Lakers hold off Nets, win D’Antoni’s debut

Updated 22 November 2012
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Lakers hold off Nets, win D’Antoni’s debut

LOS ANGELES: Kobe Bryant scored six of his 25 points in the final two minutes, and the Los Angeles Lakers hung on for a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night in coach Mike D’Antoni’s sideline debut.
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 15 rebounds despite a horrific 7-for-19 performance at the free-throw line for the Lakers, who have won five of six and moved above .500 since firing Mike Brown.
Although D’Antoni is still unsteady on his surgically replaced knee, he coached Los Angeles to a narrow victory that snapped Brooklyn’s five-game winning streak.
Brook Lopez scored 23 points and Deron Williams had 22 for the Nets, who missed five of their last six shots in their ninth consecutive loss to the Lakers.
Knicks 102 Hornets 80: In New Orleans, Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and the Knicks extended the undermanned New Orleans Hornets’ losing streak to four games.
Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith each added 15 points. Felton scored all of his points on five 3-pointers as New York hit 14 3s as a team. Tyson Chandler grabbed 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who’ve won two straight since their first loss of the season and are 8-1 for only the third time in franchise history.
Ryan Anderson, starting in place of Anthony Davis, led the Hornets with 15 points. Davis was ruled out shortly before tip-off because tenderness in his left ankle.
76ers 106 Raptors 98: In Philadelphia, Jason Richardson scored six of his 21 points late in the fourth quarter, Nick Young had 23 off the bench and the 76ers rallied to beat Toronto.
Jrue Holiday had 19 points and 12 assists and Thad Young scored 18 to help the Sixers win their third straight game.
DeMar DeRozan had 24 and Andrea Bargnani scored 22 for the Raptors, who are off to a 3-8 start.
Down 87-80 early in the fourth, the Sixers came back to win their first game in which they trailed after three quarters.
Meantime, in Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki says he is still about two weeks away from getting back on the court to start running and shooting. He’s not sure how long after that it will be before he makes his NBA season debut for the Dallas Mavericks.
The perennial All-Star forward is recovering from knee surgery. He says the goal is for the swelling to be gone 100 percent and his strength to be 100 percent before playing. He said on Tuesday it’s getting better but he still feels “far away from” 100 percent.
Nowitzki this week has increased the intensity of off-court workouts to build his strength and conditioning.
He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19, the first surgery for the 7-foot (2.14-meter) German who is in his 15th NBA season.
In Oakland, California, Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut is scheduled to miss at least the next three NBA games as he continues to strengthen his surgically repaired left ankle.
The team said on Tuesday that Bogut spent several days last week in Los Angeles to get treatment under the supervision of Dr. Richard Ferkel, who performed the surgery on the 7-foot (2.14-meter) Australian on April 27.
The Warriors, who host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, anticipate Bogut being able to run on a special anti-gravity treadmill this week and return to practice next Monday.
Bogut has missed the last six games. The 2005 No. 1 overall pick broke his ankle on Jan. 25 with Milwaukee and missed the rest of the season after being traded to Golden State for guard Monta Ellis.


Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

Updated 22 May 2018
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Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

  • Left-armer is fit after a knee injury
  • 'He’s fine, he’s ready to go'

LONDON: Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir is “100 percent ready” for the first Test against England at Lord’s starting on Thursday despite a knee injury, according to team coach Mickey Arthur.
The left-arm fast bowler was seen stretching out his right knee as Pakistan beat Test debutants Ireland by five wickets during a one-off match in Malahide, Dublin concluded last week.
Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested Amir had suffered a recurrence of a “chronic” problem.
But head coach Arthur, speaking to reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday, had no qualms about the fitness of Amir.
“He’s perfect, 100 percent,” Arthur insisted. “He’s fine, he’s ready to go.”
As for Amir, missing Pakistan’s final warm-up match ahead of the two-Test England series, last weekend’s drawn match against Leicestershire, Arthur added: “It was his rotation. (Mohammad) Abbas sat out the first (tour) game, Hasan (Ali) sat out the second, so he sat out the third.”
Amir was the hottest property in world cricket after bursting on the scene as a teenager in 2009 and at 18 he was the youngest bowler to have taken 50 Test wickets.
But his world was turned upside down in 2010 when he became involved in a spot-fixing scandal after deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England — an incident that would eventually see him sent to prison by an English court and given a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council.
Amir’s first 14 Tests saw him take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 apiece, figures that had him on course to be an all-time great.
But the 17 Tests since his comeback two years ago have seen him take 49 wickets at a more expensive average of 34.91
Amir, and Pakistan for that matter, have not been helped by the fact that those 17 Tests since 2016 have also seen 16 catches dropped off his bowling.
The stigma of his spot-fixing exile has started to fade, with Amir playing for Pakistan during their 2-2 draw in a four-Test series in England two years ago.
He also starred for Essex as they won English domestic cricket’s first-class County Championship title last season.
Now the 26-year-old Amir is set to be the leader of an inexperienced Pakistan attack.
England, who didn’t manage a single win during their recent seven combined Tests in Australia and New Zealand, collapsed to 58 all out in Auckland in March as Kiwi left-arm quick Trent Boult took six wickets.
And Arthur backed Amir to do similar damage
“I think Mohammad Amir is the finest exponent of pace and swing when he gets it 100 percent right,” Arthur said.
“We’ve used that spell that Trent Boult bowled in Auckland. We’ve had a look at his lengths.
“We believe he (Amir) bowls incredibly well at left-handers and there will be three left-handers (Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan) in the (England) top four.
“He’s ready, I just hope it goes really well for him because he’s been unlucky at times with the amount of dropped catches.
“He’s ready, he’s determined, he’s fit, he’s strong, he’s excited, he’s in a very good place at the moment.”
Arthur is unusual in having served as the head coach of three leading nations — his native South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
But he was adamant he had no desire to replace Trevor Bayliss when the Australian steps down as England coach next year.
“No, I’m very happy,” Arthur said. “I’d like to keep going with Pakistan for as long as they will have me because it’s unfinished business for us at the moment. This is a very young cricket team and I worry if we move on what happens to these guys. Their fitness regime is outstanding, they are training hard and they are enjoying their cricket. I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment,” he insisted.