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in Events 24.12.2018 04:58
von vv1122365 Caelicola | 780 Beiträge | 7800 Punkte

LOS ANGELES -- When the nets finally cooled down at Staples Center, the Houston Rockets had a choice. They could be excited about their highest-scoring game of the year, or dismayed at their worst defensive effort in more than five months. James Harden and the Rockets chose to draw motivation from both sources for their playoff push after a prolific night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Terrence Jones and Harden scored 33 points apiece, and the Rockets beat the Lakers 145-130 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory. Chandler Parsons scored 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 49-point third quarter to solidify their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings despite their second-worst defensive performance of the year. Still, Houston won the opener of a three-game road trip without injured Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, scoring with stunning ease against the Lakers laughable defence. "We had it going," said Harden, who had 12 assists and hit three 3-pointers. "We still gave up too many points, more than we wanted to, but we still got it going. Tonight was a tough game, a weird game." Jones scored 23 points during a dominant first half, while Harden contributed 18 points during an overwhelming third quarter for the Rockets, who made 18 of their 24 shots and hit seven 3-pointers to go ahead 115-90. Jones, who limped off the court with cramps, and Harden both sat out the fourth quarter of the Rockets third win over the Lakers this season. Rookie Isaiah Canaan matched his career high with 15 points for Houston (52-25), which leads Portland by 2 1/2 games with a game in hand for fourth place in the West. "When you go up like that, its hard to stay locked in (defensively)," Parsons said. "But we can do a better job of that. Weve just got to keep going and lock up homecourt advantage and get ready for the playoffs." Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBAs career assists list for the miserable Lakers (25-53), who tied the franchise record for losses in a single season with their worst defensive performance of the year. Afterward, Nash said his season might be over after playing through another twinge of pain in his troublesome hamstrings. "I just wanted to hang on and get this over with," the two-time NBA MVP said. "All of this is beyond my aspirations and wildest dreams. To be in that company is phenomenal." After matching the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers 53 losses in a 72-game season, coach Mike DAntonis injury-riddled team will finish with the clubs most losses since moving to Los Angeles in 1960. Nick Young scored 32 points and Jodie Meeks added 30 for the Lakers, who have lost five straight. Jordan Farmar had 15 points and eight assists in his return from a 10-game injury absence with a strained groin for the Lakers, who allowed 143 points by Minnesota 11 days ago. "We talk about schemes and different ways to play things, but it just seems like guys on other teams score too easily," Farmar said. "It just comes down to heart. It comes down to pride. Guys have to want it." Howard, nursing a sprained left ankle, didnt play in the Rockets second visit to the Lakers home court since he spurned the 16-time NBA champions as a free agent last summer for less money in Houston. The fans still booed and shouted "Coward!" at Howard, who came out to the Rockets bench late in the first quarter wearing bright pink pants. The home crowd gave a standing ovation to Nash when he passed Mark Jackson late in the first half with a long outlet pass to Meeks for his 10,335th career assist. The 40-year-old Nash, who is expected to return to the Lakers next season, trails only assists leader John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091) in league history. Nash finished with three points and five assists in 13 minutes, sitting out the second half in just his 15th game of the season. The Lakers were down to just nine healthy players for their latest loss, playing without injured Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Xavier Henry and Kent Bazemore. Nash, Farmar and Young played through injury problems to suit up. Nash catalyzed a 22-8 run in the second quarter by the Lakers, who briefly took the lead before Houston went into halftime up 66-61. The Rockets made a 28-6 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter. NOTES: Late in the fourth quarter, the Lakers announced general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multiyear contract extension. The clubs longtime personnel boss had one year left on his contract. ... The Clippers scored 137 points against Houston in the fourth game of the season. ... Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. was at Staples Center to promote his rematch with Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in Las Vegas. Andy Garcia, Jason Biggs, Jenny Mollen and Robbie Keane watched at courtside. Richaun Holmes Jersey .com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to play spoiler as the Los Angeles Kings will try to match their longest winning streak in over four years in Thursdays battle at Staples Center. Amir Johnson Jersey . After just two league games in June, Toronto (6-4-1) will go on to play seven in July plus a friendly against Tottenham. Five of those contests are against Eastern Conference opposition, meaning valuable points in the playoff race are on the line. http://www.76ersprostore.info/Cheap-Zhaire-Smith-76ers-Jersey/ . The 22-year-old Spanish midfielder recently signed a new three-year contract with Chelsea, and after spending last season on loan with Valencia in La Liga, Romeu will move to the Bundesliga for the 2014-15 campaign. Wilt Chamberlain Jersey . Cilic cruised to victory, beating the seventh-seeded Seppi 6-1, 6-3 in just 72 minutes. He faced only one break point, winning 24 out of 29 points played on the first serve. Justin Patton Jersey . -- Hal Steinbrenner says Alex Rodriguez is "a great player" and "obviously an asset," but the New York Yankees managing general partner wouldnt discuss the third basemans possible return to the team following a season-long suspension.NEW YORK -- Despite seven months of international outcry, Russias law restricting gay-rights activity remains in place. Yet the eclectic protest campaign has heartened activists in Russia and caught the attention of its targets -- including organizers and sponsors