Sports — International

Five Things We Learned From The NBA Finals

OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — Five things we learned from Toronto’s win over Golden State in the NBA Finals: Always the quiet ones  Victory and defeat looked the same most nights for the Toronto Raptors. Keeping a not too up or down manner, they kept a firm focus on their ultimate goal of a championship trophy, taking after star Kawhi Leonard, who was named Most Valuable Player. No trash talk. No joyful high fives or […]

Kawhi claims second MVP award as Raptors take NBA title

by Jim SLATER OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — Kawhi Leonard trusted himself when people doubted he was injured last year, finding an inner calm that one year later has returned him to the level of NBA champion. Leonard won his second career NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award on Thursday, helping spark the Toronto Raptors to a 114-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors and a 4-2 triumph in the best-of-seven series. The 27-year-old forward […]

Jubilation in Toronto as fans celebrate Raptors’ NBA win

by Geoff Robins TORONTO, Canada (AFP) — Thousands of fans stormed the streets of Toronto early Friday in a rowdy celebration of their hometown team’s first ever NBA championship. The Toronto Raptors clinched the win over Golden State Warriors 114-110 shortly before midnight local time, taking the best-of-seven series 4-2 and becoming the first team outside the United States to win the world’s premier basketball competition. Thousands of supporters dressed in the team’s red and […]

Lee retirement leaves ‘Super Dan’ ploughing lonely Olympic furrow

by Peter STEBBINGS SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Lee Chong Wei’s tearful retirement was not just a sad conclusion to one of badminton’s great careers, it also ended his remarkable rivalry with China’s Lin Dan. The duo reigned over the sport for more than a decade and have only relinquished that hold in recent years as their powers waned. Both are well past their prime, but the Malaysian was forced to call it quits after being […]

Injury-riddled Warriors vow ‘We’ll be back’ atop NBA

by Jim SLATER OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — Stephen Curry and Draymond Green vow the Golden State Warriors will remain championship contenders despite their NBA Finals loss to Toronto and major injuries to stars Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. The Raptors downed Golden State 114-110 Thursday to capture the best-of-seven series four games to two, Thompson scoring 30 points to lead the Warriors before leaving with a left knee injury in the third quarter. Durant […]

Toronto Raptors beat Golden State to capture NBA title

OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — The Toronto Raptors captured their first NBA crown on Thursday, defeating Golden State 114-110 to become the first league champion from outside the United States by dethroning the defending titleholders. Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam each scored 26 points while Kawhi Leonard and reserve Fred VanVleet each added 22 as Toronto won the best-of-seven series four games to two. The Raptors became the first Canadian club to win a major […]

Blues beat Bruins in seven to capture first NHL championship

LOS ANGELES, CA (AFP)  — Goaltender Jordan Binnington made 32 stops as the St. Louis Blues captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history with a 4-1 game seven win over Boston that capped a storybook season. Captain Alex Pietrangelo and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly each had a goal and an assist as an improbable Blues turnaround saw them go from the worst team in the NHL in early January to claim their first championship […]

Family tragedy taught Kawhi to enjoy life and hoops

by Jim SLATER OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — After coping with the trauma of his father’s murder as a 16-year-old, Kawhi Leonard has no difficulty putting basketball in its proper perspective. On Thursday, the Toronto Raptors star will try to lead the Canadian franchise to their first NBA Finals crown, and the first for any team from outside the United States, with victory in game six at Golden State. Leonard’s 31.1 points a game in […]

Warriors set for emotional NBA Finals showdown with Raptors

by Jim SLATER OAKLAND, United States (AFP) — Playing for injured star Kevin Durant in a farewell to the arena when they became a dynasty, the Golden State Warriors are set for an emotional NBA Finals showdown Thursday against Toronto. The Raptors own a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven championship series despite a 106-105 loss Monday in which Durant ruptured his right Achilles tendon in his first game back after missing a month with a […]

Trail Blazers guard Lillard wins NBA Citizenship Award

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, a seven-year NBA veteran, was named Wednesday as this year’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award winner by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The media panel annually awards the honor, named for a former NBA commissioner, to an NBA player, coach or trainer showing outstanding community service and dedication. Lillard was given the award for his work within supporting and inspiring high school students […]

Durant’s shock injury exit stuns NBA Finals rivals

by Jim SLATER TORONTO, Canada (AFP) — When Golden State star Kevin Durant went down 12 minutes into his long-awaited comeback game Monday in the NBA Finals, players on both sides were stunned. Durant, the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, suffered a right Achilles tendon injury in the Warriors’ 106-105 victory over Toronto, trimming the Raptors’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. “It was a real shock when he went down,” […]

JUST IN: Warriors edge Raptors to keep NBA title hopes alive

TORONTO, Canada (AFP) — Stephen Curry scored 31 points and Klay Thompson added 26 as the defending champion Golden State Warriors edged Toronto 106-105 Monday to sustain their hopes of winning the NBA Finals. The Warriors pulled within 3-2 in the best-of-seven championship series and forced a sixth game Thursday at Oakland, California, with game seven if needed back in Toronto on Sunday. On a night when Warriors star Kevin Durant returned from a right […]