Clippers edge Grizzlies 93-91 on Paul buzzer-beater

Updated 24 April 2013
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Clippers edge Grizzlies 93-91 on Paul buzzer-beater

LOS ANGELES: Chris Paul’s running jump shot with a tenth of a second left gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 93-91 victory over Memphis Grizzlies on Monday and a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Earlier at New York, Carlos Boozer had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah played his way through a foot injury to make three fourth-quarter baskets as the Chicago Bulls downed the Brooklyn Nets 90-82 to level their series at 1-1.
Both the Clippers and the Grizzlies stayed on the court while the referees reviewed Paul’s last gasp play. It was declared good, leaving Memphis a tick of the clock to inbound the ball but not enough to get off a final shot.
Paul finished with 24 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin added 21 points and eight rebounds and Jamal Crawford scored 15 points.
Paul carried the Clippers over the final 3:46, scoring eight straight points, including a basket that gave them a 91-89 lead with 1:20 to play.
Mike Conley scored a career playoff high 28 points while leading the Grizzlies’ fourth-quarter charge that came up just short. He had 10 points in the period, while Darrell Arthur scored five straight to pull Memphis into an 89-all tie.
Luol Deng bounced back from a poor opener with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who became the first team to win a road game this postseason.
Chicago held the Nets to two baskets in the third quarter to build a big enough lead to hold off a charge in the fourth.
Noah finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who host Game 3 on Thursday.
Brook Lopez scored 21 points for the Nets, who shot 35 percent from the field and were just 4 of 21 from 3-point range. Star point guard Deron Williams was 1 of 9, finishing with eight points.

Knicks’ J.R. Smith wins NBA Sixth Man award

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Smith received 484 points, including 72 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 writers and broadcasters. The Clippers’ Jamal Crawford finished second with 352 points, getting 31 first-place votes.
Smith averaged 18.1 points in 80 games, all off the bench. He had 29 games in which he scored 20 points as a reserve, tying Crawford for the NBA lead.
Smith helped the Knicks win the Atlantic Division title for the first time since 1994. New York is the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and leads the Boston Celtics 1-0 in their first-round playoff series.
Meantime, Indiana forward Paul George has been honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Tuesday’s announcement comes less than a week after the 6-foot-9 forward finished his breakthrough regular season and less than 48 hours after he became only the second player in franchise history to record a triple double in the NBA playoffs. He had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in the Pacers’ 107-90 Game 1 win over Atlanta — giving the Pacers their first 1-0 series lead since 2006.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Indy.
George averaged 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds this season, both career highs. He averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 2011-12. He’s the fourth player in franchise history to win the award, joining Jalen Rose, Jermaine O’Neal and Danny Granger.


Saudi Arabia set to face Mario Balotelli after striker earns Italy recall

Updated 27 min 2 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia set to face Mario Balotelli after striker earns Italy recall

  • Saudi Arabia play Italy on May 28
  • Balotelli set to play for the Azzurri for the first time in four years

TURIN: New Italy coach Roberto Mancini on Saturday recalled Nice striker Mario Balotelli to the Azzurri fold for three upcoming friendlies as he begins the job of reviving Italian fortunes.
Mancini was appointed last Monday, six months after Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following the four-time world champions’ failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
The 53-year-old, who left Zenit Saint Petersburg to take the job, unveiled his first 30-man squad for matches against Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands.
Mancini takes charge of his first game against the Green Falcons in St. Gallen, Switzerland on May 28.
As expected, the 27-year-old Balotelli was included for the first time in nearly four years.
Balotelli has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for the Azzurri but has not played international football since Italy’s humiliating group-stage exit from the 2014 World Cup.
Balotelli was last called up by coach Antonio Conte in November 2014 but did not play because of injury.
He has now been given another chance by Mancini, who coached him at both Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Balotelli has resurrected his career since joining Nice in 2016 after less successful spells with AC Milan and Liverpool, scoring 26 goals in all competitions this season, without any of the bad-boy behavior that previously dogged his career.
Italy are not spoilt for choice with forward so Balotelli’s success with Nice could not be overlooked by Mancini.
As a youngster, Balotelli was part of the Inter side coached by Jose Mourinho that won the Champions League in 2010.
He also won three Serie A titles with Inter before switching to Manchester City and helping them claim the Premier League crown in 2012.
Meanwhile, Mancini’s squad was without goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon who this week confirmed he would not play again for the national side.
The presence of Buffon — who holds the record for Italy caps with 176 — proved controversial during friendlies in March with his critics wanting him to move over for a younger generation.
In his absence, Mancini has recalled Salvatore Sirigu, who has had a successful season since joining Torino, alongside AC Milan teenager Gianluigi Donnarumma and Genoa’s Mattia Perin.
Among the veterans there was no call-up for Roma captain Daniele De Rossi, with Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini absent through injury.
The captain’s armband is expected to go to AC Milan center-back Leonardo Bonucci.
Five players have been given a first call-up — Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri, Torino midfielder Daniele Baselli, Crotone midfielder Rolando Mandragora, Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi and Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara.
Along with defenders Alessio Romagnoli and Daniele Rugani, midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini and strikers Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi are among the promising youngsters who are expected to put Italy back on the road to victory.
The squad will meet for the first time at the Italian national team’s training camp at Coverciano near Florence on May 23.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);
Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter Milan), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos (Chelsea/ENG), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea/ENG)
Midfielders: Daniele Baselli (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Bryan Cristante (Atalanta), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Jorginho (Napoli), Rolando Mandragora (Crotone), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Nice/FRA), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Matteo Politano (Sassuolo), Simone Verdi (Bologna), Simone Zaza (Valencia/ESP)