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Dec 17, 2012 7:49pm
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LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles Clippers know they probably wont get away with
another inept performance at the free-throw line in the Western Conference
playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tyler Polumbus Jersey . “We just cant let
leads go like that, when were up six with, I think, 40 seconds left,” Nick Young
said Sunday. “We had everybody in here shooting free throws today.” The Clippers
missed 17 of 30 free throws and almost squandered a six-point lead in the final
23 seconds Saturday, beating the Grizzlies 87-86 only after Rudy Gay missed a
3-pointer just before the buzzer. Game 4 is Monday night, when the Clippers hope
to take a 3-1 series lead. Chris Paul, who had 24 points and 11 assists, was the
only Clippers player to do well at the line. He made seven of eight, including
two with 23 seconds left for the six-point lead. The Clippers took six more free
throws, missing the last five. Gay hit two 3-pointers to keep the Grizzlies in
it. “Some players havent been in that situation, especially with us being in the
playoff atmosphere,” Young said. “Youve really kind of got like the game in your
hands when youre at the free-throw line. That can be a lot of pressure, with
everybody telling you, We need this shot. We need you to make these free throws.
“Weve just got to take care of home court, really. You shouldnt have that much
pressure at home.” Coach Vinny Del Negro agreed. “The bottom line is youve got
to make the free throws,” he said. “Weve struggled with that periodically
throughout the season. We were able to overcome it but you have to be very good
in a lot of other areas when you miss that many free throws. “I give the guys a
lot of credit for buckling down in the fourth quarter and getting stops and
making plays when we had to. We gave them some opportunities by missing some
free throws. Were going to be aggressive and get to the line as much as possible
and guys are going to have to step up and make them.” The Grizzles made 30 of 39
free throws. But they went nearly seven minutes without making a field goal,
until Gay buried a 3 with 12.9 seconds left to pull to 86-83. Del Negro said its
been a big boost mentally to have forward Caron Butler being able to play
despite breaking his non-shooting left hand in Game 1. Butler missed the second
game but played Saturday with a split, getting four points and three rebounds.
“It felt comfortable enough to be somewhat effective out there, so I gave it a
shot,” he said. “The role that Im playing right now, what Im doing, I can play
with no hands. Its not a big deal. I can play.” The Grizzlies cancelled their
practice on Sunday, opting to just watch film. Gay said there were no secrets to
why the Grizzlies have lost twice in this series, including the opener when they
blew a 27-point lead at home. “I think we know what we can be,” he said
Saturday. “The first game we got away from how we played basketball. When we
play our way, I feel as though we are a better team.” Alfred Morris Youth Jersey . General manager
Paul Holmgren addressed his teams attempt to land restricted free agent
defenceman Shea Weber on Wednesday, one week after signing him to a 14-year,
$110 million offer sheet that the Nashville Predators matched. Robert Griffin III Youth Jersey . The win
tied Houston (8-5-7, 31 points) with the Chicago Fire for fourth place in the
Eastern Conference and ended Kansas Citys unbeaten streak at three games. http://www.nflwashingtonredskinsgears.com/leonard-hankerson-jersey/
. The World Cup qualifier should also mark Balotellis first match in the San
Siro stadium since leaving Inter Milan for Manchester City after the 2009-10
season. Known for his wild behaviour, Balotelli has clashed with City manager
Roberto Mancini this season. Alfred Morris Red Jersey . Then he made one
of his own about three hours later. Saltalamacchia had a pinch-hit, two-run
homer off Fernando Rodney with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Red Sox
to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night. Ryan Kerrigan Red Jersey . The American won
in 1 minute, 15.66 seconds, edging Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein, who finished
0.05 seconds behind. Italys Daniela Merighetti was third, 0.07 seconds back.
“The course was difficult, pretty bumpy at some points, and very challenging,”
the 27-year-old Vonn said after posting her 18th career World Cup super G win to
pass Austrian Renate Goetschl in the record books.NEW ORLEANS —New Orleans
Hornets general manager Dell Demps has agreed to a new multiyear contract
extension to remain with the club and see through the roster overhaul that he
and coach Monty Williams have conducted in tandem during the past two seasons.
“We have a plan, working with coach Williams,” Demps said before Friday nights
tip-off against Oklahoma City. “We want to achieve sustained success. Weve got a
young core right now. We want to see those guys grow and play together and we
want to compete at the highest level.” The Hornets announced the deal Friday but
did not release terms of the contract. Hornets executive vice-president Mickey
Loomis says Demps “has a bright future,” and that he and first-year owner Tom
Benson “couldnt be more impressed” with the direction of the team. Williams, who
received a four-year extension running through 2015-16 last August, said it was
important to him to have a GM in place with whom he felt he could work closely.
“Any time you get a chance to have a situation like this where you guys are
working together and theres no in-fighting or any of that nonsense … to be
hand-in-hand in this capacity is something a lot of teams dont have,” Williams
said. “I dont take it for granted. I talk to a lot of coaches around the league
—mostly I just listen—they dont have this kind of synergy at work. I think
the thing that we have is Mickey (Loomis). Before we had (former team president)
Hugh (Weber). He gave us a lot of latitude to do some things and now Mickey has
come along and done the same thing.” The 42-year-old Demps has overhauled the
clubs roster since his arrival in 2010 and New Orleans has shown promise early
this season with a roster comprised mostly of players age 25 or younger. Only
two—Roger Mason Jr. and recently acquired Matt Carroll—are older, but
Carroll has yet to report and could be bought out, given that the Hornets are
focusing on getting experience for younger playyers like Greivis Vasquez and
Austin Rivers, Brian Roberts and Xavier Henry in the back court. Pierre Garcon Jersey. The Hornets are also
hoping that guard Eric Gordon, now rehabilitating his right knee in Los Angeles,
can return to the starting lineup by the end of December. Demps did not confirm
that the Hornets are trying to buy out Carroll, which would allow Carroll to
sign with another team while saving the Hornets money. The general manager said
the team had an agreement with Carroll excusing him from reporting to the club
right away. “Well have a resolution on that in the coming days,” Demps said.
“Were looking at a few options right now that I cant get into.” Carroll, who is
in the final year of a contact paying $3.5 million this season, was acquired in
a deal that gave Charlotte Hakim Warrick, who has this year and a team-option
year remaining on his deal paying $4 million per season. With top overall draft
choice Anthony Davis making immediate and significant contributions in the front
court, the Hornets won three of their first six games heading into their game
against the Thunder. Demps acquired to other key contributors—forward
Ryan Anderson and centre Robin Lopez—through trades during the past
off-season. He also found point guard Brian Roberts overseas and used a
second-round pick on Darius Miller, who made the team and is seeing immediate
action in a reserve role. The one move that so far has caused the most
consternation among the fan base is the decision to give Gordon a restricted
free agent contract worth $58 million over four years by matching an offer sheet
Gordon had signed with Phoenix. Gordon played in only nine games last season
because of his nagging injury and club has struggled to determine when Gordon
might be truly ready to play again. Asked on Friday whether he could specify
what the latest doctors examinations revealed about Gordons knee, he responded
with a terse, “No.” ’ ’ ’ 

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