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the emergence of
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Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - In a game with each team missing their leading scorer, the Charlotte Hornets came from behind to top the New York Knicks, 76-71, on Saturday. Knicks star Carmelo Anthony rested after playing 42 minutes in a 113-106 win over Orlando on Friday, while Charlottes Kemba Walker sat out with knee soreness. Stepping into the lineup to replace the injured Walker, Brian Roberts led the Hornets with 17 points on their way to their fourth win in five games. Gerald Henderson added 14 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist contributed 10. Al Jefferson blocked seven shots to tie a career high. The Knicks season-long three-game winning streak came to an end despite 25 points, six rebounds and five assists from Tim Hardaway Jr. Lance Thomas chipped in 16 points, and Cole Aldrich had 13 rebounds. New York shot 40 percent from 3-point range, 35.4 percent overall and were 9- of-18 from the free throw line, while Charlotte shot 32.9 percent from the field and 64.9 percent from the charity stripe. Thats not good offense, said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. We have a lot to work on, obviously, offensively. The Hornets did not lead in the first half, but trailed 37-36 at the break. They were just 10-of-39 from the floor, but their shots started to fall in the third quarter. They were behind seven when Hardaway hit a 3 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the period, but the Knicks would not score again until the fourth. Charlotte closed the quarter on a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the game as Lance Stephensons layup in the final minute put them up 57-54 heading into the final quarter. We just couldnt generate enough offense down the stretch, said Knicks coach Derek Fisher. Thomas layup on the first possession of the period ended the New York drought and pulled the Knicks within one. With 2 1/2 minutes to go, Hardaway Jr. hit another triple to tie the game at 69-69, but Roberts jumper at the other end gave Charlotte the lead for good. After being blown out by the Cavaliers on Friday, Charlotte fell behind New York 9-0 and did not score until Cody Zellers jumper 4 1/2 minutes into the game. Game Notes Charlotte lost center Bismack Biyombo to a knee injury and forward Marvin Williams to a possible concussion ... The Hornets won the season series, 3-1 ... Charlotte improved to 6-6 in the second game of a back-to-back and the Knicks fell to 1-9 in those instances ... New Yorks Amare Stoudemire scored one point and was 0-for-5 from the field. BOSTON - As the clock ticks toward Wednesday nights first pitch of the World Series, theres a sense around Fenway Park that justice is being served. In this day of wild card play-in games and short five-game Division Series which can be won as often by the team thats hot as by the team thats truly better, its rare for the two teams with their respective leagues best records to meet in the Fall Classic. Thats what will happen this year when the Boston Red Sox (regular season: 97-65; playoffs: 7-3) meet the St. Louis Cardinals (regular season: 97-65; playoffs: 7-4.) Identical regular season records, nearly the same postseason marks and two organizations considered amongst the best in baseball at drafting and developing talent and molding young men into bona fide major leaguers. It should come as no surprise that since these two teams met in the 2004 World Series, each has returned more than once. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals in 2004. Boston swept the Rockies in 2007. The Cardinals beat Detroit in five games in 2006 and edged Texas in seven in 2011. Both have managers - Bostons John Farrell and St. Louis Mike Matheny - who will skip in the World Series for the first time. Heck, Mathenys so young he played on that 2004 Cardinals team that lost to Boston quickly. "It was a lesson learned," said Matheny of the World Series nine years ago. "Not that our team at that point was half-stepping or we werent prepared but we just hadnt been hit like that all season long. So it was a little bit of a shocker." "Theres probably a little more sense of urgency to the decisions you make, particularly with matchups on the mound," said Farrell of the biggest difference hes noticed while managing playoff baseball. "And sometimes you kind of go a little bit more with your gut with the way guys are currently playing, as opposed to the approach you might take during the regular season." Those who dig great pitching will get a marquee matchup right away. Red Sox ace left-hander Jon Lester will pitch Game 1, up against Cardinals ace right-hander Adam Wainwright. Lester got the ball the last time Boston played in a World Series game. He got the win and the Sox clinched their last title in Game 4 of the 2007 series. "I remember just the anxiety of trying to just get to the field and calm down a little bit," said Lester. "Different point in my career, I think, too. Obviously (Wednesday) there will still be nerves, there will still be all that to be expected, but I think I know who I am a little bit more as a pitcher and what to expect from myself." "This year I felt strong from the get-go," said Wainwright, who won 19 games, with a sub-3.00 ERA, just two years removed from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. "I felt strong throughout Spring Training. Usually I get a dead-arm phase in Spring Training. I never once had a dead-arm phase this entire year." The Cardinals lost left-hander Jaime Garcia early in the season but have been buoyed by the emergence of Michael Wacha, who will pitch Game 2.dddddddddddd Drafted just last year with the 19th overall pick - a compensatory pick for the loss of Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels - Wacha has taken the Cardinals by storm. After only 15 regular season appearances (nine starts,) Wacha has allowed only one earned run in 21 innings (0.43 ERA) over three postseason starts. His 0.571 WHIP is off the charts. Following Wacha will be a combination of Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn. Boston will start John Lackey in Game 2. Farrell will go with Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy for the first two games in St. Louis, although he hasnt yet determined the order in which hell use them. St. Louis pitching hasnt seen a lineup the quality of Bostons and so it will be intriguing to see how it handles the Red Soxs potent mix of power (David Ortiz, Mike Napoli) and speed at the top of the order (Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino.) Ellsbury and Victorino combined to steal 73 bases in the regular season. They were caught a combined seven times. That said, there arent many catchers the quality of Yadier Molina, who threw out a whopping 43-percent of would-be base stealers. As impressive a percentage as that is its actually below his career average of 45 per cent and his career high of 64 per cent, set in 2005. "We all understand and I played against Yadi for many years and I tip my hat," said Victorino. "To me, hes arguably the best catcher in the game both offensively and defensively … Does it shut down your running game a little bit? Absolutely but you have to stay aggressive and capitalize on every mistake and every dirt ball you can possibly do." The Cardinals will get first baseman Allen Craig back. He hasnt played since spraining his left foot in a September 4 game against the Reds. Craig will serve as the designated hitter in the first two games at Fenway Park. If his foot responds, expect to see him at first base when the series shifts to Busch Stadium. As for the challenges of playing in Fenway Park, with the Green Monster and its strange dimensions in centre and right fields, Craig says he and his mates wont be psyched out. "I think we just need to stay really focused and narrow-minded on just playing the game," said Craig. "Were going to go out and play our game and not worry about the Green Monster and all the nooks and crannies in the outfield. Obviously were aware of the field and how we need to attack it defensively and offensively but were just going to focus on playing the game, doing what we do, doing what got us here." Canadian Ryan Dempster, with the Red Sox, is looking for his first World Series ring. So is St. Louis Carlos Beltran, whose career .337/.449/.724 postseason slash line makes him one of the games great playoff performers. This Fall Classic appears poised to live up to the billing. The two best teams will go at it. Bring it on. China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Online Stitched Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Football Jerseys Outlet College Jerseys For Sale Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys For Sale Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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