Teams

Los Angeles Clippers shrug off Griffin furore to down Pacers

Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers defends Wesley Johnson #33 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 26, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers defends Wesley Johnson #33 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 26, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Los Angeles Clippers shrugged off the furor surrounding Blake Griffin’s punch-induced hand injury on Tuesday to beat the Indiana Pacers 91-89.

Guard Chris Paul scored 26 points including a crucial jumper with just 33.7 seconds left on the clock as the Clippers held on in a frantic finale.

The road victory saw the Clippers improve to 29-16 for the season while Indiana fell to 23-22 after the game at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Clippers had been plunged into controversy earlier Tuesday after confirming that Griffin had suffered a broken bone in his hand after throwing a punch at an unidentified person.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers paid tribute to the way his side had reacted to the controversy with victory over Indiana.

“I think all the stuff in the last 48 hours, you always say it’s the game that brings your team back,” Rivers said. “You could kind of feel that tonight. That was a good win for our team.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Griffin had attacked a member of the Clippers equipment staff during an altercation in Toronto over the weekend.

The incident left Griffin needing surgery to repair a spiral fracture in a metacarpal in his right hand, meaning he faces four to six weeks out.

The 6ft 10in (2.08metres) power forward now faces an internal investigation after the Clippers announced a sternly worded statement about the incident on Tuesday.

 

GRIFFIN APOLOGY

“This conduct has no place in our organisation and this incident does not represent who we are as a team,” the Clipper said.

“We are conducting a full investigation with assistance from the NBA. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken.”

Griffin, 26, has not played since suffering a torn quadriceps tendon in late December.

USA Today identified the target of Griffin’s assault as the Clippers’ assistant equipment manager Matias Testi.

Griffin later issued an apology on Twitter.

“A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handled myself towards someone I care about,” he wrote.

“I want to apologise to the Clippers organisation, my teammates and the fans for creating a distraction.”

It is not the first time Griffin has found himself in hot water over a physical altercation.

In 2014 he was accused of slapping a man at a Las Vegas nightclub who had taken a picture of him with a cellphone.

He was accused of misdemeanour battery, but the charges were eventually dropped by Nevada prosecutors.

PLAYING THE RIGHT WAY

Elsewhere Tuesday, Kevin Durant poured on 44 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder outgunned the New York Knicks in an overtime thriller at Madison Square Garden.

The Thunder squeezed home 128-122 with Durant also contributing 14 rebounds and five assists while draining four three-pointers from seven attempts.

It was Durant’s second 40-point haul of the season after scoring 43 points against the Orlando Magic on Oct 30.

“I’m not really into how many points I score anymore,” said Durant, a four-time league scoring champion. “I try to play winning and consistent basketball. If I play a good brand of basketball, if I play the right way, that stuff will come.”

In Toronto, Kyle Lowry scored 29 points as the Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards 106-89 to record their ninth consecutive victory, equalling the franchise record for longest winning streak set in 2002.

DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 17 points for Toronto while Terrence Ross contributed 15 points off the bench, and center Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

 

January 28, 2016 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Thompson steers Golden State Warriors past Nuggets

Thompson steers Golden State Warriors past Nuggets

Klay Thompson (right) of the Golden State Warriors shoots against the outstretched arm of Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets in the second half at Toyota Centre on December 31, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

Klay Thompson drove for a go-ahead basket with 15.6 seconds left in overtime on Saturday as the Golden State Warriors kept their NBA home winning streak alive with a bruising 111-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

The Warriors improved to 16-0 at home this season, and posted their 34th straight win at Oracle Arena in Oakland, a streak stretching back to last season.

They aren’t the only team dominating on their home floor, and the San Antonio Spurs became just the third Western Conference team ever to open a season 20-0 at home with a 121-103 victory over the Houston Rockets.

But the Warriors and Spurs had to battle to keep their streaks alive.

In Oakland, a Warriors team missing five injured players were buoyed by the return from injury of Stephen Curry and exploded for a 37-13 first-quarter lead.

