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Smith’s career night leads Duke past UNC 79-73

DURHAM, N.C. (AP)—Duke’s most hated rival was running the Blue Devils off
their notorious home court, so Mike Krzyzewski gathered them around at halftime
and gave them a locker-room speech.

Not to fire them up. To calm them down.

Nolan Smith scored 22 of his career-high 34 points after halftime, Seth
Curry finished with a season-high 22 and No. 5 Duke rallied from 16 points down
to beat No. 20 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils (22-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 43-27 in the
final minute of the first half and were down 14 at halftime before clamping down
on the Tar Heels, outscoring them 50-30 in the final 20 minutes to match the
second-best halftime rally in school history and keep hold of first place in the
league.

“It wasn’t an X-and-O adjustment. … They were too excited,” Krzyzewski
said. “‘Nuts’ is the word. What are you guys doing? It’s not like, ‘You know,
you guys aren’t playing hard.’ They’re playing hard. … When you go like that,
you’re not coordinated, and it was more to get a coordinated effort on the
offensive and defensive ends.”

Tyler Zeller had 24 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and John Henson
added 14 points for North Carolina (17-6, 7-2), which had its five-game winning
streak snapped and lost for the third straight time in college basketball’s
fiercest rivalry.

“To say it’s extremely disappointing would be an understatement,” North
Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

Kyle Singler finished with 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting for Duke, but hit
three important free throws in the final minute—including two with 25.2
seconds left to make it 75-70 after North Carolina had pulled within one
possession.

Then, after Kendall Marshall hit a free throw to pull the Tar Heels within
four with 17.2 seconds left, Smith beat everybody downcourt and soared for a
breakaway dunk that sealed it, ensuring the Blue Devils would avoid their first
loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in almost two years and sending the storied arena
into delirium.

Duke extended its NCAA-best winning streak at home to 33, and Smith called
this one—and not last April’s victory over Butler for the program’s fourth
national championship—the biggest of his career.

“This comeback win, how tough we were, how together we were and how great
it feels now, I don’t think anything can be better than this,” Smith said.

Smith finished 13 of 23 and surpassed his previous career high of 33 points
set a month ago against UAB. Curry hit two free throws in the final seconds to
push his total past the 20 points he scored Jan. 27 against Boston College.

They teamed to help the Blue Devils deliver a comeback for the ages: Duke
hadn’t erased a halftime deficit that big to win since 1959, when the Blue
Devils beat Navy after trailing by 14 at the break.

“The main thing was, Seth started to get hot and hit a lot of shots,”
Marshall said. “We just weren’t getting around screens and on the shot fakes,
they kept getting us up in the air. It’s just little things like that, that when
you’re ahead, you can’t forget about those things that got you ahead. And they
jumped out on us.”

The Blue Devils were in the unfamiliar position of being dominated at home
when their guards got things rolling in the final seconds of the first half,
with Curry’s jumper at the 5-second mark starting the 18-6 run that made it a
game again.

“We had to come out with a different mindset that we were going to fight,”
Curry said. “In the first half, they just beat us to every ball and every
rebound. We were just running around and weren’t really poised out there. In the
second half, we came out, really calmed down and tried to get it back one
possession at a time.”

Smith’s jumper from the elbow pulled Duke to 49-45 with 14 1/2 minutes left,
about 4 minutes before Curry started the 13-1 run that put the Blue Devils up
for the first time.

Curry reeled off seven quick points in little over a minute before Ryan
Kelly delivered the game’s only lead change. His 3-pointer put Duke up 57-55
with 9:15 left, and Smith’s three-point play roughly a minute later stretched it
to 60-55.

Nobody on North Carolina’s reconstituted roster had ever played in a victory
at Cameron—a 180-degree reversal from Feb. 11, 2009, when Tyler Hansbrough and
Danny Green won for the fourth time in four trips to Duke while handing the Blue
Devils their most recent loss at home.

North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes, who said he took his official
recruiting visit to Duke for that game, finished with nine points on 3-of-8
shooting to snap a run of seven straight double-figure games while hearing it
all night from the Cameron Crazies. Marshall, who took over at point guard
following the abrupt departure last week of Larry Drew II, had six assists and
one turnover, but was just 3 of 11 from the field.

Still, for essentially the entire first 20 minutes of this one, it was North
Carolina that was in complete command.

The Tar Heels never trailed during the first half, reeled off the first
eight points and methodically stretched their lead to 16 on Zeller’s stickback
1:10 before the break. They did it largely by outworking the Blue Devils—
beating them downcourt with regularity, with the big men dominating the paint.
By halftime, Zeller had 13 points and nine rebounds while Henson added 10
points.

“We just lost mental focus on the things we’re supposed to do, especially
with them boxing out and holding them to one shot,” Henson said. “And that
really catapulted them back in the game. So we’ve got to learn from this. It
hurts so much because we had them by the neck and we let them get back in it.”

Continue reading here: Smith’s career night leads Duke past UNC 79-73

Smith’s career-high 34 help Duke rally past UNC

CBSSports.com wire reports
Feb. 9, 2011

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke’s most hated rival was running the Blue Devils off their notorious home court, so Mike Krzyzewski gathered them around at halftime and gave them a locker-room speech.

Not to fire them up. To calm them down.

Nolan Smith scored 22 of his career-high 34 points after halftime, Seth Curry finished with a season-high 22 and No. 5 Duke rallied from 16 points down to beat No. 20 North Carolina 79-73 on Wednesday night.

The Blue Devils (22-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 43-27 in the final minute of the first half and were down 14 at halftime before clamping down on the Tar Heels, outscoring them 50-30 in the final 20 minutes to match the second-best halftime rally in school history and keep hold of first place in the league.

“It wasn’t an X-and-O adjustment. … They were too excited,” Krzyzewski said. “‘Nuts’ is the word. What are you guys doing? It’s not like, ‘You know, you guys aren’t playing hard.’ They’re playing hard. … When you go like that, you’re not coordinated, and it was more to get a coordinated effort on the offensive and defensive ends.”

Tyler Zeller had 24 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and John Henson added 14 points for North Carolina (17-6, 7-2), which had its five-game winning streak snapped and lost for the third straight time in college basketball’s fiercest rivalry.

“To say it’s extremely disappointing would be an understatement,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

Kyle Singler finished with 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting for Duke, but hit three important free throws in the final minute — including two with 25.2 seconds left to make it 75-70 after North Carolina had pulled within one possession.

Then, after Kendall Marshall hit a free throw to pull the Tar Heels within four with 17.2 seconds left, Smith beat everybody downcourt and soared for a breakaway dunk that sealed it, ensuring the Blue Devils would avoid their first loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium in almost two years and sending the storied arena into delirium.

Duke extended its NCAA-best winning streak at home to 33, and Smith called this one — and not last April’s victory over Butler for the program’s fourth national championship — the biggest of his career.

“This comeback win, how tough we were, how together we were and how great it feels now, I don’t think anything can be better than this,” Smith said.

Smith finished 13 of 23 and surpassed his previous career high of 33 points set a month ago against UAB. Curry hit two free throws in the final seconds to push his total past the 20 points he scored Jan. 27 against Boston College.

They teamed to help the Blue Devils deliver a comeback for the ages: Duke hadn’t erased a halftime deficit that big to win since 1959, when the Blue Devils beat Navy after trailing by 14 at the break.

“The main thing was, Seth started to get hot and hit a lot of shots,” Marshall said. “We just weren’t getting around screens and on the shot fakes, they kept getting us up in the air. It’s just little things like that, that when you’re ahead, you can’t forget about those things that got you ahead. And they jumped out on us.”

The Blue Devils were in the unfamiliar position of being dominated at home when their guards got things rolling in the final seconds of the first half, with Curry’s jumper at the 5-second mark starting the 18-6 run that made it a game again.

“We had to come out with a different mindset that we were going to fight,” Curry said. “In the first half, they just beat us to every ball and every rebound. We were just running around and weren’t really poised out there. In the second half, we came out, really calmed down and tried to get it back one possession at a time.”

Smith’s jumper from the elbow pulled Duke to 49-45 with 14½ minutes left, about 4 minutes before Curry started the 13-1 run that put the Blue Devils up for the first time.

Curry reeled off seven quick points in little over a minute before Ryan Kelly delivered the game’s only lead change. His 3-pointer put Duke up 57-55 with 9:15 left, and Smith’s three-point play roughly a minute later stretched it to 60-55.

Nobody on North Carolina’s reconstituted roster had ever played in a victory at Cameron – a 180-degree reversal from Feb. 11, 2009, when Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green won for the fourth time in four trips to Duke while handing the Blue Devils their most recent loss at home.

