INDIANAPOLIS -- Big Roy came up with a big answer for his critics and his teammates Wednesday night. He played like an All-Star when the Pacers really needed it. After 48 hours of questions and criticism, Roy Hibbert scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and altered a handful of others to help the Pacers get even in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 86-82 victory over Washington. Hibbert sounded more relieved than redeemed. "David (West) always talks to me about being the person that rescues yourself when youre in the middle of the ocean," Hibbert said after Indiana tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1. "Theres nobody who can throw a lifesaver or a rope out to help you. So I had to do it myself." The next step is proving he can play this way again Friday when Washington hosts Game 3. Hibbert went into Wednesday with a combined total of 37 points and 24 rebounds in Indianas first eight playoff games. Twice in the previous four he failed to score a point or grab a rebound. Beleaguered Pacers fans wanted Hibbert benched. Frustrated teammates talked publicly and privately about needing more from their 7-foot-2 centre. Critics turned Hibbert into the butt of jokes and on the Internet, some even tried to explain Hibberts incredible disappearing act with unseemly speculation. After talking to his old college coach, John Thompson III, and Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, a close friend, Hibbert blocked out the inescapable firestorm, focused on basketball and fueled the decisive 6-0 run late in the fourth quarter. It was enough to put repeated smiles on Hibberts face, even if he considers it only a start. "I just want to string a few games together," he said. "Consistency hasnt been my biggest friend this year. Im going to try to continue to play aggressive and Im going to try to control the things I can control. I cant control play calls, but I can control how hard I play, how fast I run down the court and how well I play defence." George Hill finished with 14 points, Paul George had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Lance Stephenson added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. And for the first time this post-season, the Pacers held an opponent to fewer than nine 3-pointers. Washington finished 5 of 21 from behind the arc, the lowest percentage (23.
in the playoffs this year. Much of the credit went to Hibbert, who helped open up the offensive lanes for his teammates and protected the rim well enough that Indiana could spread out and defend the perimeter. "Hes got our attention now," Drew Gooden said. "Weve got to be focused on guarding the Roy Hibbert we know." It was a lost opportunity for the Wizards, who had won their first four playoff games on the road -- three at Chicago and Monday night at Indy -- and could have gone home with a commanding 2-0 lead. They had chances. Washington led by as much as six early in the third quarter and rallied in the fourth to take a 77-74 lead with 5:01 to go before Hibbert and George scored six straight to give the Pacers the lead for good. Marcin Gortat finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal had 17 points and Nene added 14. "He came out with a lot of intensity and established position," Beal said. "We didnt play our best game. We didnt shoot the ball and we didnt defend like we know were capable." But Hibbert changed this game almost by himself. He scored the first five points of the game, an indication that things were going to be different, and he came up big late, too. Hibberts nifty stop-and-go layup got the Pacers within 77-76. That basket ignited the decisive 6-0 spurt. Georges steal on the ensuing possession led to a layup from Hill that gave Indiana a 78-77 lead, and Hibberts presence in the middle allowed George to find a lane for a two-handed dunk that made it 80-77. All the Wizards could muster after that was an alley-oop layup from Gortat and a long 3-pointer from Beal that got the Wizards within 84-82 with 11 seconds to play. West made two free throws and Hibbert sealed it by grabbing the last rebound of the game. "He carried us tonight," West said. "I thought he was very relaxed before the game. He was relaxed this morning. He didnt say a whole lot, but as a professional, I think everything just came down on him and he responded the right way." Notes: Hibbert was 10 of 13 from the field and made all eight of his free throw attempts.... Nene went to the locker room in the first quarter after apparently hurting his left leg or ankle but returned early in the second quarter and finished the game. Deion Sanders Jersey
.ca. Hi Mr. Fraser, When I was watching the Heritage Classic in Vancouver there was a play midway through the third where Ottawa crashed the Canucks net and it came off its moorings. Bobby Cox Jersey
. The 24-year-old right winger has one assist in nine games this season with the Sabres. In his career, he has three goals and six assists in 43 NHL games. http://www.bravesapparelsshop.com/ender ... rsey-c-39/
