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 ute, 49-second review. HOT HARRISON Harrison is ba 
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Post ute, 49-second review. HOT HARRISON Harrison is ba
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In accepting his first MVP award, Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant made a point of sharing the honour with those who made it possible. In a soul-baring speech that lasted more than 25 minutes, Durant fought back tears several times while thanking each of his teammates, the coaches, support staff and team executives, and finally his family. The emotional outpouring culminated with a tribute to his mother, Wanda Pratt, and the sacrifices she made, the inspiration she provided while raising Durant and his brother in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. "You made us believe," Durant said to Pratt, who was at the ceremony in Edmond, Oklahoma. "Kept us off the street. Put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didnt eat, you made sure we ate. You sacrificed for us. Youre the real MVP." Durant explained that Pratt was a single mother with two boys, and though times were tough while growing up, Pratt always thought something better was ahead. Durant said to appreciate moments like these, he often looks back to gain perspective. "One of the best memories I had is when we moved into our first apartment," he said as tears streamed down Pratts face. "No bed, no furniture, and we just all sat in the living room and hugged each other, cause thats when we all thought we made it." Hes really made it now. The young man who said he was told he "wasnt supposed to be here" won the NBAs top individual honour Tuesday, receiving 119 first-place votes. Miamis LeBron James, who had won the last two MVP awards and four of the previous five, finished second with six first-place votes, and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was third. Durant, 25, called it "surreal" and at one point, as he thanked his teammates, he stopped and said, "I dont know why Im crying so much." "Everything in my life, I had to take it," Durant said. "Theyre not going to give it to you out of sympathy. I wouldnt want it any other way. This was another case, if I wanted to win the MVP, I had to go take it. I felt that this was the year I did that." During a speech in which Durant revealed a humility and vulnerability rarely displayed by a professional athlete, he also drew some laughs. "I could walk in and have a terrible day and I could see Hasheem (Thabeet) smiling at me, at 7-foot-3 with small pants on," he said. "That would change my day." Durant mentioned qualities about each teammate, showing respect for the veterans who challenge him and the rookies who inspire him to do things the right way because they look up to him. "I go home and I think about that stuff, man," he said. "When youve got people behind you, you can do whatever." Durant won his fourth scoring crown in five years by averaging 32 points. The 6-foot-9 forward helped the Thunder go 59-23, second-best in the league, despite playing much of the season without three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook because of a nagging knee injury. "Hes basically put himself in front of everybody else in the league and shown that hes the best player in the world," Westbrook said at the end of the regular season. James agreed, saying Monday: "Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season." Durants run of 41 consecutive games this season with at least 25 points was the third-longest streak in NBA history. "It was a two-man race, and then toward the end, it was kind of a no-brainer," Griffin said. James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting nearly 57 per cent from the field. Griffin averaged 24.1 points and 10.1 rebounds. Durant scored at least 40 points 14 times. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds and a career-high 5.5 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the field. While Westbrook was out after his most recent knee surgery, Durant averaged 35 points and 6.3 assists as the Thunder went 20-7 and remained among the leagues elite. Teammates and opponents say Durant became a more complete player this season. They praised him for improving his court vision, consistently making the extra pass and moving more efficiently without the ball. "I think we take it for granted," teammate Nick Collison said. "To be able to stay on for long periods of time -- have to cut hard, catch the ball in the right spot and defend on the other end -- is tough to do. To be able to show that shows that he has an edge to him. He doesnt take a night off." Though Durants consistency stood out this season, he had several exceptional games. He scored 48 points on Jan. 4 at Minnesota, then scored 48 again two games later at Utah. He scored a career-high 54 points in a home win against Golden State on Jan. 17 and two games later scored 46 at home in a victory against Portland. Two games after that, he had a triple-double -- 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists -- in a win at Philadelphia, and he followed that with 41 points in a victory over Atlanta. He scored 51 points at Toronto on March 21 in a staggering 53 minutes and hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in double overtime. He capped it off in the season finale by scoring 21 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter against Detroit and winning the game with a dunk with 16.5 seconds left. The Thunder overcame a 10-point deficit in the quarter to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. "I put in so much work and so many people helped me," he said. "I feel like we all won it. Our equipment guy gave me a hug today and said, This is my first MVP, and I thought about that. And I said, Yeah, this is our first MVP. I couldnt have done it without the teammates, without the trainer. Everybody. We all just did this together." Rob Havenstein Jersey . Signs of a turnaround have emerged in this series at Minnesota. Brian Roberts had three doubles and a triple for the first four-extra-base-hit game of his 14-year career, and the Yankees used their bullpen to preserve a 6-5 win over the Twins on Friday. John Sullivan Jersey . -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 9-4 on Saturday. http://www.authenticramsfansclub.com/Bl ... ld-Jersey/. Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Marshall Faulk Jersey . "We were left with the overall impression that the team wasnt trending toward being able to compete for a Stanley Cup," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said in a news conference at the clubs arena. "And that was just a clear signal and why it was time to make those changes. Jack Youngblood Jersey . FIFA said in a statement Friday that "several racist and discriminatory incidents were apparently perpetrated by local supporters during the match, in particular by displaying neo-Nazi banners and by making monkey noises and gestures as well as Nazi salutes.PHOENIX -- Andrew McCutchen had plenty to say about being hit by a pitch squarely in the lower middle of his back in the ninth inning with his team up by four runs and runners on second and third. Most of it involved expressing his displeasure about the whole thing and he was wearing a bandage covering the spot where he was hit as he dressed into street clothes after the Pittsburgh Pirates had beaten the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 on Saturday night. In McCutchens mind, and likely those of many who saw what transpired, he was hit by Arizona reliever Randall Delgado on purpose. The count was 2-0 with one out when it happened, and the Pirates All-Star outfielder stayed in the game and eventually scored. The NL MVP was plunked a day after Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri hit Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt in the left hand, causing a fracture that put him on the disabled list. "Sure it did," McCutchen said with a hint of sarcasm when told that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said the pitch from Delgado got away from him. "They had all game to retaliate. They had the first inning to retaliate. They had the first pitch (of the ninth inning at-bat) to retaliate. They missed. You throw a slider on the second pitch and then you throw up and in on the next pitch. Are you trying to hurt me too? Thats the question. "We understand that retaliation is going to happen in this game. But you know, theres a right way to do it," McCutchen added. "If youre going to hit me, hit me. . He hit me square in the spine. If I get hurt, what happens then?" Asked if he thought it was intentional, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle repeated the words "The game takes care of itself." Delgado looked dejected as he walked off the mound, head down, following his ejection for hitting McCutchen. "I was trying to work my corners and unfortunately the ball moved. I think maybe I didnt have control," he said. The Pirates broke the game open late, just as they did the previous night. McCutchen drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single off third baseman Andy Martes glove that keyed a four-run eighth inning to make it 5-1. It was 1-all when Josh Harrison, who had homered earlier, opened the Pittsburgh eighth with an infield hit and Gregory Polanco reached on catchers interference. McCutchens sharp ground ball glanced off Martes glove and into left field, breaking the tie. Arizona reliever Brad Zieglers throwing error later helped the Pirates break away. Brent Morel, inserted into the game at third base in the sixth inning with PPedro Alvarez struggling through an 0-for-3 night, hit an RBI double in the eighth and a two-run single in the ninth.dddddddddddd Harrison is 14 for 31 in his last seven games. Until striking out in the fifth, he had four straight at-bats with an extra-base hit and seven straight hits that went for extra bases. Starters Vance Worley of the Pirates and Chase Anderson of the Diamondbacks both threw six innings and allowed one run. Jared Hughes (6-2) got the win with a scoreless seventh. Ziegler (4-2) took the loss. Frieri came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, but there were no further incidents. David Peralta hit a two-run homer off Frieri. Peralta went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .319 and he drove in all of the Diamondbacks runs with a home run and a single. A double he hit in the third inning hit just below the yellow home run line in centre field. A CATCH FOR CUTCH The Pirates turned what could have been a big inning for the Diamondbacks into nothing thanks to two fine catches from left fielder Travis Snider and centre fielder McCutchen in the second. Snider robbed Didi Gregorious of a hit by diving to catch a line drive, and McCutchen stole a hit from Marte with a sliding catch in shallow right-centre that looked to be a trapped ball. The play was challenged by Gibson but the out call was upheld after a 2-minute, 49-second review. HOT HARRISON Harrison is batting .303 after a 3 for 4 night in which he scored three times. "Trying to have good at-bats and not miss pitches," Harrison said of his recent success. "Getting pitches out over the plate that I can handle and just putting the barrel on it." Hurdle has enjoyed it. "Hes had a knack of getting things going," he said. ON DECK Diamondbacks: Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-8) starts the finale of the four-game series Sunday. He is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh. Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano makes his 19th start of the season. Hes 3-7 with a 3.97 ERA. Opponents are batting only .231 against him this season. TRAINERS ROOM Diamondbacks: Infielder Cliff Pennington and outfielder A.J. Pollock are on rehab assignments and last played in a rookie league game on Thursday. Pirates: Second baseman Neil Walker was a late scratch from Saturdays lineup with back tightness. Harrison, originally Saturdays left fielder, replaced Walker at second base. Outfielder Starling Marte was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. He has been on the concussion disabled list since July 23. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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