LeBron James shines as Cavaliers deal LA Clippers 7th straight loss

Wesley Johnson defends LeBron James during the LA Clippers-Cavaliers NBA game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Friday. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 18 November 2017
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LeBron James shines as Cavaliers deal LA Clippers 7th straight loss

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James produced a 39-point masterclass as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to overhaul the Los Angeles Clippers in an overtime thriller on Friday.
James added 14 rebounds and six assists to his 39 point tally while Kevin Love grabbed 25 points to power the Cavs to a 118-113 overtime victory at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The win helped cement Cleveland’s climb in the Eastern Conference standings, with the 2016 NBA champions now at 9-7 after four straight wins.
But the Cavs did it the hard way, repeatedly allowing the Clippers to open up sizeable leads before reeling them in.
It was the second time this week the Cavs had been forced to dig themselves out of a hole after recovering from a 23-point deficit against the Knicks in New York.
“That’s how the game is being played for us at this point in the season,” said James.
“It’s good to know that we’re building character and building resiliency and you can do that with a new group then that definitely can help us in the long run, so we can’t say that we wish we wouldn’t do that, but it is what it is.
“That’s the way the game is being played and we got to adjust to it.”
The Clippers were unable to ram home their advantage after leading 92-82 with 8:51 left in the fourth and 101-93 with just under five minutes on the clock.
The Clippers had also led by 81-66 with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter only to see the lead evaporate after James’ commanding performance.
Dwyane Wade was the only other Cleveland player to crack double digits, with 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
Los Angeles meanwhile spread their scoring more evenly, with Blake Griffin leading with 23 and DeAndre Jordan adding 20.
Four other Clippers players also reached double figures for the night, but it was not enough.
The Clippers now have lost seven straight, a dip in form that has seen them slump to 5-9 for the season.
“This is about the fourth game to me that we had a chance to win it at the end we just have not gotten it done,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
“It tells you that you’re closer than you think you are, no matter what your record is.”
Griffin meanwhile took no solace from another narrow defeat.
“Ultimately, being close doesn’t really help you win games (in the future),” Griffin said. “Being close is not what we want.”
Elsewhere Friday, the San Antonio Spurs produced another fightback to topple Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in an absorbing clash between the Western Conference rivals.
The Spurs trailed by 23 points in the second quarter but fought back to claim a 104-101 victory at the AT&T Center in Texas.
LaMarcus Aldridge was the talisman for San Antonio, scoring 26 points including a crucial basket in the final minute as the Spurs improved to 10-6. Oklahoma City fell to 7-8 after the loss.
The Thunder had trailed by six points in the final quarter but came back to 100-99 with 45 seconds left after a free throw by Paul George.
Aldridge scored to put San Antonio up by three at 102-99 only for Carmelo Anthony’s score to make it 102-101. Pau Gasol then hit two free throws to extend San Antonio’s lead before a wild effort by Westbrook on the buzzer missed the rim.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised the way his side had fought back from its early deficit.
“They pounded the rock, kept a great attitude, kept their minds on playing basic basketball and things turned their way,” Popovich said.
“The effort was great and we played a lot smarter in the second half, took care of the ball and showed a lot of courage. A lot of good performances from a lot of guys, but overall a great team win.”


Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

Updated 15 November 2018
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Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

  • 2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari
  • If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events

LONDON: Francesco Molinari is looking to end a fairytale season by becoming the European No. 1 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which starts today, and the first Italian to achieve the feat.
2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari, with a maiden Major victory in the Open Championship in July, which followed a first Rolex event victory at the BMW PGA Championship in May. He has also not missed a single cut this season, a run that extends over four years in regular European Tour events.
And in a glorious Ryder Cup for the Europeans, he became the first player from the continent to win five points out of five, while securing the winning point in his singles match against USA’s Phil Mickelson.
Speaking to journalists ahead of today’s tee-off, the Italian said: “It feels incredible, a new position for me, I’ve never been here in the past.
“I think it’s just a consequence and a sign of an incredible season. I would have never guessed that I would be here in this position if you told me in April or May this year but it’s been an incredible summer, topped by an unbelievable Ryder Cup.
“Really, it’s a dream season for me and it’s nice to be here in this position. Hopefully I’ll be able to close it out. I know it’s not going to be easy and I’m not making any assumptions but I’ll do my best on the course to do the job.
And when asked about his prospects of winning the Harry Vardon trophy this weekend, he said: “You can have the best week of your life and win one tournament but to win a competition that lasts throughout the season, with the amount of talent there is right now on the European Tour, is something really hard to do but it’s also still hard to figure out for me how I’m here in this position.”
Molinari needs to finish tied-fifth or better at the Jumeirah Golf Estates to seal the Race to Dubai crown, but Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood — the man he formed such a strong bond with in Paris — is the only man who can prevent him the perfect ending.
Victory for the Englishman on the Earth Course is the only way he can deny Molinari the title, but the Italian was full of praise for his “best friend” and would not begrudge Fleetwood if he successfully defended his Race to Dubai crown.
“I know we said this and we’re going to sound really cheesy but if I don’t win, I’d rather see him win than anyone else,” he said.
“We really are good friends and he’s had an amazing season. To think that he won last year and to come here, still with a chance to win two in a row, it’s incredible, really.
“So fair play to him. What I can say for me is that it’s been a great season and however it goes this week, I’m still going to have lots of great memories from all of what I’ve done this year, and probably the best memory is what we’ve done together with him in France.
“I can’t really be mad at him, even if he wins.”
If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events and he praised the introduction of the European Tour’s prestige level of tournaments.
“There’s a few events that we target every year,” he said. “It’s great for us to have the opportunity to play in such special tournaments.
“Especially for guys like me, playing a home event in Italy that is part of the Rolex Series, just gives a completely new meaning to the Italian Open.”