Thunder’s Big 3 lead way in 102-91 win over Pelicans
Thunder’s Big 3 lead way in 102-91 win over Pelicans
Fans got their first chance to see reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony play together since the Thunder acquired George and Anthony in trades. They were dominant in Oklahoma City’s 102-91 win over New Orleans on Friday night.
Westbrook played for the first time this preseason after getting a platelet rich plasma injection in his knee. He missed the team’s Blue-White scrimmage and the preseason opener against Houston in Tulsa on Monday. He finished with nine points, four assists and one rebound in 9:58 before coming out for good late in the first quarter. Westbrook has said that he is fine and the injection is something he does each year, but he did it later than usual this year because he spent a lot of time at home focusing on his newborn son.
George scored 25 points in just over 27 minutes and Anthony added nine points and six rebounds.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 14 points and seven rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins scored 13 points and Ian Clark and Jrue Holiday each scored 11.
Wizards 104 Knicks 100: John Wall scored 19 points, knocking down 9 of 14 shots in just under 24 minutes in Washington’s preseason home win. Kelly Oubre scored 14 points and Bradley Beal added 13 for the Wizards.
Enes Kanter, a center New York acquired in the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, led the Knicks with 16 points. He made 6 of 11 shots.
The Wizards shot 47 percent as Beal and Wall combined to make 15 of 25 shots.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points, Courtney Lee scored 12 and Jarrett Jack added 11 for the Knicks. Joakim Noah played just 12 minutes as a reserve.The Knicks outrebounded the Wizards 46-36.
Celtics 110 76ers 102: Kyrie Irving scored 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting as Boston won at Philadelphia. Irving also had three assists in just under 25 minutes. Terry Rozier scored 13 points and Aron Baynes added 12 for the Celtics.
Jerryd Bayless scored 15 points and J.J. Redick added 12 for the 76ers.
New addition Gordon Hayward scored nine points on 4-for-9 shooting for the Celtics while Al Horford scored just seven points, but he had nine rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes. Marcus Smart scored 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
Pacers 106 Cavaliers 102: TJ Leaf scored 18 points, Domantas Sabonis added 17 and Indiana won at Cleveland as LeBron James missed his second straight preseason game. James hurt his ankle last week, but has been practicing. Dwyane Wade led Cleveland with 20 points and Jae Crowder added 17.
Victor Oladipo, who was acquired in the deal that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City, scored 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting and had five assists for Indiana.
Derrick Rose scored 15 points and Kevin Love added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists for Cleveland.
Pistons 109 Hawks 87: Avery Bradley scored 18 points, Tobias Harris added 17 and Detroit beat Atlanta in a home preseason game. Henry Ellenson added 16 points for the Pistons. Malcolm Delaney scored 15 points and Taurean Prince and John Collins each added 10 for the Hawks.
Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus reveals Omar Abdulrahman will make debut in Super Cup clash in London
- New boss Jorge Jesus to give start to new star signing after $17 million move from Al-Ain last week.
- Al-Hilal coach keen to put on a good show in London and start season with silverware against Al-Ittihad.
LONDON: Jorge Jesus confirmed Omar Abdulrahman will make his Al-Hilal debut in the Saudi Super Cup final against Al-Ittihad on Saturday.
The UAE playmaker joined the Saudi Pro League champions last week in a loan deal from Al-Ain that was worth $17 million, a fee that has only been surpassed once in football history.
The 26-year-old has been training with his new teammates at English football’s HQ at St. George’s Park this week and traveled down to London on Friday with the rest of the team ahead of the showpiece game at Loftus Road.
Abdulrahman has not played since May, when Al-Ain were dumped out of the AFC Champions League by Lekhwiya, and he was not considered for the Arab Club Champions Club on Sunday, but Jesus said the 2016 Asian Player of the Year is line to make his first appearance for his boyhood club this weekend.
“Omar is training with the team for five or six days,” said Jesus. “Intelligent players like Omar learn fast, so that’s why he will be part of the game.”
There are various subplots to the game in west London, not least the fact that Al-Ittihad coach Ramon Diaz comes up against the club that fired him in February. He won the double in the first season in Riyadh and then choreographed Al-Hilal’s run to the final of the AFC Champions League in his second. Now he goes up against Jesus, the Portuguese tactician who replaced him this summer.
“It’s true Diaz could know the players more and this could influence the match, but they are working with my ideas today and I expect the match to be an excellent game,” said Jesus.
Al-Hilal lost the Super Cup the last time it was held in London, losing to Al-Ahli on penalties in a thriller at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground. Jesus knows this year’s match could provide a launchpad for the season ahead and broaden the appeal of football in the Kingdom.
“Everybody knows the importance of this match, because we play outside Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It represents the image of our football. We are happy to be present in London and play the Saudi Super Cup here. The eyes of Europe sees London as the center of football, so we need to create a good image of Saudi football.”
Jorge Jesus is looking to get his reign as Al-Hilal coach off to a winning start at QPR's Loftus Road ground on Saturday.
Jesus will be without the injured Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf and Nawaf Al-Abed while national team full-back Yasser Al-Shahrani will undergo a late fitness test.
“We are missing some players but that should not reduce the importance of some players we have in the squad,” said Jesus. “We have to find our best combination of players to go to the match with.”
Mohammad Al-Shalhoub will captain the side from midfield following the departure of Osama Hawsawi and knows bragging rights are up for grabs on Saturday between Saudi Arabia’s two most successful clubs who have won the top prize in the Kingdom 23 times between them.
“It’s one match, there is no other chance,” he said. “We will do our best to win the cup. We can start the season well if we win this cup. We will fight hard to win, but Ittihad is doing their hardest to win it, too. We are super motivated to show a good level and start with a Saudi Super Cup victory.”
Al-Hilal labored to a 1-0 win over Al-Shabab on Sunday night and know they will need to be much nearer their best against last season’s King’s Cup winners.
“In the beginning of the season, you can have some difficulties,“ Al-Shalhoub said. “Our first home game in the Arab Cup we showed a good level, but we have to me more ready against Ittihad.”