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MINNEAPOLIS -- Alana Beard the businesswoman will be opening a Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia, on Oct. Air Max 95 On Sale . 22 with her good friend, Indiana guard Marissa Coleman.But Beard the basketball player is still hard at work at her hoops job too. On Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals at the Target Center, she made the kind of defensive plays we expect from her, with those Inspector Gadget-like long arms and the quick hands that have flummoxed so many foes.But she made something else that wasnt so expected: a jump shot at the buzzer, which gave Los Angeles a 78-76 victory over Minnesota.Obviously, you want the ball in certain peoples hands, Beard said of the game-ending possession, though she wasnt referring to herself. Then it came to my side, and you gotta take the shot. Theres no time for a pass in that situation.The reality is, the Lynx actually preferred Beard take the shot, if anyone did. Shes not the scorer she once was, and thats not her primary role with the Sparks.Los Angeles needs her defensively and as an emotional leader for the team.She brings so much, said Sparks forward Nneka Ogumike, who was the WNBAs MVP this season. Shes a big part of the glue to this team, on and off the court. For her to have a moment like that is special for her career. Its something shell remember, and well remember.But it also goes to show that she is always in the moment. Thats just how she always is, and she capitalized on it.Beard, 34, is the second-oldest player for the Sparks. She was part of what proved to be a talented WNBA draft class of 2004. Three other players from that draft are playing in this series, all with Minnesota: Lindsay Whalen, Rebekkah Brunson and Jia Perkins. Phoenixs Diana Taurasi was the No. 1 pick that season, followed by Beard at No. 2 by Washington.Beard played her first six seasons with the Mystics, and she was a pretty big scorer then, averaging 16.2 points for her Washington career. But severe ankle problems sidelined Beard for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Even then, the Duke grad was planning her eventual business career, and she knew she could survive without basketball.She just wasnt ready to do that at that point.Its the love that I have for the game, Beard said about what pushed her to recover and keep playing. But I think one huge motivation was when a doctor told me that I would never play again. And another was the Mystics believing I would never play again.I kept going. It was hard at times; Im not going to lie. But you just never know where life will take you, and Ive developed a mindset of staying open to anything.When Beard went cross-country to join the Sparks in 2012, she understood her role would change in regard to offense. But she has remained a fierce and feared defender, along with being a mentor for younger players.Nobody wants to be guarded by her, teammate Kristi Toliver said. Luckily, shes always on my team in practice.Beard dealt with plantar fasciitis last year and was limited to 14 games in the regular season. But this year, she has started every game and been an invaluable resource to second-year guard Chelsea Gray, who also went to Duke.Beard and Gray, who turned 24 on Saturday, played a decade apart for the Blue Devils and for different coaches. But Beard reached out while Gray was still in college, including giving her encouragement when Gray went through knee injuries that hampered her Duke career.She emailed me and we texted a few times then, said Gray, who was drafted by Connecticut in 2015 but came to Los Angeles in an April trade. And from the first day I was here, she was in my ear and was happy I was with the Sparks.Gray has become a more important part of the Los Angeles offense, especially in the past month. She played 30 minutes on Sunday off the bench, scoring 12 points. But it was the last of her four assists that will stand out.The Sparks and Lynx had been battling all game, just as expected. In the fourth quarter, Los Angeles made some very big defensive stops, including two consecutive forced turnovers by Beard on a blocked shot and a steal in the last 2 minutes, 20 seconds of the game.After a layup by Minnesotas Maya Moore with 24.7 seconds left tied the score at 76, the Sparks put the ball in Grays hands to orchestrate the final shot. The top option was Toliver, who finished tied with Ogwumike with a game-high 19 points. The Lynx defense had that covered, though, and Gray was left with one choice: passing to Beard on the right side, in front of the Sparks bench, and just inside the arc.Moore left Beard alone to help on defense, which was understandable when you consider the Sparks other scoring threats. Moore adjusted and tried to contest Beards shot. But Beard swished it, and she fell down after she followed through, soon to be covered with overjoyed teammates.Womens basketball fans might go back in their memory vaults to a somewhat similar shot that Beards Duke teammate Jessica Foley hit to beat UConn in Hartford, Connecticut, during Beards senior season in 2004. That one was a 3-pointer, but a lot else about Sundays shot was the same, including Foley falling down as the ball went through the net.I was probably the first one to get to her, Beard said of that celebration. In this case, Chelsea was the first one to get to me.Beard has been a pro basketball player for 13 years, counting her injured period, but this is her first time appearing in the WNBA Finals. She knows that the Sparks still have a lot of work to do to try to win the title, but shes grateful to at least have the chance.Im happy to be healthy now, Beard said. This is the best Ive felt in maybe five or six years, and you can see it with the way I move. That last shot, that play, is a great example of who weve been all season, just the resilience. These are the moments you kind of live for. Cheap Air Max 95 Mens . Carey Price didnt, but he still came out on top against one of his rivals for the No. 1 job at the Sochi Games. The Anahim Lake, B.C., native was stellar in making 39 saves in his home province and Lars Eller got credit for a bizarre short-handed winner as the Canadiens defeated the Canucks 4-1. Air Max 95 Trainers Sale . Jeff Green scored 13 points and Kris Humphries 12 for the Celtics, who nearly blew an 18-point, second-half lead. Sullingers 20-20 was the first by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnetts first game in Boston in 2007. Garnett was dealt -- along with Paul Pierce -- to Brooklyn during the off-season. . In the response filed Wednesday to the complaint