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Dec 15, 2012 7:48pm
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LOS ANGELES —Chris Paul will be ready to play by the Los Angeles Clippers
season opener on Oct. Erin Henderson Jersey . 31, barely two months
after the All-Star guard had right thumb surgery. He said Friday at the teams
media day that hes doing therapy daily and focusing on restoring the mobility in
his wrist. “I shot a jump shot the other day and it felt like it was good and it
was an air ball,” Paul said. “Its all going to come back. When Im at home Im
doing exercises to get ready. I just know Ill be ready for the first game. I
would definitely love to play in an exhibition game, but well see how it goes.”
The Clippers play their first preseason game on Oct. 6 against Denver in Las
Vegas. They leave six days later for a trip to China, where theyll play two
games against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. “It shows what the league
expects of us,” third-year coach Vinny Del Negro said about the Clippers being
chosen for the exhibition trip. Pauls fellow All-Star, Blake Griffin, is fully
recovered from left knee surgery on July 16 and will participate when practice
opens Saturday. Hes spent time working with a coach hired by the team to improve
his jumper and free throw shooting, along with that of DeAndre Jordan. “We
changed some stuff to streamline and be less error-prone,” Griffin said. Media
day at the Clippers practice facility was more crowded than its been in years,
the result of the teams flurry of off-season moves that brought in a veteran
group to bolster the bench. The new additions include Lamar Odom,
Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Grant Hill, Ryan Hollins, and Ronny Turiaf. Odom,
Barnes and Turiaf are former Lakers, with Odom and Barnes returning for their
second stints with the Clippers. “Were up there with anybody,” Griffin said. “We
can play with anybody. With our talent and depth, we can go toe-to-toe with
whoever it is.” Chauncey Billups isnt ready to go yet. The guard who turned 36
earlier this week has only been cleared to take part in limited team drills as
he rehabs from the left Achilles tendon surgery he had in February. That injury
that ended his season early and cost him a spot on the gold medal-winning U.S.
team in the London Olympics. “Everything is good. Been working my tail off ever
since I got hurt,” said Billups, who chose to remain in Los Angeles to rehab,
which kept him away from his family. “Im not able to play 5-on-5 yet, but I will
practice.” Billups said he expects to return “way before” January or February.
For Odom, returning to the team that drafted him in 1999 is “a little out of
body. Its a little surreal.” He spent four seasons with the Clippers before
being traded to Miami and then joining the Lakers for two NBA championships.
Odom is coming off a disastrous last season in Dallas, where he was abruptly
traded by the Lakers. He was unhappy playing 50 games with the Mavericks before
the team gave up on him in March. Odom said hes in a “happy place” mentally and
excited about joining a Clippers team on the verge of contending for its first
championship after years of languishing in the NBAs basement. “This team is
built to compete against the best teams in the NBA,” he said. “That should be
our goal to start. Then lets learn about our strengths and weaknesses.” Jasper Brinkley Jersey . —After breaking 70
for the first time in seven weeks, Tiger Woods headed to the back of the
practice range at the TPC Sawgrass to fine-tune his swing. Blair Walsh Jersey . The Senators, Panthers
and Coyotes are looking for one more win. Scott Cullen looks at an exciting
weekend of playoff action. http://www.minnesotavikingsroom.com/adrian-peterson-jerseys
. Giavotella hit a two-run double off Matt Thornton in the seventh inning and
Jeff Francoeur belted his first homer of the season, leading the Royals to a 9-1
victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. “We were dead and (Giavotella) put
up a huge at-bat against a guy whos not easy to hit and throws 97,” Francoeur
said. Christian Ponder Jersey . Joey Elliott will
replace Alex Brink under centre for the Bombers when they play host to the
Hamilton Tiger-Cats this Thursday. Phil Loadholt Jersey . Teixeira returned to
the lineup Saturday in Baltimore, his first appearance since Aug. 27, and
reinjured the calf of the final play of the game diving into first base. SAN
FRANCISCO —With the bases loaded in the seventh inning and everything riding
on Tim Lincecums latest big start, the skinny right-hander with the funky
delivery dropped a wicked curveball against pinch-hitter David Wright that
landed near the knees to freeze the All-Star third baseman in the batters box.
Rally over. Inning over. One step closer to The Freaks funk being over, too.
