Doncic lifts Mavericks with go-ahead 3 with 3 seconds left to top Wolves 109-108 for 2-0 lead

Doncic lifts Mavericks with go-ahead 3 with 3 seconds left to top Wolves 109-108 for 2-0 lead
Luka Doncic and Dereck Lively II of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate during their defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Getty Images/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 25 May 2024
Follow

Doncic lifts Mavericks with go-ahead 3 with 3 seconds left to top Wolves 109-108 for 2-0 lead

Doncic lifts Mavericks with go-ahead 3 with 3 seconds left to top Wolves 109-108 for 2-0 lead

MINNEAPOLIS: Luka Doncic hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with Rudy Gobert guarding him at the top of the key with 3 seconds left, posting his fifth triple-double of the playoffs to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 109-108 victory and a 2-0 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference finals on Friday night.
Doncic had 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his eighth triple-double in 42 career postseason games for the Mavericks, who erased an 18-point deficit that stood late in the second quarter and were still down 16 midway through the third.
Naz Reid went 7 for 9 from 3-point range for 23 points, but his last try at the buzzer rimmed in and out to send the Wolves to Dallas for Game 3 on Sunday in a big hole after another off night by stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Kyrie Irving had 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a corner 3-pointer with 1:05 left that pulled the Mavericks within two. Then the Wolves sandwiched turnovers around a short miss by Doncic. Edwards recklessly threw the ball out of bounds off a drive with 13 seconds left, giving the Mavericks the ball with the chance to win.
Doncic took the inbounds pass and dribbled to set up a screen by Dereck Lively II that triggered a switch by the Wolves, with NBA All-Defensive second team pick Jaden McDaniels dropping with Lively’s roll and Defensive Player of the Year Gobert staying out on the top of the key.
After the swish, Doncic flexed his arms and yelled at the stunned crowd as his teammates swarmed him.
The lead for either side was three points or less from 10:50 remaining to 1:29 until Edwards — who had 21 points but is shooting 11 for 33 in the series — sank two free throws for a 108-103 edge. That came right after Irving missed both foul shots that had the crowd howling in honor of the promotion that awards a free Chick-fil-A sandwich.
Mike Conley scored 18 points and Gobert had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who needed Reid — the NBA Sixth Man of the Year — more than ever. His top-of-the-key swish at the end of the third quarter gave the Wolves an 86-79 cushion just after the Mavericks closed the gap hard with a 21-7 spurt — mostly while Conley rested — over a 6:36 stretch.
Irving, who scored only five points in the first half after he had 24 of his 30 in Game 1 before halftime, gave the Mavericks their first lead since 7-6 with a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run that started the fourth quarter and made it 87-86.
Doncic, who flourished in the fourth quarter of Game 1 to finish with 33 points, has been fighting through what the Mavericks have listed on the league’s official injury report as a sprained right knee and left ankle soreness.
When he was subbed out late in the first quarter, Doncic jogged straight to the locker room before returning to the bench prior to his next shift. After running the floor for a fast-break layup late in the second quarter, Doncic was laboring and limping on the way back. He shot 5 for 14 before halftime.
The beauty of the 25-year-old Slovenian superstar’s game is that he hardly needs a full-strength spring in his step to dominate. He had Minnesota’s league-leading defense looking out of sorts on so many possessions with his laser-like passing.
The Wolves were blistered by the coaching staff for their effort and execution between games, and they stayed true to their form as a strong bounce-back team from the few times they’ve fallen flat this season. Conley had the offense running crisply and craftily whenever he was initiating.
When he wasn’t, though, the Wolves often got out of hand. Edwards forced a lot of shots and didn’t appear to have much of a plan when he had the ball. McDaniels, who had 20-plus points in each of the last three games, didn’t make a basket until midway through the third quarter.
Towns and Gobert were especially aggressive on offense early after the Wolves got eaten up in the paint, but they were still vulnerable on defense underneath as Mavericks had their way with the persistent lobs to Daniel Gafford (16 points) and Lively (14 points).
Towns had 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting and gave way to Reid down the stretch.


Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final

Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final
Updated 6 sec ago
Follow

Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final

Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to force a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final

EDMONTON, Alberta: Leon Draisaitl made his first major impact in the Stanley Cup Final, and the series is heading back to South Florida.
Draisaitl set up Warren Foegele’s early goal, Adam Henrique and Zach Hyman scored in the second period and the Edmonton Oilers forced a Game 7 by beating the Florida Panthers 5-1 in Game 6 on Friday night.
They are the first team to tie the final after falling behind 3-0 in the series since the Detroit Red Wings in 1945. The Oilers have the chance Monday night in Sunrise to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only NHL teams to come all the way back from that deficit to hoist the Stanley Cup.
The opportunity to make hockey history and end Canada’s three-decade-long Cup drought exists only after Connor McDavid’s heroics with four points apiece in Games 4 and 5 to take the Oilers from the brink to belief. Draisaitl, his longtime running mate from Germany who has also been league MVP and considered among the best players in the world, lit the spark in Game 5 after being largely ineffective against the Panthers.
Draisaitl got the puck at center ice, skated around and through Florida defenders and put the puck on the tape of Foegele’s stick for a tap-in that Sergei Bobrovsky had nearly no chance of stopping. That, of course, did not stop the fired up sellout crowd of 18,000-plus from mockingly chanting, “Ser-gei! Ser-gei!” starting before the anthems and continually throughout the night.
The goalie everyone calls “Bob” was hardly to blame, though, with mistakes in front of him also contributing to the 2-on-1 rush that ended with Henrique beating Bobrovsky off a 2-on-1 rush off a perfect pass from Mattias Janmark. The Panthers in front of their goaltender looked tight and timid and unlike the juggernaut that reached the final for a second consecutive year and won the first three games to move to the verge of the first title in franchise history.
Florida had just six shots on net midway through the game and finished with 21. Continuing a trend of being there when the Oilers need him the most, Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner made timely saves to stymie the Panthers, allowing just a goal to Aleksander Barkov less than 90 seconds into the third period.
The first time Barkov got the puck past him, 10 seconds after Henrique scored, the goal came off the board when Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch successfully challenged for offside. A lengthy review found Sam Reinhart entered the offensive zone perhaps an inch or less before the puck, the announcement of which was followed by a roar from fans.
That was not the loudest Rogers Place got, and there were plenty of candidates for that distinction. The decibel meter shown on video screens reached 113.8 when the Oilers stepped on to the ice to the tune of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”
It might have approached that noise level when Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse scored empty-netters in the final minutes, setting off chants of “We want the Cup!” and a wild celebration at the viewing party outside.
That was the fever pitch of a city that was awash in a sea of blue and orange downtown in the hours before puck drop. Friday might as well have been a holiday in Edmonton, the home of nearly a million people now fully able to let themselves dream of the Oilers adding another white championship banner to the rafters — and do so in the most improbable way possible.


South Africa stays unbeaten at T20 World Cup after beating England by 7 runs

South Africa stays unbeaten at T20 World Cup after beating England by 7 runs
Updated 9 min 32 sec ago
Follow

