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 […]

Messi and Argentina to play Australia in China friendly

BEIJING, May 22, 2023 (AFP) — Lionel Messi will lead world champions Argentina in a friendly against Australia in Beijing, the country said on Monday, followed by another game in Indonesia. The clash on June 15 at the Workers’ Stadium in the Chinese capital is a rematch of Argentina and Australia’s meeting in the last 16 of the Qatar World Cup. Messi scored in a 2-1 win for Argentina and they went on to win […]

Leaner DeChambeau still brings to power to lead at PGA

By Jim SLATER Agence France-Presse ROCHESTER, United States, May 19, 2023 (AFP) — Bryson DeChambeau, once a bulked-up ball basher who prized distance over all else, has slimmed down, found more energy and taken the PGA Championship lead with his trademark powerful drives. The 29-year-old American fired a four-under par 66 to grab the early first-round clubhouse lead Thursday at Oak Hill with six birdies against a pair of bogeys. “It was a fantastic round,” […]

Tennis world nervously awaits Nadal’s French Open decision

By Rik Sharma Agence France-Presse BARCELONA, May 18, 2023 (AFP) — The tennis world nervously awaits Rafael Nadal’s decision on Thursday on whether to defend his French Open title, as fears mount that the end is drawing near for the king of clay. The record 14-time Roland Garros champion was desperately hoping to appear in Paris, but the indications are his hip injury will prevent him from defending his crown. Nadal will hold a news […]

Thai football chiefs apologize after four red cards mar final

By James LEGGE Agence France-Presse PHNOM PENH, May 17, 2023 (AFP) – Thailand’s football association apologized and vowed to investigate on Wednesday after the Southeast Asian Games men’s final against Indonesia was marred by two mass brawls and four red cards. Thailand lost 5-2 after extra time on Tuesday, ending the game in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh with eight players on the field. One of those sent off was Thai goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart after […]

Philippines down Cambodia in grudge final to reclaim basketball gold

  PHNOM PENH, May 16, 2023 (AFP) – The Philippines avenged the disappointment of an opening-game defeat and reasserted their Southeast Asian Games dominance beating hosts Cambodia on Tuesday to clinch men’s basketball gold. They beat Cambodia 80-69 in a pressure-cooker final in Phnom Penh, with 23 points from star man Justin Brownlee. Coach Chot Reyes hoped the public pressure on him might ease in the basketball-mad Philippines, which prizes its traditional SEA Games dominance. […]

Spurs win NBA draft lottery, poised for Wembanyama pick

LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2023 (AFP) – The San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday were awarded the top pick in next month’s NBA draft, leaving them in pole position to land French prodigy Victor Wembanyama. San Antonio, who finished the regular season bottom of the Western Conference with a 22-60 record, were drawn first in the NBA’s lottery to determine who gets the coveted top pick in New York on June 22. Barring a monumental surprise, […]

LeBron, Lakers ready to tackle ‘monster’ Jokic

LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2023 (AFP) – LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will attempt to overcome the formidable challenge posed by Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets as the Western Conference playoff finals get under way on Tuesday. After struggling through the regular season, the Lakers are within four wins of returning to the NBA Finals after ousting the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday. Now James and Lakers defensive star Anthony […]

French prodigy Wembanyama set to learn team in NBA lottery

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — French basketball prodigy Victor Wembanyama will discover where he is likely to launch his NBA career on Tuesday when the league holds its lottery to determine which team will get first choice in next month’s draft. Barring a monumental surprise, the gifted 19-year-old from the outskirts of Paris is widely expected to be chosen with the No.1 pick when the latest crop of basketball talent entering the league goes […]