Lakers whip Warriors after Brown’s firing

Updated 11 November 2012
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Lakers whip Warriors after Brown’s firing

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Lakers responded to coach Mike Brown’s firing earlier Friday with an emphatic 101-77 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, and Pau Gasol added 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who had just a few hours to absorb Brown’s dismissal after just 18 months in the job. Following a bumpy first half under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, they pulled away in the third quarter with a 25-9 run led by Bryant, who also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
Stephen Curry scored 18 points for the Warriors, who have lost five straight to the Lakers overall.
The comfortable victory doubled the Lakers’ victory total for the season and capped one of the most tumultuous days in recent history for a franchise that’s never short on drama. General manager Mitch Kupchak and owner Jim Buss abruptly dismissed Brown, informing the players during their morning shootaround.
LeBron James scored 21 points at Atlanta, including the clinching jump shot with 13.6 seconds remaining, as the Miami Heat earned their fourth straight win with a 95-89 victory over the Hawks.
Jeff Teague hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Hawks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But Josh Smith missed two free throws with just over a minute remaining, and James finished off Atlanta after the teams traded turnovers.
Chris Bosh led Miami with 24 points. James just missed a triple-double, adding 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Teague paced the Hawks with 20 points and 11 assists.
New York’s Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points as the Knicks improved their best start in nearly two decades to four wins and no losses in a 104-94 home win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Reserve JR Smith added 22 points for the Knicks, the only unbeaten team in the NBA. They hadn’t been perfect after four games since the 1993-94 team started 7-0 en route to the NBA Finals.
O.J. Mayo scored 23 points for the Mavericks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks for just the fourth time in the last 22 meetings.
Anthony Davis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in his first game back after a concussion to lead the New Orleans Hornets past the Chartlotte Bobcats 107-99, while Shannon Brown scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and helped key a late 14-4 run as the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-105.
At Boston, Evan Turner scored 25 points and Jrue Holiday added 21 as the Philadelphia 76ers held off several fourth-quarter rallies to hold out the Celtics 106-100.
In other games, the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Indiana Pacers 96-94, the New Jersey Nets downed the Orlando Magic 107-68, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings 97-86, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 105-94, the Denver Nuggets earned a 104-85 home win over the Utah Jazz, the Memphis Grizzlies were 93-85 winners over the Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 101-91 win over the Washington Wizards.


Nabil Maaloul: 'Arab teams are playing catch-up with the rest of the world'

Updated 15 min 20 sec ago
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Nabil Maaloul: 'Arab teams are playing catch-up with the rest of the world'

Samindra Kunti Moscow: Arab teams need two generations to compete at the highest level, that is the view of Nabil Maaloul.
The Tunisia coach was speaking after watching his Tunisia side thrashed 5-2 by Belgium in a match that underlined the gulf between the two teams.
The Arab challenge in Russia
faltered even before the final round of group matches has kicked off. Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Egypt lost all of their eight matches in Russia — and barely 10 days into the tournament all four know they have to go home before the knockout stages. And for Maaloul this means one thing: Arab football has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to compete at the elite level.
“We did not disappoint the Arab world, we did not give up on our Arab fans,” the Tunisian coach said.
“We need two more generations to reach (the top) level of performance in terms of fitness and physical strength. We are far from the required level.”
That view was echoed by the side’s captain, Wabhi Khazri, who admitted that over Tunisia’s two matches — the defeat to Belgium and the 2-1 opening-game loss to England — the gap between them and Europe’s top teams was all too noticeable.
“The level was too high, too elevated over the two games,” Kazhri said.
“You have to say the way it is, but Tunisia have progressed a lot, and it’s for us now to finish the World Cup well against Panama.”
Tunisia had arrived in Russia on the back of encouraging friendly results against both Spain and Portugal — a tight 1-0 defeat to Spain and a 2-2 draw with Portugal — but two consecutive defeats have knocked them out of the tournament with one match still to play. The Eagles of Carthage’s winless World Cup streak now stretches to 13 games, with their last victory dating back to their opening game against Mexico at the 1978 World Cup. On Thursday, Tunisia will play Panama in their final group G game in Saransk.
“We have to be honest, a 5-2 scoreline is ridiculous, but we were not ridiculous in the way we played,” Maaloul said. “It is very difficult to win against players who can make the difference at any moment with good passes and through balls.”
Maaloul bemoaned an early penalty and two first-half injuries for the chastening defeat against Belgium. The Tunisians endured a dramatic first half, punctuated by sloppy defending and injury woes. In the sixth minute Syam Ben Youssef recklessly clattered Eden Hazard, leaving referee Jair Marrufo with little choice but to award a penalty to the European team. The Belgian captain converted, netting after just four minutes. In the England game, Harry Kane had opened the scoring after 11 minutes.
“The penalty wasn’t ideal to begin the game,” defender Fakhreddine Ben Youssef said.
“I don’t know if it was inside
the box. I had the impression
it wasn’t. The referee told us that it was inside.”
To compound Tunisia’s misery, Dylan Bronn was stretchered off in the 24th minute. The left-back built on an impressive performance from the opening game and scored, meeting Wahbi Khazri’s excellent delivery to head past Thibaut Courtois. In the 41st minute, Ben Youssef limped off injured.
“That handicapped both the coach and us,” Khazri said.
“He had to make quick substitutions. That changes the set-up a bit, because we were in the game.”