But the Nuggets outscored them in each of the next three quarters, the Warriors unable to keep them at bay after Curry departed at halftime having aggravated his bruised left shin.

Power forward Draymond Green helped fill the void with a triple double of 29 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists.

Thompson, who finished with 16 points, rolled in his go-ahead basket in overtime after Denver forward Kenneth Faried buried a contested shot to knot the score at 108-108 with 33.3 seconds left in the extra session.

INJURED IN COLLISION

Faried was then injured in a collision with teammate Will Barton.

He missed the final seconds and was taken from courtside on a stretcher after the contest ended with his neck in a brace — raising his arm and giving a “thumbs up” as he was wheeled away.

Barton, who forced overtime with a driving bank shot, had two chances to tie the game in the last seven seconds of overtime.

January 5, 2016 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:
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Hawks bring down Rockets, Cavaliers cruise

Isaiah Thomas (left) of the Boston Celtics defends against Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at TD Garden on December 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Isaiah Thomas (left) of the Boston Celtics defends against Dennis Schroder of the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at TD Garden on December 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 19-point deficit to snap Houston’s home win streak, and LeBron James received an early birthday gift as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Denver on Tuesday night.

Al Horford and Paul Millsap posted double-doubles and the Hawks rallied to win a Texas-style shootout over the Rockets by a score of 121-115 at Toyota Center in Houston.

Horford finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds while Millsap tallied 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who have now won their last four meetings with the Rockets.

Millsap also had a block of Rockets centre Dwight Howard with 11 seconds left on the clock and Atlanta clinging to a 117-115 lead.

“We fought through adversity and got it done,” Horford said.

FINAL GAME 2015

Hawks forward Kent Bazemore added 26 points on five of nine three-point shooting, while guard Jeff Teague finished with 22 points with eight assists in their final game of 2015.

Atlanta overcame another miserable shooting effort from slumping guard Kyle Korver, who missed all 11 of his field-goal attempts. That included a record of zero-for-10 on three-pointers.

Houston led 47-28 early in the second quarter, 71-56 at the half and 98-88 with 10:32 remaining but scored just one field goal following a Howard dunk with just over eight minutes remaining.

The Hawks ground the Rockets’ offence to a halt by intentionally fouling free throw liability Howard down the stretch as the lead dwindled in the final quarter. Howard made just 10-of-18 free throws Tuesday.

Howard matched Horford with 30 points and added 16 rebounds, while Rockets guard James Harden scored 26 points, grabbed 10 boards and dished out eight assists.

“I think we should have stuck with the same game plan we had in the first half,” Howard said.

LEBRON JAMES

LeBron James, who was due to celebrate his 31st birthday yesterday, scored 34 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Cavaliers defeated the Nuggets 93-87.

“It has been a long roll for me but I got a longer roll to keep going. I got to keep pushing the envelope,” James said. “Hard work pays off and tonight was an example of that.”

Will Barton scored a team high 29 points and Joffrey Lauvergne scored 14 for Denver, who have lost six of their last seven games.

The Cavaliers were playing their fourth game in five nights on this Western Conference road trip. They lost a hard-fought game to Golden State in an NBA finals rematch on Christmas Day before winning the last two.

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 53 points and 15 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 131-123 victory over Milwaukee at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

AFP

January 1, 2016 By : Category : English featured Teams 0 Comment

New York Knicks forward Williams reports stolen jewellery

Richard Jefferson #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers passes over Derrick Williams #23 of the New York Knicks during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 23, 2015 in Cleveland. 

Richard Jefferson #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers passes over Derrick Williams #23 of the New York Knicks during the first half at Quicken Loans Arena on December 23, 2015 in Cleveland.

New York Knicks forward Derrick Williams has reported to New York police that $617,000 (Sh63 million) in jewellery is missing from his apartment.

Authorities say two women are the subject of a search in the case after surveillance video showed them leaving a club last Saturday and going to Williams’ home.

