Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Six Pack

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18 points. 17 rebounds. 20 assists. Rajon Rondo tallied his second triple double of the week, and an absurd one at that, as the Celtics squandered a 15 point lead and then rallied for an overtime victory over the New York Knicks today by a score of 115-111. Rondo now has 4 triple doubles on the year while the rest of the league has combined for only six. Jeremy Lin finished with 14 points and 5 assists, but turned the ball over 6 times in the loss.

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Jozy Altidore may be enjoying a nice little run, but no American is enjoying greater success in Europe this year than Clint Dempsey. The American winger netted 2 more goals in today's Premier League match with Wolverhampton giving him 12 in league play and 18 across all competitions for the Cottagers. Pavel Pogrebnyak added a hat trick as Fulham cruised to a 5-0 win, its third in a row. Fulham now sits in 8th place in the Premier League.

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Sometimes, the best place to hurt someone is on the scoreboard. There was no retaliation for Dwyane Wade's hard foul on Kobe Bryant in the All-Star Game, but the Lakers took it to the Miami Heat today winning 93-83. Bryant, still donning the mask, led all players with 33 points while Wade had a forgettable day fouling out midway through the 4th quarter after turning the ball over 5 times. The Heat clearly missed Chris Bosh, who hasn't played since the All-Star Game following a death in his family. Bosh's replacements, Udonis Haslem and Juwan Howard, missed all 10 of their field goal attempts in the loss.

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The U.S. Women's U-20s clinched a spot in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championships today with a second straight 6-0 victory. This time the victim was Cuba as the U.S. wasted little time in getting after their Caribbean opponents taking the lead less than 5 minutes into the match on a goal by Wake Forest sophomore Katie Stengel. Stengel, the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year, and Penn State sophomore Maya Hayes, the nation's leading scorer in 2011 with 31 goals, each scored twice in the first half as the U.S. was in control from the start. Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois) and Chi Ubogagu (Stanford) each added goals after the intermission to complete the rout. The U.S. now gets ready to take on host nation Panama on Tuesday with first place in Group B on the line. Panama defeated Guatemala 3-1 tonight to also improve to 2-0 in the tournament.

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Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg took the mound for the first time in 2012 and worked a solid 2 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros in his spring debut. Showing no ill signs of his 2010 Tommy John surgery, Strasburg threw 44 pitches, 26 of them for strikes, and while he was somewhat unhappy with the locating of his offspeed pitches, overall he should be pleased with the results. The only real mistake he made was a 3-1 "hit-me-fastball" to Chris Snyder who deposited it well beyond the left field fence. And now my Astros are 2-0 on the spring!! Hey, we're probably go lose close to 100 games again this year; I've got to get excited about the things that I can.

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22 year old Rory McIlroy won the Honda Classic today and took over the number one ranking the world from England's Luke Donald. Donald had held the spot for the past 40 weeks, but now that honor goes to the reigning U.S. Open Champion from Northern Ireland. McIlroy had to sustain Tiger Woods shooting an 8-under-par 62 six groups ahead of him, but was able to hold on for the 2 shot win. 

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