of the Sochi Olympics that open on Feb. 7. Over the past two weeks, two major sponsors, Coca-Cola and McDonalds, have seen some of their Sochi-related social media campaigns commandeered by gay-rights supporters who want the companies to condemn the law. Several activists plan to travel to Sochi, hoping to team up with sympathetic athletes to protest the law while in the Olympic spotlight. And on Friday, a coalition of 40 human-rights and gay-rights groups from the U.S., Western Europe and Russia -- including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Campaign -- released an open letter to the 10 biggest Olympic sponsors, urging them to denounce the law and run ads promoting equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. "LGBT people must not be targeted with violence or deprived of their ability to advocate for their own equality," the letter said. "As all eyes turn toward Sochi, we ask you to stand with us." The law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, bans pro-gay "propaganda" that could be accessible to minors -- a measure viewed by activists as forbidding almost any public expression of gay-rights sentiment. The law cleared parliament virtually unopposed and has extensive public support in Russia. Since July, when they launched a boycott of Russian vodka, activists have pressed the International Olympic Committee and Olympic sponsors to call for the laws repeal. Instead, the IOC and top sponsors have expressed general opposition to discrimination and pledged to ensure that athletes, spectators and others gathering for the Games would not be affected by the law. Putin has given similar assurances in regard to Sochi, but remains committed to the laws broader purposes. IOC President Thomas Bach has warned Olympic athletes that they are barred from political gestures while on medal podiums or in other official venues, but says they are free to make political statements at news conferences. One Olympian likely to speak out is gay Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, who told Australias Courier-Mail newspaper that she plans to lambaste Putin. "After I compete, Im willing to rip on his ass," she told the newspaper. "Im not happy and theres a bunch of other Olympians who are not happy either." Brockhoff is one of several Olympians promising to display the logo P6 -- a reference to Principle Six of the Olympic Charter that says any form of discrimination "is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." Hudson Taylor of Athlete Ally, an organizer of the P6 campaign, is among the activists going to Sochi. He hopes that some athletes, even if wary of wearing P6 symbols, will promote them via social media. Also heading to Sochi is Shawn Gaylord, advocacy counsel for Human Rights First. "We wont be looking to violate the law," he said. "But we think its important that human rights not get lost in the mix." President Barack Obama, who has criticized the Russian law, is skipping the Olympics and named a U.S. delegation that includes tennis great Billie Jean King and two other openly gay athletes. "The only way you break down barriers is by being there and meeting people and getting these issues out on the table -- doing it in an appropriate and diplomatic way," King told The Associated Press.dddddddddddd In the U.S., recent protest initiatives have focused on Sochi sponsors, notably Coca-Cola and McDonalds. In McDonalds case, the companys #CheersToSochi Twitter hashtag has been used by activists in tweets condemning the Russian law and assailing McDonalds for not speaking out forcibly against it. Similarly, activists made use of an online "Id like to share a Coke with..." promotion to circulate images of Coke cans with labels such as "Gaybashers" and "Haters." The gay-rights group Queer Nation posted a video online interspersing images of embattled Russian gay-rights demonstrators into Cokes 1970s TV ad featuring the song, "Id Like to Teach the World to Sing." Coke then posted a clip of the original ad on its Facebook page, drawing a flood of negative comments from gay-rights supporters. Coke has responded with declarations of support for diversity and inclusiveness, which are themes of Cokes new Super Bowl advertising. A Coca-Cola spokeswoman, Ann Moore, said the company remained committed to the Olympics despite criticism from gay-rights activists. "We share these groups belief in human rights, equality, diversity and dignity for all, and we respect their right to protest peacefully," Moore said in an email. "We firmly believe, however, that supporting the Olympics focuses the world on the ideals that everyone strives for during the Games -- excellence, friendship and respect." Becca Hary, a McDonalds spokeswoman, made similar points. "Social media is all about conversation. Understandably, the LGBT community is focusing its conversation on the Russian legislation," she said in an email. "McDonalds is proud to be a top sponsor of the Olympics; our sponsorship dollars literally help the men and women who are working to achieve their Olympic dreams." Hary and Moore said their companies were conferring with the IOC about human rights. "We expect our ongoing engagement to include discussions on long-term, sustainable means for addressing human rights in the context of the Olympic Games," Moore wrote. Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch, predicted that sponsors would henceforth insist that the IOC make human rights a more important factor in selection of host cities. "There will be a reckoning after the Games," Worden said. "Olympic sponsorship is supposed to be the goose that lays the golden eggs, but this goose is not laying golden eggs. Its laying stinky, rotten eggs." The international gay-rights group All Out plans to target Olympic sponsors in demonstrations next Wednesday in several cities, including New York, London, Rio de Janeiro and St. Petersburg, Russia. Even if the Russian law endures, All Out executive director Andrew Banks considers the overall protest campaign a success. "Weve been able to elevate the voices and stories of Russian LGBT people ... and show there are people all over the world willing to stand behind them," he said. While expressing appreciation for the allies abroad, prominent Russian activist Anastasia Smirnova said she feared that "dangerous self-censorship" might deter some Olympians in Sochi from taking stands against the law. In an email Friday, she also worried about a possible backlash against Russian gays once the Olympic spotlight fades. 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