After 90 minutes in Williams’ upscale Manhattan apartment, the women departed and Williams later found the jewellery missing, then filed a report with the police.

Among the missing items Williams listed were a $50,000 diamond Rolex watch, three diamond rings worth an estimated $30,000 and three gold chains valued at $35,000.

Williams, 24, was the second pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He is averaging 7.3 points a game this season for the Knicks, who are 14-16, fourth worst in the Eastern Conference.

December 26, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:,
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US college league star is waiting for the home call

Tom Wamukota in action for Wichita State University’s Shockers in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball league match against Kansas Jayhawks.

Tom Wamukota in action for Wichita State University’s Shockers in a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball league match against Kansas Jayhawks.

“The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure.”

This mantra best suits the sports journey of Kenyan basketball player Tom “Bush” Wamukota, who plies his trade in the USA.

The Bungoma-born Wamukota, who is on scholarship at Wichita State University, where he is majoring in international business, plays for the institution’s team, better known as “Shockers”, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Basketball League.

Sunday Nation Sport however learnt that things have not always been rosy for the lean, seven-foot centre. He started out as a football player at Maseno School, then just six-foot, three-inch tall, the ideal height for a modern central defender.

Wamukota’s passion for basketball developed in his final two years in high school, with his incredible growth in height an intervention that set him on his path to ditching a sport that is mainly played with the feet to one played with the hands.

He recalls his struggle to find adequate facilities to train and improve his ball handling skills as his rapid growth prevented him from getting proper training gear.

“I have undergone a lot of transitions,” Wamukota said. “I used to play football but I had to transition to basketball. I attribute it to several things — such as my abrupt change in height. I grew seven inches in two years and had to adapt into my new height.”

Although relatively new to the sport, Wamukota’s height, along with his willingness and ability to learn, saw his then coach Paul Otula give him an chance on the court.

After completing high school in 2011, he was drafted into Wiley College in Texas, where he was reunited with his mother Nancy Sikobe. The former Kenya volleyball team player, who competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, was the coach of the college team at the time. Wamukota used his time there to develop his game with the aim of making it to the prolific NCCA League.

His exploits caught the eye of Junior College Basketball side Kilgore College, Texas, where he spent one season. There, he averaged six points and seven rebounds in 31 games with a team-high 29 blocked shots, which was impressive for a rookie.

MAKE THE SWITCH

Wichita State University head coach Greg Marshall came calling shortly afterwards and convinced him to make the switch. The state had reached the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament in 2013 and the fourth round the following year.

This was an opportunity that he had to take, given the calibre of the team. It was also a path to achieving his ultimate goal of playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) League, the most prestigious of its kind in the world.

In his first season with Wichita, Wamukota was used sporadically, making 32 appearances off the bench as a centre, averaging two points and two rebounds per game. This was largely due to him playing a mere six minutes per game.

Off the court, he has been involved in charity work — including outreach programmes for the local schools to inspire young children to balance sports and education.

Wamukota says he believes that the facilities in the US have played a key role in shaping his style of play and would like to see more of that replicated in Kenya.

He hopes to improve even more this season. However, he is yet to receive his international call-up.

AFP

December 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams 0 Comment

Unbeaten Warriors march on as Pacers subdued

Unbeaten Warriors march on as Pacers subdued

Draymond Green #23, Shaun Livingston #34 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors react against the Indiana Pacers in the second half of the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Klay Thompson scored 39 points as the Golden State Warriors withstood a furious late rally to defeat the Indiana Pacers 131-123 on Tuesday and stretch their record season-starting, winning streak to 23 games.

The reigning NBA champions had looked to be romping to victory after piling on the points to lead by 28 at 111-83 heading into the final quarter.

But an inspired fightback from the Pacers led by the in-form Paul George saw the home side close to within seven points at one stage before the Warriors dug in to clinch victory.

