NBA

Warriors welcome back fans as Curry sinks Nuggets, Westbrook stays hot for streaking Wizards

By Sports Desk April 24, 2021

Golden State Warriors fans were on hand to witness another stellar Stephen Curry performance as the two-time NBA MVP helped take down Nikola Jokic's Denver Nuggets 118-97.

The Warriors welcomed fans back to Chase Center for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began – 1,935 supporters in attendance 409 days later.

Those fortunate to be in the building on Friday saw Curry post 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting, with four three-pointers and eight rebounds.

Warriors superstar Curry finished with his 29th 30-point game of the season, his 12th 30-point effort in the last 13 games.

Draymond Green tied his career high with 19 assists and 12 rebounds, his 12th double-double of the season as Kelly Oubre Jr. added 23 points off the bench.

The visiting Nuggets were led by Michael Porter Jr. (26 points), while MVP candidate Jokic managed just 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.

 

Another Westbrook triple-double, another Wizards win

Russell Westbrook put up his fourth consecutive triple-double as the streaking Washington Wizards topped the Oklahoma City Thunder 129-109. In his return to Oklahoma City, former MVP Westbrook had 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to guide the Wizards to a seventh straight victory. Westbrook has nine triple-doubles in his last 10 games and 20 in his past 30. Wizards team-mate Bradley Beal contributed 33 points.

Paul George's 33 points and 14 rebounds guided the Los Angeles Clippers past the lowly Houston Rockets 109-104. John Wall posted 27 points and 13 assists for the Rockets in Houston.

Ja Morant became the third player in NBA history to score 33-plus points while shooting 60-plus per cent from the field and 13-plus assists without committing a turnover, joining Baron Davis (2008) and John Stockton (1989). Morant's 33 points and 13 assists – the first player in franchise history to reach those numbers in the same game – helped the Memphis Grizzlies edge the Portland Trail Blazers 130-128. Jusuf Nurkic's double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds was not enough for the Trail Blazers.

Jayson Tatum tallied 38 points and 10 rebounds, but the Boston Celtics still lost 109-104 to the injury-hit Brooklyn Nets, who moved top of the Eastern Conference.

 

Scoreless Iguodala

A three-time NBA champion, Andre Iguodala was scoreless in the Miami Heat's 118-103 defeat at the Atlanta Hawks. In 23 minutes, he was 0-for-four shooting, while missing all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

The Clippers won but not before a woeful third quarter – scoring a season-low 11 points. The Clippers were five of 22 from the field and 0-for-six three-point shooting in the penultimate period against the Rockets.

 

Mike making plays

Mike James signed a 10-day contract with the Nets, having starred in Europe. The 30-year-old, who spent some time playing for the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans previously, impressed against the Celtics with the pass-fake and sky-hook shot.

 

Friday's results

Atlanta Hawks 118-103 Miami Heat
Brooklyn Nets 109-104 Boston Celtics
Charlotte Hornets 108-102 Cleveland Cavaliers
Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 Houston Rockets
Washington Wizards 129-109 Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors 118-97 Denver Nuggets
Memphis Grizzlies 130-128 Portland Trail Blazers

 

76ers at Bucks

The Philadelphia 76ers (39-20) will look to arrest a three-game losing streak and reclaim top spot in the east when they face Giannis Antetokounmpo (36-22) and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

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  • Juventus confident of landing Locatelli after tabling 'appropriate offer' – Nedved Juventus confident of landing Locatelli after tabling 'appropriate offer' – Nedved

    Juventus are confident of signing Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo after tabling what vice-president Pavel Nedved describes as an "appropriate offer".

    The 23-year-old midfielder has established himself with Sassuolo over the past two seasons in Serie A and is now on the radar of several leading European clubs.

    Locatelli's stock has risen even further after featuring five times for Italy in their successful Euro 2020 campaign, including an appearance against England in last month's final.

    He scored twice against Switzerland in the group stage and had the second best goals-per-90-minute ratio of any Italy player (0.66) in the tournament after Matteo Pessina (0.95).

    Former Milan man Locatelli also won more tackles per 90 minutes (2.32) than any Italy player at the Euros, followed by Marco Verratti (2.02) and Federico Bernardeschi (1.42).

    Arsenal have already made a bid for the midfielder, while fellow English side Liverpool have also been linked, but Nedved is positive Juve can win the race for his signature.

    "We spoke to Sassuolo and we made our offer, which we believe is appropriate for the current climate, with the way finances and the transfer market have been affected by COVID," Nedved told Sport Mediaset.

    "We are convinced this is a good offer and it is the right one. We are always confident. Naturally in negotiations there are things that must be clarified and resolved. When you want a player and that player wants you, it's clear..."

    Nedved's comments come after Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali revealed last week that Locatelli would prefer a move to Juventus.

    The Bianconeri, who reappointed Massimiliano Allegri in May after sacking Andrea Pirlo, have yet to make any new signings ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

    Juve face Barcelona in a prestige pre-season friendly next weekend before beginning their Serie A campaign away at Udinese on August 22.

  • Rays top Red Sox to move into first place, Mets win in Baez debut Rays top Red Sox to move into first place, Mets win in Baez debut

    Two key hits from highly touted rookie Wander Franco lifted the Tampa Bay Rays past the Boston Red Sox 9-5 on Saturday.

    Tampa Bay's third consecutive win and Boston's third straight loss moved the Rays into first place in the American League (AL) East by half a game.

    After the Rays' Francisco Mejia and Boston's Bobby Dalbec traded two-run homers in the fourth and fifth inning to leave the score tied 5-5, Franco's triple to right field in the sixth gave the Rays the lead.

    Franco would add an RBI single in the eighth and come home on Mejia's two-run single later in the inning as the Rays sealed the win.

