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The NFL launched an investigation
LOS ANGELES -- Portlands enormous fourth-quarter lead dwindled to a single point before the Trail Blazers finally figured out how hold off the Los Angeles Lakers patchwork lineup. [url=http://www.profluus.net/prix-nike-shox-nz-pas-cher-homme-femme-blanche-rouge-vif.html]Prix Nike Shox Nz Pas Cher Homme/Femme Blanche/Rouge Vif[/url] . Wesley Matthews thinks the harrowing experience will be good for the Blazers as they try to cement their spot among the NBAs elite. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Portland blew most of a 20-point lead before holding on to beat the Lakers 114-108 Sunday night. Damian Lillard had 26 points and nine assists, and Matthews scored 17 points for the Blazers, whose 11-game winning streak ended four days earlier in Phoenix. The Blazers tied their franchise record with 13 victories in November, and they opened December with an unlikely nail-biter, surviving despite blowing big leads in each half. "We shouldnt have had to do that," Matthews said. "Theres still a learning curve for us, but its a good sign if your lesson is you have to learn how to play with a lead. Its better than having to fight back." The Lakers would agree, even though their rally got Staples Center rocking. Xavier Henry scored a career-high 27 points and Jodie Meeks added 20 for Los Angeles, which had won five of six to climb above .500 despite injury woes. Portland led 94-74 entering the fourth, but promptly failed to score for nearly six minutes as the Lakers mounted a 24-5 run with a lineup featuring no point guard and energetic backup centre Robert Sacre, who had career highs of 12 points and seven rebounds. "We have guys down right now, but we cant do anything about that," said Henry, who surpassed his previous career high set earlier this season. "The guys we do have can still give any team a run for its money." Portland returned from its holiday break with its first road victory over the Lakers in seven tries since April 11, 2010, but only after a little drama. The Blazers blew a 17-point lead in the first half, but thought they had taken control with a 41-point third quarter -- their biggest period of the season. Los Angeles cut Portlands lead to 99-98 on Shawne Williams tip-in with 3:44 to play, but Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 2:54 left, and Matthews added another with 1:20 to play. Los Angeles kept it close, but the Blazers hit five of their six free throws in the final 23 seconds. "We need to stay consistent," Lillard said. "When things are going well, we tend to ease up instead of tightening up and putting teams away. Once teams get fired up and get back in the game, our intensity rises again. We have to find a way to keep it at that high level." The Lakers were left with only nine or 10 healthy players -- and one point guard -- when Jordan Farmar limped to the locker room in the first quarter, straining his left hamstring shortly after checking in to the game. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash still havent returned to uniform, and centre Chris Kaman -- who recently recovered from a back injury -- dressed but didnt play. Pau Gasol, who missed Saturdays practice to deal with nagging injury issues, missed nine of his 10 shots in the first half before finishing with six points on 3-of-15 shooting. He plans to have an MRI on his sore ankle Monday. But the Lakers league-leading bench had another big game led by Henry, Sacre and Nick Young, who scored 17 points. "Thats what this team is all about -- you never know whos going to come out and produce," Sacre said. "Thats the whole essence of this team. Were all about one another, and we want each other to succeed." The Lakers hoped to play aggressively with the next four days off to rest, but instead got off to a horrific start. Portland took an 11-0 lead in the first four minutes as Los Angeles missed its first eight shots, stretching the margin to 21-4 before many fans had settled in their seats. Lakers coach Mike DAntoni yanked four of his starters, and they gradually got back in it with a tying 19-6 run capped by Meeks 3-pointer midway through the second quarter. Lillard scored 11 points in the third quarter as Portland made 17 of its 24 shots while taking command. Los Angeles then scored 10 straight points to open the fourth, and the Blazers didnt get a field goal until 5:31 remained. NOTES: Lillard converted a four-point play early in the second quarter, and Henry also did it midway through the fourth quarter. ... DAntoni said Nash will be at practice on Tuesday after a trip to Vancouver for further rehab on his nerve root irritation. Theres no timetable for the return of the two-time MVP point guard -- or Bryant, who also will be in practice this week. DAntoni declined to speculate whether Bryant could make his season debut when the Lakers visit Sacramento on Friday. ... Williams and Johnson both fouled out in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles. [url=http://www.profluus.net/nike-shox-homme-pas-cher/nike-shox-r4.html]Nike Shox R4 Homme[/url] .The South African had three birdies on the front nine and another four after the turn at Leopard Creek Country Club to move to 16-under 128 overall.Grace, who won all four of his European Tour titles in 2012, dropped his only shot of the competition on the par-3 fifth. [url=http://www.profluus.net/]Nike Blazer Pas Cher[/url] . Gomes drove in all three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, and Cleveland rallied for a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. [url=http://www.profluus.net/achat-pas-cher-nike-blazer-courte-homme-cuir-bleu-marine-argente.html]http://www.profluus.net/achat-pas-cher-nike-blazer-courte-homme-cuir-bleu-marine-argente.html[/url] . Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised to a 96-83 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.(SportsNetwork.com) - Eleven of the 12 footballs allotted to the New England Patriots for Sundays AFC Championship Game were under-inflated, according to a report. Citing league sources close to the NFLs investigation, ESPN.com reported the 11 balls were each under-inflated by 2 pounds of air pressure. NFL rules mandate game balls be inflated to 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds per square inch (PSI). We are not commenting on the matter at this time, NFL spokesman Michael Signora told SportsNetwork.com in an email late Tuesday evening. The NFL launched an investigation following New Englands 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a rain-soaked game at Gillette Stadiium, which advanced the Patriots to the Super Bowl against Seattle. [url=http://www.profluus.net/nike-shox-homme-pas-cher-nike-shox-nz-noir-argente.html]Nike Shox Homme Pas Cher|Nike Shox NZ Noir/Argenté[/url]. A deflated football is said to be easier to throw and catch in inclement weather. If the Patriots are found to have deflated footballs intentionally, they could be subject to penalties, including a possible forfeiture of drafts picks. A source told ESPN the league was disappointed ... angry ... distraught over the findings. According to NFL rules, game balls are required to be inspected by the referee two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff and may not be altered after that. A Patriots spokesman said the team continues to cooperate with the leagues investigation. 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