Thunder edge Pelicans in thriller, Celtics, Bucks and Clippers win playoff openers

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2024 (AFP) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drained a go-ahead basket with 32.5 seconds left on Sunday as Western Conference top seeds Oklahoma City clawed out a 94-92 victory over New Orleans in their NBA playoff opener. Hours after he was named a finalist for NBA Most valuable Player along with Denver star Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points to lead the Thunder. The Pelicans were missing […]

Sixers rally to beat Heat, book NBA playoff clash with Knicks

LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2024 (AFP) – The Philadelphia 76ers, fueled by 23 points from NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid, rallied to beat the Miami Heat 105-104 on Wednesday and book a first-round NBA playoff clash with the New York Knicks. Embiid, still not back to peak form after missing two months in the wake of knee surgery, stepped it up in the second half for the Sixers, who trailed by as many as […]

James, Curry among NBA stars set to be named for Paris Olympics: reports

LeBron James and Stephen Curry are among the NBA stars set for the Paris Olympics, with US selectors settled on a 12-man roster rounded out on Tuesday with Kawhi Leonard, ESPN reported. The sports website, citing unnamed sources, said Los Angeles Clippers forward Leonard had been tapped for the 12th and final roster spot and that USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill had met with most of the invitees in recent days. USA Basketball had […]

About 2,000 foreign troops to help France secure Paris Olympics

PARIS (AFP) – Some 2,000 foreign troops and police will be sent to Paris to bolster security for this summer’s Olympic Games as France remains on high alert following attack threats, the French armed forces minister said Friday. “We have something like 2,000 foreign police officers, gendarmes and troops who will be joining the protection system for the Olympic Games,” Sebastien Lecornu told all-news television station LCI. France, which will host the games from July […]

Injured Giannis to miss rest of regular season: Bucks

LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2024 (AFP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss the final three games of the regular season after suffering a calf strain, the Milwaukee Bucks confirmed on Wednesday. Antetokounmpo hobbled off the court after suffering a non-contact injury during the Bucks’ win over Boston on Tuesday at Fiserv Forum. The 29-year-old former NBA Most Valuable Player underwent an MRI scan which confirmed a strain to his left soleus (calf), the Bucks said in […]

Champions League quarter-final matches under heightened security amid Islamic State threats

PARIS, April 9, 2024 (AFP) – Security will be reinforced at Champions League quarter-final matches on Tuesday and Wednesday after a communication outlet supporting the Islamic State group published threats against stadiums. European football’s governing body UEFA said all four games in Paris, Madrid and London would go ahead despite the jihadist threat. French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said security would be “considerably reinforced” when Paris Saint-Germain take on Barcelona in the first leg at […]

Athletics track for Paris Olympics is made in Italy — in purple

ALBA, Italy, April 8, 2024 (AFP) – Italian firm Mondo will supply this summer’s Paris Olympics with a custom purple track which could be the fastest yet for athletes hunting the biggest prizes in sport. Based in the sleepy Piedmont town of Alba which is immersed in vineyards where the grapes for the world-famous Barolo wine ripen in the sun, Mondo first made the track for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. For Paris — its 13th […]

‘I’m back’: Sixers Embiid to return against Thunder

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will make his long-awaited return from injury against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, the team confirmed. Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Embiid, who has not played since late January, has been passed fit by the Sixers and will play limited minutes, reports said. The Sixers ace has missed 29 games after injuring a knee in a defeat to the Golden State Warriors on January 30. He underwent surgery in […]

October 7 survivor is star of Israel’s amputee football team

By Fiachra GIBBONS Ben Binyamin was left for dead by Hamas militants when they stormed into Israel on October 7. Six months later, he is the rock at the heart of the defence for Israel’s national amputee football team, dreaming of lifting the Euro 2024 cup in France in June. Binyamin was celebrating his 29th birthday at the Supernova music festival where 364 people were killed. He lost his right leg when the attackers threw […]

LeBron scores 40, hits 9-of-10 3-pointers as Lakers rip Nets

NEW YORK, April 1, 2024 (AFP) – LeBron James delivered another epic performance on Sunday, scoring 40 points and matching a career-high with nine 3-pointers on 10 attempts as the Los Angeles Lakers rolled to a 116-104 NBA victory at Brooklyn. James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and the NBA’s oldest active player at 39, made 13-of-17 shots from the floor overall and added seven rebounds and five assists in an effort that had […]

NBA fines 76ers’ Nurse, Oubre for ref abuse after missed foul

NEW YORK, March 29, 2024 (AFP) – Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse and guard Kelly Oubre Jr. were each fined $50,000 by the NBA on Friday for heated complaints after a missed call in a frustrating loss. The incidents came after the intense final seconds of Philadelphia’s 108-107 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. Oubre was driving to the basket when Paul George of the Clippers blocked his path and they […]

NBA bans Utah’s Dunn for two games and Houston’s Smith one

Utah Jazz guard Kris Dunn was suspended two games and Houston forward Jabari Smith Jr. was banned for one game by the NBA on Sunday after they fought during a game. The altercation took place five seconds into the second quarter of Houston’s 147-119 home victory over Utah on Saturday. Dunn was suspended for initiating an altercation and throwing a punch at Smith, who received a one-game fighting ban. Both players were issued technical […]