     

    Baez homers in Mets debut

    Javier Baez homered in his first game with the Mets as New York rallied past the Cincinnati Reds for a 5-4 victory. Baez's two-run shot in the sixth drew the Mets within one after Eugenio Suarez and Kyle Farmer home runs had given Cincinnati a 4-1 lead. Dominic Smith's ninth-inning single sent the game to extra innings, where Brandon Drury won it in the 10th. Joey Votto went one-for-five with a single for the Reds, ending his streak of games with a home run at seven straight.

    Speaking of new New Yorkers, Anthony Rizzo continues to endear himself to Yankees fans. He reached base in all four plate appearances in a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins, collecting two walks, a single and his second home run in as many days. According to Stats Perform, Rizzo is the first player in Yankees history to have at least two hits, including a home run, in each of his first two games with the team.

    The San Francisco Giants hit five home runs to slug their way past the Houston Astros 8-6 in a matchup of division leaders. Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade, Darin Ruf and Mike Yastrzemski went deep for the Giants, while Houston got two homers from Aledmys Diaz and one from Martin Maldonado in a losing effort.

    Kyle Hendricks is now the longest-tenured Chicago Cubs player after the team's sell-off this week, and he was his usual self in allowing one run in seven innings to beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 and win his 11th consecutive decision.

    Colorado Rockies All-Star pitcher German Marquez allowed two runs in six innings and provided one of his one, homering off Yu Darvish in the fifth as the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3.

     

    Rough Brewers debut for Curtiss

    Making his Milwaukee Brewers debut after coming over from the Marlins in a trade this week, reliever John Curtiss allowed four hits and a walk to Atlanta, punctuated by a Dansby Swanson grand slam that would give the Braves an 8-1 win.

     

    Zavala's first, second and third career homers

    Entering Saturday, Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala had played 17 major league games between 2019 and this season, collecting three singles, two doubles and one RBI. You could say he had a career game in Chicago's 12-11 loss to the Cleveland Indians, as the 27-year-old went four-for-four with three home runs, including a grand slam. Zavala is the first player in MLB history to collect his first three career home runs in the same game. 

     

    Saturday's results 

    Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
    Chicago Cubs 6-3 Washington Nationals
    Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Kansas City Royals
    New York Mets 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
    New York Yankees 4-2 Miami Marlins
    Tampa Bay Rays 9-5 Boston Red Sox
    Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Detroit Tigers
    Atlanta Braves 8-1 Milwaukee Brewers
    Texas Rangers 5-4 Seattle Mariners
    Cleveland Indians 12-11 Chicago White Sox
    Minnesota Twins 8-1 St Louis Cardinals
    Los Angeles Angels 1-0 Oakland Athletics
    Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    San Francisco Giants 8-6 Houston Astros
    Colorado Rockies 5-3 San Diego Padres

     

    Red Sox at Rays

    The Tampa Bay Rays (63-42) will look to hold onto first place on Sunday with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox (63-43) at Tropicana Field. 

  • Tokyo Olympics: Phelps, Spitz, Dressel and the most successful swimmers at a single Games Tokyo Olympics: Phelps, Spitz, Dressel and the most successful swimmers at a single Games

    When you're being tipped as the heir apparent to a legend like Michael Phelps you must be talented.

    And there is no doubting Caeleb Dressel's supreme skills in the pool, which have been on display all week at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

    Dressel finished up on Sunday with a new Olympic record to win the 50m freestyle, while he and his United States team-mates broke the world benchmark in taking out the 4x100m medley.

    In total, Dressel leaves Tokyo 2020 with five gold medals – collecting individual accolades in the 50 and 100m free races and 100m butterfly as well as winning two relay events.

    Swimming has a proud history of producing athletes who leave a single Games with multiple gold medals and Stats Perform takes a look at some of the previous stars of the pool to have done so.

    MICHAEL PHELPS – 8 (BEIJING, 2008)

    Quite simply an Olympics legend. With a mind-boggling 23 golds and 28 medals in total, the American great is the most successful Olympian of all time.

    His most lucrative Games came at Beijing in 2008, where Phelps won a remarkable eight gold medals in the pool – the most collected at a single Olympics.

    Phelps' haul included the following events: 4x100m medley, 100m butterfly, 200m IM, 4x200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle and 400m individual medley.

    It must have been one heavy carry-on bag on the way home! But Phelps made a habit of racking up the golds. He won six at the 2004 Games in Athens and earned five at his final Olympics at Rio 2016.

    MARK SPITZ – 7 (MUNICH, 1972)

    Before Phelps came along to destroy all the record books, it was Mark Spitz who held the benchmark for most golds at one Games with his incredible effort of seven at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

    The American, who had earned a couple of relay golds in Mexico City four years prior, won every race he entered, setting a world record in each.

    He took out the butterfly and freestyle in the 100 and 200m categories, while clinching relay golds in the 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle.

    KRISTIN OTTO – 6 (SEOUL, 1988)

    Representing East Germany at the 1988 Games in Seoul, Otto took home six golds – the most of any woman at a single Olympics.

    Otto did so swimming three different strokes - freestyle, backstroke and butterfly. Her gold medals came in the 50 and 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

    She retired a year later and Otto is now a prominent pundit in Germany.

    MATT BIONDI – 5 (SEOUL, 1988)

    At the same Olympics, another American legend of the pool Matt Biondi had a Games to remember.

    Biondi won the 50 and 100m freestyle races and a further three relay golds, while he lost out by just one one-hundredth of a second when favourite in the 100m butterfly.

    He famously said of that defeat: "One one-hundredth of a second - what if I had grown my fingernails longer?"

    In total he won seven medals in Seoul, only Phelps and Spitz have won as many at a single Games.

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