Category Archives: Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins

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The Maple Leafs head into the TD Garden on Tuesday night looking to play spoiler against the Bruins who currently hold down the fourth seed in the Atlantic division.

The Buds head into the second half of the year in a similar spot to where they started the year and that is in the basement of the Atlantic division and in the running for a lottery pick in next year’s draft. Toronto was expected to be in the mix for a top end pick thanks to the franchise’s long term rebuild and even though they are very unlikely to grab a playoff spot they have been playing decently well this season and have been very competitive at times. However, they face off against a Bruins side in this one that has dominated them in recent memory and while they will look for some revenge here on the road the odds makers don’t like their chances as they are heavy underdogs. James Reimer will get the start as he will go up against Tuukka Rask who will look to shine once again versus the team that drafted him

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The Bruins meanwhile finished the first half in pretty good shape and have set themselves up nicely for a run in the second half, especially if they can add a piece or two at the trade deadline. Many expected this to be a rebuilding type season for the B’s after undergoing a number of changes in the offseason but they have answered the critics and have capitalized and an underwhelming division that is currently led by the Florida Panthers. Boston is way better on the road than at home this season which is a shock to some while the Leafs have been bad wherever they play. This one should be competitive though and with Reimer and Rask squaring off I think it stays under the number.

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Miami Heat at Houston Rockets

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Tonight at 8PM, the Miami Heat visit the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. This will be the season finale of the series between the two. The Heat won the first back in Miami on November 1st, 109-89.

This is the second and final game of the season series .The Heat won the first meeting 109-89 Nov. 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena in their third game of the season, behind 25 points and 15 rebounds from center Hassan Whiteside, in a game theRockets held out center Dwight Howard for rest. The Heat outscored the Rockets 34-14 in the fourth quarter of that victory, with James Harden shooting 2 of 15 for the night for Houston . .The Heat have lost their last two regular-season visits to Houston, after winning their previous three at the Toyota Center . The game opens the Heat’s ninth back-to-back set of the season, with a 6-2 record on the first nights of such pairings.

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Houston is closing up a two-game homestand, and they have currently lost three games straight. They started with a 123-122 loss to the Washington Wizards on Saturday. After this game, they’ll go on the road for a single game, on Thursday against the Phoenix Suns.

Standings

Miami Heat: 27-21, .563, on pace for 46-36. First in the Southeast Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, ninth in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-W-W-W. Playoff Odds: 81.8%

Houston Rockets: 25-25, .500, on pace for 41-41. Fourth in the Southwest Division, seventh in the Western Conference, 15th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-L-L. Playoff Odds: 61.7%

Injury Report

I had been using rotoworld.com for the injury report, but they were so frequently wrong that I’ve switched over to cbssports.com.

Miami Heat: Hassan Whiteside (oblique) is a game-time decision, Chris Andersen(knee) is expected to be back no earlier than February 7th, and Tyler Johnson (shoulder) is out for at least eight weeks.

Houston Rockets: Donatas Motiejunas (back) is a game-time decision, and Sam Dekker (back) is out until at least March 1st.

Probable Starting Lineups

Miami Heat
PG – Goran Dragic
SG – Dwyane Wade
C – Amar’e Stoudemire
SF – Luol Deng
PF – Chris Bosh

Houston Rockets
PG – Patrick Beverley
SG – James Harden
C – Dwight Howard
SF – Trevor Ariza
PF – Corey Brewer

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Farmers Insurance Open

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This week, the PGA Tour is in the San Diego area for the Farmers Insurance Open. The annual stop at Torrey Pines sports a 156-player field battling to make the weekend cut playing a round each on the North and South courses on the publicly-accessible property.

Jason Day is the defending champion, but he pulled out of the Wednesday pro-am with flu-like symptoms. Beware the sick golfer, they say, but we’re not sure if that’ll mean good things for the Aussie – like when he won The Barclays last summer after pulling out of a pro-am due to illness – or a tough few days.

