Luka Mo­dric wins Bal­lon d'Or

Watchmen Daily Journal - - SPORTS - (Paul As­so­ci­ated Press) New­berry, (John Le­ices­ter and Jerome Pug­mire, As­so­ci­ated Press)

AT­LANTA — Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Kevin Du­rant had 28 and Klay Thomp­son chipped in with 27 as the Golden State War­riors cruised past the At­lanta Hawks 128-111 Mon­day night (Tues­day, PHL time), snap­ping a six-game los­ing streak on the road.

With Curry scor­ing 18 points in the open­ing quar­ter, this one was never in doubt.

Golden State raced to a 34-17 lead in the first 12 min­utes — Curry outscored the Hawks by him­self — and the de­fend­ing NBA cham­pi­ons won for only the fourth time in 10 games.

Play­ing for the sec­ond time since miss­ing 11 games with a groin in­jury, Curry hit his first six shots, four of them be­yond the arc . He fin­ished 6-of-10 from three-point range

The War­riors led 61-47 at half­time and stretched the margin as high as 24 points, send­ing the re­build­ing Hawks to their third straight loss.

John Collins led At­lanta with 24 points, and Trae Young added 20.

But it was a tough night for Young, the rookie guard who the Hawks are hop­ing to turn into their Curry-like cen­ter­piece. He had seven turnovers and missed all five of his three-point at­tempts.

UP NEXT

War­riors: Con­tinue their longest road trip of the sea­son at Cleve­land on Wed­nes­day (Thurs­day, PHL time).

Hawks: Host the Wash­ing­ton Wizards on Wed­nes­day (Thurs­day, PHL time).

PARIS — Luka Mo­dric ended the long reign of Lionel Messi and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo by win­ning the Bal­lon d'Or for the first time on Mon­day, while an­other first saw Nor­we­gian for­ward Ada Hegerberg win the in­au­gu­ral women's tro­phy.

Messi and Ron­aldo had won ev­ery Bal­lon d'Or since 2008, and usu­ally fought only each other for the great­est recog­ni­tion among soc­cer's elite. Women's fight for recog­ni­tion on the big­gest stage took a big step with Hegerberg's award.

Mo­dric won the Cham­pi­ons League with Real Madrid and then guided Croa­tia to the World Cup fi­nal in July. The mid­fielder was voted player of the tour­na­ment.

"As a kid we all have dreams. My dream was to play for a big club and win im­por­tant tro­phies," Mo­dric said. "The Bal­lon d'Or was more than just a dream for me and it is re­ally an honor and a priv­i­lege to hold this tro­phy."

Ron­aldo was sec­ond in the polling fol­lowed by France for­ward An­toine Griez­mann. France's teen star, Kylian Mbappe, was fourth. Brazil star Ney­mar was third last year but only 12th this time. Messi was fifth in the vot­ing, hav­ing been run­ner-up to Ron­aldo the past two years and in the top three ev­ery year since 2007. Mo­dric had never pre­vi­ously been in the top three.

"2018 is a dream year for me," the 33-year-old Mo­dric said. "Throughout my ca­reer I re­al­ized hard work, per­sis­tence and be­lief in your­self in dif­fi­cult mo­ments are the foun­da­tions of suc­cess."

Mo­dric's fa­ther was shown on the big screen wip­ing away tears dur­ing the cer­e­mony at the im­pe­ri­ous Grand Palais in Paris.

Ron­aldo missed out on a record sixth award, which would have moved him one ahead of Messi. The last player to win it be­fore those two started dom­i­nat­ing world soc­cer awards was Brazil mid­fielder Kaka with AC Mi­lan in 2007.

Ron­aldo also won the Cham­pi­ons League last sea­son with Mo­dric, be­fore leav­ing to join Ju­ven­tus. He scored a hat trick against Spain at the World Cup but he failed to make an im­pres­sion when Por­tu­gal lost to Uruguay in the round of 16.

Mbappe and Griez­mann scored in the 4-2 World Cup fi­nal win against Croa­tia. Mbappe earned a do­mes­tic tre­ble with Paris Saint-Ger­main. Griez­mann also scored twice for Atletico Madrid in the Europa League fi­nal win against Mar­seille.

Photo/John Bazemore)

Golden State War­riors guard Stephen Curry (30) goes to the bas­ket as At­lanta Hawks for­ward John Collins (20) looks on dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game Mon­day, Dec. 3, 2018, in At­lanta. Golden State won 128-111.(AP

Photo) (the­sun.co.uk

Luka Mo­dric of Croa­tia ends the long reign of Lionel Messi and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo by win­ning the Bal­lon d'Or for the first time.

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