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BOSTON - Every night for the last three weeks, Jeremy Abbott had the same nightmare. Hed implode in the short program of the U.S. Championships, buried in seventh place with an Olympic berth out of reach. "I would wake up crying, and it was just horrifying," he said. The reality Friday was nothing like that. A spotless performance set a U.S. record with 99.86 points in his final nationals before retiring. "I wouldnt say it was a dream, because I was very in it," Abbott said. "I was very focused and very aware of what I was doing the entire program. I think thats why it was as good as it was." The three-time U.S. champ leads Richard Dornbush by 7.82 points heading into Sundays free skate. "Honestly, I have much more confidence in the long program than I do in the short program," Abbott said. The only time he came close to falling was when he nearly tumbled during his celebration afterward. The three jumps were perfect, his footwork exuberant. Hes dazzled like this before at U.S. Championships, but there have been few of these moments since his last title two years ago. Abbott often struggled as he overhauled his training program. "When things didnt work at competition, I believed in what weve done," he said. "And I just kept plugging at it, and it paid off tonight." Usually he bubbles with energy in the lead-up to nationals, his favourite event. The 28-year-old Abbott felt strangely nonchalant this year until the day before he headed to Boston. "I just realized that I was leaving and this was the last one," Abbott said. "I had this flood of emotion and excitement and fear and dread and passion and everything. Since Ive been here, its been really joyous." World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White felt the same way earlier Friday in their short dance. The 2010 Olympic silver medallists are well on their way to a sixth straight U.S. title. Skating to selections from "My Fair Lady," Davis and White broke their own record with 80.69 points to build more than a seven-point lead on Madison Chock and Evan Bates. Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani were third; three teams will go to Sochi. The free dance is Saturday. "This is the first time we felt comfortable enough to let things happen naturally," Davis said. "This is the fifth time were competing the program. With this program, its all about being comfortable enough to let things happen naturally, and when you reach a point where it can be just fun, thats what we really enjoy about skating." Abbott has enjoyed U.S. Championships far more than major international competitions in his career. He beat Evan Lysacek at the 2010 nationals before the last Olympics, only to finish ninth when his countryman captured gold in Vancouver. Abbott held the previous U.S. mark for a short program, 90.23 at the 2012 nationals. Dornbush, 22, has struggled since coming in second in 2011 and didnt even compete in the Grand Prix series this season. Only the second skater of the night, he was spectacular from the get-go Friday, landing a perfect quad and triple axel that had the fans entranced. By the time his 2 1/2-minute program was done, the crowd was on its feet, Dornbush was on his knees throwing an imaginary punch through the air and celebrating a career best. "Im not sure any thoughts went through my head," he said. "I was pretty excited, pretty pumped." Jason Brown was in third after a smokin skate to Princes "The Question of U." He even wore a black and purple costume embellished with rhinestones around his neck and down his back and side, plus Princes "love symbol" on the back. He nailed a triple axel and a triple flip-triple toe loop with gorgeous flow to open the program. Brown, who just turned 19, added a lutz with both hands above his head, footwork that meshed with every element and with every nuance of the music, and speedy spins that had the crowd roaring. "I think the whole season has pushed every guy to just really push themselves to their limits because anything is possible at this event," he said. Defending champion Max Aaron was fourth, one of five skaters to land a clean quad. The U.S. will send two men to Sochi. Abbott knows exactly what stands between him and a shot at Olympic redemption: eight jumping passes, 13 jumps, three spins and two series of footwork. "That was just fun," he said. "I love to figure skate. When you hit all the technical stuff and you do all the athletic part, thats when you can really enjoy the performance." ___ AP Sports Writers Barry Wilner and Jimmy Golen contributed to this report. MBaye Niang Jersey . - The New Orleans Saints have re-signed receiver Joseph Morgan for one year and have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent fullback Erik Lorig. Jose Sosa Jersey .com) - Sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez was a first-round winner on Monday at the Delray Beach Open tennis event. http://www.acmilansoccershop.com/c-18-l ... ersey.aspx. The New York Rangers centre had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators ending a 13-game goal-scoring drought. Matias Fernandez Jersey .A. Happ capped a challenging season with one of his best efforts of the year. Franck Kessie Jersey .com) - Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has been selected as the NHLs Rookie of the Month for December, the league announced Friday. SAN ANTONIO -- The Chicago Bulls took advantage of the injury-riddled San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. Jimmy Butler had 19 points and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Bulls handed the Spurs their third straight loss, 96-86. "It was huge," Butler said. "Its big to come in here and get a win on the road." Tony Parker had 20 points and Tim Duncan had 17 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which hadnt lost back-to-back games until this current skid. The Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter, who were all out due to injuries. Ginobili joined San Antonios growing injury list Tuesday night, straining his left hamstring against Houston after throwing down a one-handed dunk. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismissed any talk of fatigue. "I dont care, thats just an excuse," Popovich said. "Everybody tried as hard as they could. I dont know how to measure fatigue. Just go play. We try to watch peoples minutes and that kind of thing. "It doesnt matter whos hurt, or what your schedule is, or anything like that. You go play. Nobody cares. All that matters is the win or the loss. We lost or defensive consistency and they went up." The Bulls can certainly relate after losing All-Star point guard Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury. The Bulls have attempted to step up collectively since the injury and that depth led them to their 10th road victory of the season. Chicago had seven players score in double figures, with D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson adding 15 points each and Joakim Noah had 10 points and 10 rebounds. "We have a roster full of NBA players just like everybody else," Butler said. "A lot of people sleep on us, but we have a really talented group of guys that do so many things well. When we play together and just as hard as we can, I think we can win a lot of games." With four players missing from their main rotation, the Spurs turned to their depth with less effectiveness. Nando De Colo and newly signed Othyus Jeffers, who both played in the D League, both started for the first time this season. Jeffers brought hustle and De Colo another distributor, but neither brought much offence. Jeffers failed to score, going 0 for 1 from the field, and De Colo had eight points. It led to a disjointed and inconsistent offence for San Antonio. The Spurs had 19 turnovers and only 16 assists on their 33 field goals. "Its tough to keep a rhythm," Duncan said. "With a lot of our guys out, our consistency just isnt there on both ends. We cant sustain for the periods of time that we need to.dddddddddddd "But at various points throughout the game were where we want to be. And then we go through lulls where defence or offence cant get it done." San Antonio went scoreless for nearly five minutes as part of Chicagos 12-5 run to close the first quarter. It could have been worse, but Patty Mills made a 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining to keep the Spurs within 21-15. San Antonio responded with a 17-3 run to take a 27-24 lead. Chicago scored just seven points in 10 minutes bridging the first and second quarters, turning a 21-12 lead into a 36-28 deficit. But the second half belonged to the Bulls and Butler. "Its just tough right now," Parker said. "Back to back, it felt like we had no energy. We didnt make shots in the first half. We had some pretty good looks in the first half; open 3s. They just didnt go in and we just try to fight through it. We tried to get some energy in the second half, but they played better than us." Butler was 7 for 11 from the field as the Spurs had no answer for the athletic forward. "Jimmy was terrific," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said, "with his defence and then turned that defence into offence, which was a big plus for us." Not having to guard Ginobili, Leonard or Green on the wings allowed Butler to defend Parker and the other Spurs guards. Parker finished 8 for 17 with six assists in 34 minutes. "Its a challenge (defending Parker)," Butler said. "He can do so many things well, but whenever I was beat, I had Taj (Gibson), (Nazr) Mohammed, Jo (Noah) or Booz (Boozer) to alter his shot or make him go a different direction." NOTES: Green (fractured left index finger), Leonard (fractured right fourth metacarpal) and Splitter (sprained right shoulder) all sat behind the bench during the game, all wearing sport coats with no ties. Ginobili was not with the team. ... Noah (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (right hamstring) both played after being game-time decisions due to injury. ... Jeffers endeared himself to the fans and Spurs quickly, diving onto court twice on the same possession for a loose ball, earning a jump ball. ... Noah was given a technical foul with 5:02 remaining in the third by official Josh Tiven. As he ran back defensively, Noah punched the air in disgust after missing a layup he thought was caused by a foul on Duncan. ... When asked how the Spurs will handle the rash of recent injuries, coach Gregg Popovich said he didnt want to be a smart-(aleck) but ... "You play the guys on the bench. We cant play the guys on the other team. I know that." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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