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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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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

Espoir surges to league summit

Weekend league results

Sunday

Espoir 72-35 UR-CoE

IPRC-Kigali 64-39 Rusizi

30-Plus 57-64 CSK

Saturday

APR 65-69 Espoir

30-Plus 67-46 UR-CoE

CSK 78-62 IPRC-Kigali

UGB 72-42 UR-CASS

Patriots 88-34 Rusizi

Friday

CSK 65-51 UR-CASS

Espoir 68-51 UGB

 

Olivier Shyaka helped win register three consecutive victories over the weekend

Olivier Shyaka helped win register three consecutive victories over the weekend

 

THREE-TIME REIGNING champions Espoir returned to the summit of the national basketball league after registering crucial wins over the weekend.

Espoir beat UGB 68-51 on Friday before seeing off rivals APR 69-65 on Saturday at Amahoro Stadium. Then on Sunday, the Nyamirambo team thumped UR CoE 72-35.

Now Espoir jointly lead the table log with 13 points along with United Generation Basketball (UGB) and Cercle Sportif de Kigali (CSK), however, the latter two have played a game more.

Before Sunday’s win over UR-CoE, Jean Bahufite’s team had earlier defeated archrivals APR 69-65 on Saturday as well as UGB 68-51 on Friday evening respectively.

March 25, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:
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Deng, African Player of the Week

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

Take a look at Miami Heat forward Luol Deng’s performance in Thursday’s 108-104 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers, and it gives you a glimpse of his distinction for African-born Player of the Week for games played from 16 to 22 March.

The South Sudan-born player made all his four three-point attempts to go with 24 points as the Heat (32-37) made a tremendous statement of their intentions heading to the end of the regular-season.

Deng, who now leads the Heat from three-point range, shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc, did a little more last week, by averaging 14 points in four games to help the Heat win three of their last four games.

On Tuesday, Deng had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists as the Heat beat the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 106-92, and poured in 15 points in a 108-91 triumph over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

Deng’s current shooting prowess could bolster the Heat, who seek an Eastern Conference playoff spot.

How can he be so efficient?

“It’s just how we play here,” said the man who joined the Heat after spending most of his career at the Chicago Bulls and had a short stint with the Cavaliers.

“When we move the ball, we’ve got to fill in spots. If you’re a long-range shooter, it kind of opens the floor.

“It’s really a different system.

“In Chicago, we pounded the ball in more than anything. Here, we do a lot of pick-and-rolls and reading each other. It’s about a lot of set plays and being in certain spots.

“I come in at night and I shoot. I’m just trying to work out the way this offense is. To shoot the 3 is needed more than I’ve done in my career,” he explained.

Miami will take on Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday morning, before visiting Boston, Atlanta and hosting Detroit on Sunday.

Reuters

March 24, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Thunder forward Ibaka might need knee surgery

Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka will see a knee specialist, the NBA club announced on Monday, even as a report said he will need surgery to address his sore knees.

Losing the 25-year-old Congolese-born Spaniard for any length of time would be another injury setback for a club already without 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant for 39 games with foot injuries and that has lost star guard Russell Westbrook for 15 games this season.

Ibaka has averaged 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots over 64 games this season for the Thunder, who have overcome the injury setbacks to stand 37-29, their best win percentage at any point this season, and one game ahead of New Orleans for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth.

“As we continue to monitor and evaluate the soreness in Serge’s knee, in consultation with his representation, we decided the next best step is to have him travel to New York to see a specialist,” the Thunder said.

ESPN reported that Ibaka will undergo a procedure of some type to deal with the lingering soreness, likely some time of cleaning out of the knees that would allow him to be ready for next month’s NBA playoffs.

Even a minor surgical procedure might still sideline Ibaka for two or three weeks and only four weeks remain in the NBA regular season with the playoffs far from certain for Oklahoma City.

With 16 games remaining in the campaign, the Thunder must fight off New Orleans just for the chance to face the West top seed, which at this point would be NBA overall leader Golden State.

While Westbrook has raised his game in Durant’s absence and leads the NBA with 27.5 points a game, New Orleans is hot on Oklahoma City’s heels and boasts the league’s fourth-best scorer in Anthony Davis, averaging 24.7 points.

