England beat Australia again to lead ODI series 2-0

England’s Moeen Ali, center without a cap, celebrates with his team after he got the wicket of Australia’s David Warner, not shown, during the one-day cricket match between England and Australia in Brisbane, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP)
Updated 19 January 2018
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England beat Australia again to lead ODI series 2-0

BRISBANE: England cruised to a four-wicket victory over Australia in Friday’s second one-day cricket international at the Gabba to take a 2-0 lead in their five-match series.
Joe Root captured two vital wickets to help the tourists restrict Australia to a modest total of 270 for nine, then the England captain made an unbeaten 46 as his side reached their winning target with more than 5 overs to spare to seize control of the series after Sunday’s five-wicket win in Melbourne.
Jonny Bairstow (60) and Alex Hayes (57) both made half-centuries while Root, Jos Buttler (46) and Chris Woakes (39 not out) all made valuable contributions after Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc took 4-59 to give the home team hope of victory.
Aaron Finch scored his second century in as many matches for Australia but received little support from his teammates with no-one else making at least 40.
Finch followed up his 107 from the series-opener in Melbourne with a brisk 106 off 114 balls. He shared a 68-run partnership with fellow opener Dave Warner (35) then joined Mitchell Marsh (36) in an 85-run stand for the fourth wicket before England put the brakes on Australia’s scoring by taking 3-7 in two overs.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey, one of two players making their ODI debuts for Australia, chipped in with 27 off just 24 deliveries before he was run out as the home side managed just 57 runs from the last 10 overs.
Root was the pick of the visiting team’s bowlers, taking 2-31, including the prized wicket of the Australian skipper Steve Smith for 18, while leg-spinner Adil Rashid also bagged two wickets.
Jason Roy, who made a record 180 in Melbourne, managed only two this time before falling to Starc but his early dismissal had no impact on the result.
England stuck with the same lineup that successfully chased down Australia’s 304-8 to win in Melbourne while the home side made three changes.
Carey replaced Tim Paine, who was ruled out with illness, while Jhye Richardson earned his first cap after taking over from Pat Cummins, who was rested after undertaking a heavy workload during the Ashes test series.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was dropped to make way for veteran middle-order batsman Cameron White, who finished unbeaten on 15.


Rockets outlast Warriors 98-94, edge closer to NBA Finals

Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets goes up against Quinn Cook #4 of the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Bob Levey/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 8 min 29 sec ago
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Rockets outlast Warriors 98-94, edge closer to NBA Finals

  • The Rockets head into Game 6 on Saturday night in Oakland one win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals.
  • After Game 6 on Saturday, the Rockets would host Game 7 on Monday if necessary.

HOUSTON, Texas: Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Houston Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.
The Rockets head into Game 6 on Saturday night in Oakland one win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95.
Chris Paul scored 20 points and James Harden struggled for his 19, but Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015.
The Rockets won a second straight defensive struggle between the two potent offenses, leaving the Warriors a loss from missing the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.
“We had to rely on our defense once again,” Harden said. “Game 4, we weren’t making shots but defensively we were really good. Same thing tonight.”
Draymond Green made a 3-pointer with just over minute left to get Golden State within one. Harden, who was 0 for 11 on 3s, missed his last one with less than 30 seconds left, giving the Warriors the ball back.
Stephen Curry missed a floater and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 10 seconds left. But he made just one of two free throws to give the Warriors another chance.
But Gordon came up with his steal when Green lost control in the lane and added two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to put it away.
Klay Thompson shook off a knee injury that had his status for this game in question to score 23 points and Curry added 22. A bruised left knee kept Andre Iguodala out for the second straight game, and Kevon Looney started in his place.
After losing Game 1 of the series, the Rockets made the best of home-court advantage this time, thrilling a sellout crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and rapper Travis Scott.
It’s Houston’s second straight win in the series after snapping Golden State’s NBA playoff-record, 16-game home winning streak with a 95-92 victory on Tuesday night.
Golden State led by one to start the fourth before Paul got going, scoring seven points to power a 10-5 run that gave the Rockets an 81-77 lead with about 9 1/2 minutes left.
Thompson made a 3-pointer after that and then officials reviewed Paul’s first basket of the quarter and ruled he got it off after the shot clock expired, leaving the Warriors ahead 80-79.
The Rockets were clinging to a one-point lead with about seven minutes left when Durant fouled Gordon on a 3-point attempt, losing one of his shoes in the process. Gordon made all three free throws to start a 7-2 spurt that extended the lead to 88-82 midway through the quarter.
The Rockets honored the 10 people killed in last week’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, before the game, with the school’s choir singing the national anthem and team owner Tilman Fertitta wearing a “Santa Fe Strong” T-shirt, before Houston scored the game’s first six points in a first half where the team led by as many as 11.

TIP-INS
Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr was unsure Thursday if Iguodala would be able to return for Game 6. “He’s dying to play, but he’s not healthy enough,” Kerr said. “We’ll just continue to take it day to day..”.. Curry made four free throws to tie Rick Barry for most free throws made in the playoffs in franchise history with 378. ... Golden State had 18 turnovers.
Rockets: Clint Capela had 12 points and 14 rebounds for his seventh double-double this postseason. ... Houston made 13 of 43 3-pointers, led by four from Gordon.

UP NEXT
After Game 6 on Saturday, the Rockets would host Game 7 on Monday if necessary.