Clippers bully Celtics to extend winning streak

Updated 28 December 2012
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Clippers bully Celtics to extend winning streak

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Clippers left the Boston Celtics battered and bruised in a physical 106-77 victory on Thursday to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 15 games and remain on top of the NBA standings.
Building on contributions from their All-Stars, balanced bench and ferocious defense, the Clippers (23-6) continued to prove they are legitimate title contenders with another impressive home win over a highly regarded opponent.
Reserves Matt Barnes (21 points) and Jamal Crawford (17) led the way as all 11 Los Angeles players who stepped on the Staples Center court put a number in the scoring column.
“The special thing about our team is no one cares who gets the credit,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul told reporters after finishing with eight points and 11 assists.
“Right now our entire organization has a winning mentality and we expect nothing less than that.” At the other end, the Celtics were held to just 40 percent shooting and out-scored 24-10 in the final quarter to complete the formalities of a blowout victory.
Kevin Garnett recorded 16 points but Boston suffered their fifth loss in seven games and heaviest defeat of the season.
Considered one of the grittier teams in the league, the Celtics (14-14) were no match for the Clippers in a scrappy battle that featured bodies flying around, a flagrant foul and a bloodied lip for Paul Pierce after a collision with Paul.
Boston left the Staples Center clearly frustrated by the reality of being manhandled.
Point guard Rajon Rondo, the NBA’s leading assist man, finished with just six as he failed to reach double figures in that category for the second straight game.
He also tallied 10 points while Pierce added 12.
Los Angeles took a 30-20 lead after the first quarter and gradually increased their advantage after each break.
High-flyer Blake Griffin delighted the home crowd with an array of dunks, netting 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Clippers, who have not lost since a November 26 defeat against the New Orleans Hornets, will aim for a 16th consecutive victory against the Jazz in Utah on Friday.
“I’m a big believer in not looking to far ahead,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro added. “We’ve got to be professional, we’ve got to be prepared, we’ve got to be locked in to what we want to do and how we want to do it.”
Oklahoma City 111, Dallas 105: At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 40 points while Russell Westbrook added eight of his 16 points in overtime to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Dallas 111-105 on Thursday night for their 11th straight win at home.

Serge Ibaka added 19 points and matched his season high with 17 rebounds as Oklahoma City charged back from 10 points down in the final 7:17 of regulation and found a way to win after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Darren Collison scored a season-best 32 points for Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki scored nine points in his second game back after offseason knee surgery, showing some rust down the stretch.


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal. (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • adrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.