Leonard scores 45 as Clippers win on road to force game seven

Leonard scores 45 as Clippers win on road to force game seven
LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles as Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) defends during the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. (Reuters)
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Updated 06 June 2021

Leonard scores 45 as Clippers win on road to force game seven

Leonard scores 45 as Clippers win on road to force game seven
  • Game seven is Sunday at Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles where the Mavericks have won three games.

LOS ANGELES: Kawhi Leonard tied his postseason career high with 45 points as the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Dallas Mavericks 104-97 Friday to stave off elimination and force game seven in their Western Conference NBA series.
The Clippers kept their season alive by winning in front of an almost full house at Dallas' American Airlines Center, marking the first time in NBA history that the road team has won the first six games in a best-of-seven series.
Game seven is Sunday at Staples Center arena in downtown Los Angeles where the Mavericks have won three games.
"I didn't want to go home," said Leonard of facing elimination in front of 18,300 Dallas fans in the first-round of the playoffs.
Leonard becomes just the fourth player in playoff history with 45 points and 70 percent shooting while facing elimination, joining LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain and Canadian Jamal Murray.
"I had to insert myself into the game," Leonard said. "My teammates found me, I got some open looks, knocked them down and I just kept going from there."
Reggie Jackson added 25 and Paul George scored 20 points with 13 rebounds as the Clippers rallied from a seven-point deficit in the third quarter.
Luka Doncic scored 29 points with 11 assists for the Mavericks, who are seeking to avenge a first-round playoff loss to the Clippers last season when they were ousted in six games. Tim Hardaway added 23 points for Dallas.
"(Kawhi) destroyed us. He had a hell of a game. That's what he does," Doncic said of Leonard.
Doncic, who scored 42 points in a game five win, waited until late in the game on Friday to score a large portion of his points.
The Mavericks shot just 29 percent from the field in the final quarter and 41 percent overall.
Leonard carried the Clippers on his back, shooting 18-of-25 from the floor and draining five of nine threes.
The Clippers led 48-45 at the half but trailed 90-88 heading into the fourth. Los Angeles' Nicolas Batum made a dunk with just over five minutes left in the fourth to give them a 90-85 lead. That set the stage for Leonard to carry them to the finish.
Leonard drained back-to-back threes down the stretch as the Clippers seized a 99-90 lead with 100 seconds to go.
Doncic said the Mavericks' winning record at Staples Center has them confident about game seven.
"We all believe we can win game seven," he said.


In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win
Updated 6 sec ago

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win

In-form Haller keeps Ajax unbeaten after Besiktas win
PARIS: Ivory Coast striker Sebastien Haller took his tally to 10 goals in as many games this season as Ajax beat Besiktas 2-0 to move top of group C in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Haller, who joined the Dutch league holders from West Ham in January, kneed home his effort just before the break after midfielder Steven Berghuis had opened the scoring at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
The 27-year-old’s efforts this term have helped Erik ten Hag’s side to the summit of the Eredivisie.
They are also three points clear of Borussia Dortmund in Europe, with the Germans hosting Sporting Lisbon later.
“We should have scored that third goal, it would have been much easier. Unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Ajax captain Dusan Tadic told broadcaster RTL7.
“The good thing was we kept a clean sheet,” he added.
Netherlands playmaker Berghuis opened the scoring, and claimed his second goal of the season, after 17 minutes as he made the most of some questionable Turkish marking in the box before firing home.
Haller’s contribution came two minutes before half-time as with an unorthodox finish from a swinging Berghuis cross.
Elsewhere, Serie A champions Inter Milan remain winless in Europe this season following the 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk was a spectator in Kiev days after beating Anthony Joshua on points to become just the third boxer after Evander Holyfield of the United States and Britain’s David Haye to win both the cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles
The home team’s attacker Lassina Traore was stretchered off after 11 minutes following a collision with Netherlands winger Dumfries.
Burkina Faso international’s right leg and ankle were caught under Dumfries’ body before the 20-year-old was helped off the pitch with his hands covering his face. He was replaced by Tete.
The best of the first half chances fell to Nicolo Barella as the Inter midfielder hit the crossbar with a shot after a quarter of an hour.
Inter were inches away from the winner with three minutes left as Shakhtar goalkeeper and captain Andriy Pyatov tipped Joaquin Correa’s curling shot past the post.
“We wanted the three points, we went close to winning, we’re a bit disappointed by the result,” Inter defender Milan Skriniar told Sky Sport.
“It wasn’t easy, I am happy with how my team-mates defended.”
Inter are third, with Shakhtar bottom before leaders Sheriff Tiraspol, making their maiden appearance in the tournament, play at 13-time winners Real Madrid.
The pick of the late ties pits May’s runners up Manchester City against Paris Saint-Germain with Parisians starting at home with an attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a re-match of last season’s semifinal.

