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LeBron James carries Cavaliers past Celtics

LeBron James carries Cavaliers past Celtics

Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics drives around LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland cavaliers in the second half in GameTwo of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

LeBron James tallied 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 99-91 Tuesday to seize a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series.

James committed six of Cleveland’s 18 turnovers but came through down the stretch.

“I’ve been in this moment before and a lot of our guys haven’t,” said James, who also passed Jerry West for seventh on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list.

“I felt like it was important for me to put a staple on the game the best way I know how and that’s to be aggressive. It’s very important for me to be there for my team when needed.”

In the other Eastern Conference game Tuesday, John Wall scored 26 points as the Washington Wizards surprised the Toronto Raptors 117-106 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

The Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-99 to take a 2-0 series lead in the only Western Conference playoff game.

Kyrie Irving followed up his 30-point playoff debut in game one with 26 points for the Cavaliers, while TimofeyMozgov and Kevin Love chipped in 16 and 13 points, respectively.

Isaiah Thomas once again led the Celtics with 22 points. But it wasn’t enough for the underdogs to grab homecourt advantage in the series. They will host game three on Thursday.

Boston didn’t get the victory but they did give the Cavs a scare. They led in the last minute of the opening half and were within four points with just over three minutes to go.

STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

“We made those guys earn everything they got,” said Boston coach Brad Stevens. “I think that is a step in the right direction.”

Boston led at the end of one quarter 26-25 and used a 12-2 run in the middle of the second quarter to take its largest lead at 45-36.

Again the Cavs had an answer, scoring 15 of the final 19 points in the half to take a 51-50 lead into the break.

They looked as if they were going to pull away with a quick 10-0 run in the third quarter, highlighted by a pair of alley-oop tosses that were finished off by Love and James.

The Celtics pulled within two 79-77 when Thomas converted a three-point play with 9:17 remaining in regulation.

From there, James scored 11 of his game-high total.

In Toronto, Bradley Beal scored a playoff career-high 28 points and MarcinGortat added 16 and eight rebounds for the Wizards.

The Wizards finished the regular season 17-24 on the road, but the postseason is their time to shine. With this victory, they improved to 7-1 in their last eight playoff games on the road.

DeMarDeRozan and Lou Williams, who was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year on Monday, paced Toronto with 20 points apiece.

In Houston, Josh Smith tallied 13 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the second half to lead the Rockets over the Mavericks. Smith had just two points in the first half.

April 23, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:
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Fiba/Ferwaba in youth dev’t clinic

Fiba/Ferwaba in youth dev’t clinic

Rwanda Basketball federation in collaboration with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is holding training of U17 basketball players across the country.

The training is being coordinated by Fiba instructor Blaise Louamba Baleketa is visiting various sites across the country giving tips to young hoops (girls and boys) aged 14-17 to enable develop their career.

The development was confirmed this week by the Ferwaba technical development officer Shema Maboko Didier.

According to Maboko, the programme is aimed at nurturing and improving the level of youth basketball.

There are currently 20 basketball centers for both boys and girls across the country. The purpose of the centers is to nurture raw talent.

This is the second time this year that Fiba Instructor Louamba Baleketa is conducting a training session in Rwanda.

Early this year, Baleketa conducted a week-long coaching clinic for youth basketball coaches and he is expected to assess how the coaches are imparting that knowledge to the teams they train.

April 23, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:
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NBA: Butler takes charge as Bulls beat the Bucks

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler scored a playoff career high of 31 points as the Chicago Bulls took a 2-0 first round playoff series lead with a 91-82 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

Butler scored 14 of his game high points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, who maintained home court advantage in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series.

“So far so good,” Bulls Pau Gasol said. “We just played two games and won both of them. Rebounding is a key factor, especially this time of year. We have to keep working on it.”

Bulls guard Derrick Rose added 15 points and nine assists after being held scoreless in the first half.

Rose added nine assists and seven rebounds. Gasol had 11 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, and Joakim Noah tallied a game-high 19 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won eight of the last nine against their Central Division rival.

“A lot of my scoring goes to (my teammates) for drawing so much attention,” Butler said.

In the night contest, Klay Thompson scored 12 of Golden State’s final 16 points to carry the Warriors past the New Orleans Pelicans in game two of their Western Conference series.

Guard Khris Middleton paced the Milwaukee attack with 22 points. Guard Michael Carter-Williams added 12 points for the Bucks, who were outscored 20-8 down the stretch.

“We’re going to fight to get this series back to even and protect our home court,” Middleton said of the series switching to Milwaukee’s arena.

- Butler steps up in the fourth -After the Bulls fell behind 74-71 early in the fourth quarter, Butler took control. He carried the Bulls on his back, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter, including nine points during a 13-0 run that put Chicago up by 10.

Bucks coach Jason Kidd said they had no answer for Butler.

“I thought we played a pretty good game on the road, giving ourselves an opportunity to win,” Kidd said.

“Butler was a one-man show in being able to shoot the three and also get to the basket.

“We’ve got to get open shots and finish at the rim. We missed a lot of bunnies in the paint.”

Milwaukee centreZazaPachulia picked up his second technical foul in a 1:12 span and was ejected after he got tangled up with Nikola Mirotic going for a loose ball.

“This is the playoffs and it’s going to be physical,” Kidd said. “Nothing more.Nothing less. Both teams are playing to win.”

Milwaukee was limited to just one basket over the final four minutes of the game.

In Oakland, Thompson scored 14 of his 26 points in the final quarter to lead a late surge by the Warriors as they converted a one-point game into a double-digit victory.

Stephen Curry, who was held scoreless in the fourth quarter, finished with 22 points and six assists in the win. Draymond Green added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State.

Anthony Davis tallied 26 points and 10 rebounds in the loss, while Eric Gordon scored 23 points.

Game three will be Thursday at the Smoothie King Centre arena in New Orleans.

“We need to get a good start and set the tone,” Curry said of playing on the road. “We got to grind it out. It is going to be like that every game. We have to be ready to do that.”

AFP

April 22, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Paul, Blake and Irving rise to the occasion

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Dominant performances from a number of team leaders in Sunday’ playoffs action showed how competitive the series are set to become.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving stood out when their teams needed them most, and the playoff seasons is officially open.

Paul poured in a game-high 32 points, Griffin added 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers edged out the defending champions San Antonio Spurs 107-92 to take control of the first-round series.

Griffin dominated the paint area with successive dunks, leaving San Antonio unable to respond.

It was the Spurs consecutive defeat, after enjoying an eleven-game winning streak later in the regular-season.

The Clippers lead the series 1-0.

Game 2 between Spurs and Clippers come up on Wednesday at Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

In Cleveland, Irving made his playoffs debut with a remarkable performance.

The former Rookie of the Year made 15 of his game-high 30 points from beyond the three-point line, powering the Cavaliers to a 113-100 home victory over the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Love, another playoffs debutant, added 19 points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while MVP candidate LeBron James finished with 20 points and seven assists in 41 minutes.

Although the Cavaliers led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, the Celtics, propelled by Isaiah Thomas, cut the deficit to just five points early in the fourth.

Thomas finished with a team-high 22 points off the bench.

The Cavaliers lead the series 1-0. Game will take place on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

In Memphis, five Grizzlies players scored in double figures as they trounced the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86.

BenoUdrih scored 20 points off the bench and the Grizzlies never trailed to control their Western Conference first-round series.

In Atlanta, Kyle Korver live up to this three-pointer specialist reputation, making 15 of his game-high 21 points to help the Hawks get past the Brooklyn Nets 99-92.

The Hawks lead the series 1-0.

April 21, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Patriots, Espoir lead Basketball standings

Patriots, Espoir lead Basketball standings 

Sunday

IPRC- South 42-57 Espoir

UR- CASS 67-46 30-Plus

APR 62-57 Rusizi

UR- CoE 39-57 Patriots

Saturday

IPRC-Kigali 74-47 30-Plus

CSK 88-41 UR-CoE

Espoir 90-47 Rusizi

UR-CASS 49-62 IPRC- South

Rivals Patriots and reigning champions Espoir maintained their winning spree over the weekend to lead the national basketball league standings with 21 points each.

Over the weekend, three-time champions, Espoir defeated IPRC- South 57-42 in Huye district to extend their winning run to 10 in eleven games.

The win was after the Nyamirambo-based side defeated Rusizi 90-47 on Saturday.

Patriots also registered a 57-39 win over University of Rwanda- College of Education.

In other matches, University of Rwanda- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) who lost 62-49 to IPRC- South on Saturday bounced to sink 67-46 struggling 30-Plus at UR- Huye campus gymnasium to register their third victory of the season.

Patriots basketball club lead the standing with 21 points and a better point average in 12 matches played, one game better than Espoir.

IPRC-South and APR basketball clubs occupy second and third positions with 19 and 18 points respectively.

UR-CE is placed bottom of the standings with 11 points each in 12 matches played this season.

In the five-team women basketball league, defending champions Ubumwe leads the standings with 9 points, one ahead of The Hoops after playing five matches.

APR lie third with seven points in four matches played while IPRC-South and UR-Huye jointly have six points each.

National Basketball League Standings

1- PATRIOTS BC: 21 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 9/3, Avg: 1,43)

2- ESPOIR BBC: 21 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 10/1, Avg: 1,32)

3- IPRC-South BBC: 19 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 7/5, Avg: 1,04)

4- APR BBC: 18 Pts (PG: 10, W/L: 8/2, Avg: 1,28)

5- IPRC-Kigali BBC: 18 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 7/4, Avg: 1,19)

6- CSK BBC: 17 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 6/5, Avg: 1,09)

7- UGB: 17 Pts (PG: 11, W/L: 7/3, F: 1, Avg: 1,08)

8- UR-HuyeBBC: 15 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 3/9, Avg: 0,80)

9- 30 Plus BBC: 14 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 2/10, Avg: 0,75)

10- RUSIZI BC: 13 Pts (PG: 10, W/L: 3/7, Avg: 0,87)

11- UR-CE BBC: 11 Pts (PG: 12, W/L: 0/11, Avg: 0,51)

#Ranking Women

1- UBUMWE BBC: 9 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 4/1, Avg: 1,11)

2- The HOOPS RwaGirls: 8 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 3/2, Avg: 1,01)

3- APR BBC (W): 7 Pts (PG: 4, W/L: 3/1, Avg: 1,55)

4- IPRC-South BBC (W) : 6 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 1/4, Avg: 0,81)

5- UR-Huye BBC (W) : 6 Pts (PG: 5, W/L: 1/4, Avg: 0,75)

April 21, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Rwanda set to host regional basketball tournament

Rwanda set to host regional basketball tournament

Rwanda won the rights to host the annual event that tends to attract not less than seven continental teams as they tussle out for qualification to the Africa championships and Olympic qualifiers slated for next year.

After the failure of the national team last year to qualify for this year’s Africa championships, focus was turned on the junior teams that are expected to be the springboard for future teams.

Senior men’s coach Moise Mutokambali is leading the training camp and noted, ” all our players (both boys and girls) are quickly picking up pace and we expect a strong performance.”

Over forty youngsters are undergoing regular training at petit stadium but like so many times the preparations have been met with similar challenges especially at a time when the senior volleyball team prepares for its own engagements.

“At times we don’t have a practicing area and that tends to set us back in preparing the team,” Mutokambali adds.

The lack of a court for practice continues to affect indoor sports in the country as the gymnasium is shared with other sports disciplines such as volleyball and sitball.

The national volleyball team is currently in camp as it gears up its own preparations for coming ties against Kenya and Cameroon.

April 15, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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Miami Heat overpowers Magic to stay alive in playoff race

Miami Heat overpowers Magic to stay alive in playoff race

Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Orlando Magic at American Airlines Arena on April 13, 2015 in Miami, Florida

Hassan Whiteside tallied 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Miami Heat kept their postseason hopes alive with a 100-93 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday.

The Heat would have been eliminated from the playoff race with a loss or a Brooklyn Nets win over the Chicago Bulls. Miami led by as many as 22 points but needed to hold off a late Magic surge to post their second win in eight contests.

The four-time reigning Eastern Conference champions will have to win again in their regular season finale on Wednesday in Philadelphia to have a chance of making the postseason.

“I don’t now what the percentage is now,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, “but at least it’s gone up a couple of ticks.”

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points, Luol Deng finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Goran Dragic scored 13 with eight assists, for Miami who have not missed the postseason since the 2007-08 season.

Victor Oladipo scored 30 points and Tobias Harris had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Magic, who have dropped three straight contests.

Miami went 3-1 against Orlando this season and has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the teams.

April 15, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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Basketball league resumes on Friday

Friday

Patriots vs UGB 6pm

Basketball league resumes on Friday

United Generation Basketball (green) won the corresponding fixture against Patriots (blue)

The Rwanda national basketball league resumes on Friday with one match set to be played at NPC Gymnasium.

League leaders Patriots Basketball Club face United Generation Basketball (UGB) with both sides seeking to extend their lead from 17 points.

The national basketball league, like the rest of local sports activities, had been frozen for a week as the country was mourning and remembering the 1994 victims of Genocide against Tutsi from April 7 to 13.

Out of ten games, Patriots have won seven and lost three against reigning champions Espoir, IPRC-Kigali and UGB.

After Friday’s game, both sides will be back in action on Sunday with Patriots entertaining struggling UR- College of Education at Amahoro indoor stadium while UGB will be up against last year’s first runners-up Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK) at 1pm at the same venue.

April 15, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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NBA: Bucks bounce back with playoff berth

NBA: Bucks bounce back with playoff berth

Ersan Ilyasova

The Milwaukee Bucks completed a remarkable turnaround on Sunday, clinching an NBA playoff berth a year season after posting the league’s worst record.

The Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-73 to punch their post-season ticket, becoming the first team since the 2008-09 Miami Heat to make the playoffs a season after finishing with the worst record.

ErsanIlyasova scored 21 points; O.J. Mayo added 17 and Khris Middleton chipped in 16 for the Bucks, who secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

“I think it was a team effort,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd – who ditched the Nets in July after his first season as a head coach to take the helm in Milwaukee.

“The third quarter we came out like we have in the last couple games and put the ball in the basket and got stops.”

Brook Lopez delivered 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Jack each netted 11 for the Nets, who fell back into a tie with the Indiana Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with two games remaining.

The Boston Celtics strengthened their hold on the seventh spot in the East with a 117-78 win over short-handed Cleveland.

Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points to lead seven Boston players in double figures against a Cavs team that rested starters LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.

The Celtics can clinch a playoff berth by winning either of their last two games.

“We’re not in the playoffs yet,” Boston coach Brad Stevens cautioned. “Progress has been made, but we’re not where we’d like to be.”

The Pacers stayed in the hunt with a 116-104 victory over Oklahoma City, withstanding a career night from Thunder star Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook poured in 54 points on 21-of-43 shooting and also grabbed nine rebounds and passed out eight assists for the Thunder, who remained tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Making the defeat more painful for Oklahoma City, Westbrook received his 16th technical foul of the season in the fourth quarter. Unless it is rescinded upon review by the league, he will be suspended for Monday’s game against Portland.

But the Pelicans failed to gain any ground on the Thunder, as they were beaten 121-114 by playoff-bound Houston.

James Harden scored 30 points for the Rockets, who are tied with Memphis one half-game behind reigning NBA champions San Antonio for the Southwest Division lead and the second seed in the West.

The Spurs won their 11th straight game on Sunday, Tim Duncan scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in a 107-91 victory over Phoenix.

April 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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Cavaliers down Bucks, clinch division title

4

Cleveland superstar LeBron James drained a three-pointer with 14.9 seconds left to help the Cavaliers beat Milwaukee 104-99 on Wednesday and clinch the NBA Central Division title.

Even before completing their fourth straight victory, the Cavaliers were assured of the division title thanks to Chicago’s loss to Orlando.

They also secured the second seed behind Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

James finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 27 points.

Kevin Love added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, who earned their first Central Division title since 2009-2010 — before James departed his home state team for four seasons in Miami.

FREE AGENT

“It means a lot,” said James, who returned to Cleveland this season as a free agent.

“Just from the simple fact that I understand how hard it is to win in professional sports and to be able to clinch a division and put a banner in our building it means something to me and it should mean something to all of us.

“We understand we have bigger goals than this, but along with bigger goals you have accomplishments you can’t take for granted.”

Although the Hawks are already assured of the top seed in the East, they’re making a strong run into the playoffs.

Al Horford scored 24 points, including a dunk with 19 seconds left that lifted Atlanta to a 114-111 victory at the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

The defeat saw the Nets fall into a tie with Boston for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, with the Celtics owning the tiebreaker.

If the Nets can hang on for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East they would face the Hawks in the first round.

The Celtics inched closer to a playoff berth with a 113-103 victory over Detroit, but Miami and Indiana are just one game back in the race for the final post-season spot.

In the Western Conference, reigning NBA champions San Antonio continued their bid to grab the Southwest Division with a 110-98 victory over division leaders Houston.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 27 points. Kawhi Leonard chipped in 20 points and Boris Diaw added 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for San Antonio, who have won nine straight and pulled within one half-game of the Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies for the division lead.

Memphis parlayed an impressive shooting performance into a 110-74 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies shot 51.1 percent from the floor overall. Six Memphis players scored in double figures, with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Jeff Green scoring 15 apiece.

The Pelicans lost for the second time in three games and dropped into a tie for eighth in the Western Conference with idle Oklahoma City.

AFP

April 11, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment