North Korea says US boycott of Beijing ‘insult’ to Olympic spirit

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — North Korea has slammed the US-led diplomatic boycott of February’s Beijing Winter Games, state media reported Friday, describing it as an “insult” to the Olympic spirit. Washington and some of its allies have announced a diplomatic boycott, citing China’s human rights record, in a decision that incensed Beijing. China is the main ally and economic benefactor of impoverished North Korea, which is suspended from competing in the Chinese capital. North […]

Curry, Durant lead fan voting for NBA All-Star Game

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant led the first results of fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game announced Thursday by the league. Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and three-time NBA champion Curry, who last month broke the NBA career record for 3-point baskets by sinking his 2,974th, set the overall pace by topping the Western Conference guards at 2,584,623 votes. NBA scoring […]

Nets rally to beat Pacers in Irving’s NBA season debut, Mavs stun Warriors

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Star Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving scored 22 points in an NBA season debut delayed by his unvaccinated status, helping the Nets rally for a 129-121 victory over the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday. Irving’s first appearance was just one highlight on a night that featured the Dallas Mavericks’ 99-82 triumph over the league-leading Golden State Warriors. The victory in Dallas set the scene perfectly for a post-game ceremony to […]

James helps Lakers rally over Kings, Morant catches fire against Cavs

LOS ANGELS, United States (AFP) — LeBron James made several clutch baskets in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a late seven-point deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings 122-114 on Tuesday. James scored 14 of his team-high 31 points in the final quarter as the Lakers won for the fourth time in the last five games. Los Angeles’ Malik Monk also had a strong final quarter, scoring […]

Beijing’s smog woes cast pall over ‘green’ Winter Olympics

BEIJING, China (AFP) – Beijing’s air pollution is far below acceptable World Health Organization levels with the Chinese capital a month away from hosting the Winter Olympics –- but environmental data shows its skies have improved dramatically in recent years. The city declared a “war on pollution” after winning the Olympics bid in 2015, shutting down dozens of coal plants and relocating heavy industries in order to shed its status as one of the world’s […]

Morant catches fire late as Grizzlies ease past Cavaliers

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Ja Morant scored the go ahead basket with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a 110-106 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday. Morant scored six of his 26 points in the final minute as the Grizzlies won their six straight game in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. “I don’t fear nobody,” said Morant. “If you are […]

Osaka vows to have fun after making winning return from long break

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Naomi Osaka said Tuesday that she aims to enjoy herself on court this year as she won on her return to action following a tearful exit at the US Open in September. The four-time Grand Slam champion, who has fallen to 13 in the rankings, said after her third-round defeat at Flushing Meadows that she was “dealing with some stuff” and would take an indefinite break from tennis. The former world […]

Embiid records triple double as 76ers trounce Rockets

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Joel Embiid posted his third career triple double with 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to power the Philadelphia 76ers past the Houston Rockets 133-113 on Monday. Furkan Korkmaz added 24 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, Isaiah Joe scored 18 points, Seth Curry contributed 15 and Tobias Harris had 14 as the Sixers won their fourth-straight game. Garrison Mathews scored a team high 23 points, while Eric […]

Brown scores 50 points as Celtics rally to beat Magic

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 50 points and the Boston Celtics needed all of them in a 116-111 NBA overtime victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Brown scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Celtics rally from 14 down with 4:20 left in regulation. He opened overtime with his fifth three-pointer of the contest, adding 11 rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. “I was just […]

Beijing Olympic venues – Bird’s Nest, Ice Ribbon and bullet trains

BEIJING, China (AFP) – The Beijing Winter Olympics will be spread over three zones and merge new venues with existing ones from the 2008 Games, including the “Bird’s Nest” stadium. With one month to go, AFP Sport looks at where the Olympics will take place: Beijing The 80,000-seater “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium — whose cross-hatched steel girders produce a nest-like appearance — will stage the opening and closing ceremonies. Other sites from the 2008 Games […]

Embiid powers 76ers past Durant’s Nets, Warriors-Nuggets postponed

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Joel Embiid scored 34 points and Tyrese Maxey added 25 as the Philadelphia 76ers spoiled Kevin Durant’s return from the NBA’s Covid list with a 110-102 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn on Thursday. Durant, who hadn’t played since December 16 as the Nets grappled with a Covid spike that eventually saw three of their games postponed, picked up where he left off with 33 points. James Harden added […]

NBA postpones Heat-Spurs as Miami unable to field minimum eight players

The Miami Heat’s NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs scheduled for Wednesday was postponed as Covid concerns and injuries left Miami without the minimum eight available players. Three more Heat players entered the league’s Covid health and safety protocols on Wednesday, with Gabe Vincent, P.J. Tucker and Zylan Cheatham joining Kyle Lowry, Udonis Haslem and Max Strus on the coronavirus absentee list. The Heat were already missing Bam Adebayo with a thumb injury as […]