South Africa stays unbeaten at T20 World Cup after beating England by 7 runs

South Africa stays unbeaten at T20 World Cup after beating England by 7 runs

GROS ISLET, St. Lucia: Undefeated South Africa pulled off a seven-run win over defending champion England in the Super Eight playoffs at the Twenty20 World Cup on Friday.
Harry Brook, who made 53, and Liam Livingstone, with 33 off 17 balls, had the chase in control for England with 25 needed off 18 balls until fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje dismissed them in the last three overs.
England was restricted to 156-6 in reply to South Africa’s 163-6.
“Getting to those last three overs, the odds looked heavily against you,” South Africa captain Aiden Markram said. “But the bowlers came back, it shows a lot of skill and shows the fight inside. As a whole, we’re getting closer to that complete game of cricket. We’re not there just yet but we’re getting there.”
Quinton de Kock finished with 65 as he smacked the tournament’s joint-fastest half-century off 22 balls, and David Miller provided the impetus in the latter half of South Africa’s innings with 43 off 28.
South Africa’s win streak was extended to six games and it is a firm favorite for the semifinals after two wins in two matches in its group.
England suffered its first loss in the Super Eight after it beat the West Indies by eight wickets at the same venue.
South Africa squeezed the chase through spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-25) in the first 10 overs as England could score only a run-a-ball 60 and lost four wickets. The batters couldn’t get momentum in the powerplay despite Jonny Bairstow (17) getting a life when Heinrich Klaasen dropped a sitter at third man.
Captain Jos Buttler believed England lost the game during the powerplay, as nobody could repeat de Kock’s antics. “Quinton de Kock came out with a lot of intent, really attacked that powerplay and we couldn’t match that,” Buttler said.
“We came back really well with the ball and I thought Brook and Livi had a fantastic partnership there to take us close … South Africa closed out well.”
Brook and Livingstone capitalized on full tosses from Ottneil Baartman and brought down the target to 25 off the final three overs before Livingstone sent Rabada’s full toss straight to a catch at deep backward square leg.
Needing 15 off Nortje’s final over, Brook was brilliantly caught by Markram over his shoulders while running to end England’s threat.
Earlier, de Kock dominated South Africa’s powerplay and had them motoring along at 63-0 before England pulled them back through spinners Adil Rashid (1-20) and Moeen Ali (1-25).
De Kock put fast bowler Jofra Archer on the mat early with two successive sixes in a 21-run over. De Kock was given a life on 58 when video replays suggested Mark Wood’s fingers were not underneath the catch. The decision left England players fuming.
Archer rallied to finish with 3-40.


West Indies wins toss, sends US in to bat
At Bridgetown, Barbados, the West Indies won the toss and chose to bowl against the United States in a crucial match between the tournament co-hosts.
The West Indies were unbeaten in group play but suffered their first loss of the tournament, by eight wickets to England, in their first match in the Super Eight.
The United States surprised the cricket world by qualifying for the Super Eight in the first World Cup held in North America. Their success was underlined by a shock win over cricket powerhouse Pakistan.
The United States lost by 18 runs to South Africa in their first match in the Super Eight. But they were impressive in defeat against one of the form teams of the tournament, taking the match to the final over.
The West Indies are two-time champions, seeking at their home tournament to become the first team to win three T20 World Cups. Their campaign has become tenuous after the loss to England and they can’t afford to lose again to stay in semifinal contention.
Shai Hope came into the West Indies lineup as a replacement for Brandon King who suffered a side strain in the match against England. Obed McCoy replaced Romario Shepherd.
The United States is still without captain Monank Patel who suffered a shoulder injury against Pakistan. Shadley von Schalkwyk came in for Jasdeep Singh and Milind Kumar for Shayan Jahangir.

 


Caeleb Dressel earns an individual race in Paris, winning 50m freestyle at US Olympic swimming trials

Caeleb Dressel earns an individual race in Paris, winning 50m freestyle at US Olympic swimming trials
Updated 30 min 59 sec ago
Follow

Caeleb Dressel earns an individual race in Paris, winning 50m freestyle at US Olympic swimming trials

Caeleb Dressel earns an individual race in Paris, winning 50m freestyle at US Olympic swimming trials
  • Dressell will get a chance to defend his 50m freestye title in Paris, blowing away the field in the all-out sprint from one end of the pool to the other
  • Guiliano has emerged as a big star of these trials, heading to his first Olympics with three individual events on his plate

INDIANAPOLIS: After a long layoff and all the doubts about whether he’d reclaim his place as one of the world’s greatest swimmers, Caeleb Dressel looked like himself again Friday night.

