Butler: Miami’s man for ‘moments of truth’

MIAMI, May 31, 2023 (AFP) — Desperate. Urgent. Incredible. Unique. World class. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has used an array of adjectives to describe Jimmy Butler over the course of his team’s remarkable postseason campaign. On Monday, Spoelstra was once again plundering his vocabulary after Butler led Miami’s scoring in a do-or-die game seven blowout of the Boston Celtics to seal a place in the NBA Finals. It was the latest in a […]

Quiet man Jokic ready for crowning glory in NBA Finals

DENVER, May 31, 2023 (AFP) — Nikola Jokic can cap an improbable journey to the pinnacle of his sport by leading the Denver Nuggets to a first ever championship when the NBA Finals get under way on Thursday. Nine years ago, the softly spoken Serbian center barely caused a murmur of attention when the Nuggets chose him with the 41st overall pick in the draft. That selection was so low-key that it was not even […]

World 172 Seyboth Wild stuns Medvedev at French Open amid Djokovic fallout

By Dave JAMES Agence France-Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — World number two Daniil Medvedev was knocked out of the French Open in the first round on Tuesday, losing in five sets to 172nd-ranked Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil as Roland Garros attempted to move on from Novak Djokovic’s Kosovo controversy. Seyboth Wild, who came through the qualifiers and had never previously won a Grand Slam match, triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. It […]

Heat rout Celtics to book NBA Finals showdown with Denver

BOSTON, May 30, 2023 (AFP) — The Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals on Monday by routing Boston 103-84 and denying the Celtics a historic comeback from down 3-0 in the series. Jimmy Butler had 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Caleb Martin added 26 points and 10 rebounds to spark Miami, which will visit Denver on Thursday to begin the best-of-seven championship final. Taking full advantage of an injury to Boston […]

Heat and Celtics promise more drama in game seven decider

MIAMI, May 29, 2023 (AFP) – After an astonishing game-six finish that left the Boston Celtics dumbstruck and the Miami Heat reeling, the two teams must now pick themselves up to do battle again in Monday’s NBA playoff series decider. And neither expects anything less than another epic battle in Boston. Facing elimination, the Celtics won 104-103 in Miami on Saturday thanks to a heart-stopping buzzer-beater tip-in from Derrick White and pulled level at 3-3 […]

Buzzer-beating Boston force Miami to game seven

MIAMI, May 28, 2023 (AFP) – With a dramatic buzzer-beater from Derrick White, the Boston Celtics forced their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series with the Miami Heat to a winner-take-all game seven in a heart-stopping 104-103 win in South Florida on Saturday. The Celtics became just the fourth team in NBA history to level a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-0. They will now have a chance on Monday to mark an even more impressive […]

Celtics pummel Heat to keep NBA title hopes alive

LOS ANGELES, May 26, 2023 (AFP) — Boston poured in 16 three-pointers in a dominant 110-97 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday that kept the Celtics alive in the NBA championship chase. For the second straight game, the Celtics fended off elimination, cutting the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals to 3-2 with the wire-to-wire triumph. Miami will get another chance to close it out when they host game six on Saturday. The […]

Djokovic and Alcaraz in same half of French Open draw

PARIS, May 25, 2023 (AFP) – Novak Djokovic could face world number one Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals of the French Open after both players were placed in the same half of the draw on Thursday. Djokovic is chasing a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam title in the absence of the injured Rafael Nadal, who will miss the tournament at Roland Garros for the first time since his 2005 title-winning debut. The third-seeded Djokovic, Roland […]

Celtics stay alive with victory at Heat

  By Simon EVANS Agence France-Presse MIAMI, May 24, 2023 (AFP) — The Boston Celtics kept their Eastern Conference finals hopes alive with a 116-99 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday to reduce the series deficit to 3-1. Jayson Tatum inspired the Celtics with 33 points, 11 rebounds and assists, while five other players reached double figures in what was a determined team display from Joe Mazzulla’s side. After the Heat’s 128-102 win on […]

Tennis player Tsurenko urges Ukrainians to beat Russians ‘on any field’

PARIS (AFP) – Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko says she and her compatriots’ only resort is to beat their Russian and Belarusian rivals “on any field” as she is resigned to sports organisations not taking tougher action. Russian and Belarusian players have been competing on both the ATP and WTA tours under a neutral flag since Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 with the assistance of Belarus. Tsurenko, 33, told AFP […]

Denver Nuggets oust Lakers to reach NBA Finals for first time

LOS ANGELES, United States, May 23, 2023 (AFP) — Nikola Jokic led a second-half fightback as the Denver Nuggets completed a 4-0 Western Conference championship sweep over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Jokic finished with 30 points after the Nuggets overturned a 15-point half-time deficit to send LeBron James and the Lakers crashing out of the postseason […]

Heat on brink of NBA Finals after 128-102 win over Celtics

MIAMI, May 22, 2023 (AFP) – The Miami Heat knocked the stuffing out of the Boston Celtics on Sunday, powering to a 128-102 victory to take a 3-0 stranglehold on the NBA Eastern Conference finals. The Heat, who host game four on Tuesday, are one win away from reaching the NBA Finals. The Celtics though are battling the weight of history — no NBA team has rallied from 0-3 down to win a best-of-seven playoff […]