Crawford leads Clippers past Rockets; Nuggets win

Updated 16 January 2013
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Crawford leads Clippers past Rockets; Nuggets win

HOUSTON: Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 30 points, including 12 straight to start the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers looked just fine without Chris Paul in a 117-109 win over the struggling Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
The Clippers won their second game in a row despite missing their star point guard, who is day to day with a bruised right kneecap.
Los Angeles used a big third quarter to take the lead, and Crawford extended the advantage to 20 by outscoring Houston 12-7 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
James Harden had 23 points for the Rockets, whose four-game losing streak is a season worst.
The Clippers improved to 11-1 this season when Crawford leads the team in scoring.
Los Angeles opened the second half with a 10-0 run to take a 68-59 lead with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Nuggets 115, Trail Blazers 111, OT: At Denver, Wilson Chandler hit a tie breaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime and Denver beat Portland for its season-best sixth consecutive victory.
Danilo Gallinari had 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period. Ty Lawson added 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 in overtime this season. Portland, which lost for the first time in six OT games this season, was led by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 28 points. Nicolas Batum had 22 points and J.J. Hickson 19.
Lakers 104, Bucks 88: At Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant also scored 31 points and Los Angeles beat Milwaukee for its second straight win after a six-game skid.
Metta World Peace added 12 points as the Lakers prepared for Thursday’s visit from the NBA champion Miami Heat with an impressive effort against the Bucks, who lost for the second time in five games under interim coach Jim Boylan.
Bryant and Howard both had 30-point games for the second time in their brief tenure together, and the Bucks couldn’t cope with Bryant’s outside game or Howard’s inside dominance.
Monta Ellis scored 17 points for Milwaukee, while Brandon Jennings was held to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting largely by Bryant’s defense.
Howard again played with an obvious spark in his second game back from a three-game absence with a torn labrum in his shoulder, defending aggressively in the paint while overpowering the Bucks on offense.
Pau Gasol missed his fifth straight game for the Lakers with a concussion, but the 7-foot Spaniard worked out before the game and will be re-examined before Thursday’s game against Miami.
Pacers 103, Bobcats 76: At Charlotte, Roy Hibbert had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Indiana handed Charlotte its 13th straight home loss.
The Pacers bounced back from Sunday’s 11-point defeat to Brooklyn and won for the fifth time in six games.
With team owner Michael Jordan looking on from the bench, the Bobcats lost their fifth in a row. They’ve dropped 24 of 26 since Thanksgiving.
Indiana won this one going away behind some dominant inside play, outrebounding the Bobcats 60-31 and outscoring them 52-22 in the paint.
Paul George had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while David West added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers. George Hill chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Central Division leaders (24-15) have not lost consecutive games since Dec. 9.Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 15 points.
Nets 113, Raptors 106: At New York, Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and Brooklyn beat Toronto to extend its season-high winning streak to seven games.
Andray Blatche added 14 points for the Nets, in the midst of their longest winning streak since running off 14 in a row late in the 2005-06 season. A .500 team when they fired Avery Johnson late last month, Brooklyn is 9-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and has pulled within 1½ games of the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Nets dominated the fourth quarter again, pulling away for their sixth straight home victory.
Kyle Lowry scored 21 points for the Raptors, who have dropped two in a row but still have 10 wins in their last 15 games.
Hornets 111, 76Ers 99: At Philadelphia, Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points and Eric Gordon added 19 to help New Orleans beat Philadelphia.
Ryan Anderson had 14 points, Xavier Henry scored 11 and Anthony Davis 10 for the Hornets, who are last in the Western Conference at 12-26 — with matching 6-13 records at home and on the road.
Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 29 points and 11 assists. Nick Young and Evan Turner added 14 points each while Thaddeus Young scored 12.
Philadelphia hasn’t won consecutive games since a three-game streak from Nov. 25-30.


Jurgen Klopp calls on Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool into Champions League second round against Napoli

Updated 10 December 2018
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Jurgen Klopp calls on Mohamed Salah to fire Liverpool into Champions League second round against Napoli

  • Liverpool need to beat Napoli to have a chance of making it to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
  • Salah fresh off a hat-trick is the key man, claims Reds boss.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has called on Mohamed Salah to maintain his current fine form and fire Liverpool into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
By his own high standards the Egyptian ace had a slow start to the season. Coming off the back of his record-breaking campaign last time around — when he scored 44 goals for the Merseyside club in all competitions — Salah had been quiet in comparison, scoring seven times in the Premier League up until Saturday’s 4-0 win
at Bournemouth.
But a brilliant hat-trick against the Cherries kicked into touch any worries that he would struggle to hit the same heights again, and Klopp is only too aware his return to form comes at the perfect time with Liverpool who must beat Napoli tonight to make the Champions League knockout stages.
The Reds cannot afford defeat against the Italians, and know that even a 2-1 win could see them eliminated.
The Liverpool manager said that he was never worried the Egyptian would struggle to find the form of last season and has called on Salah to find his scoring boots once again to help ensure his side see off the Italians.
“I’m interested in the moment, but I never judge it because the moment is just a little part of all what we do,” Klopp said. “So I was not for one second worried.
“If you score 10 goals in the first five games, everyone would say: ‘It will happen again.’ But if you score 39 (in a season), it would be: ‘Yeah, but it’s not 41.’
“What Mo did (against Bournemouth) was just exceptional. I don’t know at the moment a lot of players who would have scored these goals.”
The hat-trick against Bourne-mouth took Salah’s tally to 10 Premier League strikes this season as he also became the fastest Liverpool player to reach 40 goals in the competition after he reached the milestone in his 52nd match.
The Merseyside club, who were beaten by Real Madrid in the final last season, could do with another Salah masterclass — they need either a 1-0 victory or to win by two clear goals to progress to the last 16.
“We have the chance with a specific result still to go through when this Champions League campaign so far was not really ours,” Klopp said.
“We have to be on our toes — it’s a big one, our people know that and I know they are already warming up.”
Liverpool’s Champions League campaign has never really got going this season. An impressive 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first match promised much better than to be going into the final clash knowing that even victory may not be enough. Defeats away at Napoli (1-0) and, surprisingly, Red Star Belgrade (2-0) dented any hope of quick qualification from one of the tougher groups.
A 2-1 defeat to PSG in the French capital last time out has left the group and Liverpool’s participation in the second round on a knife edge.
“We were not good at Napoli, so first of all we would like to show we are better than that,” said Klopp. “So we also have to call again on Anfield, and they should help us because that is a massive game, a really massive game.
“Last year we did nearly everything to get qualified for that tournament again, because we had the final in the background but we also knew we had to do the job in the league.”
But with Salah scoring and playing the clash at home, Klopp is hopeful Liverpool can get the result needed. “They know as well it will be tough, but they are strong and we need to be very strong,” the German said.