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others
Updated 28 September 2021

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others

LeBron confirms vaccinated but ‘not my job’ to persuade others
  • Los Angeles Lakers superstar had declined previously to say whether he had been vaccinated, saying it was a "private" matter for him and his family
  • He told reporters on Tuesday he had now been vaccinated, part of a Lakers drive to ensure that 100 percent of the squad and staff had taken the vaccine

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James confirmed he had been vaccinated against Covid-19 on Tuesday but said it was “not my job” to convince other NBA players to follow suit.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had declined previously to say whether he had been vaccinated, saying it was a “private” matter for him and his family.
However he told reporters on Tuesday he had now been vaccinated, part of a Lakers drive to ensure that 100 percent of the squad and staff had taken the vaccine.
“At the end of the day you’re always trying to figure out ways that you can be available and protect one another and put yourself in the best possible chance where you are available to your team-mates, available to do what we need to do on the floor,” James said.
“The ultimate goal is to win a championship and it starts with being healthy which is the number one thing.
“We’re excited to know that we’ve given ourselves another opportunity to be available to each other, and that’s what it came down to.”
James said he had opted to be vaccinated after deciding it was in the best interests of himself and his family.
“When it comes to me I can speak for myself,” James said.
“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature.
“I know that I was very skeptical about it all but after doing my own research I felt like it was best suited for me and my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it.”
Around 90 percent of players in the NBA are believed to have been vaccinated as the new season approaches.
However there remains a significant number who have either said they will not take the vaccine or have refused to confirm their status.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on Monday said he was keeping his decision private while Washington Wizards ace Bradley Beal has said he is declining the vaccine for “personal reasons.”
When pressed Tuesday over whether he could play a greater role in persuading individuals over the vaccine, James said it was not his place to do so.
“You’re talking about individual’s bodies,” James said. “You’re not talking about something that’s political, or racism, or police brutality. You’re talking about people’s bodies and well-being.
“I don’t feel like for me personally I should get involved in what people do for their bodies and their livelihoods. It would be like me talking about whether somebody should take this job or not. You have to do what’s best for you and your family.
“I know what I did for me and my family. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and what they want to do... that’s not my job.”

*


Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
Updated 28 September 2021

Prince Saud bin Mishal in UAE to watch Indian Premier League action

SACF President Prince Saud bin Mishal (center) with board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq and Chairman of Dubai Sports City Khalid Al-Zarooni. (SACF)
  • President of Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation was accompanied to game by board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq, Dubai Sports City Chairman Khalid Al-Zarooni

DUBAI: President of the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation Prince Saud bin Mishal and board member Dalal Al-Mutlaq are in the UAE to watch the latest action from the ongoing Indian Premier League.

The representatives of the Saudi federation, which over the last year has transformed the cricket landscape in the Kingdom with a series of game-changing initiatives and competitions, were pictured with the chairman of Dubai Sports City, Khalid Al-Zarooni, at one of the matches currently taking place in the UAE.

The IPL, the world’s richest cricket tournament, resumed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah on Sept. 19, more than four months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Chennai Super Kings currently lead the table on 16 points from 10 matches, followed by the Delhi Capitals with 16 points from 11, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore with 12 from 10.


Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
Updated 28 September 2021

Women’s Cycling Challenge to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra track in October

The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. (Facebook/The Women's Cycling Challenge)
  • 2nd edition of Dubai Sports Council-organized race will be contested over 40-km, 70-km distances

DUBAI: The second edition of the Women’s Cycling Challenge is set to take place at Dubai’s Al-Qudra Cycle Track in Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve on Oct. 8, Emirates News Agency WAM has reported.

The event is being presented by logistics firm DP World and held under the umbrella of Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Women’s Sports Committee, in association with the UAE Cycling Federation.

The challenge, over 40-kilometer and 70-kilometer distances, is open to cyclists of all skill levels who can take part as individuals or in teams.

A DSC spokesperson said: “The Women’s Cycling Challenge supports a healthy and active lifestyle for women, providing them with an opportunity to practice sports and physical activity that enables them to compete in an environment that conforms to the customs and traditions of the UAE. It is one of our strategic objectives, and the Women’s Cycling Challenge is an initiative that seeks to further those aims.

“We are pleased that DP World is a partner and supporter of this important sports event for women in the UAE, championing the opportunities and initiatives that women have to participate in sports at every level in the country.”

Nabil Qayed, director of people and general administration for the UAE in DP World’s people department, said: “As a global logistics leader, we not only enable smart trade, but work to create a better future for everyone.

“In alignment with this goal and our sustainability strategy that impacts people, communities, and the environment, we take pride in our association with the Women’s Cycling Challenge that is dedicated to promoting female health and wellness.

“At an organizational level, we have constantly supported women and are committed to increasing female representation in every sphere, thus promoting women’s aspirations in the UAE,” Qayed added.

Riders will race through the Al-Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, which is home to 204 species of native birds, 158 species of migratory birds, many endangered animals, as well as Arabian oryx, Arabian sand gazelles, foxes, and wild cats.

The 3,000-year-old Saruq Al-Hadid archaeological site — one of the oldest in the country dating back to the Iron Age — is also located within the reserve.

Ruth Dickinson, the event’s director, said: “Women cycling for recreation and as a way to keep fit is popular in Dubai and across the UAE. Around the region, it is a fast-growing sport and pastime for women of all levels of fitness and riding capability.

“In Dubai, we have excellent facilities and easy access to cycle tracks around the city and this has encouraged more women to take up cycling competitively and socially.

“We are encouraging women at every level of ability to join the challenge. We would like to see women come and ride to compete, or cycle just for fun and enjoy a great experience,” she added.


Saudi Arabia names 25-man squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
Updated 28 September 2021

Saudi Arabia names 25-man squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Saudi Arabia will face Japan and China in October’s Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. (SAFF)
  • The Green Falcons sit second in Group B and will host Japan on Oct. 7 and China on Oct. 12 at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah
  • The top two finishers in each of the two six-team groups will qualify for Qatar 2022 while third-place finishers will meet in a play-off round

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard on Tuesday named a 25-man squad for the team’s upcoming Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Japan and China.

The Kingdom will host Japan on Oct. 7 before facing China on Oct. 12. Both fixtures will be held at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.

The Green Falcons sit second in Group B of the third round of AFC qualification behind Australia, having won their opening two fixtures against Vietnam (3-1) and Oman (1-0).

The top two finishers in each of the two six-team groups will qualify automatically to Qatar 2022 while the third-place finishers will meet in a play-off round.

The squad list revealed by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation includes Mohammed Al-Owais, Zaid Al-Bawardi, Fawaz Al-Qarni, Mohammed Al-Yami, Mohammad Khobrani, Abdullah Mado, Abdulelah Al-Amari, Ali Al-Bulaihi, Saud Abdulhamid, Hussain Qassim, Sultan Al-Ghannam, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Nasser Al-Dossari, Ali Al-Hassan, Abdulelah Al-Malki, Mohammed Kanno, Sami Al-Najei, Salman Al-Faraj, Mohammed Al-Kwaikbi, Fahad Al-Muwallad, Abdulrahman Ghareeb, Abdulrahman Al-Obud, Firas Al-Buraikan, Ayman Yahya and Saleh Al-Shehri.