Clippers top Bulls for 5th straight victory
Clippers top Bulls for 5th straight victory
Reserve Jamal Crawford scored 17 of his 22 points in the second quarter for the Clippers, who lead the Pacific Division with a 7-2 mark. It's their best record after nine games since 2005-06, when they won nine of their first 11, finished 47-35 and came within one victory of the Western Conference finals.
Five of the Clippers' six wins have come against teams that were in the playoffs last season, including the Lakers, Spurs and champions Miami Heat on Wednesday. Crawford, who signed with Los Angeles as a free agent in July after spending last season with Portland, leads the Clippers with 20.7 points per game and has scored 20 or more in six of his first nine contests. The Bulls, who blew an 18-point lead in their previous game on Wednesday at Phoenix before beating the Suns 112-106 in overtime, got 22 points and 12 rebounds from Carlos Boozer.
Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton each had 14 points. Joakim Noah, who has been urged by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau to take more shots, was 0 for 6 from the field and finished with four points in 30 minutes. It was the 6-foot-11 center's worst shooting effort in 339 NBA regular-season games, including six occasions when he was 0 for 4. Chris Paul finished with 10 assists and eight points for the Clippers.
In Phoenix, Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while an ailing LeBron James added 21 to help the Miami Heat close its six-game road trip with a 97-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Heat, playing without Dwyane Wade for the second game in a row because of a left foot injury, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter and were up by nine with 5љ minutes to play. The Suns cut it to two before Miami scored the game's final seven points. James, who missed the morning shootaround with flu-like symptoms, made only 8 of 20 shots but still reached 20 points for the 11th time in 11 games this season. Markieff Morris scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Phoenix.
Earlier in Boston, Rajon Rondo tied his season high with 20 assists, and Jason Terry scored 20 points to help the Boston Celtics to an easy 107-89 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Rondo's game streak of double-digit assists now stands at 33, the third-longest in NBA history and within four games of tying John Stockton. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46 consecutive games with 10 or more assists.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Mike Conley scored 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Charlotte Bobcats 94-87 on Saturday night for their eighth consecutive victory. Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, who own the NBA's best record at 8-1. Rudy Gay had 16 points and Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 12 apiece. Byron Mullens scored 18 points and Kemba Walker added 17 for the Bobcats who had won three straight.
In other games Saturday, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points as the Dallas Mavericks edged the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-95, while Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Gordon Hayward added 15 in the Utah Jazz's 83-76 win over the winless Washington Wizards. Monta Ellis scored six of his 22 points in the final 2 minutes to help the Milwaukee Bucks hold off the New Orleans Hornets 117-113 and Manu Ginobili scored 20 points as the San Antonio Spurs set a season high for points in a 126-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
LIVE: Spain 1-1 Morocco - Spain strike back after early Khalid Boutaïb goal
10.19PM: Great goaline clearance from Morcco. Isco's header was goal-bound with the keeper beaten. But Romain Saïss somehow rises to nod it away. From the resulting corner Pique, who is lukcy to still be on the pitch, heads just wide. We're not sure how this match is still 1-1.
MOROCCO HIT THE POST: What a strike from Amrabat, just outside the area on the righthand side the Watford man hits a sweet shot which beats De Gea all ends up, deserved to go in but hits the upright. So, so close. Nervous times for Spain.
10.08PM: Football fans have warmed to the Atlas Lions.
10.03PM: A good start to the second period for Morocco, once again Spain are half asleep in defence and the Atlas Lions are seeing a lot of the ball. That results in Pique handling the ball on the edge of the box, for some reason the ref does not see the infringment and play continues. Good signs, though, for the North Africans.
SECOND-HALF STARTS: A key 45 minutes coming up here for Spain and Morocco. Spain know they have to win to get Russia in the next round, not an easy task but an easier one than Uruguay who they will face if they finish second. Morocco will want to finish the tournament with a result. They have played better thatn their results so far and will want to avoid three straight defeats.
HALF-TIME: A mixed half for Morocco - they are creating chances and causing Spain problems in attack, But when without the ball they are under constant pressure, as the three yellow cards illustrate. Can they keep out Iniesta and Co. in the next 45 minutes? As it stands both Portugal and Spain are going thought, with Portugal beating Iran 1-0. A crucial next half coming up.
SPAIN STRIKE: Iniesta and Isco celebrate the much-deserved equalizer.
9.42PM: They may have been defending for long periods of this half, but they have always been comfortable on the ball and when they have got the chance to attack they have. A very well-worked move down the left ends with Ziyech having a decent shot from outside the box. They are doing themselves and their fans proud here.
HISTORY MAKER: Take a bow Boutaib!
9.33PM: Busquets has a great chance for Spain but heads wide from a corner. The Spainish are trying to turn the screw here, it's important Morocco get to half-time still level or you worry Spain may run away with it. Important nxt 10 minutes coming up.
9.30PM: Spain, as expected, are seeing alot of the ball, while Morocco are seeing several yellow cards. The Morocco captain Moubarak Boussoufa rowing with the ref makes him the third Atlas Lion to go into the book — it's looking unlikely that Morocco will end this one with 11.
BRILLIANT BOUTAIB: The moment the Moroccan striker shocks Spain
9.23PM ANOTHER GREAT CHANCE FOR MOROCCO: Schoolboy defending by Spain gifts Boutaib another clear run-in on goal, De Gea does brilliantly to save and spare his side's blushes. Spain are being very adventurous here, there will be more chances you fancy for the Atlas Lions.
9.17PM GOAL FOR SPAIN: That goal has given Spain a wake-up call. They come straight back. Iniesta atones for his mistake with a neat interchange with Diego Costa, before pulling back for Isco to finish from close range. Lovely goal.
9.12PM GOAL FOR MOROCCO! Two of Spain's most experience players, Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta, both dithered on teh halfway line gifting the ball to Khalid Boutaïb who had a clean run in on goal. If he was nervous he didn't show it as he coolly slotted home past David de Gea. What a response!
9.05PM: It has been a bright star for Spain, they are definitely not taking Morocco lightly. The Noerth Africans are chaing shadows at the moment.
KICK-OFF: We're under way in Kaliningrad...
9.00PM: Should they lose this match, it will be only the second time Morocco have lost all of their World Cup group matches in a single campaign, having previously done so in 1994.
Whereas Spain have won their final group game in each of the last eight World Cup tournaments, a run stretching back to 1986.
8:50PM: Such is the support for the Atlas Lions in the stadium that is is almost like a home game.
8:40PM: Morocco might be out, but that has not prevented plenty of their supporters showing up here in Kaliningrad.
8:35PM: Starting line-ups...
David De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Isco, Thiago Alcantara, David Silva; Diego Costa
Coach: Fernando Hierro (ESP)
Monir El-Kajoui; Achraf Hakimi, Manuel Da Costa, Ghanem Saiss, Nabil Dirar; Noureddine Amrabat, Mbark Boussoufa, Karim El-Ahmadi, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyach; Khalid Boutaib
Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)
Tonight's referee is Ravshan Irmatov from Uzbekistan.
8.30PM: So, after the dramatic late winner for Saudi Arabia in Group A, we move our attention to Morocco's final game of the 2018 World Cup. The Atlas Lions cannot progress, but could make like difficult for the former world champions Spain. The Spanish know nothing but a win will guarantee their progress at this tournament, and have named a strong side in their quest to get through.
Kick off is 20:00 KSA time.