. Hoefl-Rieschs exit — from the downhill course into safety nets, then airlifted from the slope by helicopter — left Anna Fenninger of Austria favourite to win her first giant crystal trophy one month after becoming an Olympic champion. Matt Kemp Jersey
. After losing Brett Cecil to groin tightness on Friday, the Blue Jays watched as R. Atlanta Braves Jerseys
. The 155th edition of the Plate for Canadian-foaled three-year-olds, the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America, will be televised live on TSN in HD (High Definition) in a special presentation from 4:30 – 6:00 pm ET. Post time is 5:38 pm.TORONTO - They thought Marcus Stroman could be really good. The young man, never lacking confidence, thought he could be really good. But there were issues the young pitcher needed to work out. Would Stroman be able to stay on top of his four-seam fastball often enough to prevent it from riding up in the zone, which had been a repeated issue for a pitcher of his diminutive size? Did his stuff, a plus fastball and a nasty curveball/slider combination, translate better to late-game relief or would he be a starter? Since his second recall and insertion into the starting rotation, Stroman hasnt been really good. Hes been great. And he isnt the pitcher they thought he would be. He isnt the pitcher he thought he would be. Whats changed? Stroman has developed a sinking fastball which, for the 23-year-old Long Islander, is a game-changer. "That pitch has allowed me to be so much more efficient," said Stroman. "Whereas everyone used to say he cant go deep into games, go deep into games, hes too whatever, whatever, whatever, its really allowed me to go deep into games because its a pitch that I can rely on to keep on the ground. I get big double plays when I need them with that pitch and I get a lot of early outs. I dont have to be as fine with that pitch when Im throwing it." Exhibit A of the new, efficient, Stroman is his most recent start, a 93-pitch, three-hit shutout of the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. He recorded 15 groundball outs (14 groundballs, one of which was a double play) and other than a first inning comeback line drive which almost beheaded Stroman, nary a ball was hit hard. You get the sense Stroman is surprising even himself. "I would have never gone 93 pitches, nine innings ever the way I used to pitch," said Stroman. "It wasnt realistic. I was a four-seam guy; I was a strikeout guy. I always had pretty good control but I always used to have to worry about really locating my heater." The metamorphosis began in the most innocent of ways. It was around the All-Star Break when Stroman, coming off a trying start against the Angels in Anaheim, was sitting in his apartments living room with a baseball in hand. He was, as he said he often does, messing around with different grips. He came across something that "felt rright" in his hand.dddddddddddd Stroman decided he would take the grip into his next bullpen session. He liked what he saw. He didnt change his release point. The ball naturally sank. Confident he could execute the pitch in major league game action, Stroman experimented in his first post-All-Star Break start, which featured seven innings of shutout ball in a Blue Jays 4-1 win over Texas on July 19. Stroman knew he had something when he froze Shin-Soo Choo with a full count sinker. "He just took it and walked back because Id never thrown it," said Stroman. "That might have been the first one I threw in that game, the second one I threw in that game and after I threw that pitch and I had that movement on it and I saw his take, thats when it started to take off." Stroman has trouble describing how he grips the pitch. "Its not your conventional two-seam by any means," said Stroman. "Thats what I used to try and throw and I had no success with it. I hold all my pitches pretty weird. I kind of just threw my spin and torque the ball in my hand like I do a lot of my pitches with the two-seam and felt really comfortable." Stroman was a high strikeout, high flyball minor league pitcher. Now, hes working a 55-percent groundball rate. The punch outs still will be there but they wont be as frequent. Stromans struck out 20.7-percent of big league hitters hes faced. He fanned 30.8-percent of hitters at Triple-A Buffalo but that was back when he was a different pitcher. Last year, at Double-A New Hampshire, his strikeout rate was 28.1-percent. Some of the strikeout regression is, no doubt, the result of facing big league hitters. But the new approach factors in, too. Stroman still has the plus four-seam fastball. Hes still got his filthy curveball and slider. The sinker gives him yet another look, another way to get hitters out. He can never have too many options. "Im still throwing all the pitches, it just gives me another pitch to rely on too," said Stroman. "Im always going to throw all my pitches. Im not necessarily going to take pitches out but having a sinker definitely helps, especially since Im a starter and the whole goal of being a starter is to keep your team in the game, late into games." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
' ' '