Sixers hang on for victory over Mavericks

Updated 28 November 2012
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Sixers hang on for victory over Mavericks

PHILADELPHIA: Evan Turner scored 22 points and Thaddeus Young had 20 to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 100-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and seven assists for the Sixers, who snapped a six-game losing streak to Dallas. Philadelphia shot 6 of 14 on 3-pointers and won its second straight game.
Chris Kaman scored 20 points, and Elton Brand and Shawn Marion had 17 apiece for the Mavericks. Vince Carter added 15 and was clutch in the fourth quarter in trying to bring Dallas back from a 10-point hole.
The 76ers finally created some space in a back-and-forth game when they snapped a tie with a 10-0 run midway through the fourth.
Carter hit his third 3-pointer and then a left-handed layup to bring the Mavericks to 100-98 with 37 seconds left. O.J. Mayo missed two free throws with 2.7 seconds to go and Jae Crowder’s last-gasp jumper was off the mark, leaving Dallas with a 2-5 record on the road.
Pacers 79 Lakers 77: In Los Angeles, George Hill’s high-arching shot over Dwight Howard went in with 0.1 seconds left, and Indiana withstood Kobe Bryant’s 40-point performance for Los Angeles.
Hill scored 19 points and hit that enormous clutch shot for the Pacers, who won their third straight road game over the Lakers after losing 11 consecutive regular-season games since Staples Center opened in 1999.
The Pacers’ sturdy defense stifled the Lakers’ up-tempo offense for most of the night, turning the game into an ugly grind before the thrilling finish.
Bryant hit a tying 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left and produced the 114th 40-point game of his career despite playing with an apparent case of the flu for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-3 under new coach Mike D’Antoni.
David West scored 16 points in the opener of Indiana’s four-game road trip.
The Lakers flirted with the lowest-scoring game and worst shooting percentage in franchise history before scoring eight straight points in the waning minutes. Los Angeles finished 23 for 43 at the foul line.
Suns 91 Cavaliers 78: In Cleveland, Goran Dragic scored 19 points, Michael Beasley added 15 and Phoenix took control late in the third quarter to beat Cleveland.
The Suns scored the final 14 points of the third to take a 71-59 lead they did not relinquish, sending Cleveland to its 10th loss in 11 games.
Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao had 20 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double. He came in leading the NBA in rebounding with a 14.7 average.
Cleveland was playing its fourth game in five nights. The Cavaliers shot 36 percent from the field against a Suns team that was giving up an NBA-worst 103.3 points per game.
Rockets 117 Raptors 101: In Houston, James Harden scored 24 points and matched a career high with 12 assists to lead Houston over Toronto.
Patrick Patterson added 22 points for the Rockets, who have won four in a row. Omer Asik had 13 points and 18 rebounds.
Andrea Bargnani scored 21 points and Terrence Ross added a career-high 19 for the Raptors, who have lost five straight.
The Rockets planned to fly to Minneapolis immediately after the game to attend Wednesday’s funeral for Sasha McHale, the 23-year-old daughter of coach Kevin McHale. Sasha McHale died on Saturday from complications of lupus. The team will then fly from Minneapolis to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder on Wednesday night — Harden’s first game there since he was traded to Houston on Oct. 27.
Timberwolves 97 Kings 89: In Sacramento, California, Kevin Love had 23 points and an NBA season-high 24 rebounds to help Minnesota stop a five-game losing streak by beating Sacramento.
Love, who missed the first nine games of the season with a broken right hand, was a force inside all night for the Timberwolves, who took the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again.
Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins each scored 20 points for the Kings.
Luke Ridnour scored 18 and Nikola Pekovic had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had fallen into a tailspin after starting the season 5-2.
Two free throws by Cousins pulled Sacramento to 91-89 with just under 3 minutes left. But Pekovic got free for a layup and Love threw up an off-balance shot that went in, giving the Timberwolves a 95-89 lead with 27 seconds remaining.


IPL final will pitch batting might of Chennai against bowling mastery of Sunrisers

Updated 26 May 2018
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IPL final will pitch batting might of Chennai against bowling mastery of Sunrisers

  • Seven-times finalists Chennai go up against 2016 winners
  • Chennai have beaten Sunrisers three times already this season

On paper, the Indian Premier League (IPL) final on Sunday evening is a clash between the batting prowess of Chennai Super Kings, who will be contesting their seventh final, and the bowling might of Sunrisers Hyderabad, winners back in 2016.

At first glance, the stats would bear that out too. Four Chennai players — Ambati Rayudu (586), MS Dhoni (455), Shane Watson (438) and Suresh Raina (413) — have topped 400 runs for the season. And while Kane Williamson, Hyderabad’s captain, sits atop the run charts with 688, only Shikhar Dhawan (471) among his teammates has crossed 300.
On the bowling side, Hyderbad’s Rashid Khan and Siddharth Kaul both have 21 wickets, while Shakib Al-Hasan has 14. Not one of them has gone for more than eight runs an over. Chennai’s leading wicket-takers, Shardul Thakur (15) and Dwayne Bravo (13) have both conceded more than nine an over.
Such numbers, however, don’t really tell you how things have gone at the business end of the tournament. Chennai’s campaign has been invigorated by the inclusion of South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi, who had left for home earlier in the competition after the death of his father. He has 10 wickets from six games at a stellar economy rate of 5.9. The new-ball pairing with Deepak Chahar, who can swing it at decent pace, has transformed the team’s fortunes.
Hyderabad have lost four of their last five, and reached the final only after a monumental implosion from Kolkata Knight Riders in front of their home crowd. And it wasn’t a team effort either, with Rashid’s brilliance — 34 off 10 balls, 3 for 19, two catches and one run-out — dragging an underperforming side past the finish line.
Chennai have won all three of their meetings this season, though each game has gone to the wire. After being taken for 49 in the first game between the two sides, Rashid has returned figures of 0 for 25 and 2 for 11. It goes without saying that his intervention will be crucial if Hyderabad are to win a second title.
Chennai lead 8-2 in the head-to-head stakes, and have six players in their likely starting XI who have won the title before. But you have to go all the way back to 2011 for Chennai’s last success, and four losses in the final suggest that they are susceptible to big-match pressure. For that pressure to be felt, Hyderabad need runs. Williamson and Dhawan have scored at a decent clip when they’ve got starts, but there’s been a noticeable lack of oomph in the middle order. Manish Pandey has been dropped after a dreadful season, and Yusuf Pathan seems a shadow of the player who once bullied bowlers. Shakib, too, has failed to play an innings of substance.
It will also be interesting to see who Hyderabad pick for their playing XI. The decision to bench the steady Sandeep Sharma — 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02 — in favor of Khaleel Ahmed backfired spectacularly, as he was taken for 38 in three overs. Carlos Brathwaite held his nerve against Kolkata, but Chennai will doubtless target his medium pace after Faf du Plessis took him apart in the first qualifier.
Chennai will likely keep faith in du Plessis. Sam Billings, who he replaced for the first knockout game, started the season with a dazzling 23-ball 56, but has not been able to kick on from that. When Chennai plumped for a squad high on experience but relatively low on youthful vigour, there were more than a few skeptics. This run to the final, Dhoni’s eighth as captain (one of them was with Pune), has changed many of those minds, but the biggest hurdle remains to be crossed.
For Chennai, the IPL final has often been as hard to surmount as Becher’s Brook is for many horses at the Grand National.