by 30-year-old Alexander Bradley, attorneys say the former University of Florida player is invoking his Fifth Amendment right that protects people from incriminating themselves. NEW ORLEANS -- Pierre Thomas described witnessing the April 9 death of his friend and former New Orleans Saints teammate Will Smith on Wednesday, as testimony continued in the murder trial of Cardell Hayes, the man who shot Smith.I stood there in shock, telling myself, That didnt happen. He didnt just kill one of my friends, said Thomas, a longtime former Saints running back.Thomas was not involved in the altercation that led to Smiths shooting, because he was in a car driving farther ahead. But Thomas said he arrived in time to see the heated argument among Smith, Hayes and other parties, as well as most of the shots fired by Hayes.Thomas said Smiths wife, Racquel, had calmed Smith down and that the couple were walking back toward their car before shots were fired. Thomas said he was looking in another direction when the first shot hit Racquel Smith in the legs. But he said he saw Hayes fire the second shot in Will Smiths direction, then walk about two steps closer toward the former player and fire five or six more times into the Smiths vehicle.An eyewitness not affiliated with any of the parties, Stephen Cacioppo, described the shooting in a similar fashion. He witnessed the incident through the window of his home. Cacioppo said Will and Racquel Smith had moved away from Hayes toward the sidewalk before the shooting, and that Hayes shot twice, paused to walk closer, then fired several more times.However, neither Thomas nor Cacioppo witnessed the first shot, and both said they could not hear what was being said between Will Smith and Hayes before the shooting.Thomas and Cacioppo were two of six witnesses, as Wednesdays testimony centered heavily on the role of Smiths acquaintance, Richard Hernandez.Hernandez was the passenger in Smiths car who took off his shirt -- admittedly preparing for a fight -- during the heated argument that followed a pair of traffic incidents and led to Smith being shot eight times and his wife being shot once in both legs.Smiths vehicle appeared to bump Hayes vehicle while both were driving on Magazine Street, according to surveillance video. But Smith drove away, with passengers of the car testifying they did not feel like they hit Hayes vehicle. Hayes then pursued Smith, and soon after, Hayes vehicle crashed into Smiths vehicle at a higher rate of speed, causing the back windshield to shatter -- although the two sides have debated whether it was intentional or accidental. All parties agree that a loud shouting match ensued, and the state played audio Wednesday of Hayes telling an off-duty police officer that he exited his car with a gun in hand.Hayes, however, is claiming self-defense. He said he thought Smith was reaching into his car to retrieve his own gun after threatening to do so. And defense attorneys have painted Hernandez as the chief instigator in an escalating argument among three people in Smiths party and two people in Hayes party.At one point, defense attorney John Fuller loudly and dramatically hammered that point home, when he asked Thomas if he ever considered that if Hernandez had never taken off his shirt that maybe Smiths wife would never have lost her husband and Hayes family wouldnt be without him today.Thomas responded by saying the argument among Hernandez, Hernandeezs brother-in-law Jonathan Whipple and Hayes friend Kevin ONeal was a separate argument from the one that was occurring between Smith and Hayes. Air Max 95 Black. And the assistant district attorneys repeatedly said that Hernandezs removing his shirt in anticipation of a fistfight was not as threatening as exiting a vehicle with a gun in hand.Hernandez testified Wednesday morning. Most observers agreed Hernandez was not a good witness for the state, because he appeared evasive and contradicted other witnesses, including Thomas, Racquel Smith and his own wife, Rebecca Dooley, on many points.Hernandez was the only witness for the state who would not concede that he was acting aggressively. And the defense attorneys mocked Hernandezs claim that he was acting calm, even though he admitted to removing his shirt in anticipation of a fight and admitted to fleeing the scene and leaving his wife there after the shooting, because he feared for his safety.Fuller asked Hernandez at one point, Whos lying, you or your wife? and Are you sure you only had three Grey Goose [vodka] and cranberries?Thomas testified that Hernandez swung at ONeal at one point.And the neutral eyewitness, Cacioppo, said Hernandez was acting ridiculous and said he appeared to charge toward Hayes at one point.The state tried to paint Hernandez as harmless and even had members of the jury laughing multiple times during Cacioppos testimony, since he described Hernandez as kind of bouncing around wildly, like maybe he wanted to fight and maybe he didnt.He was all over the place. I couldnt take my eyes off him, Cacioppo said.Hernandez is much smaller than Smith, Hayes and ONeal. ?The courtroom laughed when Cacioppo said things like, The white guy ... was not gonna make it. ... I couldnt see him winning a fight.Hernandezs antics diverted Cacioppos attention away from Smith and Hayes at the time of the shooting.Cacioppo testified that Smith and Hayes were arguing back and forth and hand checking, which he described as similar to a high school fight, when people began waving their arms toward each other, as if theyre gearing up for a possible fight.But Cacioppo said Racquel Smith stepped between the men to intervene, and he believed Smith and his wife had moved away toward the sidewalk before shots were fired.The defense has repeatedly made suggestions that Will Smith said something to the effect of, Youve got a gun, Ive got a gun too, and that Hernandez said something to Hayes to the effect of, Im gonna kill you, along with a racial slur.So far, all of the states witnesses have denied hearing either of those comments. But the defense has not yet begun presenting its case.Rebecca Dooley was the first to testify Wednesday, and she echoed Racquel Smiths testimony from Tuesday that Hayes not only shot Will Smith eight times but followed by shouting over him that he deserved it for showing off and that Hayes showed no remorse and was evil.The defense pointed out discrepancies between Dooleys testimony and her original statement to police, in which she never mentioned her husband being on the scene and said ONeal had been trying to calm things down. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys' ' '