her final performances got her branded as a "sore loser," though. From People:

    In a video recap of Monday's performances, Solo, 30, complained about her scores: "Sevens? The same thing I got in week one. Kiss my booty," she said, adding, "The scores at this point, the judges at this point mean nothing." The pair were also heard swearing about the judges as they awaited their second set of scores: "F——— 'em," they said, with Solo also tossing in that she didn't even want to look at the panel.

Solo also told Cooper that she was "a little naive" going into the "reality show." It sounds like the same (as well as a few other choice words Hope already used) can be said for the show's producers.

News by Yahoo

Cowboys cheerleader knocked over by Witten forced off Twitter

melissa kellerman
Melissa Kellerman
Cheerleader Melissa Kellerman was barely into the middle part of her 15 minutes of fame when the Dallas Cowboys pulled the plug.

Kellerman, a 22-year-old student in her fourth year with the team, became a national sensation on Thanksgiving when she was accidentally tackled on the sideline by Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

CNBC's Darren Rovell reported that Kellerman was forced to delete her Twitter account after posting two messages on Friday morning about the incident. Her Tweets were good-natured and innocuous.

Those were pretty much the perfect tweets: Clever, self-deprecating and a bit funny. (We'll even ignore the winking emoticons.) Why did she have to delete her Twitter account? Do the Cowboys believe cheerleaders are only to be seen, not heard?

Hardly. The team allows cameras to record cheerleader auditions for a reality show on CMT. It's alright when the team controls the message but not when a cheerleader begins to get a following and has the stage to herself? This should have been a win-win for everyone involved. Witten looked chivalrous when he helped up Kellerman, she became endearing with her laughter and positive attitude. Both the franchise and the cheerleaders looked good after this. Now, only Kellerman does.

The 22-year old South Carolina native is studying to become a teacher.

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Roger Federer reaches 100th career final

roger federer
Roger Federer
LONDON— Every time Roger Federer steps onto the court, another milestone seems to be within grasp.

He seized another one Saturday, reaching his 100th career final by beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals. Federer could add a few more Sunday. He's in position to win his 70th title overall and a record sixth at the season-ending tournament for the world's top eight players.

"It's obviously a special occasion for me," said Federer, who will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

Tsonga beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5 in the late match, putting the sixth-seeded Frenchman into the final of this event for the first time, in only his second appearance.

"Roger is the best player for the moment indoors," Tsonga said. "It's going to be really special here, for my first final here. It's going to be an amazing atmosphere on court, and I like that. ... I know it's the last match (of the year) so I will give it everything."

The victory over Ferrer sent Federer past Andy Murray to No. 3 in the year-end rankings, trailing No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic and Nadal were eliminated after losing two of their round-robin matches this week, both saying their minds and bodies weren't up for top-level tennis following another grueling season. Murray pulled out injured following his opening loss to Ferrer on Monday.

Federer — who holds a record 16 Grand Slam titles — is tied with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras with five victories at the ATP Finals, formerly known as the Masters Cup. A win Sunday would also tie Lendl's record of 39 match victories in the event.

Federer became the fifth player to reach 100 finals in the open era, joining Jimmy Connors (163), Lendl (146), John McEnroe (108) and Guillermo Vilas (104).

"I'm shocked every time that I've reached so many finals or won against so many players or whatever record it is," Federer said. "It strikes me and makes me obviously very happy and very proud that I've been able to do it for so many years at the highest of levels."

And with his 806th victory Saturday, Federer moved into a share of sixth place on the career list with Stefan Edberg.

"Stefan was my idol," Federer said. "So to achieve something that he achieved is obviously very nice. I don't think it matters much, but it's still very nice to get reminded that you equaled your idol's or hero's achievements."

In a tournament where his biggest rivals complained of fatigue after failing to make it out of the group stage,Federer showed no signs of slowing down. The 30-year-old Swiss star extended his unbeaten streak to 16 matches after winning titles in Basel and Paris before coming to London.

Federer has played some of his best tennis of the year in London, and while he did not look as sharp against Ferrer as he did in his three group-stage victories, he never faced a break point. He broke the fifth-seeded Spaniard twice in the second set and converted his second match point with a forehand winner.

Ferrer came within two points of the first set six times in Federer's service game when the Spaniard led 5-4. But he never earned a break point in a game that went to deuce five times, and Federer finally held when Ferrer sent a backhand passing shot wide. That marked a turning point, with Federer winning the next four games as well to take control.

"Obviously it was a key 5-4 game for me," Federer said. "That was a crucial sort of 15, 20 minutes for me. I'm happy I was able to decide the match right there."