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Here are our top 4 players for this year:

Jason Day

Day’s breakout 2015 PGA TOUR campaign got kickstarted with a playoff win in last February’s Farmers Insurance Open. He followed it up with four more wins in ’15, including a major victory at the PGA Championship. He’s only entered one stroke-play event since September, a 10th-place finish at the Tournament of Champions earlier this month. Although Day will be a surefire favorite if he plays, there is some concern over whether he’ll be healthy enough to compete. Day pulled out of the Pro-Am on Wednesday, citing flu-like symptoms. It remains to be seen whether he’ll make it for the tournament proper, but if he does, don’t be concerned about illness slowing him down. The last time Day withdrew from a Pro-Am was at he Barclays last year, a tournament he won.

Rickie Fowler

As a youth revolution takes hold of the PGA TOUR, Fowler looks to join the best of the best. Fowler won in Abu Dhabi last week, prompting some to say golf now has a “Big Four” instead of “Big Three,” adding Fowler to a group that includes Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. While Fowler is certainly one of the best golfers plying his trade today, he’s still a step behind those three, all of whom have won a major title. Back-to-back wins by Fowler to start ’15 would give him lots of momentum to go out and get that first major this year.

Brandt Snedeker

Torrey Pines is built for those who can drive the long ball. Snedeker is good — not great — off the tee, but he’ll more than make up for that on the green, considering he’s one of the game’s best putters. The main reason he makes this list is his outstanding play at the Farmers Insurance Open in the past. Snedeker has five top-10 finishes in nine appearances at the event, including runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2013, as well as a win in 2012. More importantly, Snedeker has been lights out for the last month or so, winning the Franklin Templeton Shootout, tying for third at the Tournament of Champions and getting runner-up at the Sony Open.

Phil Mickelson

So what if the Hefty Lefty is a few years off his prime? Torrey Pines is a hometown course for Mickelson, a San Diego native. And this is his 27th time competing in the Farmers Insurance Open, winning three of them. However, his last win at the event came way back in 2001, and in the past four years he’s missed the cut twice, withdrawn once and finished 51st the other time. Mickelson’s a bomber, though, and he should be able to handle the course’s distance. You also have to factor in the fact he finished tied for third last week at the CareerBuilder Challenge. If he plays as well as he did last week, between his big drive and a hometown crowd cheering him on, Mickelson may have enough to get the win for old time’s sake.

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Kevin De Bruyne out for six weeks with knee injury

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Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne set to miss six weeks with knee ligament injury that rules him out of Capital One Cup final

Kevin De Bruyne will miss the next six weeks after suffering medial ligament damage in Manchester City’s 3-1 Capital One Cup victory over Everton, the player’s agent has revealed.

The Manchester City playmaker sustained knee ligament damage during Wednesday night’s 3-1 win against Everton.

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The 24-year-old scored a vital – albeit controversial – goal and set up another after coming off the bench in the 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, before being carried off late on following an awkward fall.

He appeared to get his studs caught in the turf and then landed on his knee as City closed in on their 4-3 aggregate triumph, which sealed a final trip to Wembley to face Liverpool.

Initial medical reports suggest the problem is not related to the cruciate ligament, but the player’s representative Patrick De Koster has claimed the midfielder would likely be out of action for around six weeks.

“Kevin is sad. His dream is to always be playing football. He will miss games like the League Cup final and in the Champions League, which are important,” De Koster told Sky Sports News.

“But he knows they [City] are a good team, that the other players will do what they have to do, and maybe win the game for him, and also that [injuries] is what happens in football.

“He is sad, of course, but he told me, ‘this [happens] in a match, [is something] which can arrive in football, and the only thing I can do is to  hard and to come back’.”

The full extent of the injury is yet to be determined, but De Koster feels the midfielder will not be able to return to action until the end of February at the earliest.

“[It is] the tear in the ankle and also the lateral [knee] ligaments are such that I think for sure he will need six weeks of rehabilitation, but they are still going to do some more medical [tests] today and at the end of the day,” he added.

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Denver Nuggets at Washington Wizards

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The Denver Nuggets pay a visit to the Washington Wizards tonight at the Verizon Center.

The Nuggets have lost five of their last seven games and will be looking to avoid a third straight loss after last night’s 111-103 loss at Boston. Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton led the team in scoring with 23 points each while Kenneth Faried and Gary Harris added 15 points each, but it still wasn;t enough to beat the Celtics who were led by a season-high 27 points from Avery Bradley. The Nuggets struggled to take care of the ball against the Celtics as they committed a total of 20 turnovers and it was Emmanuel Mudiay who led the team with five turnovers. With the loss, Denver falls to 17-29 on the season and 8-14 on the road.

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Meanwhile, the Wizards have lost four of their last five games and are also looking to avoid a third straight loss after getting blown out by the Raptors in a 106-89 defeat on Tuesday. John Wall had a rough shooting night but still managed to lead the way with 18 points and 14 assists while Otto Porter had a decent game of 15 points on seven of 11 shooting, but the Wizards were always a step slower than the Raptors, especially in the second half where they were outscored by 54-39. With the loss, Washington falls to 20-23 on the season and 10-9 on the road.
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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: sportschatplace.com

Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers

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The Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers meet Thursday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Atlanta Hawks look for some consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Atlanta Hawks are averaging 102.5 points on 46.1 percent shooting and allowing 100 points on 44 percent shooting. Paul Millsap is averaging 18.4 points and 8.8 rebounds while Al Horford is averaging 15.2 points and 2.9 assists. Jeff Teague is dishing 5.6 assists and Kent Bazemore is grabbing 4.5 rebounds. The Atlanta Hawks are shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc and 79.3 percent from the free throw line. The Hawks are allowing 35.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 40.8 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Hawks have lost five of their last eight road games.

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The Indiana Pacers need a victory after losing six of their last seven games. The Indiana Pacers are averaging 102.3 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 100 points on 44 percent shooting. Paul George is averaging 23.9 points and 7.3 rebounds while Monta Ellis is averaging 13.7 points and five assists. George Hill is dishing 3.1 assists and Jordan Hill is grabbing seven rebounds. The Indiana Pacers are shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc and 74.7 percent from the free throw line. The Pacers are allowing 33.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 43.6 rebounds per game. The Indiana Pacers have won six of their last 10 home games.

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Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames

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The Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames meet Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Nashville Predators look to keep rolling after winning four of their last five games. The Nashville Predators are averaging 2.6 goals per game and are scoring on 20.6 percent of their power plays. James Neal leads Nashville with 17 goals, Roman Josi has 24 assists and Filip Forsberg has 143 shots on goal. Defensively, the Nashville Predators are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 78.2 percent of their power play chances. Pekka Rinne has allowed 100 goals on 1,047 shots faced and Carter Hutton has given up 18 goals on 200 shots. Rinne has allowed five goals in his last three games

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The Calgary Flames could use a win after losing six of their last eight games. The Calgary Flames are averaging 2.6 goals per game and are scoring on 13.9 percent of their power plays. Johnny Gaudreau leads Calgary with 20 goals, Mark Giordano has 20 assists and Sean Monahan has 111 shots on goal. Defensively, the Calgary Flames are allowing three goals per game and are killing 75.7 percent of their power play chances. Karri Ramo has allowed 84 goals on 929 shots faced and Jonas Hiller has given up 41 goals on 348 shots. Ramo has allowed seven goals in his last three games.

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Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs

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The San Antonio Spurs come into tonight’s game coming off their worst loss of the season, one of ESPN’s patented “Game of the Century of the Week”s against the Golden State Warriors. As the Dubs like to do, they ran through the Spurs to the tune of a 30-point win. Luckily for the Rockets they will get a pissed off Spurs squad looking to get back on track.

Houston comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak, coinciding with Josh Smith’s return to the team. Smoove’s presence has been noticeable in every area except the points column in the box score. He’s doing everything else for Houston that the Rockets don’t normally do, including nurturing ball movement and actually playing defense.

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The Houston Rockets look to stay red hot after winning nine of their last 12 games. The Houston Rockets are averaging 104.9 points on 44.6 percent shooting and allowing 105.6 points on 46.4 percent shooting. James Harden is averaging 27.7 points and seven assists while Trevor Ariza is averaging 12.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. Terrence Jones is grabbing 4.7 rebounds and Patrick Beverley is dishing 2.6 assists. The Houston Rockets are shooting 35.4 percent from beyond the arc and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. The Rockets are allowing 36.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.9 rebounds per game. The Houston Rockets have split their last 10 road games. Dwight Howard is questionable with an ankle injury.

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost back-to-back games since February. The San Antonio Spurs are averaging 103.9 points on 48.9 percent shooting and allowing 90.4 points on 42.8 percent shooting. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 20 points and 2.6 assists while LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds. Tony Parker is dishing five assists and David West is grabbing four rebounds. The San Antonio Spurs are shooting 38.4 percent from beyond the arc and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. The Spurs are allowing 32 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 45 rebounds per game. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost a home game since March 12th. Tim Duncan is questionable with a knee injury.

The Spurs last played the Rockets earlier this month in a win that coincided with the first scoreless game of Tim Duncan’s career. Duncan’s sitting out a second straight gamedue to his knee, suggesting his DNP against Golden State was likely not part of a calculated mindgame by Gregg Popovich.

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Chicago Blackhawks at Carolina Hurricanes

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The Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes square off Tuesday at the PNC Arena.

The Chicago Blackhawks look to stay hot after winning 10 of their last 12 games. The Chicago Blackhawks are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 22.1 percent of their power plays. Patrick Kane leads Chicago with 30 goals, Artemi Panarin has 29 assists and Jonathan Toews has 123 shots on goal. Defensively, the Chicago Blackhawks are allowing 2.3 goals per game and are killing 82.4 percent of their power play chances. Corey Crawford has allowed 84 goals on 1,241 shots faced and Scott Darling has given up 30 goals on 334 shots. Crawford has allowed three goals in his last three games.
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The Carolina Hurricanes look to keep rolling after winning six of their last nine games. The Carolina Hurricanes are averaging 2.4 goals per game and are scoring on 16.9 percent of their power plays. Jeff Skinner leads Carolina with 17 goals, Justin Faulk has 19 assists and Victor Rask has 98 shots on goal. Defensively, the Carolina Hurricanes are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 82 percent of their power play chances. Cam Ward has allowed 74 goals on 776 shots faced and Eddie Lack has given up 55 goals on 547 shots. Lack has allowed six goals in his last three games.

The Blackhawks are 6-2 in their last 8 road games and 20-6 in their last 26 overall. The Hurricanes are 2-9 in their last 11 Tuesday games and 21-43 in their last 64 games following a win.

The Blackhawks are 2-6-1 in the last 9 meetings in Carolina and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings overall.
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Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors

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When and Where:

Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Probable starters

Washington: John Wall, Garrett Temple, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nene, Marcin Gortat.
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Luis Scola, Jonas Valanciunas.

Injury Report
Alan Anderson is out; Bradley Beal and Kris Humphries are questionable for the Wizards.
DeMarre Carroll is out for the Raptors.

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The Wizards have lost three of their last four games and looked terrible in last night’s 116-91 blowout loss to the Celtics. Otto Porter Jr and Jared Dudley led the team with 15 points each while Ramon Sessions had 12, but the Wizards go as John Wall goes, but he finished with just eight points and 10 assists as the Wizards battled hard in the first half before getting blown out 62-42 in the second half. With the loss, Washington falls to 20-22 on the season and 10-14 at home.

The Raptors continued their climb up the power rankings with a dominant 112-94 home win against the Clippers on Sunday. Kyle Lowry led the scoring with 21 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points while DeMar DeRozan had 18, but it was actually the second unit who sparked the team with a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game and turn a double-digit deficit into a 62-49 lead going into halftime. The Raptors would go on to cruise to their eighth straight victory and improve to 29-15 overall and 15-6 at home.

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