Thompson’s haul included 10 of 16 three-pointer attempts while Warriors talisman Stephen Curry added 29 points and 10 assists.

“It’s a great feeling. I felt like I was due for a game like that,” Thompson told reporters afterwards. “Just have to try and build on it from here and have another great game on Friday.”

Thompson played down a slight ankle injury which forced him to miss most of the fourth quarter.

“I just rolled it, I’ll be alright…it should be sore for a couple of days but I’ll be back in no time,” he said.

Thompson sank eight of his three-pointers by half-time, a statistic which left team-mate Curry in a state of awe.

“He had eight 3′s at the half,” Curry said. “That is amazing. You could see the look in his eyes. When he has that look, he is going to have his confidence all night. All it takes is for a couple of shots to go in.”

George finished with 33 points as the Pacers reduced the Warriors’ lead in the fourth quarter. But it was to no avail as Golden State marched on.

The Pacers, who began the game with the second best record in the Eastern Conference, fell to 12-8 for the season.

The Warriors are 23-0, edging closer to the Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time winning streak record of 33 games set in the 1971-1972 season.

The Warriors next test is a road trip against the Boston Celtics on Friday, followed by a trip to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

“Our guys were locked in,” Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said. “They were excited about this game tonight. We were thrilled with the way we played during the first three quarters. I don’t think there is any pressure on us. Our guys are having fun.”

LEBRON LEADS CAVS CHARGE

Elsewhere, LeBron James scored 33 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-100.

James finished with 10 rebounds and three assists as the Cavaliers halted a three-game losing streak with a gutsy victory. Kevin Love added 18 points and guard Matthew Dellavedova 17 as the Cavs improved to 14-7.

James, who this week clinched a lucrative lifetime sponsorship deal with Nike which could be worth as much as $500 million (458 million euros), had missed the Cavs’ defeat to Miami on Saturday.

However, the superstar excelled in the fourth quarter with an explosive performance that hauled the Cavaliers into a winning position.

James drained a crucial three-pointer to put the Cavs 96-90 ahead with 2:53 left on the clock before forcing Mason Plumlee to foul out at the other end.

December 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:
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Patriots coach Kalima resigns

Cyrille Kalima (R), speaks to his players during last season's play-offs game against APR.

Cyrille Kalima (R), speaks to his players during last season’s play-offs game against APR.

Patriots basketball team head coach Cyrille Kalima has resigned from his position to concentrate on demanding office work.

Kalima told local media over the weekend that, “I am no longer Patriots coach. I have stepped down by mutual consent with the club, but I will be available to offer any assistance. My new job is too demanding (in terms of time), which is why I was forced to resign,”

He noted that, “Patriots are a big club; they need a coach who is going to be around the team all the time, something that I can no longer guarantee because most of the time I will be working upcountry. However, I’m still part of the club’s veterans’ team.”

Former UR- CoE (former KIE) and Kigali Basketball Club (KBC) coach, who tendered his resignation, last Wednesday, is taking up a new job as a technician with RIEM, a company that deals with network broadcasting towers.

Kalima, who also happens to be one of the founding members of Patriots Basketball Club, took over the club’s head coach role in late 2014 to lead the then league debutants to finish second in both regular league and post-season play-off games ahead of the likes of APR and Cercle Sportif de Kigali.

Despite leaving the club just days before the league start, Kalima is confident Patriots can go a step better than last season, to win the national championship.

 

November 30, 2015 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Teams 0 Comment

Star-studded USA prepare Olympic title defence

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

The USA team is back in action on Tuesday to begin their defense of the Olympic Games title, and Indiana Pacers guard Paul George has re-joined the team after suffering a gruesome leg injury last summer.

A year ago, George was practicing with the USA team, who were gearing up for the 2014 Fiba Basketball World Cup in Spain, when he broke his right leg, which forced him to sit out most of the 2014-14 NBA season.

While George watched the World Cup from the small screen, as the Americans went on to beat Serbia in the final in the Spanish capital, Madrid, last September.

