Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bayern triumph, Dortmund drop points in German Bundesliga

The Bavarians wrapped up the autumn championship ahead of schedule with a 3-1 win over Hamburg whereas Dortmund dropped points owing to a two-all draw at Hoffenheim on Saturday.Pep Guardiola's men overwinter on top of the Bundesliga standings thanks to an uninspired 3-1 victory against the "Rothosen".Bayern Munich needed some time to gain a foothold into the match meanwhile Hamburg staged a courageous performance against the German giants.The Bavarians had to wait until the 42nd minute before Mario Mandzukic broke the deadlock on home soil. The Croatian headed home an assist by Rafinha from the right wing.Seven minutes after the restart Mario Goetze doubled the lead from inside the box.canada goose jacket women The German international made use of Thiago Alcantara's set up to score with a turn shot.Bayern retracted with the 2-0 lead and that was how it came that Hamburg pulled one back at the 87th minute through Pierre Michel Lassogga, who slotted home Marcell Jansen's square pass.However, the front-runners destroyed all hopes of a comeback by Hamburg as Xherdan Shaqiri restored their two-goal lead during the stoppage time when he finished a fast break into the near post corner.Isuzu Auto PartsThus, Bayern stay on top of the standings with 44 points and a seven-point gap to chasers Leverkusen. Meanwhile Hamburg sit on 10th position with 16 points. 

Juergen Klopp's men were unable to hold the pace as his squad share the spoils with Hoffenheim.Hoffenheim caught a brilliant start as Sven Schipplock opened the scoring with a lob to beat onrushing Roman Weidenfeller at the 18th minute. The hosts were not done with the scoring and doubled the lead at the 37th minute through Kevin Volland,Lululemon Women's Pants who had all time and space to curl the ball into the top left corner.Dortmund responded just before the break as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang capitalized on a moment of madness by custodian Jens Grahl, who fumbled the ball into path of Aubameyang.The "BVB" finally rescued one point by courtesy of Lukasz Piszczek, whose follow up shot restored parity at the 67th minute.Dortmund occupy third position with 32 points while Hoffenheim recorded their sixth draw to remain on 11th place.Wholesale Lingerie Sexy LingerieElsewhere,nike shox shoes fourth placed Monchengladbach shared points with Mainz following a goalless draw.Wolfsburg climbed into the top five as Stuttgart lost 3-1 to the "Wolves" in an entertaining see-saw match.Winless Nuremberg wasted a 3-0 lead within 30 minutes to tie with Hannover and Augsburg crushed bottom side Braunschweig 4-1.The following fixtures are scheduled for Sunday: Schalke host struggling Freiburg and runners-up Leverkusen encounter Frankfurt.

Damian Lillard, aka 'Silent assassin,' hits another game-winner as Trail Blazers beat Cleveland Cavaliers

Lillard was certainly a last-second marksman for the Blazers on Tuesday, calmly and confidently nailing a 30-foot step-back three with 0.4 seconds left to lift them to a 119-116 victory over the Cavaliers before 15,689 at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the second consecutive game-winner for Lillard — who hit a fadeaway jumper to beat the Detroit Pistons Sunday — and provided another remarkable moment in a season that continues to amaze.“It’s crazy that we’re pulling off wins like this,” Freeland said of the Blazers, who possess the NBA’s best record at 22-4.At the very least, it was a crazy outing for Lillard. Going head-to-head against another of the NBA’s marquee young point guards, Kyrie Irving, Lillard played one of the best games of his career, finishing with 36 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and one blocked shot. He made 11 of 23 shots, including 8 of 12 three-pointers, and flirted with or set multiple career highs.Lillard made the most threes of his career, tied his career-high in rebounds and registered the third-highest scoring output of his career. All the while, he became the first player to finish with at least 36 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and eight three-pointers since Jason Kidd did so on April 11, 1995. There were portions of the game in which Lillard simply took over — he opened by scoring the Blazers’ first five points, he scored nine consecutive points during one dynamic stretch in the third quarter and he scored six Blazers points in the decisive fourth. 