March 18, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:,
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LeBron suffers another defeat in return to Miami

LeBron suffers another defeat in return to Miami

LeBron suffers another defeat in return to Miami LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2015 in Miami; Florida 

Another return to Miami for LeBron James brought another thumping for his Cleveland Cavaliers at the hands of his former club as the Heat ripped their ex-teammate 106-92 Monday.

Dwyane Wade produced game highs of 32 points and five steals to spark the Heat, who won two NBA titles and reached four consecutive NBA Finals before James left last July to return to his home-region club.

James scored 26 points to lead the Cavaliers, but they were beaten just as in his first return to Miami for a game, a 101-91 Heat triumph last December 25.

Wade and James shared an embrace in the seconds after the final buzzer, following which Wade said the Heat relish beating the Cavaliers in a special way.

“We do. They are one of the better teams in the NBA,” Wade said. “We know when we play the way we played tonight, we can beat anybody. It’s about getting to that game consistency. We haven’t played that way as much as we did today.”

Slovenian guard GoranDragic added 20 points and nine assists for the Heat while Hassan Whiteside and reserve Mario Chalmers each scored 16 points, Whiteside also contributing a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Heat shot 55 percent from the floor in improving to 30-36, matching Boston and Indiana for the last two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference with 16 games remaining.

“For this team right here, it’s about fighting for the playoffs, so we needed this win,” Wade said.

Kyrie Irving added 21 points and a team-high six assists for the Cavaliers, who were playing without star big man Kevin Love, who was rested by Cleveland coach Dave Blatt.

James had treatment on his right knee before the game, having tweaked it in a Sunday triumph at Orlando.

Miami’s 56-38 half-time lead marked the largest half-time deficit of the season for the Cavaliers, who shot only 38 percent from the court for the game.

March 18, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:,
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Harden drops in 34, Rockets edge clippers

Harden drops in 34, Rockets edge clippers

James Harden

James Harden scored 34 points, and Trevor Ariza made a huge game-ending defensive play Sunday, as the visiting Houston Rockets held off the LA Clippers 100-98 to spoil Blake Griffin’s return.

The All-Star forward had 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes, after missing 15 games to have surgery for the removal of a staph infection in his right elbow.

The Rockets were clinging to a 100-98 lead after Harden missed his only free throw of the night (17-of-18) on the second of two tosses with 8.7 seconds left, opening the door for the Clippers.

Chris Paul, who scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, got the ball out of a timeout. He drove the right side, but with the long-armed Ariza in his face, overshot the potential game-tying five-foot fade-away baseline jumper as the final horn sounded.

Ariza netted 19 points; Terrence Jones added 16 with 12 rebounds for the Rockets (44-22), who moved 2.5 games ahead of the Clippers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

Matt Barnes dropped in 19 while league top rebounder DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 for the Clippers (42-25), who committed 20 turnovers leading to 27 Rockets points.

Elsewhere: San Antonio Spurs 123, Minnesota Timberwolves 97: Kawhi Leonard led eight teammates in double figures with 15 points, and the Spurs (41-24) trounced the visiting T-Wolves (14-51) but lost Argentine ace Manu Ginobili to a right ankle sprain in the third quarter.

Ginobili left the locker room on crutches and is expected to miss a “good week to 10 days,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

- Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Chicago Bulls 100: Russell Westbrook scored eight of his 36 points in the final 1:27 to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists, and the Thunder (37-29) beat the visiting Bulls to move into the eighth playoff spot in the West.

Montenegrin Nikola Mirotic scored 27, Spaniard Pau Gasol added 20 for Chicago (40-28), tied with Toronto for the third playoff spot in the East.

- Denver Nuggets 118, New Orleans Pelican 111: (2 OT) – Will Barton scored 25 points, including a tying triple to force the first overtime, DaniloGallinari drilled a huge 3-pointer with 90 seconds left in the second extra session, and the visiting Nuggets (26-41) outlasted the Pelicans for a fourth straight win.

Anthony Davis collected 36 points, 14 rebounds, nine blocks and a career-high seven assists but New Orleans (36-30), dropped a game back of Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the West.

