Trail Blazers beat Heat; Cleveland edge past Lakers

Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) dunks over Miami Heat's James Johnson (16) and Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Miami on Sunday night. (AP)
Updated 20 March 2017
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Trail Blazers beat Heat; Cleveland edge past Lakers

MIAMI: Damian Lillard scored a season-high 49 points, including 28 after halftime, as the Portland Trail Blazers continued their playoff push by beating the Miami Heat 115-104 on Sunday night.
Lillard tied a career-high with nine 3-pointers, giving him 1,002 for his career. He shot 14 for 21 from the field, 9 for 12 from 3-point range and made all 12 of his free throws.
Jusef Nurkic added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Portland (32-37), which moved within a game of idle Denver for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. C.J. McCollum scored 18 points and Noah Vonleh added 11 for the Trail Blazers.
James Johnson scored 24 points for Miami, which lost for just the second time in its last 17 home games. The Heat (34-36) missed a chance to reach .500 for the first time this season.
CAVALIERS 125, LAKERS 120: Kyrie Irving scored 46 points and LeBron James added 34 as Cleveland had to rally from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge Los Angeles.
Kevin Love had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who needed every bit of their full lineup to withstand a surprising challenge from the Western Conference’s last-placed team and clinch a playoff spot.
James, Love and Irving all sat out the defending champions’ blowout loss to the Clippers on Saturday, angering fans and the national television audience. That night off left them with the energy to lead a 43-point fourth quarter.
D’Angelo Russell scored a career-high 40 points in a spectacular return to the starting lineup for the Lakers, who have lost five straight and 13 of 14. Russell hit seven 3-pointers and had six assists while committing just one turnover in 41 minutes.
SPURS 118, KINGS 102: Pau Gasol scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 as San Antonio rolled past Sacramento to end a two-game losing streak.
Kawhi Leonard had 12 points in 27 minutes, sitting out the fourth quarter after the Spurs led by as many as 28.
San Antonio (53-16) moved within two games of idle Golden State (55-14) for the NBA’s best record.
Buddy Hield had 18 points, matching his high with the Kings since being acquired Feb. 20 in the trade that sent All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.
The Spurs had to overcome an abysmal start to win their 10th straight over the Kings. San Antonio missed its first eight shots and 12 of 13 in falling behind 14-2.
76ERS 105, CELTICS 99: Robert Covington made the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to lift Philadelphia over Boston.
Dario Saric scored key baskets to extend the lead and bolster his bid for NBA Rookie of the Year. Saric had 23 points and helped rally the 76ers from a 13-point hole in the third.
Covington buried a 3 with 3:37 left that put the Sixers up 94-91 and Nik Stauskas hit his own with 38 seconds left for a 103-97 lead that sent fans inside a packed Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy.
The Sixers, who thumped Dallas 116-74 on Friday night, improved to a respectable 17-19 at home. They won 10 games total last season.
Al Horford led the Celtics with a season-high 27 points. Boston guard Isaiah Thomas sat out a second straight game with a bone bruise on his right knee and is questionable for Monday at Washington.
RAPTORS 116, PACERS 91: DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points in three quarters as all five Toronto starters were in double figures against Indiana.
DeRozan added four assists and three rebounds and was able to rest the entire fourth quarter as the Raptors cruised to their second straight victory. Serge Ibaka had 16 points, while Jonas Valanciunas finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Raptors improved to 41-29.
Paul George had 18 points for the Pacers, who lost to Toronto for the eighth time in the last nine regular-season meetings.
It was the first meeting between the teams since Game 7 of last year’s first-round playoff series, which was won by Toronto. They face each other twice more over the next two weeks.
MAVERICKS 111, NETS 104: Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and nine rebounds as Dallas beat Brooklyn.
J.J. Barea scored 20 points and Harrison Barnes added 19 for the Mavericks.
Brook Lopez had 27 points and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 for the Nets.
The Mavericks led 94-92 with more than five minutes left before Barea scored nine straight Dallas points. Barnes followed with two layups that made it 107-101 with 26.5 seconds remaining.
PISTONS 112, SUNS 95: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 23 points as Detroit overcame a sluggish performance for the much of the game, finally pulling away from short-handed Phoenix.
The Suns were without several top players but they still led the playoff-chasing Pistons 65-53 in the third quarter. Detroit finished strong in that period and then built a double-digit lead of its own in the fourth.
Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, and Aron Baynes had 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Tyler Ulis had 17 points and 11 assists for the Suns.
Phoenix was without guard Devin Booker (right ankle), guard Ronnie Price (left leg), guard Leandro Barbosa (illness) and forward Dragan Bender (right ankle). The Suns have also been playing without Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Tyson Chandler, choosing to give young players more time.
PELICANS 123, TIMBERWOLVES 109: Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds to lead New Orleans past struggling Minnesota.
DeMarcus Cousins added 15 points and 11 rebounds in his return from a one-game absence because of left knee and rib soreness. Reserve guard Jordan Crawford scored a season-high 22 points in 21 minutes for the Pelicans, who have won four of five. Jrue Holiday had 21 points and shot 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 for the Timberwolves, who lost their third straight. Andrew Wiggins added 25 points and reserve Shabazz Muhammad had 20 for Minnesota. Ricky Rubio chipped in with 10 points and 14 assists for the Wolves, who built a 13-point lead in the second quarter only to fade late as New Orleans closed the game on a 21-10 run.


‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 19 June 2018
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‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.