Spurs vent ire on Grizzlies, triumph in overtime
Spurs vent ire on Grizzlies, triumph in overtime
The Spurs were hit by the fine for resting four starting players against Miami without any notice. Possibly invigorated by that fine, or perhaps just well rested, Tony Parker scored 30 points while Tim Duncan had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the win over Memphis.
Coach Greg Popovich said he was disappointed by Commissioner David Stern’s decision and ruled out neither an appeal, nor a possible repeat of the ploy in future busy scheduling.
Marc Gasol scored 20 points for the Grizzlies, who slipped to a 12-3 record, falling into a tie with Miami for the overall NBA lead.
The Heat grabbed that share of the lead by downing the high-flying Brooklyn Nets 102-89, having trailed at one stage by 14 points.
Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 34 points and LeBron James added 21 for the Heat, who won their sixth straight and 12th in a row over the Nets, restricting Brooklyn to just 30 points in the second half.
Andray Blatche scored 20 points for Brooklyn, which lost the lead in the Atlantic Division, slipping half a game behind New York.
Oklahoma City stayed locked with the Spurs on a 14-4 record by cruising past the New Orleans Hornets 100-79, having built a 27-point lead after three quarters.
Kevin Durant scored 20 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 points and 10 assists for the Thunder, which has won five straight; the past four by double digits.
Ryan Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but was only 3 of 11 on 3-point attempts, normally his strength.
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers — so often the also-rans in the Pacific Division — stayed locked together atop that frame as both notched comfortable wins.
The Warriors downed the Indiana Pacers 103-92 as Stephen Curry had 20 points and a season-high 11 assists.
Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the surprising Warriors, who went out to a 16-point lead in the third quarter to notch a third straight win. David West scored 23 points for the Pacers.
The Clippers routed the Sacramento Kings 116-81, with seven players in double figures for points, led by Jamal Crawford’s 17 points off the bench.
Los Angeles was able to rest all its starters in the fourth quarter, with Blake Griffin finishing on 14 points and nine rebounds.
Marcus Thornton scored 20 points for the struggling Kings.
The Chicago Bulls had a 93-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in a reprise of last year’s first-round playoff series.
Luol Deng scored a game-high 25 points; making it consecutive games in which he topped the score sheets.
Richard Hamilton added 15 points for the Bulls, while Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 23 points.
The Houston Rockets made it five straight home wins with a 124-116 win over the Utah Jazz in a rich display of shooting skills by both teams.
Patrick Patterson scored 20 points and Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin had 19 apiece for the Rockets, who shot 55 percent (46 of 83) and hit half of their 3-point shots at 11 of 22.
Gordon Hayward had 13 of his 21 points in the second half for the Jazz who lost despite shooting 51 percent (48 of 94) overall and going 11 for 20 from 3-point range.
The Milwaukee Bucks recovered from an awful start, trailing 17-0, to overrun the Boston Celtics and win 91-88.
Larry Sanders put on a show with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Bucks while Monta Ellis had 17 points.
Paul Pierce’s 19 points topped the sheets for the Celtics, who again played without suspended point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Dallas Mavericks had a 92-77 win over the Detroit Pistons. O.J. Mayo broke out of a shooting slump with 27 points while veteran Derek Fisher came out on the winning side in his Mavericks debut.
The close finish of the day came in Cleveland, where the Portland Trail Blazers edged the Cavaliers 118-117, thanks to Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds on the clock in double overtime.
Shane Watson ton takes Chennai Super Kings to third IPL title
- Australian hits 117 off 57 balls as Chennai chase down 178-6
- 'He is a world class player'
MUMBAI: Shane Watson fought through the pain barrier to smash an unbeaten 117 as Chennai Super Kings thrashed Sunrisers Hyderabad to win their third Indian Premier League title in a spectacular return from a two-year corruption ban.
The 36-year-old Australian, struggling with a hamstring injury, hit eight sixes and 11 fours in a stunning 57-ball innings as Chennai took just 18.3 overs to overcome Hyderabad’s 178-6 off 20 overs.
Chennai finished on 181-2 to crush their opponents by eight wickets. They have now equalled the Mumbai Indians in winning the world’s wealthiest cricket tournament for the third time since it started in 2008.
Ambati Rayudu who hit a four to complete victory was also unbeaten on 16 in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, which was packed with more than 33,000 fans.
He led tributes to Watson.
“His experience saw us through. He is a world class player and when he is there anything can happen,” Rayudu said.
Hyderabad coach Tom Moody added Watson had produced “something special.”
But the Australian hero said he had been happy to get through the night because of his injury and after failing to score a run in the first 10 balls of his innings.
“I knew I had to start getting runs quickly after those 10 balls,” he said.
“We had to get the rate back up to a run a ball. But once the ball stopped swinging, it became easier.”
Watson has had longstanding hamstring problems which has worsened as the gruelling IPL season reached the finale.
“Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on for dear life,” he said, praising coach Stephen Fleming and captain M.S. Dhoni for the way he had been protected in games.
Chennai, IPL winners in 2010 and 2011, were banned for two seasons in 2015 along with Rajasthan Royals after team officials were found guilty of involvement in illegal gambling.
Dhoni won the toss and put Hyderabad into bat. Their New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hit a top-score 47 as Sunrisers posted 178-6.
The 27-year-old Williamson, a last minute replacement for scandal-tainted David Warner as captain, has been an impressive leader, amassing 735 runs including eight half centuries in 17 matches.
He was supported by Yusuf Pathan who hit an unbeaten 45 off 25 balls, including four fours and two sixes. Carlos Brathwaite also hit an 11-ball 21 to help Hyderabad add 52 runs in the last five overs.
But after reining in Watson at the start and taking South African opener Faf du Plessis for 10 in the third over, the Hyderabad bowlers were put to the sword.
Watson and Suresh Raina put on a swashbuckling 117-run second-wicket stand with Raina hitting 32.
Afghanistan teen sensation Rashid Khan returned figures of 0-24 for Hyderabad but Watson hit the other bowlers to every corner of the stadium.
The big-hitting Aussie allrounder plundered 27 runs off one over of paceman Sandeep Sharma.
Watson took a single off Khan to bring up his hundred in 51 balls and then acknowledged a standing ovation from the Chennai dugout and the crowd with his team already in sight of their IPL triumph.
Watson was just one of nine members of the Chennai squad to be aged over 30. But triumphant captain Dhoni, who has also won three IPL titles, said agility was more important.
“It is the fitness that really matters more than the age aspect,” said the former India captain, 36.
“What captains want is players who move well in the field. It doesn’t matter which year a player is born in, whether you are 19 or 20 — you have to be agile.”
But Dhoni acknowledged that he could not push his whole team to run like a 20-year-old. “If I push Watson to stop a single, there is a very good chance that he’ll burst his hamstring and won’t be available for the next game.
“So what you tell yourself is that they have to commit and try, but there’s no point getting injured for a single.”
The winners of the final were guaranteed a minimum $4 million in prize money.