Dressel earned his first individual race of the Paris Games, powering to a relatively easy victory in the men’s 50-meter freestyle at the US Olympic swimming trials.

One of the biggest stars in Tokyo with five gold medals, Dressel finished third in the first individual event, the 100 freestyle, which relegated him to the relay at that distance.

But he’ll get a chance to defend his 50 free title in Paris, blowing away the field in the all-out sprint from one end of the pool to the other at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s tough. That was a tough one,” Dressel said. “I was not super-confident until I got up on that block. There’s only so much you can do in the 50. It’s head down and go fast.”

Dressel did just that to touch in 21.41 seconds, not far off his winning time (21.07) at the last Olympics. Chris Guiliano claiming his third individual race in Paris with a runner-up finish of 21.69.

In the aftermath of his Tokyo success, Dressel stunningly walked away from swimming during the 2022 world championships. He later revealed what a toll the sport had taken on him, saying he needed to take an extended break to rediscover his passion at the pool.

Dressel failed to even qualify for the 2023 worlds, but these trials have provided proof that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in Paris.

About 35 minutes after his victory in the 50 free, Dressel returned for the semifinals of his final event, the 100 butterfly.

The tattooed Floridian showed more impressive speed, posting the fastest time of 50.79 to stamp himself as the favorite in the final Saturday night. Dare Rose was next at 51.11.

If Dressel can finish in the top two of that race, he would likely swim up to five events in Paris counting the relays — not far off his six-event program in Tokyo.

Regan Smith will also be swimming three individual events at the Olympics after winning the 200 backstroke.

Smith was under world-record pace through the first two laps, but faded a bit at the end to touch in 2 minutes, 5.16 seconds.

Still, she finished more than a second ahead of Phoebe Bacon, who grabbed the second Olympic spot in 2:06.27. She chased down reigning world champion Claire Curzan, who missed out on a berth in Paris with a time of 2:06.34.

Smith previously won the 100 backstroke in world-record time, along with a victory in the 200 fly. She just missed a fourth individual race in Paris with a third-place showing in the 100 fly.

Still, it’s been a dynamic meet for the Minnesota native, who has endured plenty of ups and downs since setting her first world record in 2019.

“I’m incredibly proud of this performance,” Smith said. “I ran out of gas in that last race, but its been a great meet for me.”

Guiliano edged Matt King for an Olympic berth by a hundredth of a second, with Jack Alexy taking fourth in 21.76.

Guiliano has emerged as a big star of these trials, heading to his first Olympics with three individual events on his plate. He won the 100 freestyle and was runner-up in the 200 free and now the 50 free.

Guiliano, who competes collegiately at Notre Dame, will be the first American male to swim those three events at the Olympics since the great Matt Biondi in 1988.

Carson Foster will be doubling up in Paris, adding a victory in the 200 individual medley to the title he won in the 400 IM.

Shaine Casas was under world-record pace through the first two laps, but Foster chased him down on the freestyle leg to win in 1:55.65.

Casas grabbed his first Olympic berth with a runner-up showing of 1:55.83 — a huge relief for a swimmer who was billed as a rising star ahead of the Tokyo Games but failed to qualify in either of his events at the 2021 US trials.

“This means everything,” Casas said. “Since I was a kid, it’s all I dreamed about. Now, I won’t have to pretend to be an Olympian. I am an Olympian.”
 


