Review Category : National Sports

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Urges Patience

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak wants All-Star Kobe Bryant to know that the team will do everything they can this offseason to turn around the franchise come next season.

The Lakers are coming off one of their worst records in franchise history and Kupchak believes that Bryant and the team will get back to their winning ways.

Bryant and his wife are in Paris this week vacationing, but Kupchak sent a message to him on Friday during his 45-minute end of the season press conference.

“I’ve already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I’m sure he’s saying, ‘Why is Mitch using the word patience?’” Kupchak said. “He’s not the most patient person in the world. And that’s never going to change.

“Because of that, we’ve been to the Finals a bunch of times and we’ve won five championships. So, it’s hard to criticize him,” Kupchak continued.

The Lakers will have a lottery pick for the first time since the 2005 season and salary cap space to add free agents.

“We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we’re in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three,” Kupchak said. “We just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don’t make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don’t want to do that.”

The Lakers have agreed to a multi-year deal with Kupchak earlier this month.

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Ducks Top Stars, 3-2, Take 2-0 Lead

Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — Ryan Getzlaf scored and had an assist after taking a slap shot to the face in Game 1 in the Ducks 3-2 win over the Stars on Friday night.

Getzlaf saw the berth of his third child as well prior to Game 2 and his goal tied the game at one in the first period.

Corey Perry would score the second goal of the night in the second period and Andrew Cogliano put them up by two in the third to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.

“It’s been absolutely incredible couple of days,” Getzlaf said. “They were a little hectic, but these are the things you want to do in life. At least tonight I didn’t get hit in the face.”

Rookie goalie Frederik Andersen made 34 saves in the victory as the series shifts to Dallas on Monday.

“We handed them their opportunities and their goals,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. “We skated well. The effort was great, but we made a couple of mistakes that cost us.”

The last Stanley Cup for the Ducks came back in 2007 when Getzlaf and Perry were playing in supporting roles.

“Every once in a while, you need your best players to step it up when the rest of the guys lose their composure,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Getzy, with what happened to him in the last three days, to come in and get two points and a plus-3 rating, is a sure reason why he (should be) hopefully nominated for the MVP.”

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76ers Owner Joshua Harris Reflects on Difficult Season

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris is moving forward after seeing his team go through one of it’s toughest seasons in franchise history that also included an NBA-record losing streak.

Harris said on Friday that it wasn’t easy watching his team from his suit.

“When we lose, even in New York, kids come up to my family’s kids and say, ‘Hey, the Sixers lost 26 in a row. How do you like that?’” Harris said. “We don’t like that. This is my doorman, he says to me, ‘Hey, can’t you get those players going?’”

The 76ers finished 19-63 and will look towards June’s NBA draft.

“I think the season has been a huge success for us,” Harris said Friday.

One bright spot for the team this season was guard Michael Carter-Williams, who is in contention for the rookie of the year award. The team will also have center Nerlens Noel back next year after he sat out his entire rookie year with a torn ACL in his left knee.

“We don’t want to be 41-41. We don’t want to be one-and-done,” Harris said. “We want this team, this city to be proud of the Sixers. We want to be proud of the Sixers.”

Harris is looking forward to adding a player or two in June’s draft that will contribute immediately next season.

“All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship,” Harris said. “There’s no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.”

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Ducks Top Stars, 3-2, Take 2-0 Lead

Len Redkoles/ NHLI via Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — Ryan Getzlaf scored and had an assist after taking a slap shot to the face in Game 1 in the Ducks 3-2 win over the Stars on Friday night.

Getzlaf saw the berth of his third child as well prior to Game 2 and his goal tied the game at one in the first period.

Corey Perry would score the second goal of the night in the second period and Andrew Cogliano put them up by two in the third to take a commanding 2-0 series lead.

“It’s been absolutely incredible couple of days,” Getzlaf said. “They were a little hectic, but these are the things you want to do in life. At least tonight I didn’t get hit in the face.”

Rookie goalie Frederik Andersen made 34 saves in the victory as the series shifts to Dallas on Monday.

“We handed them their opportunities and their goals,” Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. “We skated well. The effort was great, but we made a couple of mistakes that cost us.”

The last Stanley Cup for the Ducks came back in 2007 when Getzlaf and Perry were playing in supporting roles.

“Every once in a while, you need your best players to step it up when the rest of the guys lose their composure,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Getzy, with what happened to him in the last three days, to come in and get two points and a plus-3 rating, is a sure reason why he (should be) hopefully nominated for the MVP.”

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76ers Owner Joshua Harris Reflects on Difficult Season

Scott Halleran/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris is moving forward after seeing his team go through one of it’s toughest seasons in franchise history that also included an NBA-record losing streak.

Harris said on Friday that it wasn’t easy watching his team from his suit.

“When we lose, even in New York, kids come up to my family’s kids and say, ‘Hey, the Sixers lost 26 in a row. How do you like that?’” Harris said. “We don’t like that. This is my doorman, he says to me, ‘Hey, can’t you get those players going?’”

The 76ers finished 19-63 and will look towards June’s NBA draft.

“I think the season has been a huge success for us,” Harris said Friday.

