Sports — International

Bucks hold off Nets to claw back in NBA playoff series

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The Milwaukee Bucks started strong and clung on late to beat the Brooklyn Nets 86-83 on Thursday and claw their way back into their NBA Eastern Conference second-round playoff series. Khris Middleton scored 35 points and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 as the Bucks — routed in two games in Brooklyn — trimmed the deficit in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Kevin Durant led the […]

Partial eclipse sweeps over northern hemisphere

PARIS, France (AFP) — People across Earth’s northern hemisphere viewed an annular solar eclipse Thursday with parts of Canada and Siberia privy to the best view of the celestial event. The eclipse was partly visible to observers in North America, parts of Europe including France and the UK, and some of northern Asia. In London, where the moon covered 20 percent of the sun as the eclipse reached totality, sky-gazers glimpsed the event through cloud […]

Suns scorch Nuggets for 2-0 NBA series lead

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Chris Paul scored 17 points and handed out 15 assists without a turnover Wednesday to propel the Phoenix Suns to a crushing 123-98 victory over Denver and a 2-0 lead in their NBA playoff series. Veteran point guard Paul was the keystone of the Suns’ dominant victory, pulling down five rebounds and finishing the night without a turnover. Every Suns starter scored in double figures and Phoenix did not […]

Jazz big man Gobert named NBA Defensive Player of Year

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Utah center Rudy Gobert was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, the third time the Jazz’s French big man has earned the award. Gobert, who also won the award in the 2017-18 season and in 2018-19, is the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace — who both won it four times — and Dwight Howard who […]

Pacers fire Bjorkgren as coach after missing NBA playoffs

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Nate Bjorkgren was fired Wednesday after one season as coach of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, in which the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The 45-year-old American went 34-38 in his first campaign as an NBA head coach following four seasons as an NBA assistant coach, two at Phoenix and two in Toronto, including a role in the Raptors’ 2019 NBA title run. “The 2020-21 season […]

Cristiano Ronaldo scores as Portugal breeze past Israel

LISBON, Portugal (AFP) — Cristiano Ronaldo was on the score-sheet as European champions Portugal beat Israel 4-0 on Wednesday in their final warm up for the defence of their title. Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes bagged twice as Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo added for a comfortable win in Lisbon. Ronaldo’s 44th minute strike was his 104th international goal in 175 matches, and leaves him five short of the record held by Iran’s Ali Daei. “We […]

Embiid delivers 40 points as Sixers even series with Hawks

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Joel Embiid scored a career playoff-high 40 points and added 13 rebounds as the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers topped the Atlanta Hawks 118-102 on Tuesday to level their Eastern Conference series at one game each. Tobias Harris tallied 22 points, Seth Curry finished with 21 and five threes, and Shake Milton came off the bench to score 14 points as the Sixers reserves scored 26 points in the second half […]

Denver Nuggets ace Nikola Jokic named 2021 NBA MVP

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, completing a remarkable rise to the pinnacle of basketball after entering the league in 2014 as a lowly 41st draft pick. The 6ft 11in (2.10m) Serbian centre scooped the season MVP honours after a 2020/2021 campaign that has seen him average a career-best 26.4 points per game with 8.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds. “Stat wise, […]

Asian markets struggle ahead of US inflation report

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Markets fluctuated in Asia on Tuesday as investors awaited the release of key US inflation data later in the week, with another strong reading likely adding pressure on the Federal Reserve to begin reconsidering its ultra-loose monetary policy. Equities around the world are sitting close to record or multi-year highs after a stellar rally lasting more than a year, fuelled by central bank largesse, vast government stimulus worth trillions of […]

Nets clobber Bucks, don’t skip a beat without Harden

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Kevin Durant had 32 points and six assists as the Brooklyn Nets rolled to their largest win in playoff franchise history on Monday with a 125-86 beat down of the Milwaukee Bucks in game two of their NBA series. Kyrie Irving finished with 22 points and four threes while Joe Harris and Bruce Brown each scored 13 for the Nets, who seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern […]

Knicks coach Thibodeau named NBA coach of the year

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau was named the NBA’s coach of the year on Monday following a successful season which saw the franchise return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Thibodeau, who was appointed to the Knicks coaching role last July, oversaw a transformation in fortunes in his first season in charge, helping the team finish 41-31. It marked the Knicks first winning season […]

Nets’ Harden ruled out for NBA game two against Bucks

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Brooklyn star guard James Harden has been ruled out of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals against Milwaukee with right hamstring tightness, the Nets said Sunday. Harden departed just 43 seconds into the Nets’ 115-107 victory over the Bucks on Saturday in game one of their best-of-seven series with game two set for Monday in New York. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving stepped up in the opener, […]