But what made his performance special was the game-winner. And, truth be told, it shouldn’t have been necessary. The Blazers built a 114-105 lead with 2:00 left after LaMarcus Aldridge nailed a turnaround 14-footer, and it seemed as if the Blazers would coast down the stretch.But out of nowhere, Irving caught fire. He drilled a three-pointer with 1:34 left, drilled another with 1:04 left after Lillard lost him in the corner and added a three-point play when he was fouled on a driving layup with 33.8 seconds left. Then Irving tied the game at 116-116 when he drove into the lane — drawing three Blazers defenders — and dished a pretty pass to Anderson Varejao for a wide open layup with 7.1 seconds left.“We let them get back into the game,” Lillard said of a Cavaliers’ late scoring barrage that produced 12 points in less than 90 seconds.But in the end, the Cavaliers (9-15) left a little too much time on the clock.After a timeout, the Blazers in-bounded the ball to Lillard on the perimeter and cleared out of the way to let him work. He sized up Alonzo Gee, who was guarding him one-on-one,disposable wooden cutlery and timed his play just right, faking like he was dashing to the hoop before pulling up outside the three-point arc and launching a step-back three. He released the ball just over Gee’s hand and watched it drop with 0.4 seconds left. 

Afterward, in another muted celebration, Lillard coolly flexed,Forklift forks flashed a menacing glare and bumped chests with Aldridge as teammates gathered around.“There is nothing to break down,” coach Terry Stotts said, when asked to dissect the winning play. “Damian had it going … he had a special night. I thought it was appropriate that he finished it like that.”After Irving missed a desperation three at the buzzer,paper drinking straws the Blazers had pulled off another dramatic victory,disposable paper cups improving to 12-2 on the road and 11-0 against the Eastern Conference this season. The Blazers’ 22-4 record is tied for the second-best 26-game start in franchise history, trailing only the 23-3 mark accumulated by the 1990-91 team. And while Lillard, who did a postgame cell phone interview with “SportsCenter” outside the locker room afterward, will justifiably receive much of the postgame hype, he had a lot of help. Aldridge continued his beastly play, recording 26 points,Lululemon Women's Pants 15 rebounds and four assists. Wesley Matthews made three three-pointers and had 19 points and Nicolas Batum overcame poor shooting (3-for-13, including 2-for-8 from three-point range) to finish with 14 points and nine rebounds. All the while, Freeland was an under-the-radar godsend for the Blazers, playing impressively in place of Robin Lopez, who battled foul trouble and sat all but 1:17 in the fourth quarter.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

5-foot-8 North Texas grad who survived Katrina

Even when the levees broke in 2005, when Katrina’s flood waters surged and his family said goodbye to New Orleans and spent two weeks in a Mississippi evacuation center before coming to live with a family friend in Haltom City — even then, Lance Dunbar believed his day was coming.Cowboys fans were thankful that day arrived in time to light a fire under a dormant offense as Dallas rallied from 14 points down to defeat the Oakland Raiders, 31-24, and take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.DeMarco Murray, the seasoned back who has done this before, got the three touchdowns, but Dunbar led backs from both teams with 82 yards on 12 carries in the Cowboys’ seventh win of the season.He entered the game with 68 rushing yards for the entire season.“I was waiting for this day,” Dunbar said. “I’ve had to be patient. But I’ve always believed it would happen.”Dunbar finished the day on the Dallas bench after suffering a sprained knee late in the game. His status going forward is uncertain, but with extra time off before the Cowboys play a Monday night game in Chicago, it’s possible he won’t miss any time.That would be a good thing for a Cowboys offense that has been searching for a spark of any kind from a back, a receiver … anyone, really.The spark came in the third quarter with the Cowboys, still shaking the cobwebs from an improbably awful start, trailing Oakland 21-14. Dunbar took a handoff from Tony Romo at the Dallas 30, darted through a hole in the left side, then froze future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson to scoot into a huge opening down the field for a 45-yard gain. 