George is among the 34-player preliminary squad, selected by head coach Mike Krzyzewski, which will attend a three-day training camp in Las Vegas from Tuesday.

“I feel great,” George said.

“I still notice some things that are not Paul George characteristic yet, but I feel good and the good thing is we’re still in mid-summer. By training camp, I’ll be ready to go.”

The preparation will culminate with a USA Blue versus USA White exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Centre in Vegas on Thursday.

However, coach Krzyzewski will only announce his final 12-player roster next July shortly before the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The USA will travel to Brazil as the two-time Olympic defending champions as well as holding a 63-game winning streak.

The Americans last lost a game at the 2006 World Cup in Japan. At the time they fell 101-95 to Greece in the semifinals.

Among the 34 players, coach Krzyzewski has invited 2012 London gold medalists LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love and Anthony Davis.

Jerry Collangelo, the team’s General Manager, said: “We set out to create a new culture and create a situation where players once again were proud to represent their country.

“We also had to win back the respect of the world basketball community.

“When you’re climbing the mountain to recapture something, that’s one thing,” Colangelo said. “Defending the next time around is another, and now it’s maintaining. We recognise, we appreciate, we respect the other teams and we take nothing for granted.”

USA’s preliminary squad for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Mike Conley, Michael Carter-Williams, James Harden, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, Harrison Barnes, Tobias Harris, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond and Mason Plumlee.

Supersport

August 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams 0 Comment

James triple-double lifts Cavs over Bulls

James triple-double lifts Cavs over Bulls

LeBron James and Nikola Mirotic

LeBron James notched his first triple-double of the season on Sunday as the Cleveland Cavaliers all but clinched the NBA Central Division title with a 99-94 win over Chicago.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James finished with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Cavs post their 18th straight home win.

Cleveland pulled four games ahead of the second-placed Bulls in the Central Division with five games to play.

J.R. Smith made half of Cleveland’s whopping 16 three-pointers and finished with 24 points.

Kyrie Irving added 27 points, including a stunning shot from beyond halfcourt as the shot-clock ran down late in the third quarter.

The shot – from more than 50 feet out – swished through the net, part of a 10-0 Cleveland scoring burst that extended their lead to 75-60.

Mike Dunleavy led Chicago with 24 points, while Aaron Brooks added 17 and Jimmy Butler chipped in 16 in the Bulls’ second defeat in three games.

Among Cleveland’s 10 three-pointers in the first half were impressive buzzer-beaters by Irving and Smith to end the first and second quarters, which helped the hosts take a 54-45 lead into halftime.

The Bulls narrowed the gap to 79-71 going into the fourth quarter, and pulled within five at 92-87 with just over three minutes to play.

Two of their next three possessions ended in turnovers, and Nikola Mirotic missed a three-pointer on the other.

April 7, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:
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IPRC-South, UR-CASS win opening matches in local basketball

IPRC-South, UR-CASS win opening matches in local basketball

Saturday

Men           

IPRC- South 82-64 UR- CASS

Women

IPRC- South 48-51 UR- CASS

IPRC-SOUTH and UR-CASS registered opening win in the local basketball league in both men and women categories held over the weekend.

IPRC-South booked a home 82-64 win over neighbours University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) on Saturday.

Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center- Southern Province (IPRC-South) came from 36-25 half-time deficit to beat UR- CASS 82-64. UR-CASS won first quarter 17-14 and the second 19-11 but the debutants recovered to take the third and fourth quarters 21-17 and 36-10 respectively.

IPRC-South’s Bienvenue Niyonsaba scored the game high 28 points while teammates Yesman Bushiri and Herves Ikishatse added 22 and 18 points respectively to help their team off to a winning debut.

In women’s league opening match, IPRC-South lost 51-48 to UR- CASS. In the meantime, Rwanda Allied Peace for Progress (RAPP), who finished second last season have pulled out of the league due to financial constraints.

February 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured Teams Tags:
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