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3 and again woofed at the Wolves bench. L

  • 29 Jun
    Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson denied any wrongdoing the Chase field-deciding race at Richmond International Raceway over the weekend that has been marred by controversy. [b]Bernie Williams Jersey[/b] . Johnson defended himself one day after fellow driver Clint Bowyer said his spinout at Richmond was no different than when a Johnson mishap brought out a caution earlier in the race. "Clint brought it up from what Ive been able to see and read," Johnson said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I think he was just having a bad day. And as things kept piling on, he just tried to suck someone else into the mix with him." Bowyers spin ended Ryan Newmans bid to win the race and make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field and instead helped Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. land a berth. NASCAR, however, determined that MWR had manipulated the race and replaced Truex with Newman in addition to punishing MWR. The implication by Bowyer was that Johnson spun intentionally with 55 laps remaining to assist the Chase chances of Jeff Gordon, Johnsons teammate at Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson blamed a flat tire for his caution and pointed out correctly that Gordon already was on pit road when it occurred. "If anyone has any questions, just go back and look at the race and youll see that our tire blowing was bad for the 24 (of driver Jeff Gordon), bad for the 5 (of driver Kasey Kahne, another Hendrick teammate) -- bad for a lot of guys who were coming to pit road," Johnson said. "The only silver lining for the 24 was that he was preserved on pit road, and was able to get the Lucky Dog (to get back on the lead lap). But even then, you have to start at the tail end (of the lead-lap cars). . There was no benefit." At Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Kyle Busch was asked what he thought of the scandal. "I say you do whatever youve got to do to get your team in," Busch said of the Chase. "If youre in that position, and you have multi-team cars, thats what theyre there for. Some people say Im full of crap and youre not supposed to manipulate the end of the race. Just let it play out as it plays out. Let the best man win. "But, I was in the same position last year. There were ways it could have been manipulated and I could have gotten myself in the Chase. But I didnt do it. And I missed the Chase." Johnson said NASCAR needs to use more officials and more technology resources, such as television replays and even in-car audio, to make better calls during the races. "In the overall issue of officiating, I think we need to expect things and when we get to the Chase time of the year -- and really we should have it all year -- but NASCAR should have people staffed up instead of downsizing," Johnson said. "Not only from the aspect of what were talking about right here, but also on restarts and a lot of other procedures that take place. "It is tough for the (officials in the scoring) tower to take care of it all. They need other people, qualified people, other resources and technology to make these decisions." Johnson said if there was any question that the race needed to be stopped. "If there is any question they need to stop the race immediately," Johnson said. "Red flag. Pits are closed. Figure it out and make the best judgment that they can -- because trying to go back on a Monday or a Tuesday to fix the situation, that is just too much. Ive learned something about the ripple effect." Johnson also said he was bewildered with NASCARs non-call on the final restart, when television replays showed eventual race winner Carl Edwards, running second at the time, clearly beat leader Paul Menard to the start-finish line in a move that Johnson said was almost identical to one he was penalized for earlier in the season, costing him a chance of a win at Dover. "Weve been working hard to eliminate grey areas and we need to continue down that road," Johnson added. "Im shocked there wasnt a call on it, plain and simple." [b]Yogi Berra Jersey[/b] . Lawrie was hit on the hand by Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto in the second inning of Sundays 4-3 loss to the Reds. [b]Lou Gehrig Yankees Jersey[/b] . - Florida State has suspended Jameis Winston for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday, extending its initial punishment of one half after the quarterback made offensive and vulgar comments about female anatomy earlier this week.MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and the Minnesota Timberwolves were ganging up on Kevin Durant, and a rare three-game losing streak for the Oklahoma City Thunder was just over the horizon. Durants sidekick was on the bench in street clothes, leaving him on an island again. Frustrated from a poor start, Durant came out swinging in the fourth quarter and knocked the Timberwolves out with a fury. Barking at and mean-mugging the feisty Wolves, Durant scored 23 of his season-high 48 points in the fourth quarter and hit the winner with 4 seconds to play to rally the Thunder from 13 points down to a 115-111 victory on Saturday night. "I just hear a lot of stuff and I just wanted to come through for my team in the fourth quarter," Durant said, an apparent shot at some trash talk he heard from the Wolves bench. Durant went 7 for 11 from the field and hit four 3-pointers in the final quarter to help the Thunder rebound from two straight losses at home. Love played the entire second half and finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Wolves. But he missed four free throws in the final 27 seconds to let this one slip away. The last three came when he was fouled on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go and the Wolves down two. After Durant hit a step-back jumper from 18 feet right over Dante Cunninghams outstretched arm to give the Thunder a 113-111 lead, Love was fouled on a 3-pointer by Kendrick Perkins. Perhaps a little gassed from the work load, Love missed the first two free throws and his on-purpose miss on the third one didnt hit the rim, giving Oklahoma City the ball. "I was more upset about the first one I missed," Love said. "I left it short. I think they were flat and short. There was no real air under them. Just missed them." Durant knocked down two more free throws, and the two stars embraced after the final horn, a thrilling duel just finished. Durant and Love each got off to slow starts for the game, combining to shoot 8 for 24 in the first half. But they gave everyone their moneys worth in the fourth quarter. The Thunder trailed 90-77 in the fourth before Durant, who also had seven rebounds and seven assists, went off. The Thunnder had let two fourth quarter leads slip away at home this week thanks to opposing defences swarming Durant and forcing other players to beat them. [b]Brian Roberts Jersey[/b]. Durant sure got involved Saturday, scoring six of Oklahoma Citys first seven buckets in the fourth to get the Thunder going. "I was hanging my head a little bit in the first half and my teammates got on me about it," Durant said. "So I just wanted to keep my head high no matter what and stay aggressive and I was able to hit a few." The last four shots of that flurry were 3s, and he struck a pose and stared at the Wolves bench after the final one cut Minnesotas lead to 97-96 with 7 minutes to play. The two superstars traded haymakers the rest of the way. In one stirring sequence, Love hit a layup, Durant drilled a 3 and Love hit one of his own for a 97-93 Wolves lead with just over seven minutes to play. Durant came right back with yet another 3 and again woofed at the Wolves bench. Love tied it on a hook shot over Serge Ibaka and then scored on a drive to the hoop that tied it again, at 111, with 27 seconds to play. But he missed the free throw that came with the foul, opening the door for Durants cold-blooded response. "The special ones can have a poor shooting night and come down at the end of the game and make four or five to win the game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Thats how theyre wired because theyre great players. He loves to inspire his teammates with his play." Derek Fisher scored 13 points, and Ibaka had 12 points for Oklahoma City, which outscored Minnesotas bench 40-5. Pekovic had 31 points and 11 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio had 13 points, 10 assists and five steals, but missed six of his final seven shots. "Ill take K-Love in that situation no matter what," Wolves forward Corey Brewer said. "He missed them tonight. Next time hell make them." NOTES: Kevin Martin had 17 points and six rebounds for Minnesota. Oklahoma City committed 22 turnovers, but scored 24 points off 15 miscues by Minnesota. ... Timberwolves first-round draft choice Shabazz Muhammad will start a four-game stint with Iowa in the NBA Development League on Sunday. Wholeslae Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Baseball Jerseys ' ' '