Howard returns to help Lakers snap dire run

Updated 14 January 2013
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Howard returns to help Lakers snap dire run

LOS ANGELES: Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a three-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 113-93 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 23 points for the Lakers, who finally earned their first victory of 2013 while ending their longest skid since February 2007. Howard went 9 for 11 despite his injured shoulder while leading Los Angeles to a comfortable victory over the lowly Cavaliers, who beat the Lakers last month.
Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 15 points apiece for Cleveland, which has lost seven of nine. Alonzo Gee added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who fell behind by 19 points in the first quarter of their second stop on a five-game West Coast road trip.
Thunder 87, Trail Blazers 83: Kevin Durant had 33 points and Oklahoma City snapped Portland’s nine-game winning streak at the Rose Garden.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who played without starters Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha because of injuries.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who trailed by 11 points but pulled within one point on Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer with 21.9 seconds to go.
Kendrick Perkins missed the first of two free throws and after a timeout Aldridge missed a tough fade-away jumper from about 20 feet out with 1.7 seconds left. Westbrook made a pair of foul shots for the final margin.
Spurs 106, Timberwolves 88: Tony Parker scored 20 points help the Spurs extend their home winning streak to 12 games.
Gary Neal was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers in scoring 15 points for San Antonio, which beat Minnesota at home for the 16th straight time. Tim Duncan added 14 points and nine rebounds and Tiago Splitter had 10 points. Manu Ginobili scored 12 points in the first half before leaving with a strained left hamstring.
J.J. Barea scored 15 points, Nikola Pekovic had 14 and Luke Ridnour 13 for the Timberwolves.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was ejected with 7:22 remaining in the game following a double technical for arguing a foul called against Splitter on Barea. The ejection sparked an 11-0 run for the Spurs, including a dunk and two reverse layups by Splitter.
Nets 97, Pacers 86: Deron Williams had 22 points and nine assists, Joe Johnson scored 20 points and Brooklyn rallied from 12 points down in the third quarter.
Brook Lopez scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and also finished with nine rebounds to help the Nets win their season-high sixth straight.
David West had 27 points to lead the Pacers. Paul George added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Gerald Green also scored 15 points.
Green made two free throws against his former team to give Indiana a 67-55 lead — its largest of the game — with 5½ minutes remaining in the third quarter. Brooklyn pulled to 75-69 by the end of the third, and began the fourth on a 26-8 run to take a 12-point lead on C.J. Watson’s jumper with 2:08 remaining.
Knicks 100, Hornets 87: Carmelo Anthony snapped out of a slow start by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second quarter, and the Knicks ended their season-high, three-game losing streak.
Anthony missed seven of eight shots and scored two points in the first quarter of the noon start he dislikes, then outscored the Hornets by himself in the second period as the Knicks took the lead for good.
Chris Copeland added 22 points for the Knicks, who had seen their Atlantic Division lead trimmed to two games by Brooklyn while losing five of their previous seven games. Battling injuries, they play only once in the next week, facing the Detroit Pistons on Thursday in London.
Bucks 107, Raptors 96: Brandon Jennings had 19 points and 10 assists, rookie John Henson scored 19 and Milwaukee rallied from a 20-point first quarter deficit to beat Toronto for the eighth straight time.
Monta Ellis scored 17 points and Mike Dunleavy had 15 as the Bucks improved to 3-1 under new coach Jim Boylan.
Larry Sanders had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who won for the 12th time in 15 meetings with the Raptors.
Amir Johnson had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ed David had 20 and 12 for the Raptors, who led 32-12 early but lost their fifth straight home meeting with the Bucks.
NUGGETS 116, WARRIORS 105: Danilo Gallinari scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, and Denver rallied for its season-high fifth straight win.
Wilson Chandler scored 14 points in his first game in two months for Denver after being sidelined since early November because of pain in his left hip.
Stephen Curry scored 29 points, including seven 3-pointers, to lead Golden State. David Lee added 23 points and 13 rebounds and Harrison Barnes had 21 points.
Down by eight going into the fourth quarter, Denver opened the period with a 19-2 flurry to go up 98-89. After Curry hit back-to-back 3s to get the Warriors to 100-97 with 6:10 remaining, the Nuggets pulled away.
Brewer, who finished with 13 points, and Gallinari hit 3-pointers around a dunk by Gallinari to rebuild the Nuggets’ lead to 108-97 and the Warriors didn’t threaten again.


Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 23 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia out to make Kingdom 'proud' and repay faith of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp
  • SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006

RIYADH: The president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) acknowledges there will be added scrutiny on the Green Falcons when they kick off this summer’s World Cup against hosts Russia in the opening game, but is confident the players can overcome any first-night nerves and rise to the challenge.
Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side are in Zurich on a three-week training camp as they start to fine-tune preparations ahead of the first game on June 14. The Argentine coach has taken 28 players with him, but must whittle the squad down to 23 by June 4.
SAFF have left no stone turned in preparing the team for their first appearance at the finals since 2006, sanctioning five training camps and arranging nine friendlies, several against high-profile opposition. Their final three games are against sides with top 20 FIFA’s rankings, a deliberate strategy to ensure they are not undercooked heading into Group A games against Russia, Uruguay and Egypt.
“We are at a critical stage of our preparations, one that needs concentration and discipline, especially as we face three strong teams in Italy, Peru and Germany,” said president Adel Ezzat in a video on the federation’s Twitter account. “Our objective is to be on form by June 14 when the eyes of the world will be on us in the opening match. We have a bright history in the World Cup and Asian Cup, so it’s our duty to live up to that reputation. I would like to address all Saudi fans, whether they will be watching the games on TV or from the stadiums in Russia: They should pray for the players. The players are our brothers and sons, and we should all love our Saudi national team. I urge the fans and the media to be united around the national team.”
Ezzat said the players have been energised and inspired by a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before they left for Switzerland. The crown prince demonstrated his commitment to the game in the Kingdom by this week vowing to cover all external debts totalling SR1.277 billion (around $340 million) owed by Saudi Pro League clubs.
“We are optimistic after the historic meeting between the players, staff and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Ezzat. “The meeting set the tone for the final stage of preparations, and the players are up for the challenge of meeting His Highness’ expectations.
“We are grateful for Prince Mohammed for his constant support and generosity toward Saudi football, be it the national team, clubs or the league. It’s our duty to repay the faith of our leaders. This is something that drives us forward and I’m fully confident in the players’ ability to do us proud in Russia.”