LeBron rallies Cavaliers over NY Knicks
WASHINGTON: LeBron James scored 23 points and reserve guard Kyle Korver added 21 as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from a 24-point deficit on Monday to edge the New York Knicks 104-101.
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James added 12 assists and nine rebounds for the visiting Cavs, who were down by two dozen points in the third quarter before storming back for the victory.
Trailing 97-92, the Cavaliers went on a 10-0 run to grab the lead, James sinking a step-back 3-pointer to give Cleveland a 10097 edge with 83 seconds remaining, their first lead since 25-24 in the second quarter.
“I thought his defence is what turned it,” Korver said of James. “He’s always going to get in the paint and make plays. That is where he is really special. He is able to do everything. And he showed that in the fourth quarter.”
Korver, who sank two 3-pointers in the last 4:35, made four late free throws to offset baskets by Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jnr. James missed two late free throws but Jeff Green grabbed the rebound for Cleveland to deny the Knicks a potential tying shot at the buzzer.
Dwyane Wade added 15 off the bench for Cleveland while Hardaway led New York with 28 points and Porzingis added 20.
‘King’ James bumped French teen guard Frank Ntilikina early in the game and New York team-mate Enes Kanter, a Turkish centre, stood toe-to-toe with James, continuing a spat that began on social media that extended to post-game comments. “You can’t just come in and mess with a rookie like that. Mess with a grown man,” Kanter said. “You can call yourself King, Queen, Princess, whatever, but you can’t punk us.” Golden State bt Orlando 110-100 Philadelphia bt LA Clippers 109-105 Portland bt Denver 99-82 LA Lakers bt Phoenix 100-93 Minnesota bt Utah 109-98 Milwaukee bt Memphis 110-103 New Orleans bt Atlanta 106-105 Cleveland bt NY Knicks 104-101 Washington bt Sacramento 110-92 life for this unforgettable one. “I am going to work hard to try to give me more chances the next season to keep being at the top and fighting for the most important things.”
STELLAR YEAR Nadal has had a remarkable year after missing a significant chunk of 2016 through injury, winning a 10th French Open title, cruising to victory at the US Open and regaining the world number one spot.
But his latest injury will once again raise questions about how long his 31-year-old body can cope with the punishing demands of his physical brand of tennis.
“I can’t complain. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me,” said Nadal.
“But on the other hand, it is true that I am probably the top player that had more injuries and more troubles in the careers of everyone. It is always about this challenge. But I am used to this and I know what I have to do. I think I am ready to do it.”
The Spaniard is the only one of the ‘Big Four’ never to have won the ATP Finals and has pulled out a number of times previously before the event, which is played on a fast indoor surface rather than his favoured clay.
And his exit deprives the event of the chance of a dream final with Federer, which would have given Nadal the chance to hit back after four straight defeats to his eternal rival this year. So who is left to challenge the Swiss former US Open champion Marin Cilic and America’s Jack Sock, fresh from winning the Paris Masters, are in his section, the Boris Becker group, along with Alexander Zverev.
World number three Zverev, 20, is setting tongues wagging after an impressive year in which he has won five tournaments, including beating Federer in the final of the Rogers Cup in Canada. Nadal’s conqueror Goffin, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Carreno Busta lurk in the Pete Sampras group but none of those names will send shivers down Federer’s spine. There’s no doubt that this is a major chance for somebody to step up and make a name for themselves but with Federer still alive and kicking it would take a brave man to predict the start of a new era yet.
James said, “We got the win. I’m not going to say that guy’s name again.”
Even with star guard Stephen Curry out with a bruised thigh, the Golden State Warriors dumped visiting Orlando 110-100. Kevin Durant had 21 points and Draymond Green added 20 to lead the Warriors.
Joel Embiid scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while Robert Covington added 31 points and Australia’s Ben Simmons added 22 points to power the Philadelphia 76ers over the host Los Angeles Clippers 109-105. Austin Rivers sank a 3-pointer for the Clippers but Covington, whose 3-pointer put the 76ers ahead for good, made four free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory.
Rafael Nadal produced an astonishing never-say-die performance in his opening round-robin match at the O2 Arena late on Monday before eventually succumbing to a tenacious David Goffin.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) controls the ball against New York Knicks’ Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden.