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horse jumping show sends angry bobcats on road for final 4 games


horse jumping show sends angry bobcats on road for final 4 games
CHARLOTTE, N.C. | Gerald Wallace called it "poor management." It irks coach Larry Brown, too.

As the Charlotte Bobcats cling to slim playoff hopes, they loaded into a plane on Thursday to become the first NBA team in 12 years to close the season on a four-game road trip.

Blame it on a horse jumping show that has their home arena covered in dirt - and the NBA schedule maker. The Bobcats have their arena occupied by the Charlotte Jumper Classic this weekend. It's a pet project of owner Bob Johnson, whose daughter competes in the event.

"That comes from upstairs from the organization, as much as you hate to say it," said Wallace, Charlotte's top scorer.

Trailing Chicago and Detroit by three games, the only way for Charlotte to make the postseason would be to sweep games at Oklahoma City, Chicago, New Jersey and Orlando and hope the Bulls finish 1-3 or the Pistons 0-4.

The Bobcats' 12-25 road record makes it even more daunting.

According to STATS LLC, Charlotte is the first team since the 1996-97 Toronto Raptors to close with four straight on the road.

IN OTHER NBA NEWS

Lakers coach Phil Jackson will skip tonight's game at Portland because of pain and swelling in his lower right leg.

The Hornets have decided to take advantage of an NBA loan program despite having by far their best season at the ticket office since moving to New Orleans in 2002.

Chicago's Luol Deng likely will miss the rest of the season because of a stress fracture in the power forward's right tibia, unless the Bulls make a long playoff run.

nfl

Buffalo tailback benched 3 games

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. | Bills running back Marshawn Lynch will miss the first three games of the regular season after being suspended without pay by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The NFL announced the suspension a month after Lynch pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles. It was the player's second run-in with the law, following a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo in May.

Lynch apologized, and anticipated he'd be suspended after meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month.

va. judge acquits former Steeler

ALEXANDRIA | A Virginia judge has acquitted former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jonathan Dekker on an obstruction of justice charge.

The charge stemmed from an incident in Alexandria's Old Town a week before the Super Bowl, when Dekker fled from police and then gave officers a false name.

A judge ruled that Dekker's actions did not warrant the obstruction of justice charge. Dekker was facing up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

hockey

Fenway targeted for Winter Classic

BOSTON | The Boston Red Sox are in discussions with the NHL to hold the next Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

In previous years, the outdoor game has been played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the Buffalo Bills, and the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field.

IN OTHER HOCKEY NEWS

Natalie Darwitz and Hilary Knight each scored hat tricks to lead the defending champion United States past Finland 7-0 in Hameelinna, Finland, to reach the women's world championship final.

Miami of Ohio beat Bemidji (Minn.) State 4-1 and Boston University beat Vermont 5-4 to reach Saturday's NCAA hockey championship game in Washington, D.C.

Baseball

Mariners star shines in rehab

PEORIA, Ariz. | Ichiro Suzuki went 7 for 10 in an extended spring training game, his first action since a bleeding ulcer sidelined the Seattle outfielder.

Playing against minor leaguers in an intrasquad game, he purposely avoided sliding while getting thrown out at home. He was put on the disabled list Friday for the first time in his career.

The 35-year-old remains on track to be activated from the DL on Wednesday, before the Mariners' second home game of the season.

IN OTHER Baseball NEWS

The MLB Network is adding a package of Saturday games to its schedule, doubling the total of live broadcasts in its first season to 52.

college basketball

Div. ii school hires ex-arizona coach

PHOENIX | Former Arizona coach Russ Pennell has been hired as the men's basketball coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Pennell led the Wildcats to a 21-14 record and their 25th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance while serving as interim coach this season. He took over when Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson retired for health reasons.

The private Christian university competes at the NCAA Division II level, but plans to build a 6,000-seat arena and move to Division I.

IN OTHER COLLEGE NEWS

Buzz Peterson, the Charlotte Bobcats' director of player personnel, turned down the coaching job at Appalachian State. Peterson was 79-39 in four seasons with the Mountaineers before leaving in 2000 for Tulsa.

Stephen Curry, the nation's leading scorer, is still undecided on whether to leave Davidson for the NBA. His father, former Virginia Tech star Dell Curry, said a decision could come next week.

President Obama called UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma to congratulate him on the Huskies' NCAA title and invite the team to the White House.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

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