Lazio, Napoli win as Milan, Roma stung
Lazio, Napoli win as Milan, Roma stung
Inter Milan have a chance to close the gap on leaders Juventus to just a point when they face Atalanta away in Sunday’s late match.
But the battle behind the two favorites for this season’s scudetto gathered pace as both Lazio and Napoli made up for recent setbacks.
Roma got the perfect start when midfielder Erik Lamela sneaked in behind Lazio’s defense to head a corner past Federico Marchetti at the back post.
Heavy downpours ensued, making play difficult but Lazio weathered the storm to get back on level terms in the 35th minute.
Antonio Candreva stepped up for a free kick and hit a pile driver from 35 yards that rocketed past the defensive wall and beat Mauro Goicoechea in the Roma net.
Germany international Miroslav Klose then made amends for a miss moments earlier when he latched on to a pass-shot from Brazilian Hernanes to beat Goicoechea from close range to level.
Roma were stung minutes into the second half when Daniele De Rossi was given a straight red card for a punch-slap to the face of Stefano Mauri as the pair tussled in the area.
Mauri doubled Roma’s agony when he pounced on a defensive mistake to put Lazio 3-1 up.
Roma fought back and reduced arrears in spectacular style when Miralem Pjanic hit a long-range freekick in the 90th minute which beat retreating ‘keeper Marchetti — but it proved too little too late.
Napoli, meanwhile, cemented third spot after a valiant fight back from Ciro Immobile’s 23rd minute opener for Genoa took them to a 4-2 win.
Former Genoa defender Giandomenico Mesto levelled for the visitors in the 54th minute, but Napoli were stunned when midfielder Andrea Bertolacci restored Genoa’s lead a minute later.
Napoli’s Edinson Cavani was showing great movement throughout and the Uruguayan striker was rewarded in the 79th minute when he rounded the defense to level.
Slovak midfielder Marek Hamsik virtually secured the points with a goal on the stroke of full-time but striker Lorenzo Insigne added a fourth in injury time to leave Napoli third on 26 points, one shy of Inter and five adrift of Juve.
Fiorentina maintained their purple patch with a deserved 3-1 victory over AC Milan at the San Siro.
Milan’s defense was virtually absent when former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani collected a loose ball on the edge of the box following a throw-in to beat Christian Abbiati at his near post.
On the half hour tempers flared when Pato was bundled down in the box by Argentine Facundo Roncaglia. Milan were awarded a penalty, but Pato sent his effort over the crossbar.
That miss proved costly when Fiorentina doubled their lead in textbok fashion on 38 minutes.
Borja Valero collected the ball from a throw-in on the left flank, outpaced Riccardo Montolivo on his way into the area and dribbled past Philippe Mexes to beat Abbiati at his far post.
Bojan Krkic came on in place of Dutchman Urby Emanuelson at half time but it was another substitute, Giampaolo Pazzini, who grabbed Milan’s consolation goal on the hour when he pounced on a rebound off the post to beat Emiliano Viviano.
Fiorentina remain fourth on 24 points while Milan’s sixth defeat of the season leaves the Rossoneri languishing in 13th on 14 points.
Torino grabbed a precious 1-0 win at home to struggling Bologna while Parma and Siena shared a scoreless draw.
Udinese’s solid start to the campaign continued when they grabbed a precious 2-2 draw away to Chievo thanks to Gabriele Angella’s second goal of the match in injury time.
LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5
- James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
- James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.
CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.