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es. "If you are on a three month suspens
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. Gabe Jackson Jersey . - The Washington Wizards are in a great position to make the playoffs for the first time in six years, and John Wall has a lot to do with it. Wall had 28 points and 14 assists, leading the Wizards to a heated 117-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. "Hes a competitor that comes every night," coach Randy Wittman said. "Hes obviously a big part that gets our engine running. So I want him to understand how important he is in continuing that." The Wizards are having their best season since 2007-08, when they ended a string of four consecutive playoff berths. Theyve already surpassed last seasons win total by seven with 13 games remaining, and are sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a seven-game lead over the New York Knicks for the final playoff seed. "The difference this year is just trusting each other," Wall said. "This is a group that enjoys playing with each other, and we know the one thing we can do is play hard for 48 minutes and trust any guy down the stretch. I give a lot of credit to our organization and our coaches for helping our second unit improve." Washington (36-33) is one of only six teams in their conference with a winning record. But if they were in the West, they would be in 10th place — 4 1/2 games out of contention. "Im glad Im in the East," Wall said with a grin. "But we still havent solidified a playoff spot, so we knew we had to get back on the right track — pushing the ball and playing team defence. When we get stagnant, we dont play great and lose a lot of games like that. So it was great to get to come back tonight and get back on the winning track." Bradley Beal added 18 points for the Wizards, who began this four-game western trip with back-to-back losses to Sacramento and Portland. Nene sat out his 13th in a row with a sprained left knee, but Marcin Gortat returned to the lineup with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes after missing his first game of the season because of pain in his lower back. "Kudos to our guys and their connections out here on the coast to get him some treatment," Wittman said. "Last night we thought he was day-to-day, but he got here and he said: You know what? I feel pretty good. I wasnt anticipating that, but it was a pleasant surprise." Tempers flared with 2:14 remaining and the Wizards ahead 108-98, as Jordan Hill and Nick Young got into a scuffle with Gooden after a battle for a loose ball. Referees Scott Foster, Mark Ayotte and Nick Buchert went to the video monitor at the scorers table review, and Gooden was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected. So was Hill, who received a technical foul. Young also got a technical, but stayed in the game. Young and Jodie Meeks each scored 21 points for the injury-jinxed Lakers, who welcomed Young, Hill and Steve Nash back into the mix and had 12 players in uniform for the first time since March 4. Coach Mike DAntoni, unable to play Wesley Johnson because of an upper-respiratory infection, used his 30th different starting lineup with Robert Sacre at centre and Pau Gasol shifting to power forward alongside newcomer Kent Bazemore. Gasol had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Nash, who sat out the previous 15 games because of chronic nerve damage in his back that has limited him to 11 appearances all season, had 11 assists and five points in 19 minutes off the bench. On March 13, following an individual workout by Nash at Oklahoma City, DAntoni told the media that the two-time MVP was done for the season. But when Jordan Farmar was sidelined by a groin strain, all bets were off. "Steve always kept in shape," DAntoni said. "He wanted to play and he was getting there, so it made sense to go ahead and get him in there." Young sat out the previous 11 games and 17 of 18 with a sore left knee, and Hill was sidelined for eight games due to a sore right knee. All three of the returning Lakers ended up on the court at the same time when Nash and Hill reported in with 3:26 left in the first quarter and Los Angeles trailing 24-12. Trevor Bookers short running jumper gave the Wizards their biggest lead, 72-51, with 7:22 left in the third quarter. Nash reported back in with 3:44 left in the period and orchestrated an 18-7 Lakers run that included seven points by Sacre, whose dunk with 3.3 seconds on the clock narrowed the gap to 88-81. "It didnt look like he missed a beat to me. Thats how talented he is," Wall said. "No matter how old Steve Nash is, man, whenever he runs that pick-and-roll, hes efficient and one of the best at passing and getting his shot. A lot of people are writing him off, but when hes healthy, hes still one of the greatest all-time. So youve got to respect a two-time MVP in this league." NOTES: The Lakers failed to sell out for the fifth time, drawing 18,112 — 885 short of capacity. ... Nash has played in just three games since his 40th birthday on Feb. 7, when he scored 19 points at Philadelphia. ... C Chris Kaman and G MarShon Brooks suited up for the Lakers, but didnt play. ... Wall is the only player to start each of the Wizards first 69 games. No one has started all 82 for them since swingman DeShawn Stevenson in 2007-08. ... The Lakers have held opponents under 100 just 18 times. The only team that has done it fewer times is Philadelphia (nine). ... The Lakers only lead came after Meeks made a layup for the first basket of the game. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raide...ft-Jersey/ . Power had a two-lap average of 218.896 mph in qualifying Friday at the high-banked, high-speed 1 1/2-mile track for his 34th career pole. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raide...ft-Jersey/ . Jannero Pargo scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Charlotte Bobcats erase a 21-point deficit and rally for an 83-76 preseason victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raide...ft-Jersey/ .The Williams siblings, with 25 Grand Slam titles between them, will have a couple of Madisons joining them, too.Madison Keys had a 6-4, 7-5 upset win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday night, and Madison Brengle beat Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-2 in an all-U.TORONTO -- A star athlete from Cole Harbour, N.S., sidelined by a concussion at the peak of his game. Its not a new story, but this time the athlete in question is UFC lightweight contender T.J. Grant rather than hockey superstar Sidney Crosby. The 29-year-old mixed martial arts fighter missed out on an August title shot and has had to pass on another slated for December while he waits to feel normal. Ask Grant these days how he is feeling and the answer is not simple. "Not too bad. Feeling all right," he said in a recent interview. "It could be better ... Im a lot better now than I was, thats for sure." Some days, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. But despite the occasional setback, the hard-nosed fighter says he is still on the road to recovery. "Progress is getting a little slower again. But it was going pretty good," he said. He says he does some "light activity ... to keep myself from going crazy." Grant (21-5) was riding a high after knocking out Gray (The Bully) Maynard two minutes seven seconds into their May 25 showdown at UFC 160. That earned the Canadian a shot at then-champion Ben (Smooth) Henderson. But two weeks later, Grant was hit in the head by his training partners foot during a jiu-jitsu session. Later in the session, he used his head to stop a sweep and was hit again. "I dont know which one it was," he said of the head blows. "All I know is just when I was done training, I didnt feel right." He saw a doctor and was diagnosed with a concussion -- his first. "I took my time hoping it would just heal up and I could get back at it. It just took longer than I expected. So thats kind of where I am now." For those who have not had one, its hard to imagine the disruption of a concussion. "Especially earlier on, I had difficulty concentrating, just carrying on a conversation with somebody. Just simple things that you do every day that are a lot more difficult," said Grant, ranked third among 155-pound contenders. The proud father of a five-month-old daughter, Grants symptoms were set off early on by the baby crying. Motion also made him nauseous. "Im getting past a lot of that stuff. Now I just have a little bit of a headache ... The worst is definitely behind me." But there are still limits to what he can do. He came to Toronto recently to do some TV work and appearances around UFC 165. "After the weekend I was a little bit worn out," he acknowledged. Grant says time is whats needed. Hes happy with the team he has helping him, with physiotherapy to work on his balance and regular visits to a chiropractor to have work done on his neck. The UFC has offered help and paid for an MRI, that came back clean. But inactivity must feel strange after years in a sport built around complex layers of training. And the lightweight merry-go-round continues in his absence. Replacement challenger Anthony (Showtime) Pettis submitted Henderson in the first round of UFC 164 on Aug. 31 tto win the championship belt. http://www.officialraidersgear.com/Raide...ft-Jersey/. The UFC had hoped Pettis would make his first title defence in December against Grant in Sacramento. But Grant said he would not be ready. "Its one of those unfortunate things that can happen in a contact sport," UFC president Dana White said when asked about Grant. "Were not going anywhere. The kids just got to take his time, heal up, and relax and well see what happens." Theres never a good time to be injured in the UFC, given inactivity equals no paycheque. But this timing particularly sucks. Grant, ranked third among lightweight contenders, was on a roll having won five straight since dropping down to 155 pounds from welterweight. "The belts going to be there no matter who has the belt," White said. "It will be there and well figure the T.J. Grant thing out when T.J. Grants healthy." In the meantime, the December title shot has been given to No. 4 Josh Thompson. Even talk of title shots has consequences for Grant. "Im trying not to put too much pressure on myself," he said. "Being offered fights and stuff like that was definitely putting more pressure (on me) which causes you to stress out and make things worse. "Man, Im just worrying about just getting better, taking it slow. No real pressure. When I feel 100 per cent and Im able to return to training and all that stuff, then Ill start looking for a fight. "For now, Im not really too much worried about it." White says concussions are monitored closely in that the sport is regulated by government agencies, with mandatory suspensions after knockouts. Often fighters have to be cleared by a doctor before they can step back into the cage after a bad loss. Injuries in training are tougher to monitor, he acknowledged. "We cant baby-sit everybody. We cant police grown men," White said prior to UFC 165. "We can lay down the rules. "If you are on a three month suspension because you were hit in the head or whatever your deal is in a fight and you go back into the gym and start sparring again, first of all youre a moron. No 2, the people who handle you probably dont care about you." Grant has been healthy the majority of his career, missing just two previous fights through injury or sickness in his 7.5-year pro career. He says he has known other fighters who had concussions. "Some guys try to hide it and keep going. They think its like any other injury. But I dont want to be that guy. So I want to do it as safely as possible. I want to enjoy my life, thats for sure." Grant has plenty of motivation on that front. He married wife Belinda on the weekend. They planned to slip away for a few days but with a young daughter the focus of attention, a real honeymoon will likely have to wait a while. As for Crosby, Grant says he does not know the Penguins star so has not been able to share war stories. It would make for an interesting conversation. "No doubt," Grant said with a chuckle. Wholesale Hoodies NFL Shirts Outlet Jerseys NFL Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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