One bright spot for the team this season was guard Michael Carter-Williams, who is in contention for the rookie of the year award. The team will also have center Nerlens Noel back next year after he sat out his entire rookie year with a torn ACL in his left knee.

“We don’t want to be 41-41. We don’t want to be one-and-done,” Harris said. “We want this team, this city to be proud of the Sixers. We want to be proud of the Sixers.”

Harris is looking forward to adding a player or two in June’s draft that will contribute immediately next season.

“All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship,” Harris said. “There’s no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.”

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Datsyuk’s Late Goal Vaults Wings Past Bruins in Game 1

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Pavel Datsyuk’s goal with 3:01 remaining in the game gave the Red Wings the lead and the eventual 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins Friday night, in Game 1 of their First-Round playoff series.

While Datsyuk’s goal decided the game, the contest was really all about the goaltending. Jimmy Howard saved all 25 shots he faced to earn the shutout while Boston’s Tuukka Rask was nearly as good stopping 23 shots. Both teams also played well on defense, especially clearing out loose pucks from in front of their nets.

Detroit now has home-ice advantage and improves to 4-1 against the President’s Trophy winning Bruins this season.

“I’ll take home-ice advantage any time,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said, “But that doesn’t mean you can’t win on the road … which is what we have to do in this series if we plan on winning this.”

Game 2 is Sunday in Boston. The puck is scheduled to drop at 3PM ET.

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Duke’s Rodney Hood Declares for the NBA Draft

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Duke forward Rodney Hood announced Friday he will enter the NBA Draft.

The redshirt sophomore transferred from Mississippi State to Duke for the 2012-13 season but was forced to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules. Hood played well last season averaging 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

“I want to thank Coach K, the entire coaching staff, my teammates and everyone involved with the Duke program for giving me this opportunity,” Hood said in a release. “Playing at Duke was a lifelong dream. Everything I experienced here has helped me grow and develop as a player and as a person.”

Hood becomes the second player in two days from Duke to declare for the draft. Freshman Jabari Parker announced he was going pro on Thursday.

“Rodney had two terrific years here at Duke,” Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He was an integral part of our team two years ago because he was such a great practice player, and this year he was one of the best players in the country. So consistent, and a great young man on and off the court. He will do really well in the NBA.”

Hood is expected to be a first-round pick.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 4/18/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — NHL Playoffs: First Round – Montreal Canadiens 4 – Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (Montreal leads series, 2-0)

Detroit Red Wings 1 – Boston Bruins 0 (Detroit leads series, 1-0)

MLB: Cincinnati Reds 4 (7-9) – Chicago Cubs 1 (4-11)

Atlanta Braves 6 (11-5) – New York Mets 0 (8-8)

Washington Nationals 3 (10-7) – St. Louis Cardinals 1 (10-7)

Milwaukee Brewers 5 (12-5) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (8-9)

Miami Marlins 8 (7-10) – Mariners 4 (7-9)

Toronto Blue Jays 3 (9-8) – Cleveland Indians 2 (7-9)

Baltimore Orioles 8 (8-7) – Boston Red Sox 4 (7-10)

Los Angeles Angels 11 (8-8) – Detroit Tigers 6 (7-6)

Texas Rangers 12 (10-7) – Chicago White Sox 0 (8-9)

Kansas City Royals 5 (8-7) – Minnesota Twins 0 (8-8)

Tampa Bay Rays 11 (8-9) – New York Yankees 5 (10-7)

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Scoreboard Roundup – 4/18/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — NHL Playoffs: First Round – Montreal Canadiens 4 – Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (Montreal leads series, 2-0)

Detroit Red Wings 1 – Boston Bruins 0 (Detroit leads series, 1-0)

MLB: Cincinnati Reds 4 (7-9) – Chicago Cubs 1 (4-11)

Atlanta Braves 6 (11-5) – New York Mets 0 (8-8)

Washington Nationals 3 (10-7) – St. Louis Cardinals 1 (10-7)

Milwaukee Brewers 5 (12-5) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (8-9)

Miami Marlins 8 (7-10) – Mariners 4 (7-9)

Toronto Blue Jays 3 (9-8) – Cleveland Indians 2 (7-9)

Baltimore Orioles 8 (8-7) – Boston Red Sox 4 (7-10)

Los Angeles Angels 11 (8-8) – Detroit Tigers 6 (7-6)

Texas Rangers 12 (10-7) – Chicago White Sox 0 (8-9)

Kansas City Royals 5 (8-7) – Minnesota Twins 0 (8-8)

Tampa Bay Rays 11 (8-9) – New York Yankees 5 (10-7)

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Reyes Set to Come Off DL Saturday

Tony Firriolo/MLB Photos via Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes is set to be activated from the disabled list Saturday.

Reyes strained his left hamstring during his first at bat of the season and hasn’t played since.

During the past couple of days, Reyes has been on a rehab assignment in Florida, playing two games with Class A Advanced Dunedin.

Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons says the 2011 NL batting title winner will play in the team’s game versus the Indians Saturday.

“He’s going to be good to go,” Gibbons said. “He’s coming, he’s ready to go and he’ll be in there.”

The 30-year-old Reyes missed 66 games last season due to a sprained left ankle. During the 93 games he did play, Reyes hit .296 with 58 runs scored, 10 home runs, 37 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .353 on-base percentage.

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