Parker stars as Spurs top Nets

Updated 12 February 2013
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Parker stars as Spurs top Nets

NEW YORK: San Antonio’s Tony Parker put in another brilliant performance to compensate for the absence of his two sidekicks, helping the NBA-leading Spurs to a comfortable 111-86 win at the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.
Two nights after their 11-game winning streak was ended, the Spurs got back on track quickly thanks to Parker, who fell one point short of his third straight 30-point game only because he was so good he could sit out the final minutes of the rout.
In other key games, Chris Paul led the way in his second game back from injury as the Los Angeles Clippers beat New York, Boston survived triple overtime to edge Denver and notch its seventh-straight win, Miami’s LeBron James set a scoring streak record in the win over the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City had another big win over Phoenix.
San Antonio’s Danny Green added 14 points to help Parker in the absence of injured pair Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Joe Johnson scored 19 points for the Nets, who have lost 19 of their past 20 against the Spurs.
Brooklyn’s home woes were matched by their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, who were beaten 102-88 by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Paul scored 25 points and reserve Jamal Crawford had 27 for the Clippers, whose form had been shaky but who can look forward to a return home after Monday’s game in Philadelphia, which ends an eight-game trip.
Carmelo Anthony had 42 points — his fifth 40-point game this season — for the Knicks, but made only one basket in the fourth quarter.
The Boston Celtics won a triple-overtime thriller against the Denver Nuggets, taking a 118-114 victory.
Paul Pierce had a triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for Boston, including a vital 3-pointer which tied the game at the end of second overtime.
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Celtics, who curiously remain unbeaten since Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury.
Ty Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets, who had won nine in a row.
Miami’s James set a franchise record scoring streak as the Heat beat the L.A. Lakers 107-97 and stretched its winning run to five games.
James had 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting to bring up a record fifth straight game with at least 30 points.
Dwyane Wade scored 30 for Miami, which moved 2-1/2 games clear of New York atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Kobe Bryant had 28 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who had eight turnovers to none in the final quarter.
Oklahoma City Thunder beat Phoenix 97-69, meaning they had beaten the Suns by a combined 59 points over two nights.
Thabo Sefolosha made a career-high 5 3-pointers while Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes for the Thunder, which has won 10 straight against the Suns.
Markieff Morris was the only Phoenix player in double figures with 12 points.
Memphis’ Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and the Grizzlies pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a 105-88 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and John Salmons also had 23 points to help rally the Kings to a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets.
The Orlando Magic snapped a 12-game losing skid with a 110-104 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Toronto Raptors recorded a 102-89 home win over the New Orleans Hornets.


Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

Updated 20 min 33 sec ago
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Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

LIVERPOOL: With eight minutes of the 1981 European Cup final remaining, Liverpool left-back Alan Kennedy made one of his trademark bursts forward, broke into the Real Madrid penalty area and drove home a left-footed finish to settle a tense, tactical battle.
Unlikely, unforgettable, he had the historic distinction of being the matchwinner in two finals, having also netted the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory over AS Roma three years later.
“So proud,” reflected Kennedy. “It was a wonderful time to be a Liverpool player.”
On Saturday, the Reds meet Real again in Kiev to contest European club football’s most prized trophy.And the memories of that Paris triumph will never fade for the 63-year-old, nor will being part of a lauded Liverpool team.
“That was their mentality and Liverpool were rightly the top team in Europe,” Kennedy, who also lifted five League titles for the Reds during his eight-year stay at Anfield, said. “It was a great era, great times, but the be-all and end-all for any footballer, should be about winning trophies.”
Liverpool’s strength and focus was emphasized in that Parc des Princes showpiece. Before kick-off they had to cover up sponsor’s logos on their shirts to appease UEFA and TV broadcasters. They had concerns about the fitness of influential striker Kenny Dalglish and Kennedy himself after a broken wrist had sidelined him six weeks earlier.
“I think when you put obstacles in the way of that Liverpool team, the better they played,” he told Arab News. “We had issues with TV rights, about the state of the pitch, issues about the fitness of players, me included, but we went out to play the game and win.”
Formidable foes, Bob Paisley’s side dominated Europe in much the same way Zinedine Zidane’s side are doing at the moment. On Saturday they will seek to become the first side to win three European Cups on the bounce since Bayern Munich in 1976.
“Real Madrid are the champions and fantastic in the competition with their history,” said Kennedy. “You have to respect what they have done.
“Everyone expected Liverpool to be in contention for all the trophies too and that’s what we wanted, to push ourselves to as many finals. We wanted to win everything. Maybe we were a bit greedy, but we felt we could do it.
“I don’t think we were arrogant, although our play suggested we were good at what we did. We played a system that was attack all the time no matter if we were under the cosh or defending.
“It was a great team, everyone knew their jobs, we didn’t change for anyone. We were single-minded about winning. We had set the standards and were under pressure to win every game.”
As favorites, Real will be under similar pressure as they seek a 13th title. And Kennedy believes that his former club can claim a sixth European Cup and their first since the famous 2005 triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul when they came back from 3-0 down.
“I know it will be a great game, difficult to call,” he said.
“But I would be saying to the Liverpool players that you can win it, you are good enough to win it. Go out and play the same way you
have all season. If they do, I think they will win it.
“They may concede, but they should not change their style.”
And nor should they, as attack has been the best form of defense for Liverpool this season. In Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, there is a frontline blessed with pace, panache and potency.
Salah, rightly, has received accolades — including the PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year awards — after a stunning debut season following his £36.9 million ($49 million) arrival from Roma.
A landmark 42 goals — a record 32 in the Premier League — and ability to create chances have seen the Egyptian ranked alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But, for Kennedy, there can be no comparison to Dalglish, arguably the greatest Kop king.
“Kenny was special, a different type of player, always on the shoulder of the defender,” he added. “Salah comes in from the wing and scores spectacular goals. Liverpool play to his strengths as he is forever getting into the box and the right position.
“For me, Kenny, over 10 seasons, was Liverpool’s top player at that time, fantastic, and it’s difficult to put them side by side. Salah’s been wonderful, but never had a season like this before.”
Madrid’s talisman Ronaldo has. Another 43 goals for the five-time Ballon D’Or winner shows he remains a force at 33.
“I’ve always had utmost admiration for Ronaldo,” said Kennedy. “He has this ability to score in finals and show how good he is. One chance, he takes it.
“But that’s been the same with Salah too. The goals he has scored, he seems to see what comes ahead. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”