Kante sparkles again but France lose shine without Mbappe magic

Kante sparkles again but France lose shine without Mbappe magic
Updated 56 min 44 sec ago
Follow

Kante sparkles again but France lose shine without Mbappe magic

Kante sparkles again but France lose shine without Mbappe magic

LEIPZIG, Germany: N’Golo Kante was the unlikely star of the show in the absence of a frustrated Kylian Mbappe as France and the Netherlands edged toward the last 16 of Euro 2024 after a 0-0 draw in Leipzig.
Recalled from a two-year international exile, Kante has rolled back the years in Germany with back-to-back man-of-the-match awards to become the fulcrum of Didier Deschamps’ midfield once more.
A star of France’s World Cup winning team in 2018, Kante’s time with Les Bleus appeared spent after he departed Europe to join Saudi side Al-Ittihad 12 months ago.
Injuries had blighted the end of his spell at Chelsea and cost him a place at the World Cup two years ago.
Deschamps’ decision to bring back the 33-year-old has proven inspired despite some initial skepticism.
“N’Golo is still out there running,” Deschamps quipped in his post-match press conference on Friday.
“But he doesn’t only run. He also has a capacity to carry the ball up the field, which is important to complement our other players in midfield so we have variety and we are not always predictable.”
Questions have been raised over how big European names lured by the riches of the Saudi Pro League would fare when thrust back into the intensity of an international tournament.
But Kante has shown that a less demanding Saudi campaign could even be beneficial in comparison to those players worn out by gruelling seasons in Europe’s top-five leagues.
“It’s important (to make a good impression), especially when you come back to the national team,” said Kante.
As impressive as his ball-winning and boundless energy has been against Austria and the Netherlands, the fact the diminutive midfielder has been France’s star so far tells its own story.
The 2022 World Cup finalists have managed just one goal in their opening two games and even that came via Austria defender Maximilian Wober.
Mbappe’s broken nose against Austria, which ruled him out on Friday, has not helped.
But more is expected of a forward line that also boasts Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Marcus Thuram, Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman.
Thankfully for France’s hopes of becoming European champions for a third time, Mbappe looks set to be able to return with the aid of a mask.
The Dutch stalemate continued a worrying trend for Deschamps without their star man.
Over the past two years, France have not won any of the seven games that Mbappe has not started.
“Obviously the team is on a different plane when Kylian is in it,” added Deschamps.
The France boss conceded his caution with the Real Madrid forward would have been different had it been a knockout game.
The French have been here before under Deschamps and know underwhelming group games are easily forgotten — as long as they click in time for tougher tests in the knockout stages.
France have reached three finals in their last four major tournaments.
The exception came at Euro 2020 when an out-of-sorts Mbappe failed to score and missed the crucial penalty in a shock last-16 exit to Switzerland.
This time it is injury that threatens to ruin his Euros and France can ill-afford for their masked captain to be under par when he does return.
Despite France having an abundance of talent, Mbappe remains the inspiration to complement Kante’s perspiration that would make them the team to beat at Euro 2024.


Conor McGregor says a broken toe forced him to withdraw from UFC 303

Conor McGregor says a broken toe forced him to withdraw from UFC 303
Updated 22 June 2024
Follow

Conor McGregor says a broken toe forced him to withdraw from UFC 303

Conor McGregor says a broken toe forced him to withdraw from UFC 303

LAS VEGAS: Conor McGregor posted on Instagram on Friday that a broken toe was the reason he had to pull out of his headline UFC 303 bout against Michael Chandler after previously not specifying the injury.
“We had a lapse in concentration and engaged in a training session without wearing the full protective gear and I hit the toe off the elbow and broke the toe clean,” McGregor posted. “It needs a few weeks that’s it. I couldn’t justify to my team, or fans, that I make the walk hindered again. That walk has been seen. This next walk has got to be, and it will be, 100 percent Conor McGregor. The fans deserve it and we are getting close.”
Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira will face top-ranked challenger Jiri Prochazka in the June 29 main event in Las Vegas in place of the McGregor-Chandler match.
McGregor said he would return to the octagon “Chandler or not.”
He took the X, formerly known as Twitter, to say that Chandler is getting paid 10 times the amount he would have received if he had fought someone else.
“For those saying he could have fought 2 or 3 times by now etc.,” McGregor posted, “He’d need 10 to break even with this cheque.”