Ferrer dropped to 0-12 against Federer. The Spaniard started the week by beating Murray and Djokovic convincingly, but couldn't keep up that level of play less than 16 hours after losing a three-set match against Berdych on Friday.

"Maybe I didn't have really time to relax, but (that) is not the excuse here," Ferrer said. "He played better than me."

Berdych also struggled against the rested Tsonga, landing just 53 percent of his first serves and double-faulting five times — including on break point to go down 4-3 in the second set.

The Czech broke back immediately but then lost serve again to let Tsonga take a decisive 6-5 lead, and the Frenchman served out the match with an ace.

Tsonga will play Federer for the third Sunday in a row, after losing to him in the Paris final two weeks ago and their first round-robin match in London last weekend.

In doubles, Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada reached the final, beating American twins Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (6), 6-4. They will play Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland, who beat Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes of India 6-4, 4-6, 10-6.

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Togo Bus Crash: Soccer Players Killed After Vehicle Plunges Into Ravine

togo bus crash
Soccer Player
LOME, Togo — At least six topflight Togolese soccer players were killed and another 28 people critically injured on Saturday after a bus carrying their team plunged into a ravine and caught fire.

In a statement read on national television, the Togo government said President Faure Gnassingbe had ordered that those injured from the Etoile Filante club be taken to the military wing of the Lome Central Hospital to receive urgent medical attention.

A delegation, led by sports minister Christophe Tchao, traveled to the accident site with an ambulance to evacuate the injured.

The accident happened near the city of Atakpame, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Lome, as Etoile Filante was on its way to Togo's second largest city of Sokode for Sunday's league game against Semassi.

A tire is believed to have burst, causing the bus to topple over and plunge down a ravine. Some of the victims reportedly burnt to death. Eyewitness accounts said the bus flipped over several times as it crashed into the ravine.

"We do not know how we managed to get out of the accident," said one of the survivors, goalkeeper Mama Souleyman.

Images on Togo national television showed the smoldering wreckage of the bus, which was almost completely burnt to ashes.

Lome-based Etoile Filante is a seven-time Togo national league champion and was runner-up in Africa's continental club competition in 1968.

Last year, two Togo national team officials were killed and several players hurt after a gun attack on the team's bus as it traveled to the African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola.

In 2007, Togo sports minister Richard Attipoe was among 22 people who died when a helicopter carrying Togolese soccer fans and officials crashed in Sierra Leone after an African Cup qualifying match.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Brady, Patriots take control of AFC East with win over Jets

New England, facing the prospect of dropping three successive games for the first time since 2002, instead gained the upper hand in the AFC East by silencing the New York Jets 37-16 Sunday night.

Defending champion New England, New York and the Buffalo Bills had all owned a share of the division lead when the day began at 5-3. But Buffalo was pummeled by the Dallas Cowboys 44-7 one week after the Jets handed the Bills a damaging 27-11 loss at home.

New England got it done in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams.

Quarterback Tom Brady regained his hot hand, completing 26 of 39 passes for 329 yards without tossing an interception. He twice found tight end Rob Gronkowski for TDs, hitting him from 18 yards out to establish a 13-9 halftime lead before they connected on a 5-yarder for a 23-9 margin late in the third quarter.

After New York responded with a 10-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in Mark Sanchez's 7-yard pass to Plaxico Burress, narrowing the deficit to 23-16 at the start of the fourth quarter, Brady took his club on a surgical 84-yard march that required 13 plays and burned 6:51 off the clock. Brady hit Deion Branch for an 8-yard scoring strike with 8:04 remaining.

New England's maligned defense, ranked last in allowing 416.3 yards per game and last in surrendering 314 yards passing when play began, finally rose up after the Patriots were outscored at the Pittsburgh Steelers (25-17) and against the New York Giants (24-20).

The latter ended New England's 20-game regular-season home winning streak, marked its first loss to a visiting NFC team since 2002 and spurred talk that the perennial power was primed for a mighty fall.

Such talk now appears to be as much off target as the boast by Jets coach Rex Ryan that his club will win the Super Bowl after consecutive appearances in the AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots' defense kept New York from moving the chains consistently and linebacker Rob Ninkovich produced a pair of key interceptions of Mark Sanchez. He returned the second of those 12 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that produced the final margin.

New York began the game driving from its 33 to first-and-goal at New England's 9. But Shonn Greene's 3-yard run off left tackle was followed by two incomplete passes. It was bad enough that the Jets were turned away without a TD. It got worse when Nick Folk missed the 24-yard field goal attempt.

New England, meanwhile, produced field goals on its first two possessions, with Stephen Gostkowski connecting from 50 and 36 yards out. He would add a 27-yarder early in the third quarter.

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