Balotelli saves Milan blushes at Cagliari

Updated 11 February 2013
0

Balotelli saves Milan blushes at Cagliari

MILAN: Mario Balotelli scored his third goal in two games for AC Milan to snatch a share of the points in a 1-1 draw at Cagliari yesterday as Roma’s slump continued with a 3-1 defeat to Sampdoria.
AC Milan remain fourth, 14 points behind leaders Juventus but will drop to fifth if city rivals Inter account for Chievo at the San Siro in a late game.
Balotelli, signed from Manchester City 10 days ago, grabbed a brace, including one goal from the penalty spot, in a 2-1 win over Udinese last week.
But despite securing a share of the points in Sardinia, the striker spurned several chances to secure all three points for Milan during a finale in which the visitors belatedly laid siege to the Cagliari goal.
Cagliari, who won a last gasp bid to stage the match at their new Is Arenas stadium despite official fears over security, dominated the first half and took a 45th-minute lead through Victory Ibarbo’s close range header.
It was the Colombian’s first goal this season for Cagliari, who looked set to grab a precious victory until Milan leveled late in the match.
In a goalmouth melee, Balotelli prepared for an overhead kick but was impeded by Cagliari defender Davide Astori, who was sent off for a second bookable offense as the referee pointed to the spot.
The Italy international stepped up to send Michael Agazzi the wrong way to level and claim his third goal in two games.
Yet the 22-year-old was guilty of missing a superb chance to put the visitors ahead, and twice found himself offside while presented with goal-scoring chances in the final 10 minutes.
First, Balotelli’s attempt to head Philippe Mexes’s header from the edge of the area past Agazzi from close in went straight at the ‘keeper.
He was then offside when Bojan flicked the ball into his path, and offside again when he tried to nod home the rebound from the Spain international’s probing 20-meter drive.
Roma suffered their 10th defeat of the campaign, a result, which coupled with Udinese’s 1-0 home win over Torino, dropped them to ninth place.
Roma sacked coach Zdenek Zeman last week after a humiliating 4-2 home reverse to Cagliari.
However, caretaker coach Aurelio Andreazzoli has work to do if he is to plug the holes in Roma’s defense which has now conceded 45 goals.
Paraguayan midfielder Marcelo Estigarribia broke the deadlock on 56 minutes with a low angled drive and the hosts doubled their lead on 73 minutes when second-half substitute Gianluca Sansone rifled a freekick past Maarten Stekelenburg.
Argentine midfielder Erik Lamela reduced arrears two minutes later, however Sampdoria secured the win when Argentine Emanuele Icardi was left unmarked to beat Stekelenburg at the back post from a 77th minute corner.
Juventus, who face Celtic in Glasgow in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday, beat Fiorentina 2-0 on Saturday and now have a five-point lead on Napoli after they could only sneak a 1-1 draw at Lazio.


LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

James pushes the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
0

LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

  • James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
  • James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.

CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
DWYANE’S WORLD
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
TIP-INS:
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
UP NEXT
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.