Dunbar could find no special words to describe the special move he put on the Raiders safety. “Just a jump cut,” he said,Buy cheap Coach Grade Sunglasses, Custom Fit Stripe Shirt and more. smiling. “It wasn’t anything I planned.”Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who had said after the New Orleans loss that the team wanted to establish Dunbar’s skill as a playmaker, said, “That first move can kind of freeze them; that second one, they’re going in the wrong direction. Dunbar, we’re proud of him. He’s a hard-working kid.”The Cowboys had planned to make more of the Murray-Dunbar tandem earlier this season. Injuries to both derailed those plans, although Dunbar said after Thursday’s win that his costly fumble in the Chiefs loss slowed his timetable.“I have had to earn their trust,” he said.The Cowboys have it. Dunbar’s quickness and shiftiness seems the ideal complement to Murray’s more powerful style.“I love it,” said Murray. “He’s a great back. He deserves to play and get his touches. We were clicking.”Actually, Dallas did not have much of a running game going at all until Dunbar put the Raiders back on their heels. Even when Murray scored his third touchdown of the day early in the fourth quarter, he had just 25 yards on 10 carries. But he finished with 63 on 17 as the Oakland defense ran out of gas.Yes, the NFL’s No. 4-ranked rushing attack was on display at AT&T Stadium. You never would have known it belonged to the Raiders, who were held to 50 yards on 25 carries.The Cowboys aren’t going to become a run-first offense anytime soon,cnbattachment nor should they try to make that happen.Food paper bag wholesale  But the useful running component that’s necessary for any team trying to protect second-half leads has been missing in action all too often in recent years.Through 11 games,nike shox shoes the Cowboys stood 29th in rushing yards — the lowest rank among clubs with winning records.It took longer to put away an Oakland team with a 4-8 record and an undrafted rookie quarterback than it should have. But in the process, the Cowboys may have discovered and established an important asset moving forward.Maybe this was Lance Dunbar’s one shining moment in professional football,Sexy Lingerie Factory his only game to lead all rushers and hear the roars of 87,000-plus in a Thanksgiving Day game at AT&T Stadium. Or maybe it was the start of what Dunbar has believed was coming all along no matter how long the odds, no matter how high the waters.

Mystery of the month: Will Chip's Eagles own December?

From 2000 to 2009, the heart of Reid's success, the Eagles won 72 percent of their games in the last 5 weeks of the season - a number that would have been even higher had Reid not been uber-cautious about resting players after his playoff seeding was set. Pittsburgh also was at 72 percent. Only the Patriots, at 78 percent, had more wins.The operating theory, bought into by almost all of Reid's players, was that their tough training camps somehow prepared them for the rigors of December. They all said it, and it was a nice narrative and, hell, I probably wrote it a half-dozen times over the years. They were all convinced that all of that hitting up at Lehigh got them ready for something that was happening almost 4 months later. I can still see cornerback Sheldon Brown standing there and insisting that it was so, and talking about how he considered it his duty to tell the story to the new players every year when they were complaining during the summer.Reid's reputation was made down the stretch every year.party paper straws It has been true for a long time now, that as long as you don't shoot yourself out of it in the first two-thirds of an NFL season,wholesale Best Dsquared Long T-Shirts from www.alipaytrade.com homepage. the final third is when the real is business is done. If you are hanging around .500 at Thanksgiving, there is still time - because, again and again, we have seen that a hot team at the end of the season is the most dangerous of species.After a bye week of self-scouting and scheming, you have to wonder what Kelly has coming on Sunday for the Arizona Cardinals. Here is the best guess:That they will try to play faster.Buy Cheap Coach Grade AAA Handbags, Custom Fit Stripe Shirt and more. If you look at the first half of games this season - before the score starts to dictate how you play - the Eagles have run the third-most plays in the NFL. But they can go faster. We have seen it in smallish doses, the super-revved offense, but not for long periods of time. Against a team with as much defensive talent as the Cardinals have, it could be an interesting way to go.

We could guess on other wrinkles, too - more tight ends,www.i-fashion-handbag.com as we saw during the summer; more inventive formation things designed to get the ball to wide receiver DeSean Jackson even more - but all of it is just guessing.Forklift forks Andy Reid, we knew. Chip Kelly, we don't.With all of this, we have been treated to a splendid holiday sideshow - the comment by Arizona coach Bruce Arians that the read-option offense is a good college offense, but that he is skeptical that NFL quarterbacks will be able to run it persistently because they will get killed by the superior defensive athletes in the pro game.Arians is not wrong. Everything about the NFL is risk and reward, and you can see that by the way Kelly runs his offense. The Eagles run a lot of plays that look like the read option. In theory, the quarterback reads what the defensive end is doing and has the option to give the ball to the running back or keep it himself. The reality, though, is that as often as not, it doesn't matter what the defensive end does - the quarterback, be it Michael Vick or Nick Foles, just gives the ball to the running back.The way it looks to a civilian is that, in the Eagles' offense, the quarterback needs to run the ball X-number of times per game, just to keep the unblocked defensive end somewhat honest. But "X" is not a big number. It is entirely doable. There is a risk, yes, but I'll go back to what Buddy Ryan used to say about Randall Cunningham: The hits you take in the pocket are worse than the hits you take running the ball.Again, it is all about managing risk. And two or three or four runs per games into a wide alley vacated by that unblocked defensive end is manageable - especially if the quarterback is smart enough not to be greedy, and to find a soft spot to land before the hit can come at his legs.