North Carolina freshman Harrison Barnes, who said he took his official recruiting visit to Duke for that game, finished with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting to snap a run of seven straight double-figure games while hearing it all night from the Cameron Crazies. Marshall, who took over at point guard following the abrupt departure last week of Larry Drew II, had six assists and one turnover, but was just 3 of 11 from the field.

Still, for essentially the entire first 20 minutes of this one, it was North Carolina that was in complete command.

The Tar Heels never trailed during the first half, reeled off the first eight points and methodically stretched their lead to 16 on Zeller’s stickback 1:10 before the break. They did it largely by outworking the Blue Devils – beating them downcourt with regularity, with the big men dominating the paint. By halftime, Zeller had 13 points and nine rebounds while Henson added 10 points.

“We just lost mental focus on the things we’re supposed to do, especially with them boxing out and holding them to one shot,” Henson said. “And that really catapulted them back in the game. So we’ve got to learn from this. It hurts so much because we had them by the neck and we let them get back in it.”

Continue reading here: Smith’s career-high 34 help Duke rally past UNC

Stars fall in OT, winless streak hits four – ESPN (blog)

The Dallas Stars winless streak hit four games (0-3-1) as they fell 3-2 in overtime to the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night at American Airlines Center. Radim Vrbata scored 1:13 into overtime to give Phoenix the victory. The Stars got goals from Steve Ott and Brad Richards, who also had an assist in the game. Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 34 shots.

Quotable

“We lost on a power play goal in overtime and they made a real good play. We’d like to kill off everything, but we end up having to focus on positives tonight. We did get a point we desperately needed. And I thought we had some really good efforts. – Stars coach Marc Crawford

“We’ve got to stay positive, stay together, keep plugging away and find a way here. We can’t start hanging our heads now. We’ve got to stay positive and keep working.” – Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman

Notes

*The Stars fell to 5-6-2 in games against the Pacific Division this season.

*The Stars are now 8-6 in games that have gone beyond regulation, including 4-2 in games settled in the five minute overtime. They are 4-4 in shootouts.

*The Stars gave up two power play goals Wednesday. It was the third time in the last six games they’ve surrendered two more power play goals.

*The Stars were 0-1 on the power play and are now 1-22 on the PP over their last seven games.

*Stars center Brad Richards had one goal and one assist, giving him 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in the last 12 games. He also hit the 700 point mark for his career.

First period

The Stars opened the scoring at 10:48 of the first when Brad Richards sent a slick no-look pass from behind the net to Steve Ott, who scored from the left faceoff circle.

The Coyotes bounced back with a power play goal late in the period. After the Stars missed on a chance to clear the zone, Michal Rozsival scored off a rebound with 1:38 left in the period to tie the game 1-1.

Stars forward James Neal, who was listed as doubtful, is in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes at American Airlines Center.

The Stars are dressing 12 forwards and 6 defensemen. Matt Niskanen will be the healthy scratch among the defensemen.

Second period

The Stars took a 2-1 lead 5:56 into the second period. Just after coming out of the penalty box, Nicklas Grossman got the puck, drove the net, put a shot on Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and Brad Richards scored on the rebound. The play did go to video review to see if crossed the line and it was ruled a good goal.

Third period

The Coyotes tied the game 5:37 into the third period. Mikkel Boedker skated into the Dallas zone, passed the puck to Ray Whitney, took a return pass from Whitney and scored from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.

Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen came up with a big save on Shane Doan’s bid from the slot with 5:49 left in the game to keep it a 2-2 game.

The Coyotes went on a power play with 18.8 seconds remaining in regulation and it carried over into overtime.

Overtime

The Coyotes had 1:41 of power play time left to open overtime and scored 1:13 into the extra session when Radim Vrbata scored off a shot from the slot to give Phoenix a 3-2 overtime win.

Stars lineup

Neal-Richards-Eriksson

Morrow-Ribeiro-Langenbrunner

Ott-Wandell-Vincour

Wathier-Gagnon-Sutherby

Grossman-Robidas

Woywitka-Daley

Skrastins-Fistric

Lehtonen

Raycroft (backup)

Scratches: Niskanen

Injured: Burish (face), Barch (face), Benn (shoulder), Petersen (leg), Sawada (shoulder)

Power play units

Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson-Richards-Robidas

Neal-Ott-Langenbrunner-Woywitka-Daley

Penalty kill units

Ott-Eriksson-Skrastins-Robidas

Ribeiro-Morrow-Skrastins-Robidas

Ott-Langenbrunner-Grossman-Daley

Continue reading here: Stars fall in OT, winless streak hits four – ESPN (blog)

Young scores 26 as Wizards halt eight-game skid

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall took a jet-setter’s trip to Lexington, Ky., and brought home some of that UK winning magic.
Nick Young got all flashy with a pair of highlight dunks, and JaVale McGee got the better of his head-to-head with Andrew
Bogut.

The
Washington Wizards
were finally winners again Wednesday night, snapping an eight-game skid with a 100-85 victory over the
Milwaukee Bucks
.

Wall had 15 points, six assists and seven rebounds one night after returning to his old school to watch Kentucky beat Tennessee.
Wall left Washington after Tuesday’s practice, sat courtside, got a standing ovation, spoke to the Wildcats in the locker
room, flew back home and tucked himself in at his usual wee-hours time.

“Seeing them play hard and seeing them win might have brought some excitement for me today,” Wall said. “I usually go to bed
about 2 or 3 (a.m.). I know some people were probably concerned and saying I might be tired or I shouldn’t have went to the
game, but I think I got back at a reasonable time. That’s the time I usually go to sleep. I took me a nap today. That’s the
thing I usually do.”

Young scored 26 points, McGee had 16 points and 17 rebounds, and Cartier Martin hit a career-high five 3-pointers and finished
with 15 points. The Wizards took the lead 5 minutes into the game and never lost it, leading by double digits for nearly the
entire second half.

The win kept Washington with a winning record at home (14-12), a welcome contrast to the team’s 0-25 mark on the road. The
Wizards have one more game in the homestand before they put their dubious streak on the line in a much-anticipated – at least
from a painful-to-watch standpoint – visit to last-place Cleveland on Sunday.

“We really need these wins,” McGee said, “so we can go on the road and get some wins, too.”

Young had a flying one-handed baseline dunk in the first half and scored 11 points in the 16-4 run that gave the Wizards a
20-point lead early in the third quarter. Among the highlights: Young picked off a pass, tossed the ball to Wall, then received
an alley-opp pass back from the rookie to finish off the fast break with another one-handed jam.

So which was his favorite?

“I’m going to say the flying one-hand,” Young said. “I haven’t done one of the those in a while.”

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to lead the Bucks, who have lost five of six and fell 2 1/2 games behind the eighth and
final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee was hoping to build some momentum after a home win over Toronto on
Tuesday, but, as coach Scott Skiles said before the game: “We haven’t done a good enough job this year of beating teams around
or below our own record.”

“We needed this win tonight. It’s important for us to beat these teams that we’re capable of beating,” said Corey Maggette,
who scored 10 points. “We took a step back.”

McGee had his first double-double since Jan. 24, pulling down more rebounds than in his last four games combined (12) and
getting in the last word against Bogut. Bogut scored eight of Milwaukee’s first 10 points, but didn’t score again until 2
1/2 minutes to play in the game.

The Bucks were also outrebounded 51-39 and made only 5 of 12 free throws.

“They pretty much dominated us all over the floor,” Skiles said. “They outrebounded us. They went 10 for 16 from three. We
couldn’t get to the line. When we did, we couldn’t make our free throws. We tried to hang in there, but we just couldn’t.”

The Bucks are finally getting healthy after a season filled with injuries, but it’s going to take a while before everyone’s
back to form.

“I’m still struggling with my outside shot – no legs, a little bit – but just trying to get to the basket to do what I can,”
said Jennings, who was only 1 for 6 from 3-point range in his seventh game back from a broken foot.

Meanwhile, the Wizards were having fun, despite being undermanned in the frontcourt. Even guard Kirk Hinrich had a rare highlight
block, rejecting John Salmons’ drive into the seats. Hinrich has only seven blocks on the season.

The Wizards dressed only 10 players, and all the missing notables were forwards: Al Thornton (dislocated right middle finger),
Yi Jianlian (sprained left ankle) and Josh Howard (sore left knee). In addition Rashard Lewis played with stiffness in his
right knee and scored only three points in 29 minutes.

Several Washington played credited the win to a feisty attitude recently at practice.

“It’s been very competitive, a lot of guys getting into arguments, really just competing,” McGee said.

So who wins the arguments?

“Whoever’s right.”

Notes: Milwaukee F Chris Douglas-Roberts was suffering from an illness and did not play until the final 1:10. … Bucks F-C
Larry Sanders sat out with back spasms.

Continue reading here: Young scores 26 as Wizards halt eight-game skid


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