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februari 14, 2019 5:04 f m  

IGLS, Austria -- Martins Dukurs of Latvia won his fourth consecutive World Cup skeleton race Saturday, moving closer to the seasonlong points title and remaining eligible for a huge bonus payday. Jermon Bushrod Saints Jersey . Dukurs winning time was 1 minute, 45.76 seconds, a quarter-second better than Russias Alexander Tretiakov. Lativas Tomass Dukurs was third, 1.41 seconds off the pace. Jon Montgomery of Eckville, Alta., who won Olympic gold four years ago, finished seventh in 1:47.67. John Fairbairn of Calgary followed in 13th at 1:47.87 while Eric Neilson of Kelowna, B.C., trailed in 17th at 1:48.01. The U.S. had three sleds in the top eight, with John Daly placing fifth, Matt Antoine finishing sixth and Kyle Tress taking eighth. By posting the fastest time in both heats, Martins Dukurs remained in the running for the FIBT "Triple Crown." If he is again the fastest in both heats in the World Cup season-finale at Konigssee next weekend, just as he also did at St. Moritz a week ago, he would win a bonus of about $135,000. Martins Dukurs also opened up an 80-point lead over Tretiakov in the seasonlong points chase. But Russian sliders are not expected to compete in the World Cup finale, and will head to the Sochi Olympic track for some additional training instead before other nations arrive early next month. That means all Martins Dukurs needs to wrap up no worse than a share of what would be his fifth consecutive overall World Cup title is a 12th-place finish next weekend. And hes finished at least 12th in each of his last 43 World Cup races dating back to early 2009. TreQuan Smith Saints Jersey . Louis Blues just continue to roll -- especially against the Nashville Predators. Cameron Meredith Jersey . - Anthony Beauvillier had the winning goal in the third period as the Shawinigan Cataractes edged the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2-1 on Wednesday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play.HOUSTON - Josh Smith has been a nice addition to the contending Houston Rockets and simply ignores those who credit Detroits recent success to his release.After all, the Rockets have been doing just fine lately, too.The Pistons have gone 11-2 since he was let go in the second season of a four-year, $54 million contract, causing some to throw around the phrase addition by subtraction when discussing their recent turnaround.It didnt upset me, Smith said. People have opinions and talk about things in the media that they dont necessarily personally know anything about. So you really cant let that affect whats going on.The 29-year-old forward still communicates with a number of the Pistons and is pleased to see them doing well after their early season struggles. He added that many of his detractors dont know the true story of what happened in Detroit.They made decisions that they thought was beneficial to their team, he said. I wish them nothing but success, but Im just focusing on what I can do to help this team win games.The negativity certainly hasnt slowed him down with Houston, where hes averaged 10.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 14 games.He started four games early, but acknowledged that he needed more time to adjust to his new team and has thrived since moving into a reserve role, averaging almost 12 points in those games.The Rockets have gone 6-3 in the nine games in which hes come off the bench after starting and they entered Sundays game 28-13 and in second place in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. At this point, he isnt worried about returning to the starting lineup.For right now, this is whats having the team so successful, he said. Im all (for) doing what it takes for us to win. Im willing to do whatever it takes.He called his opportunity in Houston a new beginning, and is feeling much more confident on the court now that hes had some time to adjust.It was veery, very crazy, he said of his first few days with the Rockets. Cameron Meredith Saints Jersey. It was the first time in my career it happened and having to move everything and get myself acclimated to the team was an adventure, but it was also kind of nerve wracking. But everything is starting to smooth itself out.Coach Kevin McHale is pleased that the Rockets were able to add a veteran player of Smiths calibre to a team that already has stars Dwight Howard and NBA leading-scorer James Harden.Josh brings an ability to handle the ball, pass the ball. Hes a good distributor. He breaks people down off the dribble, McHale said. So I think Josh is getting a little more comfortable with what were doing and I think hes going to continue to help us.Smith is happy in Houston where hes been reunited with Howard, a childhood friend and AAU teammate who was the best man in his wedding.This is a guy that Ive known since preschool and for us to be able to play together at the highest level of basketball, its definitely a blessing, Smith said, and were relishing the moment and maximizing our potential as much as possible while were together.And Houstons big man is the first to take up for Smith when it comes to the situation in Detroit, where he was averaging 13.1 points a game before his release.That team is playing pretty good basketball right now, but so are we, Howard said. Hes been a great piece for us and a great addition. You cant really focus on what everybody else is saying, all you can do is control what you do on the floor.Howard is no stranger to criticism himself after his tumultuous season with the Lakers where there were rumblings that he had problems with Kobe Bryant.When you leave somebody, the first thing they want to do is try to figure out all your flaws and try to expose them to the world, Howard said. In this profession, youve got to understand


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