Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant lead Warriors past Mavericks

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry shoots over Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki during the second half of their NBA basketball game on Thursday, February 8. (AP)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant lead Warriors past Mavericks

OAKLAND, California: Stephen Curry had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors bounced back from a tough recent stretch to beat the Dallas Mavericks 121-103 on Thursday night.
Kevin Durant added 24 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots while Draymond Green put up another impressive line: 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals.
Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points, 11 rebounds, season-high five steals and two blocks, while rookie Dennis Smith Jr. scored 22 points.
Curry’s pretty three-point play with 1:28 left in the third put the Warriors up 88-83, and once Golden State got going in transition the Mavericks couldn’t keep up in what became a dunk fest. The Warriors began the fourth on a 14-5 tear.
Despite another slow start, Golden State eventually found its groove and delivered all the big plays when it mattered.
The defending champions had dropped three of four, including their worst defeat at home in Tuesday’s 125-105 loss to the Thunder.
Klay Thompson added 18 points, five rebounds and four assists on his 28th birthday.
Durant dunked in transition on back-to-back possessions late in the second quarter, one off a steal he made, and Andre Iguodala also had a slam as the Warriors sent the game to halftime tied at 60.
David West contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in nearly 17 minutes for Golden State, which earned a 10th straight victory in the series.
Green was fined $50,000 by the NBA for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward an official during the Oklahoma City loss.
Green was ejected with 8:13 remaining after a second technical for arguing with the officials, specifically female referee Lauren Holtkamp. The NBA said the specific incident for which he was penalized occurred in the second quarter.
On Thursday night, Green got hit with his 14th technical of the season — two away from an automatic suspension — in the second quarter for arguing after a delay of game warning.
Green will wear clear braces for a couple of weeks after his front right tooth was knocked back in a collision with Russell Westbrook during Tuesday’s loss.
Green said dentists will monitor his tooth.
“It hasn’t died. Hopefully it stays alive,” he said.


Solid start in Asian Games for ‘work in progress’ Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 August 2018
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Solid start in Asian Games for ‘work in progress’ Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabian coach Saad Al-Shehri promised his U23 side will improve after goalless draw
  • Young Falcons are back in action on Friday, against Myanmar

JAKARTA: Saudi Arabian coach Saad Al-Shehri promised his U23 side will find their scoring boots after twice striking the woodwork on Wednesday night during a scoreless draw with Iran in the opening match of their Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.
At the Wibawa Mukti Stadium, the Young Falcons demonstrated impressive technique, particularly the midfield pairing of Al-Shabab’s Nasser Al-Omran and Al-Ahli’s Yousef Al-Harbi, but ultimately failed to take their chances against an Iran side happy to defend deep and play on the counter-attack.
“We played well, but not very well,” said coach Al-Shehri. “With the players we have, a better result was possible. The first match of any tournament is difficult and we played against a team who have a strong defense and implement fast transitions. We made three or four chances to score, so cannot be too disappointed. This is just the start though and we have at least two more matches. Now we must improve — and we will.”
As early as the sixth minute, Al-Qadisiyah striker Haroune Camara showed glimpses of why national team coach Juan Antonio Pizzi had been tempted to take him to the World Cup this summer.
The strapping 20-year-old outmuscled two Iranian defenders before rounding the goalkeeper, but his shot at goal was bundled on to the post by a back-tracking defender. A minute later, Al-Ahli playmaker Ayman Al-Khulaif could have opened the scoring, but saw his tame shot cleared off the line.
“We tried our best, but we did not have luck to win,” said Abdulrahman Ghareeb, the diminutive Al-Ahli midfielder. “I promise in the next two games we will be better and get the results required to progress. We played well and remain confident.”
For all Saudi’s dominance, it was Iran who could have gone in with a goal advantage at the break when a defensive mix-up allowed Mohammedreza Azadi Andizeh to toe-poke past Mohammed Ayami in the Saudi goal. This time it was left to Abdullah Tarmin to clear off the line at the other end. And while Alyami was called into action again early in the second period, with the temperature recorded at 34 degrees Celsius, the intensity unsurprisingly waned as the game went on.
“Always, when the weather is hot like this, it makes problems and we saw that in the second half,” said Al-Shehri.
“We talked to the players at half-time about how to maintain the physical level until the end because if you play against a team like Iran that plays counter attack, you need to be wary of leaving big spaces in behind.”
Al-Shehri’s words seemed to work. In added time, and with a flurry of late substitutes sucking all rhythm out of the contest, a final energetic Saudi attack resulted in Nawaf Al-Habashi latching on to a smart cut-back from the byline and firing toward goal. Once again, however, there was a roadblock in the way as the ball cannoned back off the far post.
“We need to improve the team’s personality and build a good squad for the next tournament, the U23 Asian Cup,” said Al-Shehri. “That is what we are trying to do here. Win games, but also build a team that can qualify for Tokyo 2020.”
There is no time to waste in their quest — the Young Falcons are back in action on Friday, against Myanmar.