Lincecum struck out seven in seven innings and the San Francisco Giants took
advantage of a two-run error by shortstop Ruben Tejada to beat the New York Mets
4-1 on Tuesday night and snap a season-long five-game losing streak. After going
4-14 with Lincecum on the mound before the All-Star break, the Giants are 3-1
when the two-time NL Cy Young Award has started since. “He pitched like the
Timmy we know,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Tejadas throw to first on the
back-end of a potential double-play ball by Brandon Crawford in the second
sailed into New Yorks dugout fence. The error handed Matt Harvey (1-1) a
hard-luck loss and lifted San Franciscos spirits even more on a day the
franchise acquired two-time All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence from
Philadelphia. “Theres a little bit of anticipated excitement coming in here
knowing that Pence is going to be coming in at any given time,” Lincecum said
just before Pence dropped his red Phillies duffle bag into his new locker next
to the pitcher. “Here comes another guy that we have to bring excitement.”
Justin Turners RBI double in the second was all the Mets managed off Lincecum
(5-11). The former ace allowed six hits and one walk in another step toward
turning around the worst season of his career. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt tossed
two scoreless innings for his second save in three chances this season. “Im just
trying to build that consistency,” Lincecum said. “Just trying to gain
momentum.” After almost a week of bad news, San Franciscos fortunes started to
change. The Giants had not won since slugger Pablo Sandoval strained his left
hamstring last week. That landed the All-Star third baseman on the 15-day
disabled list while the rival Los Angeles Dodgers—who traded for
Shane Victorino from the Phillies and Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins—turned
the NL West race into a virtual tie. The Giants sent Nate Schierholtz and two
minor leaguers to Philadelphia for Pence just before the afternoon trade
deadline. The Phillies were in Washington, and Pence couldnt to make it to San
Francisco in time to be in the lineup, arriving in the clubhouse just after the
game. No need on this night. Turner doubled off the wall in left to drive home
Scott Hairston and give the Mets a 2-1 lead in the seconnd inning. Kyle Rudolph Jersey. Hairston, whose two home
runs powered the Mets past San Francisco 8-7 in 10 innings on Monday night,
singled with one out to jumpstart the offence again. Defence failed New York
this time. After Justin Christian grounded into a force at home plate with the
bases loaded and no outs in the second, Brandon Belt grounded into what appeared
to be a routine double play. Instead, Tejadas throw overshot first baseman
Ike Davis for an error that put San Francisco ahead 2-1. “The double-play ball
we should have turned over,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We had another
one of those innings.” The Giants loaded the bases again in the sixth and Harvey
squeezed out of the jam in similar fashion. Marco Scutaro grounded into a double
play to score Ryan Theriot and added a two-out RBI single in the eighth to
extend San Franciscos lead to 4-1. Lincecum rallied from a bases-loaded jam in
the seventh. The shaggy-haired right-hander got Josh Thole to line out to second
and struck out Wright on the curveball that left him stunned in the batters box.
“Its hard to throw a better pitch than he threw there,” Bochy said. Harvey gave
up four hits, three walks and three runs—two earned—in six innings. He
struck out seven, and his 18 strikeouts are the most by any Mets pitcher in his
first two career starts. Four others in franchise history had struck out 13. “I
dont like to lose,” said Harvey, who was drafted seventh overall in 2010. “So,
obviously, Im not happy about that. In my eyes, if he scores one run then I need
to put zeros up there but I didnt do that tonight and I didnt do my job.” A few
regulars were missing on both sides. Mets outfielders Jason Bay (stiff left
calf) and Andres Torres (strained right thumb) sat out with injuries and third
baseman Wright was initially given the night off. Bay pinch-hit in the ninth and
grounded out to end the game. Giants centre fielder Angel Pagan sat out with a
bruised left hand. Notes: Mets GM Sandy Alderson decided not to part ways with
Hairston or any other players before Tuesday afternoons trade deadline. “We
havent given up on the season,” Alderson said. “We didnt move players off the
team for a reason. We think we have lots of good baseball in front of us, and
Scott can be part of that.” ... Mets closer Frank Francisco (strained left side)
struck out all three batters he faced during a rehab assignment for Double-A
Binghamton. ... The Giants recalled INF Brett Pill from Triple-A Fresno to
replace Schierholtz on the roster. Aubrey Huff is expected to go on the DL when
Pence arrives. Huff injured his right knee running to first Monday night. ’ ’ ’ 

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