LeBron ral­lies Cava­liers over NY Knicks

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

— AFP

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.

— USA Today Sports

Cleve­land Cava­liers’ LeBron James (23) con­trols the ball against New York Knicks’ Court­ney Lee (5) dur­ing the first quar­ter at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

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