- Cleveland Cavaliers 123, Orlando Magic 108: Kyrie Irving scored 33 points; J.R. Smith added 25, while LeBron James had 21 with 13 rebounds and eight assists, carrying the visiting Cavs (43-25) past the Magic (21-47) despite NikVucevic’s 22-point, 15-rebound outing.

In other games: the visiting Portland Trail Blazers routed the Toronto Raptors 113-97; the East-best Atlanta Hawks held off the hosting LA Lakers 91-86; and the Phoenix Suns shaded the visiting New York Knicks 102-89.

March 17, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:
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Surging Celtics topple Grizzlies

Surging Celtics topple Grizzlies

Marcus Smart

 Marcus Smart made a three-point play with 52 seconds left as Boston won its seventh game in the last 10 with a 95-92 win over the first-place Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Smart’s key play gave the surging Celtics the lead for good in front of a crowd of 17 100 at the Boston Garden arena.

“He’s a tough guy. Some guys are good in those moments,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens of Smart.

Avery Bradley, who just returned from a three-game absence due to an elbow injury, also made a clutch jumper to give the Celtics a three-point lead with eight seconds left. Bradley finished with 17 points.

“Right when it left my hand I knew it was going in,” said Bradley.

Memphis guard Mike Conley failed to connect on a three-point attempt at the other end and the Celtics moved a step closer in the Eastern Conference postseason race.

Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk tallied 16 and 15 points each for the Celtics.

Boston evened its home record at 16-16 on the season as they host Orlando next. They also snapped a five-game losing skid to the Grizzlies.

“Scoring was hard to come by,” said Stevens. “Sometimes it goes your way.”

Conley finished with 20 points on nine-of-12 shooting and Tony Allen had 16 points for the Southwest Division leading Grizzlies, which fell to 1-2 on a four-game road trip that ends Thursday in Washington.

Jeff Green, who was traded to the Grizzlies from the Celtics on January 12, managed just 11 points on a four-of-13 field goal shooting against his former teammates.

 

March 13, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Ex-Hoops star Rutayisire laid to rest

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Former Kigali Basketball Club player and coach, Jean-Guy Rutayisirewas laid to rest over the weekend at Rusororo cemetery in Gasabo District.

Rutayisire died in a fatal car accident two weeks ago Nkoto, Kamonyi District, while travelling to Huye District with his teammates for a league game against University of Rwanda- Huye Campus. The accident claimed a total of five people while others were severely injured.

Rutayisire also played for Uganda’s most successful basketball club, Falcons between 2000 and 2005, before joining APR in 2005 until 2008, winning three league titles with the army side.

March 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Mbah a Moute highlights African-born player of the week

Luc Mbah a Moute

Luc Mbah a Moute

This was probably one of the most productive weeks of Philadelphia 76ers forward Luc Mbah a Moute this season, and SuperSport.com breaks down his performances and explain how and why the Cameroonian highlights the African-born Player of the week for games played from 2 to 8 March.

Even though, Congolese BismackBiyombo returned to action after sitting out four weeks through injury, and helped the Charlotte Hornets build on a 5-0 record last week, and Nigerian Festus Ezeli helped the Golden State Warriors win three of their four games, Mbah a Moute reached another level of his game this week.

He is playing as we’d never seen before.

It is a fact that Philadelphia (14-49) will hardly make to the playoffs, but the Cameroonian, who hit double figures in four straight games, and is currently averaging a career-high 13 points per game, seems to have reinvented his game.

In Sunday’s 92-84 victory over the league No 1 team the Atlanta Hawks, Mbah a Moute hit three three-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points.

In Thursday’s 123-118 overtime loss against Russell Westbrook-led Oklahoma City Thunder, the 28-year-old finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, despite conceding a 123-118 defeat.

Understandably, he expressed his joy on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

He wrote: “Great team effort with my @Sixers troopers tonight! Carried by the best NBA fans in @WellsFargoCtr #proud #blessed #sixerstrong #WeDidIt.

There are still 19 regular-season games left, but if he continues to play at this level, he will set a career-high not only in scoring, but also in rebounding and assists.

On Thursday morning Philadelphia hosts Chicago.

March 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment