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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-Up: Clippers edge T-Wolves 109-107

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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-Up: Clippers edge T-Wolves 109-107
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

LOS ANGELES --  The Los Angeles Clippers withstood three Minnesota shot attempts on the final possession to hang on for a 109-107 win over the Timberwolves in Los Angeles last night at the Staples Center. 

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Blake Griffin scored 25 points to go with ten rebounds and five assists while Chris Paul added 21 points and 11 helpers.  DeAndre Jordan poured in 14 points and grabbed 11 boards as Los Angeles grabbed its second straight win to move to 5-3.  Kevin Martin had a game-high 30 points for Minnesota while Kevin Love netted 23 points with 19 rebounds and seven assists.  Nikola Pekovic contributed 25 points and ten boards as the Wolves saw a two-game win streak end and fell to 5-3.  Martin's shot attempt to tie the game fell off the rim, Pekovic's putback attempt then bounced away, and Love's late shot sat on the rim and fell off as the buzzer sounded.  Minnesota will host Cleveland tomorrow.

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The University of Minnesota men's basketball team will host Montana tonight at Williams Arena.  Minnesota is 1-0 on the season after Friday's win at home over Lehigh 82-61.  This will be Montana's season opener.  The Grizzlies were in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and are expected to contend for the Big Sky Conference title again this year.  Tip time is 7 p.m. tonight at the Barn.  There are tickets still available for the game.

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University of Minnesota punter Peter Mortell of Green Bay has won Big Ten Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second straight week.  Mortell averaged 46-yards-per-punt on four kicks in Saturday's win over Penn State.  He landed three inside of the 20-yard-line, including two that were downed inside the two-yard-line.  One of his punts was a career-best 62-yards.

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Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is optimistic that he'll be able to play this week.  Ponder suffered a shoulder injury in last Thursday's 34-27 win over Washington.  He says he'll try and practice on Wednesday after going through yesterday's walk-through.  Ponder says the injury is mostly a pain tolerance situation, not one that prevents him from throwing.  The 2-7 Vikings play the 9-1 Seahawks on Sunday in Washington state.

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The Minnesota Wild open up a three-game homestand tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs in St. Paul.  Minnesota will also host Florida and Winnipeg on the homestand.  The Wild have won four of their last five games following a 3-2 shootout victory in Carolina on Saturday.  They are 10-4-4 overall.  The Leafs are 11-6.

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The St. Louis Blues announced yesterday that defenseman Jordan Leopold of Golden Valley will undergo surgery during the week to repair tendon damage in his right hand.  Leopold was injured last week and will be out a minimum of eight weeks before being re-evaluated.  He has two points in 13 appearances this season.  Leopold is a former Golden Gopher star who helped Minnesota win an NCAA title and won the 2002 Hobey Baker Award.

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The University of Minnesota men's and women's hockey teams both remained ranked No. 1 in this week's USCHO.com national polls.  The Golden Gopher men received 38 of a possible 50 first-place votes this week after splitting a weekend series at Notre Dame.  St. Cloud State remained No. 3 and received one first-place vote.  Minnesota-Duluth held steady at No. 20, while Minnesota State-Mankato fell out of the Top 20.  The Gopher women remain undefeated and garnered all 15 first-place votes. 

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Colorado College forward Sam Rothstein of Minnetonka is this week's NCHC Rookie of the Week after helping the Tigers to a tie and a loss to Denver.  He had assists on both nights.  Denver senior Sam Brittain won the Goaltender of the Week honor, along with Miami sophomore Ryan McKay.  Nebraska-Omaha junior Dominic Zombo was the NCHC Offensive Player of the Week and Denver's Joey LaLeggia was the Defensive Player of the Week.

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St. Thomas junior goalie Drew Fielding of Burlington, Ontario is this week's MIAC men's hockey Athlete of the Week.  He led the Tommies to a pair of wins over Saint Mary's last weekend.  Bethel sophomore forward Caroline Kivisto of Dassel is this week's MIAC women's hockey Athlete of the Week after helping the Royals split with No. 6 UW-River Falls.

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Carelton senior Will Corcoran of Mahtomedi is this week's MIAC men's soccer Athlete of the Week.  Saint Benedict senior Colleen Bouchard of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is the women's soccer Athlete of the Week.  Both athletes helped their team to the postseason tournament league championship.

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will conclude this Sunday in South Florida as the Chase concludes at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Jimmie Johnson has a 28-point lead on Matt Kenseth atop the standings.  Johnson can capture his sixth title with a finish of 23rd or better.

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