Stoke’s Walters helps Chelsea claim third as Spurs falter

Updated 12 January 2013
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Stoke’s Walters helps Chelsea claim third as Spurs falter

LONDON: Jon Walters scored an unfortunate brace of headed own goals and missed a late penalty as Chelsea won 4-0 at Stoke City to reclaim third place in the Premier League yesterday.
Frank Lampard also got on the score-sheet to become Chelsea’s second-highest all-time goal-scorer, as Rafael Benitez’s side bounced back from their 2-0 loss to Swansea City in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final.
Chelsea made the breakthrough in first-half injury time at the Britannia Stadium when Walters inadvertently put Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross past his own goalkeeper with a bullet header.
Improbably, Walters then diverted a Juan Mata into his own goal to make it 2-0 in the 63rd minute and two minutes later Lampard blasted home his 194th Chelsea goal from the penalty spot after Mata went down in the Stoke box.
Stoke had not been beaten at home all season but that record was shattered, with Eden Hazard adding a superb fourth in the 73rd minute with a sweetly struck left-foot shot from 25 yards.
Chelsea fans had even more reason to cheer when captain John Terry came on as a substitute following a two-month injury lay-off, while Walters blazed a last-minute penalty over the crossbar to compound his misfortune.
Chelsea’s victory took them back into third place, after the previous incumbents of the final podium position, Tottenham Hotspur, were held to a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers.
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe came close to opening the scoring in the first half with a 20-yard strike that crashed back off the post, with QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacting brilliantly to save Emmanuel Adebayor’s follow-up.
The hosts’ best chances both fell to Shaun Wright-Phillips, but he could not find the target on either occasion. Julio Cesar also thwarted Defoe in the second period, while Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker whipped a free-kick inches over the crossbar.
“They defended very well; we wanted to play with a higher tempo, but they frustrate you,” said Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas.
“Julio Cesar had a great game. It was a difficult game for us, but we got an away point, so we are satisfied.” Following the shock 1-0 win at Chelsea in their previous outing, QPR are now five points from safety with 16 games to play.
They remain at the bottom of the table, however, after Reading avoided slipping to the foot of the standings by storming back from two goals down to win 3-2 in extraordinary fashion at home to West Bromwich Albion.
A Romelu Lukaku brace had put the visitors in control, but Reading scored three times in the last eight minutes through Jimmy Kebe, Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak to give their fight to avoid relegation a shot in the arm.
Aston Villa’s miserable week continued as they lost 1-0 at home to Southampton to slip into the relegation zone.
Beaten 3-1 by fourth-tier Bradford City in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday, Paul Lambert’s men went down to a 34th-minute Rickie Lambert penalty and have now gone five league games without a win.
Wigan Athletic climbed out of the relegation places at Villa’s expense after Franco Di Santo canceled out Georgios Karagounis’ 25-yard opener to give the Latics a 1-1 draw at Fulham.
A glorious 30-yard drive by Sebastian Larsson set Sunderland on their way to a 3-0 success at home to West Ham United that lifted them further away from the bottom three, with Adam Johnson and James McClean also on target.
Everton squandered an opportunity to close to within a point of fourth-place Spurs by drawing 0-0 at home to Swansea, while Newcastle United’s trip to Norwich City also ended goalless.
The top two are both in action today, with leaders Manchester United hosting Liverpool and second-place Manchester City visiting Arsenal.


LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers blocks a dunk by Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics during Game Seven of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 28 May 2018
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LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

  • In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
  • The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State.

BOSTON: With another Game 7 victory at stake, LeBron James would not miss. He would not sit out. And he would not be denied an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
The four-time league MVP scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists on Sunday night, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 win over the Celtics and eliminating Boston from the Eastern Conference finals in the decisive seventh game.
In the first close game of the series — and the lowest-scoring — James played all 48 minutes and had 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for his sixth straight Game 7 win.
The NBA Finals begin Thursday at either Houston or Golden State. The Rockets host the seventh game of the West finals on Monday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 24 for Boston, which was looking to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Al Horford scored 17 points and Marcus Morris added 14 with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who led 72-71 with six minutes remaining before the Cavaliers scored 15 of the next 17 points to pull away.
James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy.
It’s not the one they want.
James had to do it without Kevin Love — Cleveland’s only other all-star — who sustained a concussion in Game 6 and was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Green. Making his first start since the first-round opener against Indiana, Green scored 19 points and added eight rebounds — the star of James’ starless supporting cast.
The Celtics have had more time to get used to their injuries: Gordon Hayward has been out since the first game of the season, and Kyrie Irving has been sidelined since March. With the rookie Tatum and second-year Jaylen Brown, Boston established itself as the team of the future in the East.
But the present still belongs to James.
And, for now, that means Cleveland, too.

TIP-INS
Cavaliers: Shot just 2 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half. They made three of their first 22 shots before James and Green connected on back-to-back attempts midway through the third quarter.
Celtics: Paul Pierce, whose number was retired by the Celtics this season, cheered the team on from courtside. ... Rapper 21 Savage was also at the game. ... Boston was 7 for 39 from 3-point range, with Terry Rozier missing all 10 of his attempts.