NBA: Clippers blowout Lakers in Ball’s NBA debut

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) reacts after making a three-point shot during the first half against the LA Clippers at Staples Center. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 20 October 2017
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NBA: Clippers blowout Lakers in Ball’s NBA debut

LOS ANGELES, USA: The Los Angeles Clippers continued their domination of the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday by routing their cross-town rivals 108-92 and spoiling the NBA debut of second-overall pick Lonzo Ball.
Blake Griffin had 29 points and 12 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan tallied 14 points and 24 rebounds to lead the Clippers in the season opener for both teams.
The highly-touted Ball shot one-of-six from the floor and finished with just three points in front of a crowd of 19,000 at Staples Center arena.
Ball missed his first three field-goal attempts and both free throws before making his only basket, a three-pointer, with 4:49 left in the first half.
Ball didn’t collect his first assist until teammate Brook Lopez converted a jumper with 1:29 remaining in the opening half.
Clippers Patrick Beverley had the job of guarding Ball and said he wanted to “welcome his little young ass to the NBA.”
The Clippers led 86-63 after three quarters and led by as many as 30 points in the fourth.
The Clippers have now won 19 of the past 21 meetings over the struggling Lakers franchise since the start of the 2012-13 season. Over the last five seasons, the Clippers have outscored the Lakers by an average of 15.4 points.
Lopez led the Lakers with 20 points, Jordan Clarkson scored 18 off the bench.
Elsewhere, new additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony joined forces with Russell Westbrook to score a combined 71 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder crushed Anthony’s former New York Knicks team 105-84 in their season opener.
“We all play for one another,” said George. “Nobody cares who scores. We are going to enjoy one another and that is what it is all about.”
Westbrook tallied a triple-double with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. George finished with 28 points while Anthony delivered 22.
Anthony was the last piece added to the retooled Thunder roster. Anthony was the face of his former team but managed to win just one playoff series during his seven seasons with the Knicks.
“It is all good,” he said after Thursday’s win. “The most important thing was to get out here and start a new journey. This is a new chapter.”
Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 31 points and 12 rebounds. The only other New York player to score in double digits was Enes Kanter, who had 10 points.
In Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, C.J. Miles came off the bench to score 22 points and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Chicago Bulls 117-100 in the opening game of the season for each team.


Saudi Arabia powerhouse Al-Ahli sign international striker

Updated 39 min 42 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia powerhouse Al-Ahli sign international striker

  • 6ft 3in forward Djaniny Tavares will play for the Jeddah giants this season
  • Cape Verde international set to partner Omar Al-Somah in new-look strikeforce

LONDON: Al-Ahli have taken another positive step towards wrestling the title away from Al-Hilal by adding to their already prolific strike force.
The Jeddah side have signed Cape Verde international striker Djaniny Tavares on a four-year deal and he is set to spearhead an attacking unit that scored 59 times in the league last season, 12 more than anyone else. 
Tavares, 27, is 6ft 3in and is likely to be used as a target man, making him the perfect foil for sharpshooter Omar Al-Somah, who has been the league’s top-scorer in three of the past four seasons.
Somah scored 11 times in the league last season — one less than Al-Fayha’s Ronnie Fernández who led the league scoring charts —  while Leonardo, with ten, and Giannis Fetfatzidis, who got nine, were not far behind for Al-Ahli, but the latter two have been released as part of a cull of the club’s foreign players, so Tavares has been recruited with a view to replacing their goal threat.


Tavares is not a household name — he has spent most of his career playing for some of the lesser known clubs in Portugal — but he has spent the last four years in Mexico, scoring 40 goals in 124 games for Santos Laguna. He has capped 24 times by his country, scoring four goals and will join up with his new Al-Ahli teammates in Austria for their pre-season training camp.
Tavares is the club’s fifth summer signing, following on from the capture of Spaniard’s Jose Manuel Jurado and Alexis Ruano, Egyptian international Abdallah El-Said and Nouh Al-Mousa. Al-Somah, Mohamed Al-Fateel and Motaz Hawsawi have signed new contracts while Pablo Guede is the new coach.

Al-Ahli missed out on the title by a single point last season and are keen to kick on and land the title for the first time since 2016.
Al-Ahli begin the competitive season on Aug. 7 with an Arab Club Champions Cup game against Muharraq before kicking off the Saudi Pro League season on Aug. 30 with a home game against Al-Batin