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