Halladay Pulled Mid Seventh, Earns 15th Win After Pen Stumbles But Holds On

Halladay Pulled Mid Seventh, Earns 15th Win After Pen Stumbles But Holds On

You'd think an early 3-0 lead with Roy Halladay throwing would make for a relatively painless game, but Monday night's 5-3 victory had its share of tense moments.

The Dodgers had two men on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, trailing the Phillies 4-1. Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff all evening, but when Charlie Manuel walked to the mound following the walk to Casey Blake, Doc didn't want to come out.

It didn't matter what Halladay wanted on this occasion, as Charlie had already made up his mind and signaled to the pen for Antonio Bastardo to face Andre Ethier.

When they came back from the warm-up commercial break, Halladay was seen sitting on the bench, visibly upset, mouthing swear words to nobody in particular.

Bastardo missed on his first three straight pitches -- all close, but not on the plate. Ethier had a green light and was swinging at what could have very well been ball four. On the next pitch, he grounded to Jimmy Rollins who flipped it to Chase Utley over on to Ryan Howard to end the inning.

As Wheels said during the telecast, for all Roy Halladay does for this team, every once in a while you've got to pick him up. And they tried to do just that, but certainly didn't make it easy. Bastardo's double play ball was huge.

Stutes came in to pitch the eighth and didn't look sharp from the get go. He allowed a pair of singles, a run scored, had a throwing error, and recorded one out before Charlie yanked him in favor of Brad Lidge. The former closer had to make things interesting for old time's sake. Lidge walked Rod Barajas to put men on first and second with one out.

Pinch hitter Juan Rivera singled to left to score Aaron Miles and advance the tying run of Velez to second. That's when things got weird with Dee Gordon coming up to bat with the Phils still holding on to a slim 4-3 lead.

The Dodgers' speedster hit a slow chopper towards Chase Utley, who appeared poised to handle the ball cleanly when he was absolutely bulled over by Rivera on his way to second. With Utley never getting a chance to handle the ball cleanly, the play is ruled dead and Rivera is out. Velez was forced to go back to second. Lidge then made a fantastic fielding play complete with glove flip to Ryan Howard on a bunt attempt along the first base line by Tony Gwynn Jr to end the wild inning.

Phew.

Shane Victorino golfed a homer, reminiscent of his beautiful jack in the 2008 NLCS, in the top of the ninth to push the Phillies cushion to 5-3 before Ryan Madson took over for the save attempt.

Madson gave up a single to Casey Blake to start, before getting Ethier to pop up to Martinez in foul territory followed by getting Kemp on strikes for two outs. Mad Dog's change up was working something nasty.

On the final pitch of the night, Aaron Miles bounced a ball in front of the plate which Chooch handled cleanly and threw down to Ryan Howard to secure the win for Roy Halladay, his 15th of the season, and send us Phillies fans to sleep happy.

*

How They Scored: Big Piece hit an RBI infield single in the first. J-Roll ripped a two-run double in the second. Howard delivered again in the 7th with an RBI double. And Victorino jacked his 12th homer in the ninth.

*

Read Jim Salisbury's full game story here.

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece and the Brooklyn Nets ended an 11-game losing streak, routing the New Orleans Pelicans 143-114 on Friday night.

Caris Levert added 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Nets, who had seven players in double figures while beating their season high for points by 16. Their 29-point victory was 11 more than their previous largest. They also set season highs for points in the second quarter (37) and points in any quarter with 43 in the third.

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 22 points and nine rebounds despite leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury. The defeat was a huge comedown for him and the Pelicans a day after he was named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans (see full story).

Warriors top Rockets to win 6th straight
HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to their sixth straight victory, 125-108 over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

In a matchup of two of the best teams in the Western Conference and All-Star starting guards Stephen Curry and James Harden, the Rockets fell short. Houston, which entered the game leading the NBA with 667 3-pointers, was just 7 of 35 behind the arc. Harden went 0 for 5 and Eric Gordon, who entered the game leading the NBA with 160 3s, missed all seven attempts.

Clint Capela had 22 points and Harden added 17 points with 11 assists for the Rockets, who are third in the West behind Golden State and San Antonio (see full story).

Kemba Walker scores 32 to lead Hornets past Raptors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 113-78 on Friday night.

Walker, who came in averaging 23 points and looking to earn his first All-Star selection, scored 16 points in the pivotal third quarter, including a four-point play as the Hornets outscored the Raptors 33-15 to build a 25-point lead.

Walker didn't play at all in the fourth quarter after the Hornets stretched their lead to 30. He finished with eight assists.

Frank Kaminsky had a solid night off the bench for the second straight game, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Kyle Lowry had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight (see full story). 

Magic pull away for convincing win over Milwaukee
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elfrid Payton scored 20 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 on Friday night.

The Magic, returning home from a 1-5 road trip, played with a small lineup for much of the night and it provided the offense they needed with two of their top scorers out. Orlando had six players in double figures, including starters Aaron Gordon (17), Serge Ibaka (13) and Nikola Vucevic (13).

Orlando shot 46 percent from the field while limiting the Bucks to 41 percent.Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks dropped their fourth straight game (see full story). 

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

It has been a crazy week for former Sixer Mo Williams.
 
Williams retired after last season, but was kept on the Cleveland Cavilers' roster in case his salary would be needed as part of a trade, and he has now been moving all across the NBA.
 
Williams, and the $2.2 million in payroll, was involved in the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Kyle Korver, then traded to Denver before being waived. The Sixers then joined in and picked up Williams and waived him after less than an hour as they re-signed Chasson Randle to a second 10-day contract (see story)
 
Throughout all of this, social media chimed in on the career Williams had as a Sixer.
 

In 2015, before ultimately choosing the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Gore appeared headed to Philadelphia, so, fans settled the debate over who had a better career in Philly with this poll.