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LAM Aug 14
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Germany coach Joachim Loew is drawing on the experience of routing World Cup host Brazil 7-1 two years ago as he prepares for Thursdays European Championship semifinal against France. Dwight Howard Jersey .Germany went on to win the 2014 World Cup after embarrassing Brazil in the semifinal in Belo Horizonte and Loew is clearly relishing the adversity of facing another host nation bidding to reach the final.Super, when its like this. No really, its a motivation, Loew said from his teams tournament base on Monday. In Brazil, I think it was exactly the same for the semifinal. The whole land of 200 million was standing behind this team. But we came through fine and now well come through fine.Expectations in France are surging after the side impressed in defeating Iceland 5-2 on Sunday to reach the semifinal.Loew said the home side will have fanatical support behind them in Marseille and that the team will be high on confidence after growing into the tournament by scoring decisive goals late in games.Two teams with outstanding individuals are playing, teams with a clear mindset, said Loew, who had identified France as one of the main favorites before the tournament.They are different from the Italians, not quite so defensive. They have strong players going forward, (Paul) Pogba from midfield, (Blaise) Matuidi. So its a game of two teams at eye-level. Its super that there are such games. I love these knockout games against such strong opponents.Of Frances three major titles, two were won on home soil -- the European Championship in 1984 and World Cup in 1998. France followed up by winning Euro 2000 as world champion, a feat Germany is now trying to match despite the absence of several key players for Thursdays match.Midfielder Sami Khedira is out with a left groin injury and fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is doubtful after taking a knock to his right knee in Saturdays quarterfinal win over Italy.That 6-5 win on penalties came at a cost for Loews side. Striker Mario Gomez was ruled out for the rest of the tournament after tearing a muscle in his right thigh, while defender Mats Hummels was booked and will be suspended against France.The unfortunate Gomez, who missed the World Cup win through injury-induced poor form, celebrates his 31st birthday on the day of the final.Borussia Dortmunds Julian Weigl or Liverpools Emre Can could step in if Schweinsteiger, whose season was disrupted by two serious injuries to the same knee, doesnt recover in time.Well have to find solutions, said Loew, who added that the win over Italy had taken a physical and mental toll on his side.Mario Goetze could return for Gomez, or Thomas Mueller could move inside to lead the line despite his puzzling failure to score in 10 games over two European Championships. Mueller even missed a penalty in the shootout against Italy.Loew said he wasnt worried about the forward who contributed nine of Germanys 24 goals in qualifying.The penalty would have done him good, but I know Thomas for a long time and he doesnt let such things get to him. He says the important thing is that the team wins and he runs a huge amount for the team. Ive the feeling that hell score when it really matters.Loew has helped Germany to reach six consecutive semifinals at major tournaments. Now the task is to reach a second successive final.We have respect for the French, but we know what we have to do, regardless of our personnel issues. Im looking forward to the game like I was against Italy, Loew said. Tracy Mcgrady Jersey . MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also will attend the session, which was announced Monday. The league has discussed placing its next two expansion teams in Miami and Atlanta. Vince Carter Magic Jersey . Dallas hasnt ruled out the star quarterback for Sunday nights game against Philadelphia, but all signs point to Romos back injury pushing Kyle Orton into the starting role after two years of limited play as the backup. Surely Ortons name isnt the first that comes to mind for fans wanting a change after years of damaging interceptions, fumbles or, most infamously, the field goal flub when Romo dropped the snap on a kick that could have won his first playoff game in 2006. http://www.magicauthentic.com/kids-nikola-vucevic-magic-jersey/ . Malkin got tangled up with Detroits Luke Glendening early in the third period and his left skate took the brunt of collision with the boards behind Pittsburghs net. Preseason statistics often can be misleading.That might not be the case with James Harden right now.After three preseason games, Harden has three points-assists double-doubles -- the most recent one Sunday in Shanghai, when he had 26 points and 15 assists to help the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-117 in an NBA Global Games matchup.Were treating every game of preseason like the regular season in order to build good habits, Harden said. We dont take the preseason lightlyClearly not.The Rockets are 3-0 in exhibitions so far this fall, scoring 131, 130 and now 123 points in those games. Harden is averaging 23.3 points and 12 assists in those three games.And fans in China, where the Rockets are enormously popular anyway -- thanks in large part to Yao Ming -- have taken to Harden as well, with many sporting fake beards on Sunday to mimic his look.Great atmosphere, Harden said.Theyll be seeing even more NBA in China this season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Sunday an expansion of the NBAs partnership with BesTV, one thaat will see up to 1,300 games per season broadcast in China. Penny Hardaway Jersey. Its a multimedia partnership that brings the very best in television and technology to the NBA in China, Silver said.---ROCKETS 123, PELICANS 117SHANGHAI -- Houston made 16 3-pointers, with Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson combining to make 9 of 17 from beyond the arc.ETwaun Moore led New Orleans with 25 points, going 4-for-4 from long range.PELICANS: Anthony Davis scored 23 points and Omer Asik had 14 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans. ... First-round pick Buddy Hield had 14 points, and Tim Frazier finished with nine assists.ROCKETS: Gordon scored 24 and Anderson added 21 for Houston. ... The Rockets committed 33 fouls, three more than the Pelicans in a game where the teams combined to shoot 71 free throws.UP NEXT: The Rockets (3-0) and the Pelicans (1-2) play again on Wednesday, with that installment of the NBA Global Games set for Beijing. ' ' '